While hair transplants have been life-changing for thousands, not everyone is a good candidate for hair transplant surgery. Certain factors predict success (or failure) in hair transplantation and should be carefully considered before going under the knife.
Not all types of baldness can be treated with hair transplantation. Hair is harvested from the sides and back of the scalp and placed in the balding areas, such as the hairline on the forehead. The only reason that this process works is that men with pattern baldness lose hair in predictable areas and, conversely, keep their hair in other regions. Hair transplants are great for men with pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). Diffuse hair loss, on the other hand, cannot be treated with a hair transplant. In other words, you must have the right type of baldness to qualify for hair transplant surgery.
Pattern baldness is not the only criterion that determines success. The donor hair must be reasonably dense for two reasons. First, the hair placed in the balding areas needs to be of sufficient girth (diameter) to look natural after transplant. Second, if the donor site is comprised of thin hair, even the harvest of individual follicles will leave the donor site looking like “swiss cheese” or “moth-eaten.”
While hair is simply strands of protein and by definition is not living, the follicular unit is very much alive. Therefore the transplanted follicular unit must have a robust blood supply, and the area of the scalp must support the transplant. Surgeons can predict the probability of success in this respect by carefully examining the scalp before the hair transplant procedure. Unfortunately, without a consultation with an expert, you may not be able to determine if you meet this criterion.
How Much Do Hair Transplants Cost
Finally, hair transplant costs can reach as much as $20,000, an amount that is prohibitive for some. While many surgeons offer payment plans and credit, hair transplants are out of reach for many men simply because of cost. Fortunately, this is a one-time (or sometimes two-time) expense; however, if you do not have thousands of dollars in disposable income (or have good credit), you may not get to experience the benefits of hair transplantation.