Physician Answered Q & As

What Would Disqualify a Man For a Hair Transplant Procedure?

I’ve noticed that there are a plethora of reasons why a woman would not qualify for a hair transplant, and I am interested in learning what would disqualify a man to receive this procedure?

There are several factors that must be considered in determining a man’s eligibility for a hair restoration procedure:

1) Age: This is not a “disqualifying” factor but one which may determine delaying the transplant in the young patient. In the early 20s, a man may just be beginning to develop his hair loss pattern. Transplanting permanently growing hairs in a setting where the surrounding hair is being progressively lost can lead to an unnatural appearance, as the donor supply is always finite. This consideration underscores the importance of medical therapy (Propecia/Minoxidil) to stabilize male pattern baldness in the young patient. Determining eligibility all the basis of age is a decision that is made individually for each patient, depending on psychological maturity, understanding short term and long term consequences of the procedure, family history of baldness, present hair loss pattern, etc.

2) Donor Hair Characteristics: If the hair in the donor area is very sparse, extremely fine in texture or, if miniaturization (baldness changes) are found to affect a significant percentage of the hairs in the donor area, an individual will not be a good candidate for transplantation.

3) Unrealistic Expectations: Certain results are achievable with hair restoration procedures for a given individual and, likewise there are results that cannot be achieved with current technology. If the surgeon senses that the patient’s expectations are beyond what can be achieved, further counseling of the patient is necesssary before making a decision to perform surgery.

4) General Medical Issues: If there is an aspect of the medical or surgical history or a particular medication that the patient is taking which could create a health risk related to the procedure itself, or the sedation/local anesthesia, these issues will be discussed with the patient’s personal physician and a determination will be made as to what steps, if any, can be made to create a safe environment to perform the procedure.

5) Dermatologic Conditions which result in Hair Loss: Certain skin diseases can be the cause of hair loss problem. Some are contraindicated for transplantation, since the same disease process can destroy the transplanted follicles. Some of these conditions can be transplanted once the disease process is quiescent. Obviously, it is imperative that the correct diagnosis be made to determine the cause for the hair loss. That being said, in the overwhelming majority of man, the problem is that of hereditary male pattern baldness.

Member, American Hair Loss Association


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The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons is a consumer organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. The IAHRS does not offer an open membership policy to doctors practicing hair transplatation, and is the only group that recognizes that all surgeons are not equal in their skill and technique. Its elite membership seeks to represent the best in the discipline, the true leaders in the field of surgical hair restoration.