Since then, the hair transplant has become increasingly common, adopted by almost every bald man but what hopeful men with disappearing hairlines don’t realize is that not everyone can undergo the procedure. Like so many miracle cures that sound too good to be true, the conditions you must meet to be eligible for a hair transplant are extremely specific.
Who does make a good candidate for hair transplant? And, more importantly, do you and your less-than-luscious locks make the cut?
Hair Transplants work better with particular hair colors
The color of your hair – especially how it relates to your underlying skin color – is of great importance. The less contrast there is between hair and scalp color, the better a candidate you will be for a hair transplant, as there will be increased potential for better coverage.
For example, a fair man with light brown hairs, will only appear bald after significant hair loss has occurred and similar for dark skin color with black hairs. This is because their skin and hair color appear to blend together. The eye is drawn to areas of high contrast, but areas of low contrast blend together. Therefore, fewer transplants will be needed to achieve good coverage on somebody whose hair matches their skin.
Success depends on the shape and thickness of your hair
The cross-sectional area of your hair is more important than the volume
Hair calibre – or cross-sectional area – is incredibly important in identifying the best candidates for hair transplant. The appearance of baldness, particularly where the hair is thinning but still evident, is due to light penetrating past sparse or absent hair, and then being reflected off the scalp. So, the thicker the hair that is in place to block the light, the less the appearance of baldness will be.
The shape of your individual hairs is also important. Generally speaking, the more curl or wave your hair has, this will grant more coverage to the scalp. An excellent example of this is Afro-Caribbean hair, which tends to be tightly wound or kinky – and therefore has wonderful coverage properties, as it stands thick and mat-like above the scalp, blocking the light.
You shouldn’t have any diseases of the scalp or Alopecia
Men with ‘Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia’ should not be getting hair transplants. These men have an unhealthy donor supply, and this makes them a poor candidate. It would be a waste of both time and money.
Age and Health
While you can have FUE at any age for hair thinning or hair loss, people over the age of 30 make better candidates as their hair loss pattern has been established. For the traditional FUE method, any hair length is accepted. However, for the more precise ARTAS robotic technology, hair has to be cut short before the procedure. This is a consideration that clients have to decide upon.
Also, if you have chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, make sure to discuss them with your doctor.
Family History of Hair Loss
If your pattern of baldness – male or female – has been established, or is distinct, or follows that or your relatives (that is, it’s hereditary), it is a good time for a consultation. The pattern of hair loss is also useful to your doctor to project the baldness that may still be to come, so it’s a good time to come up with a treatment plan together.
Cause of Baldness
If your bald spots are caused by trauma (burns, surgical procedures, scarring) or alopecia (traction alopecia or alopecia marginalis), you are a great candidate for FUE. You may also want to speak to your family doctor about medical issues that may be causing or contributing to your hair loss or thinning.
Donor Hair Density
While FUE can be performed on men and women with advanced baldness, you should take advantage of the consultation with the surgeon to ensure that you have enough donor hair for the FUE procedure. If you’re completely bald, you might be too late.
Although hair transplants are permanent, hair loss may not be. An ideal client is one who understands that they might have to come back if the hair loss persists. However, the good news is that this procedure can be repeated.
Waiting for Results
The results of an FUE procedure take up to a year to fully show. Most of the time significant hair growth will appear in 4-6 months. If you’re willing to wait that long, FUE is the right procedure. Patience is a virtue in this case, and it pays off with increased self-esteem, confidence and overall a better psychological and physical well-being.