Often people are unsure about the best age for a hair transplant. While some say getting a hair transplant midway through your 20s is okay, others say you should wait until your 30s.
And then there are others who think you can have a hair transplant even in your early 20s. While technically, a hair transplant has no upper or lower age limit, there’s not a certain age that’s considered “the best” for this surgery.
In general, 25 and above is considered the best age for a hair transplant. And that’s due to a number of reasons. However, this isn’t always the case.
You may be able to get a hair transplant even earlier than this. And if your problem is that you think you’re too old, you might also not have much to worry about.
What Is The Best Age For A Hair Transplant?
More commonly, 25 and above is considered the best age for a hair transplant. However, some also consider 20+ to be the right age for this surgery.
In truth, it comes down to the history and pattern of hair loss of an individual. This is, of course, assuming that the hair loss is due to pattern baldness – the most common cause of hair loss for which people seek hair transplantation surgery.
But normally, surgeons are wary of performing this surgery on younger patients.
For instance, a study published in the Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery highlights some of the potential problems in regard to this:
- Unrealistic expectations by younger hair transplant patients
- Unpredictability of the progression of hair loss
- Overusing the limited donor hair (making future surgeries difficult)
The researcher warns that patients who’re experiencing hair loss in their teens or early 20s are more likely to experience aggressive hair loss.
They might be on the Norwood 5 or 6 stage (there are 7 in total) by the time they’re 30.
Keeping this in mind, not every young patient is suitable for a hair transplant. However, again, a hair transplant’s done on a case-by-case basis.
This “best age” is not one-size-fits-all, so you should consult a qualified medical professional.
What Happens If You Get Hair Transplant Too Early?
If you get a hair transplant too early, you might not be able to enjoy its results for too long.
That’s because pattern baldness is progressive. And if you get this surgery while your hair loss pattern is still unstable, you’re probably going to lose more hair in the future.
Provided that your hair grafts were extracted from the safe donor area (which is resistant to hair loss), your newly transplanted hair will stay in place.
But the non-transplanted hair will continue to miniaturise and fall off. As a result, you’ll be left with patchy results.
That’s why some surgeons recommend waiting. Your hair loss will eventually stabilise, and you’ll have clearly demarcated non-balding and balding areas.
So, your surgeon will know how far your hair loss has extended and how many grafts you need to cover it.
It’s also important to keep in mind that there’s not an unlimited supply of hair in the donor area. So, you have to be mindful of the grafts being extracted from there.
If too many are taken out for just the initial surgery, you might not have enough left for a second hair transplant.
What Age Is Too Late For A Hair Transplant?
There’s no upper age limit for a hair transplant. You’re only too late for a hair transplant if you don’t have enough hair left in the donor area or are not in good health.
In an FUE hair transplant, healthy hair is taken from the back and sides of the scalp and implanted into the bald spots.
So, it’s essentially a redistribution of follicles, and if you have enough of them, having this surgery shouldn’t be a problem.
You can get good results from the surgery regardless of your age.
According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), it’s common for men in their 70s to get excellent results from a hair transplant.
What Are The Hair Transplant Challenges For Different Age Groups?
If you’re looking for a hair transplant in your teens or early 20s, the biggest challenge is the unpredictability of the extent of your hair loss.
It doesn’t mean that you can never get a hair transplant. Only your surgeon may recommend delaying the surgery for a few more years.
On the other hand, people who have a hair transplant after their 30s don’t have much to worry about. They can get good results from this surgery.
However, even they might need a second hair transplant if the size of their balding area is too large.
And lastly, in the older age group, while this surgery can be successfully done, slower healing (because of the age) might be a problem.
What Are The Alternative Solutions To A Hair Transplant For Different Age Groups?
If you’re unable to have a hair transplant because of your young age, your doctor may recommend non-surgical solutions for hair loss like:
- Platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP)
- Laser hair growth
- Scalp micropigmentation
The hair loss drugs can even prevent hair loss in men with androgenetic alopecia. So, you can consider it. But it may cause some sexual side effects, and you have to keep taking it to see results.
Others like PRP injections and laser therapy have some promising research on helping with hair growth. PRP is often used as an adjunct therapy with hair transplants.
With scalp micropigmentation, you have to keep in mind that the tattoo will be permanent. Although done well, it can look very natural (like a buzzcut) and even give the illusion of dense hair.
Still, these can help until you’re able to get a hair transplant.
And scalp micropigmentation, in particular, can also help if you’re unable to get a hair transplant entirely (because of a weak donor area or ageing).
You can also consider camouflage with wigs, hats, or caps.
Things To Consider In Hair Transplantation For Different Age Groups
As mentioned above, in the younger age group, the pattern and history of hair loss (including family) need to be taken into consideration.
It can help the surgeon decide if you’d be suitable for this surgery or not. Moreover, they need to keep your expectations in mind.
Other than that, no matter your age group, you need to be physically and mentally fit to have this surgery.
For instance, in the research mentioned earlier, patients with body dysmorphic disorder and trichotillomania (a hair-pulling disorder) are contraindicated for this surgery.
In a similar vein, for your physical health, you might be contraindicated for this surgery if you have an inflammatory, infectious, autoimmune disease, etc.
These, and other things, will be checked for before your hair transplant in Turkey.
While a hair transplant seems simple and easy (it’s just redistributing hair follicles), there’s a lot else that goes into it. One seemingly small consideration is that of the patient’s age.
Even there, the age matters depending on the type of hair loss you’re experiencing. So, when hair loss is due to pattern baldness, surgeons recommend waiting till the pattern is stabilised.
But, for example, if the hair loss has occurred due to a traumatic injury (like an accident or burn), you may be able to get a hair transplant at an earlier age.
This is why if you are experiencing hair loss (or have already experienced it), make sure to get in touch with a qualified and board-certified medical professional. They’ll give you an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Reviewed and Approved by Trichologist Yaprak Yazan
What happens if you have a hair transplant at a young age?
If you have a hair transplant at a very young age, you will eventually have some of the non-transplanted hair with time. And that will leave patchy areas behind.
Is age important in hair transplantation?
Age is an important consideration in hair transplants. However, usually, it’s the lower age limit that’s more important because your hair loss pattern might be changing at the time.