Hair loss can have a devastating effect on a person's appearance, self-confidence –and even their bank balance. Research shows that patients with a full head of hair tend to be more successful, enjoying higher average levels of income and better promotion prospects.
Hair loss can start in men from as early as their late teens – around 20% of men have experienced some kind of hair loss by the time they are 25. By the time they reach 35, about 40% of men are going bald. By 50, 60% of men are losing their hair.
Hair transplantation – either by FUE (follicular unit extraction) or FUT (follicular unit transplantation) is the ONLY long-term solution to baldness. However, it’s a big decision, so before you decide to go ahead with a hair transplant, here’s what you need to know.
1. Find out if you are the right candidate for a hair transplant
At Crown Clinic, we tend not to treat patients under the age of 25. We wait until that age because, before that, it impossible to fully determine the pattern of a patient’s baldness. After 25, the pattern is a lot clearer, and we can provide a detailed programme on how best to combat their hair loss. It is worth remembering that hair loss is a continual process, and a hair transplant will not stop the future loss of hair.
2. You may require more than one hair transplant procedure
Most patients find that they only require one hair transplant, but that is not the case with all patients, particularly for those with severe male pattern baldness. Crown Clinic’s client Calum Best had three FUE transplants. Calum needed regular treatment because he started losing his hair from a young age. As he declined to take any hair loss medication, we were unable to halt or slow down the loss of his natural hair.
Crown Clinic’s patient Christian Jessen had two FUT transplants with our surgeon Dr Asim Shahmalak. Christian also declined to take Finasteride, which hastened his natural hair loss.
3. Transplanted hair can be treated like normal hair
Once the transplanted hair has fully grown back, it can be treated exactly like your normal hair. After an operation, the transplanted hair tends to fall out, but please remember this is entirely natural and nothing to worry about – the important thing is the roots of the new hair are established in the balding area. Over time, the transplanted hair will grow back, but patients should not expect to see the full benefits until eight months to a year after the original operation.
For the first few days after the procedure, the transplanted area of the scalp should be treated with extreme care. Crown Clinic offers a handy guide outlining the best aftercare to ensure the success of your transplant.
4. Transplanted hair is permanent
Transplanted hair should last the patient for the rest of their lives. However, no such guarantee can be made about the natural hair that surrounds the transplanted hair. If the patient is young or declines to take Finasteride, they are in danger of losing more of their natural hair – but not the transplanted grafts.
5. Hair loss does tend to slow down or stop as a person ages
No two patients lose their hair at the same rate. Hair loss can be rapid in some patients – look at how Prince William lost his hair rapidly throughout his 20s. However, that is not to say that this hair loss will continue at the same rate. Hair loss tends to slow down or halt in men in their 50s or 60s.
6. If you are going bald, chances are your family is to blame
Most hair loss is hereditary. It can be passed down through the mother or father's genes. The Royal family is an obvious example: it has been consistently passed down through the generation – from Prince Philip to Prince Charles and now on to Prince William and Harry. The chances are that young Prince George will have the same issues when he grows up.