Surgical Hair Restoration: Are You a Candidate?

For the right candidate, hair restoration surgery can significantly improve appearance and general sense of well-being. However, not everyone is a good candidate for the surgery. Those who are must have realistic expectations before undergoing a hair transplant procedure.

Remember, everyone has a finite amount of donor hair that can be moved to the thinning areas of the scalp. If that hair isn't used in an efficient manner the outcome of the procedure might not meet your expectations.

Also, surgery should always be your last resort after all attempts to stop the progression of your hair loss have been exhausted.

If you are under the impression that having small surgeries to "keep up with your hair loss" is a practical way to address your hair loss issue, you are mistaken. Patients with a significant amount of hair on their scalps run the risk of "shock loss" of some or much of their existing hair caused by the trauma of the surgical procedure.

In some cases this lost hair will not return and you could be left with thinner hair than before the procedure. This is just one reason why understanding whether or not you are a good candidate for the procedure is so important.

The best candidates for hair restoration surgery are:

  • Men who have been losing their hair due to male pattern baldness for more than five years or who have progressed to class 3 or above on the Norwood Scale.
  • Men who have realistic expectations and who understand that their hair loss might continue to progress after surgery, even if they are taking prescription medication to stop this progression. Some men have to continue these medications after surgery to retain as much of their hair as possible.
  • Men who have been balding for many years, whose pattern has stabilized, and who are interested in adding some hair to provide a more youthful appearance.
  • Men and women who have lost hair due to trauma or burns.
  • Men and women who have lost hair due to other cosmetic procedures such as facelifts.

Published on March 1, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from the American Hair Loss Association
©2010 American Hair Loss Association. All rights reserved
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