11 Reasons NOT To Get a Hair Transplant
Hair transplants are fantastic. They are a great way to build confidence, regain self-esteem, and make you feel better about your hair loss. But that doesn’t always mean that a hair transplant is the right solution.
As an office that specializes in hair transplants and hair rejuvenation you would think that we would always tell you that a hair transplant is the best possible option, or that everyone is a perfect candidate as long as they are willing to spend the money. But if we did that, we’d be lying to you, and our patient’s health and well-being is our number one priority.
A quality doctor will let you know if they don’t feel that a procedure is right for you. And it’s never a bad thing to seek out a second opinion if you feel pressure from your surgeon.
With that being said, we put together a list of reasons why you may not qualify, or may not want to seek out, a hair transplant procedure.
Reasons Not To Get a Hair Transplant
1. You’re Too Young
Depending on how old you are, you maybe to too young to receive a hair transplant for a couple reasons. If you’re in your mid-twenties or younger, and you notice your hair is starting to thin, you don’t want to pre-emptively get a hair transplant because you can’t predict the process of losing your hair. If you get a hair transplant while your hair is still thinning, it could lead to unnatural looking hair as you age. You can’t know what your hair is going to do, or to what extent it will thin so you don’t know exactly how the transplant will hold up in the future.
In addition to that, since the hair is harvested from your own scalp, this “donor” hair may be mistakenly taken from a place that thins over time as well, which could lead to issues in the future. It’s best to wait until you are a little older and it’s more apparent as to the pattern in which your hair is thinning. This way the doctors know where to harvest the hair from and where to transplant the hair to, for the best long-lasting results.
2. You Have Unrealistic Expectations
If you believe that a hair transplant will give you your “whole head of hair back” or solve all of your problems, this is unlikely the case. Whether that be low self-esteem, extreme balding, lack of social life, disappointing job, or any other issues that stem from your hair loss, you may not be a good candidate for a hair transplant.
A hair transplant can help you overcome some of these issues, but you need to manage your expectations reasonably. Every person reacts differently to the procedures and treatments, so it’s important to consult with a hair transplant specialist, and be aware of exactly what to expect before agreeing to surgery.
3. Family History of Extensive Baldness or Early Balding
If you’re family has a history of extreme baldness or early balding, you may not want to consider a hair transplant. As we mentioned above, having a hair transplant when you’re too young can lead to unnatural growth as you get older and your thinning hair pattern worsens. Likewise, if you have a history of extensive baldness, there may not be much that a transplant can do to help. There is only so much hair that can be moved around on the scalp, and once it’s harvested from one area, it won’t grow back in those areas.
4. You Want to Avoid Sunburn On Your Head
You can ask anyone with a full head of hair, especially those people with lighter colored hair, just because you have hair does not protect you from sunburn on your scalp. Those with thinning hair are at even more risk for sunburn and later on skin cancer, but a hair transplant can’t undo that.
A hair transplant will not give you reason to forego the sunscreen or not wear a hat, when exposed to the sun for long periods of time. It’s amazing how often we get asked about this from our patients, but hair is not a substitute for sun protection.
5. You Never Want to See Your Scalp
Getting a hair transplant just because you never want to see your scalp is very unrealistic. Even with a full head of hair, there’s always going to be places where you’re going to be able to see your scalp coming through, especially if you have dark hair and a light scalp.
This is not a reason to get a hair transplant on its own. However, if you’re looking to minimize your scalp from showing through your thinning hair, you may be a candidate for Scalp Micropigmentation instead of a hair transplant.
6. If There’s a Chance You’ll Shave Your Head in the Future
If you ever feel that, down the road, you may get the urge to shave your head, then you probably shouldn’t consider a hair transplant. Hair transplant procedures aren’t a one and done thing, since hair loss will continue even after the transplant. So if you feel like you may just give up and shave your head, then a hair transplant could be a bad idea.
Both methods of hair transplant procedures, FUT and FUE, will leave scarring on your scalp. Usually, with a hair transplant, these scars are hidden by the remaining hair on the head, but if you decide to shave your head, then these scars will be visible, and may not be something you want people to see. The scars may not be major, but there will be scars. And if any doctor promises you scar-less surgery, that is false, and I would seek a second opinion.
7. You’re Unwilling to do Maintenance on Your Current Hair
If you’re of the mindset that once you have a hair transplant, that’s it, you can just ride out the rest of your life with a new head of hair, and not have to do anything to maintain it, then a hair transplant probably isn’t for you.
Even though the transplant surgery will add fullness to your hair, and help fill in any thinning areas, it is still important to maintain your current hair with various medical therapy options to ensure that your existing hair stays healthy and strong. At the very least you want to slow down the inevitable thinning with medical therapies.
8. Your Doctor Doesn’t Specialize in Hair Restoration
This is a big one these days. There are a lot of “hair transplant specialists” popping up all over the place because the FUE device makers will sell their product to any doctor, regardless of their specialty. This means that anyone from a urologist to a gynecologist could purchase a hair transplant machine and start offering hair transplant procedures. I don’t know about you, but that wouldn’t really make me feel comfortable.
Dermatologists and plastic surgeons/ENT plastics are the primary hair restoration experts, and you should seek out an office that is staffed with one of these professionals who does hair FULL TIME. Just because a hair transplant might not seem as serious as other types of surgery, it’s still surgery. And unlike other surgeries, hair restoration relies on a team of highly specialized technicians to assist the physician in dissection and placement of thousands of hairs on your head. You probably wouldn’t want a dermatologist to do your yearly prostate exam, so why would you want it the other way around?
9. You Haven’t Done Your Research
A hair transplant is surgery. It’s not major surgery, but it’s surgery none the less. You should always make sure you do your research before you start looking into hair transplant options. Knowing what the different procedures are, how they work, what results you can expect from different methods, etc., can all be extremely helpful to know before you even walk into the doctors office.
By doing your research ahead of time you will have a better understanding of how the procedure works, and in turn, you will know what questions to ask your surgeon to ensure you are getting the best care possible.
10. You Haven’t Seen Any of Your Doctor’s Prior Work
Before you decide on a doctor for your hair transplant surgery, be sure to check out their gallery of previous work. Usually doctors will have their patient photo gallery online for you to see before you go into the office, but in the off-chance that they don’t, be sure that you see photos during your consultation before agreeing to have the procedure. Offices that are new to offer hair restoration, especially with new FUE devices have only stock photos to show examples of work that was done by OTHER physicians using that device. In this case it is buyer beware.
It’s important to get an idea of the sort of work that your doctor has done in the past to ensure that they will meet the quality you are looking for. You don’t want to have to go to another doctor to have them fix any mistakes that might have been made the first time around.
11. You Haven’t Met the Doctor
Depending on the office you go to, you may or may not meet with the doctor during the initial consultation. Don’t move forward with any procedures until you have met and sat with the doctor to discuss the surgery and results you’re looking for. You should feel comfortable with the doctor and they should be able to answer any questions you may have regarding the procedure.
And there you have it. 11 reasons why you should NOT get a hair transplant procedure.
If any of the things were mentioned here sounded like they were about you, then a hair transplant may not be for you. That being said, you may not know if you fall into any of these categories until you talk to a doctor. Going in for a consultation is a great way to have all your questions answered and learn more about the procedures and whether or not you would be a good candidate.