There are many things about hair transplants which make them different from other transplant procedures, such as those for livers, kidneys, or hearts. Perhaps the biggest distinction is that in organ transplants, the donor and recipient are two different people. In hair transplant surgery, the hair to be transplanted comes from the same patient.
Just as a donated organ needs to be healthy and compatible in order for it to be transplanted successfully, hair which is to be transplanted to thinning or bald areas of the scalp needs to be healthy as well. If the volume, strength, or texture of donor hair is insufficient, hair transplant surgery is likely not the best option for addressing hair loss.
The Donor Area
For hair transplant surgery, such as Follicular Unit Excision (FUE), the donor area is found on the back and sides of the scalp where permanent hair growth remains unaffected by male pattern baldness. Since this hair is permanently growing, it makes it ideal for transplantation as it will continue to grow in its new home.
Problems With Donor Hair
But not all donor areas are equal and not all hair follicles are equally suited for effective transplantation. There are several characteristics of a patient’s hair which may make them unsuited for transplant surgery:
- Hair replacement candidates must have healthy hair growth in the donor area at the back of the head. This is usually the case where male pattern baldness is the cause of hair loss. But other forms of hair loss, such as Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia, do not leave behind robust donor areas, as the hair loss is spread throughout the scalp. In such cases, there is simply no effective way to harvest enough grafts for a transplant.
- Transplanted hair is being asked to do a big job: concealing bare areas of the scalp so that they now appear covered in robust, healthy-looking hair. However, some hair is not up to the task. Very fine and straight hair does not cover as much real estate as curly, thick hair does and thus may require an inadvisable number of grafts.
- If your scalp has any significant dermatological issues, it may not be in the shape it needs to be to receive and grow hair in the recipient areas.
Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today
The only way to know whether or not hair transplant surgery is a viable option for you is to meet with an experienced hair transplant surgeon who can fully evaluate your current condition, determine the cause of your hair loss, and advise you of the best course of treatment.
If you are concerned about your hair loss and are ready to do something about it, we invite you to schedule a hair loss evaluation at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Drs. Nusbaum and Rose are internationally acclaimed hair restoration surgeons with more than 40 years combined experience. Both Drs. Nusbaum and Rose are actively engaged in hair loss research and lecture widely. To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call or office directly at 305-925-0222.