Factors and Risks in Hair Transplantation

Factors Affecting Hair Transplantation

Hair surgery, like any other surgery, has its limitations and potential risks. It is important to note that patients with female pattern hair loss make poor candidates for hair transplantation. Advanced female pattern hair loss may appear as severe thinning across most of the scalp (diffuse hair loss). Only patients with male pattern baldness that have a high hair density in the donor area with hair loss largely confined to the front of the scalp are ideal candidates for hair transplantation. In addition, the ideal candidates are patients who are good responders to medicinal hair loss treatments with a hair colour that is close to the colour of their skin and whose hair is thick in diameter, wavy, whose scalp is flexible and who have been balding for many years and whose pattern has already stabilised.

Hair Transplant Risks and Side Effects

Potential hair transplant candidates should be aware of the risks and side effects associated with the surgery. The biggest risk is that the results may not meet their expectations. The changes are nearly permanent and the patient will have to live with them. Other factors include the risk of excessive bleeding and scarring, the long healing process of the scar, weak hair growth due to the transaction of follicles, temporary shock loss of hair affecting both the existing and the newly-implanted hair, and scalp numbness and tension.

Hair transplantation is not for the faint-hearted. In addition to the aforementioned risks, it requires a lifetime commitment to finasteride and minoxidil or any other adequate hair loss treatment. If the patient does not continue using a medicinal treatment, the further progression of hair loss in areas adjacent to the former bald spot may result in unnatural patterns of baldness. To correct this would require repeated hair transplant sessions and the limited supply of donor hair might pose a problem. Furthermore, due to the tiny scars resulting from the surgery, the patient cannot resort to shaving his head in the future. The scars might be particularly discouraging for patients who colour their hair to cover their grey. They might be scared by thought of the potential penetration of allergenic chemicals into their scalp through the many tiny scars at the back of their head. Potential candidates should consider all those risks carefully and discuss them with their surgeon.