Can Hair Transplantation Be Done Without Complete Hair Loss?

Hair transplantation is the type of surgery that’s only made possible when a person’s not completely bald. Without healthy hair on the back and sides of the head, you won’t be able to have this surgery.

With that, it’s important to understand what kind of hair loss you’re experiencing and how much your own hair can do for you to ensure a successful restoration surgery. In this guide, you’ll learn more about it.

Can You Get A Hair Transplant If You Are Not Completely Bald?

You can only get a hair transplant if you’re not completely bald because a hair transplant relies on the presence of a strong “donor area.” It refers to the hair on the sides and back of the head. This area “donates” hair for transplantation as it is extracted by the surgeon and implanted into the bald spots.

Donor area 12 month
Done well, a FUE hair transplant doesn’t leave the back of the head bald and patchy.

If you go completely bald, there will be no place for your surgeon to extract hair from and then transplant it. As a result, it won’t be possible for you to have a hair transplant. For this reason, people with diffuse hair loss on their scalp are not considered good candidates for hair transplants.

In diffuse hair loss, you won’t have a stable donor area. So, even if the hair is extracted from the back and the sides and transplanted, it will fall off, whereas a hair transplant is supposed to give permanent results. While body hair transplants are done, they might not give you natural-looking or long-lasting results.

However, one thing to note is that you don’t have to wait for a hair transplant until you’re significantly bald. You need a healthy donor area for the surgery to take place. Penn Medicine even says that “it’s better to start when you are not completely bald.”

Can You Have A Partial Hair Transplant?

A hair transplant can be done in separate sessions when a patient needs a large number of hair grafts (4,500+), so it’s possible to have a partial hair transplant. Patients who require a second session of hair transplantation are usually informed beforehand by their doctors.

However, if by partial hair transplants, you mean only covering a part of the scalp, that is also done. Some patients are more concerned about their hairline or just the crown and might only want coverage there.

Second hair transplant candidate
The patient had a partial hair transplant but may be able to have a second session of the surgery.

While restoration surgery can be done in these areas alone, they might not give satisfactory results in the long run. On the other hand, sometimes, a partial hair transplant might be the only option if a patient doesn’t have enough hair in the donor area to cover all the bald spots.

Can I Have A Hair Transplant If I Only Have Hair On My Temples?

Temple hair might not be suitable for hair transplantation because it usually thins and recedes in the case of pattern hair loss. Therefore, it won’t act as a stable donor area from which hair can be extracted.

If you undergo this surgery while experiencing thinning in the temple area, you will lose the results because the hair will fall out regardless of where it’s transplanted.

Also, just the temple hair might not be enough for your hair transplant to take place. About 40% to 50% of hair is extracted from an area on the scalp for transplantation. If that area is already limited in size, the graft yield can be quite low.

temple hair loss

It can also come down to how big the size of the balding area is. But if you only have hair left in the temple area to extract from, it might be too large for you to get adequate coverage with just temple hair.

Can I Have A Hair Transplant Only In The Centre Of My Head?

You can only have a hair transplant in the centre of your head. A hair transplant is a cosmetic surgery, so understanding and meeting your needs (where possible) is important to its overall success.

That said, if you only decide to get a hair transplant in the centre of your head, where there’s a possibility that you’ll progressively lose the surrounding hair, you might not like the results in the long run.

That’s because the transplanted hair will stay in place since they’re permanent, but the rest of the hair will fall off, so you might just end up with lone hair in the centre of your head. Make sure to discuss this further with your surgeon.


It might sound counterintuitive, but for a hair transplant to take place, you need to have existing hair. And those existing hairs need to be stable (not undergo follicular miniaturisation) and be in enough quantities.

But if you’re losing your hair, it’s also important to talk to a medical professional to understand the root cause of the problem. Based on that, your doctor will recommend a suitable treatment plan for you.

And if you have decided on a hair transplant, make sure to discuss everything with your surgeon beforehand. It’s important to have realistic expectations from the surgery.

Reviewed and approved by Dr. Cagla Yuksel.

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