A common question I get asked, is, when is it too late for a hair transplant? This crops up often as there are many instances where hair loss happens later in life, or the individual simply hasn’t given thought to the matter in their earlier years.
Unfortunately, there is no age cut off and I can’t simply say something like, you can’t have a hair transplant if you are over the age of 50. It doesn’t work like that. In fact, age really isn’t the determining factor and as you will see below, it has more to do with your hair loss, hair quality, and personal health.
Factors Influencing Hair Transplant Viability
As mentioned, hair transplant experts in Turkey will not state a specific age when it’s too late for a transplant. They will instead assess each patient individually and look at a range of factors including health, previous transplant history, and your current hair condition.
Your general health
To give a hair transplant the best chances of success you should be healthy and fit. If you have a plethora of other medical conditions it could be detrimental to the stability and health of your grafted hair. Things like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also affect the viability of hair transplants as they can reduce the blood flow to your scalp.
Previous hair transplant history
It is possible to have multiple hair transplants but each subsequent transplant you have can reduce the likelihood of another successful surgery. This is because you only have a limited amount of donor hair and each time you have surgery you are placing strain and trauma on your scalp.
Hair loss condition
The severity of your hair loss condition can affect the viability of a hair transplant. For example, if you only have a receding hairline this is relatively easy to fix with a hair transplant whereas severe hair loss into balding is much more difficult to rectify.
Your hair density
During a hair transplant you are using your own hair – not someone else. Therefore, the thicker and denser your hair is, the better chances of success a hair transplant has. Denser hair means a better selection process for the donor area and means the surgeon can select hair from a wider area.
Donor hair quality
Because you use your own hair for a transplant, its quality is especially important. If you have thin, brittle hair in the donor area, your grafted hair will be thin and brittle too. Whereas if your donor hair is thick and luscious, the transplanted hair will also look fantastic. Therefore, if you have really poor-quality hair, a transplant may not produce good results.
When a Hair Transplant is Not Possible
There are situations when a hair transplant is not possible and you could say that these are a consequence of age, but they have more to do with your hair quality and hair loss condition.
If you are completely bald
It is possible to have a hair transplant if you are bald, but it is highly unlikely. When looking at when is it too late for a hair transplant, hair availability is key. You need a decent amount of donor hair to implant in the areas of hair loss, therefore, if you are bald, where is the donor hair going to come from?
If your hair loss is too advanced
Each hair transplant procedure like FUE or DHI can only complete a specific amount of grafts per session. This means that if your hair loss is too advanced, surgery simply might not be able to fix the problem.
If you don’t have enough viable hair follicles to graft
Donor hair for hair transplants is usually taken from the back of your head. As a result, if you don’t have great hair coverage there, it could transpire that you simply don’t have enough donor hair to complete a successful transplant.
Alternative Solutions for Late-Stage Hair Loss
If it transpires that you are not a suitable candidate for a hair transplant there may be other solutions including:
- PRP Therapy.
- Specialize shampoos.
There is a range of medications like Minoxidil and Finasteride that can help stimulate hair growth and slow hair loss progression. Additionally, treatments like Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy can improve blood flow to your scalp and also encourage hair growth.
Age is Not the Main Deciding Factor for Hair Transplant Viability
Hair transplants present one of the rare occasions when age isn’t the main factor, unlike other types of surgery. This is because the procedure is less invasive than keyhole surgery or an organ transplant and doesn’t put nearly as much strain on your body.
Instead, hair transplant viability is more concerned with your hair loss condition, the quality of your existing hair, and the availability of healthy donor hair. Additionally, even if a hair transplant isn’t possible, there are late-stage alternatives like Minoxidil and Finasteride. So, when is it too late for a hair transplant? Potentially never.