Physician Answered Q & As

Would a Hair Transplant Be a Permanent Hair Loss Solution For My 26 Year Old Son?

My 26 year old son has been losing his hair since about the age of 18. Hair loss runs on my side of the family so I feel somewhat responsible for what he is going through. It breaks my heart to see him so unhappy and I would like to help him if I can. I’ve done a great deal of research and keep coming back to your organization as being the one to trust. Can you tell me if hair transplantation would be a permanent solution for my son and will he need follow up surgeries once he begins the process. Should he be taking medication like Propecia before thinking about surgery or do they work together? Thanks you for your time, Concerned Mom

Thank you for your letter.  It certainly is difficult to watch one of your children, no matter what the age,  have a difficult time with a condition that can be emotionally devastating. You didn’t mention how severe his hair loss is, but the fact that he started losing it at an early age suggests that he has a fairly aggressive case of androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness.

The good news is that with medication the hair loss may be significantly slowed or stopped, and provide some chance that re-growth may occur. He should seriously consider taking Propecia and using minoxidil (or Rogaine) as there is some evidence the two medications work together to give the best result. Another reason to start the medications is to give your son feeling that instead of sitting back and letting the process of hair loss happen, he will feel like he has some control and he is actively treating the problem. This may reduce the panicky, helpless feeling and give him some time to think about other options such as surgery, hair additions, or doing nothing.

Your son can certainly consider surgical hair restoration and it is a “permanent” solution with some cautionary words. The hair that is taken from the donor area may continue to thin over the years and therefore the transplanted will likely thin as well. If the medication is not taken or loses its effectiveness over the years, hair loss will continue and thinning areas may develop between the transplanted hair and the natural receding  hairline. Surgery may be needed to fill in these gaps or to increase the density of the thinning hair. Medications will give your son the best chance at either not needing another surgery or limiting the number of surgeries over his lifetime.

A good place to start is to find a qualified hair restoration specialist and arrange an appointment in order to evaluate the extent of your son’s hair loss and to discuss the medical and surgical treatment options.


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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.