There’s no definitive answer to when male pattern baldness, also called androgenic alopecia, begins. It varies from person to person. Although thinning hair is often associated with older men, some could start losing their hair as early as their teens. The US National Library of Medicine says the condition affects an estimated 50 million men in the United States, and that more than 50 percent of men over 50 years old already show varying degrees of hair loss.
Early Hair Loss: Is There a Right Time for a Transplant?
If you are one of the men experiencing early hair loss, a hair transplant procedure has probably crossed your mind. But how young is too young for a transplant procedure?
FUT and FUE
Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) is a technique where surgeons transfer healthy hair follicles from the back of the head to the hairless area at the top. A similar yet more time-consuming procedure is follicular unit extraction (FUE). While topical men’s hair loss solutions focus on making hair follicles grow faster and thicker, FUT and FUE address baldness directly by transplanting real hair where you need it the most.
Like any surgery, however, the timing for FUT and FUE must be right. No definite rule says men have to be at a certain age before they can have these procedures, but age is a factor that could affect their outcomes.
The Ideal Age for Hair Transplants
FUT and FUE are safe procedures that licensed surgeons can perform on teenagers. It is advisable, however, that young men wait until they’re at least in their mid-20’s before going under the knife. If possible, hold off getting a hair transplant until you’re in your 30’s.
Wait for the Right Time
Why is waiting necessary? Here are two things to think about: First, male pattern baldness is a progressive condition that could go on for years. Second, FUT and FUE are solutions that provide permanent results.
Suppose a 20-year-old has a hair transplant and the surgeon lowers his hairline by an inch. The results are positive, and the patient is happy with his appearance. Four years down the road, however, it becomes apparent that his hair is still thinning. Thanks to his earlier procedure, he has a defined hairline that starts exactly where it should; unfortunately, he also has a growing bald spot right at the top of his head. The patient will have to undergo another round of hair transplantation to address the progressive baldness.
The “right time” for a FUT or FUE procedure doesn’t depend on your age but the current stage of your hair loss. This is the first thing we look at when you come to us for a hair transplant consultation.
If you don’t qualify for hair transplants yet, don’t feel discouraged. There are other options besides surgery that you can turn to, in the meantime. You can use topical hair products that promote hair growth and volume. You can also consider laser therapy, which the Vargas Face and Skin Center offers. Our IGrow Laser Light Therapy stimulates hair follicles at the cellular level to trigger hair growth.
Addressing male pattern baldness is a test of patience and resilience. Take comfort in the fact that as you wait for the right time for a FUT or FUE procedure, you can also explore other men’s hair loss solutions. Start by browsing through our website. Besides hair transplantation, Vargas Face and Skin also offers eyebrow and facial hair restoration, as well as medical therapies that combat hair loss.