If you are a regular reader of these articles, then by now you know some important things.
When getting a hair transplant, never take the cheapest route!
A good hair transplant at a reliable clinic will cost around $7-15,000. Anything offered to you cheaper means you are going to an unreliable clinic and you will not have good results. There are lots of other ways to save money-don’t eat out, get a cheaper car- but the time to save money is not when you have surgery. Trying to save money on a hair transplant surgery will get you at most average results and you will end up spending more money to repair the damage. Results of cheap hair transplants usually look un-natural with a visible “pluggy” appearance. This week, seven men have come to us after having procedures at other clinics. Around half of the surgeries we performed in the past two months have been performing repair of transplants.
Now, on to the article!
I’m going to speak to you about a case that is very near to my heart. We will call this patient Jim. He is a 22 year old who has experienced frontal hair loss with evidence of further hair loss at the crown in the near future. Every other male in his family have full heads of hair. He is currently using Propecia and Rogaine combined with Laser Light Therapy. I have no idea what the final hair loss pattern will be, but at a minimum it will be a Norwood 5, which is hair loss in the hairline and crown of the scalp.
Normally, I would not consider performing a hair transplant on anyone so young. But when Jim came into the office, I asked him what he hoped we could do for him. He was so choked up he could not speak. The loss of his hair had destroyed him. Many men his age would be bothered by their hair loss, but still have the confidence to date and live a happy life. But not for Jim.
Many would say that this is psychological and rather that performing a cosmetic procedure, the psychological issue should be addressed. I can honestly say that we do have cases like that where we do not perform the transplant.
However, Jim and I have something in common. When I was 22, I would look in the mirror and see both the young man that I was, and also a balding older man. I felt cheated of my youth and the time of my life that was supposed to be my best years. I felt destroyed, too. Just like Jim. Despite everyone’s arguments against it, I received a hair transplant. Now at the age of 31, I still enjoy a full head of hair. It saved those years in my twenties from being completely miserable.
So, here’s the bottom line:
Yes, there are some long term risks when doing a hair transplant in someone so young. But, when you have a man who is in the prime of his youth and he can’t leave his house because of balding, how do you turn him away? I knew that if I refused him, he would find someone that would agree to do it, and he would have horrible results. At least, if I agreed to perform the transplant, I could assure the results were the best I could give and minimize negative results. I did have some conditions for Jim to agree to.
- He would start and stay on all treatments approved by the FDA.
- The transplant would be designed with a recessed hairline appropriate for his age, but that would take him into his 50s looking his best.
We started with a low density hair transplant, using about 2000 grafts. There are another 7000 grafts left which will be needed as he moves through his 20s and 30s and enter his 40s. He may develop some thinning in the crown one day, but he will have a great head of hair at the hairline and mid-scalp area.
Having hair in my youth boosted my confidence. Turning 30, I started getting a few lines and wrinkles, but I still had hair and I felt young and I felt confident in myself.
There are some general guidelines when talking about cosmetic surgery, but every case has to be evaluated on its own. At a clinic that is ethical, like ours, we strive to always do the right thing. For Jim, the right thing was to risk performing a hair transplant on a young man whose life was completely ruined because of his baldness. During one of the most enjoyable times of his life, we helped him regain his self-confidence and begin living his life.