Is it Possible to Get a 2nd Hair Transplant?
When talking about hair transplants there is a lot that people don’t understand. The word “transplant” sometimes makes people believe that we can take hair from another person’s head and place it on their own, but that’s not really possible. It also leads to people thinking that transplants can be done on anyone, regardless of how much hair you have left on your scalp. This is also not true.
The key to a successful hair transplant is to have enough healthy follicles in the donor area of your own scalp that can be excised and placed into the thinning areas. Someone who is completely bald may not have enough donor follicles available to fill in the areas they are looking to fix, but that doesn’t mean there are no options.
In addition, if you receive a hair transplant early on in the thinning process, you will continue to lose your hair even after the transplant which could leave you worse off than when you started.
While it is possible to receive a 2nd or even 3rd hair transplant later on in life, if necessary, there are some things that may make it unrealistic.
Why a 2nd Hair Transplant May Not Be Feasible
Generally speaking, there is no reason that a person can’t get a 2nd hair transplant, in fact the majority of patients do go on to have a 2nd one at some point in their life. Meaning, if you are in good health and still a good candidate for it, a hair transplant specialist would have no problem giving you an additional hair transplant 1 year or even 20 years after you received the first one. But there are some things that would cause you not to be able to have a 2nd hair transplant that are related to the physical nature of your scalp and hair loss rate.
The main thing that would hinder your ability to get a 2nd hair transplant would be a lack of healthy follicles in the donor area.
A hair transplant requires enough healthy follicles on your own scalp in order to fill in the thinning spots. So if you’ve already undergone a hair transplant procedure, you may not have enough follicles available for another transplant. You only have a finite amount of hairs on your head and you can’t borrow too many hairs from the back of your head in order to replace all the hairs that may be lost on the top of your head. In other words, you don’t want to over harvest the back or sides. If you take too much out, the back may begin to thin out unevenly and could end up looking really strange down the line.
This is also why it’s important to talk to your hair transplant specialist about what the best age is for a transplant. If you notice your hair thinning out in your younger years and want to try to you catch it before it gets too bad, be careful to plan for the future! If you try to maintain the hairline of your 18-year-old-self through hair transplant, as your hair continues to recede beyond where the original transplanted hairs were placed, you will inevitably get gaps or weird looking patches of thinning between the transplanted hairs and the native hairs. Imagine a little island of hairs in the middle of a bald crown that now looks like it has a moat around it because the hair has receded away…this is not a good look so it helps to be smart and conservative from the start.
Also, most donor follicles are taken from the sides and the back of the scalp. If you start harvesting follicles from those areas while you’re young, as you get older the hair along the back and sides may also thin out over time and reveal small scars or even patchiness from where the hair was excised previously.
When is it Possible to Receive a 2nd Hair Transplant?
You should always consult with a reputable hair transplant specialist before deciding to undergo a 1st or 2nd hair transplant or you could be left with permanent results that you may not be able to correct.
Your doctor will examine your scalp and talk to you about the rate at which your hair is thinning and they will be able to give you a better idea of whether or not a 2nd hair transplant is possible.
If you’re looking to get a hair transplant when you’re fairly young, and your doctor advises that it could lead to a 2nd transplant down the road, they may recommend starting off with a medicinal treatment first to try and slow the progression of hair loss.
These medical treatments can help stimulate your current hair follicles to grow in longer and thicker, which will help delay the need for a hair transplant in the first place. By postponing the transplant, you’re able to decrease the number of procedures you may need later in life and won’t have to worry as much about not having enough donor hair or unsightly hair issues in the future.
The bottom line is, yes, it is almost always possible to receive a 2nd hair transplant if it’s necessary and you have enough donor follicles available to perform the surgery. The best thing you can do is talk with a professional, like those at the Limmer Hair Transplant Center, to discuss your health history and other hair growth options that may help without needing a full transplant.