Considering FUE or FUT surgery? It’s important to know whether you’re the right age for a hair transplant.
Getting a hair transplant too young (or too old) can damage your chances of successful hair restoration, so finding out the best age for a hair transplant is critical if you’re losing hair.
In this article, we’ll explore how age plays a part in the hair transplant procedure, including:
- How to stop hair loss when you’re young.
- What happens if you get a hair transplant at the wrong age.
- The best age to get a hair transplant.
- At what age can I get a hair transplant?
- What’s the best age for a hair transplant?
- Experiencing hair loss at a young age
- Why does hair loss occur when you’re young?
- Preventing hair loss at a young age
- What happens if you get a hair transplant too young?
- Can you be too old to get a hair transplant?
- Find out if you’re at the right age for a hair transplant
At what age can I get a hair transplant?
The earliest age you can get a hair transplant is 18. But a hair transplant is rarely the best option at this age, as you’re probably in the very early stages of hair loss.
Instead, if you have hair loss from a young age, you should explore the non-surgical hair restoration options available to you. These include:
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
- Low level laser therapy (LLLT)
What’s the best age for a hair transplant?
It’s hard to pinpoint the best age for a hair transplant, as the amount of hair you’ve lost is also an important factor. The extent of hair loss is measured on the Norwood Scale.
A 2022 study established the most popular ages to have a hair transplant for each sex were 30-39 for men, and 40-49 for women :
In general, the best age for men to have a hair transplant is usually around 27 to 40. By then, you’ll have a better idea of whether you actually need a hair transplant, or if you can stabilise your hair loss with Finasteride and/or Minoxidil alone.
For women, the best age for a hair transplant is 40-55. The menopause is often a trigger for female pattern baldness, which is why female hair transplants are more common around these ages.
Experiencing hair loss at a young age
While it’s not usually recommended to get a hair transplant in your early 20s, this can be a very difficult time to experience hair loss. You may feel hair loss is hampering your career or love life, or that it makes you a prime target for jokes. Even if you brush it off as banter, it’s common for hair loss to have a serious impact on men’s mental health .
Up to 59% of men reported improvements in self-esteem following hair restoration treatment . So if a hair transplant isn’t the answer when you’re losing hair in your mid 20s or even earlier, what is?
To understand why it’s often recommended that you delay a hair transplant until your late 20s/early 30s, you need to know why hair loss happens.
Why does hair loss occur when you’re young?
Male pattern baldness happens due to a combination of genetic inheritance, hormone levels, and your age. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male sex hormone, binds to receptors in your hair follicles, causing them to shrink and stop producing hair. Your sensitivity to DHT is determined by your genes.
DHT is an essential hormone for male physical development. From the embryo stage, it helps the formation and development of the male sexual organs, which continues throughout childhood to adolescence .
When you reach your late teens/early adulthood, DHT becomes less necessary for physical development. But it still has an impact on your body: DHT starts to promote prostate growth and pattern baldness. That’s why a DHT blocker like Finasteride works for both male hair loss and benign prostate enlargement, and is safe to use in adulthood .
Blocking DHT at this early stage can be extremely effective — and it’s far cheaper than getting a hair transplant. A good clinic will prioritise your best interests, so if you’re still in the early stages of hair loss, they should help you explore non-surgical avenues before pursuing surgical treatment.
Preventing hair loss at a young age
Unless you have widespread hair loss in your late teens or early 20s, you can probably manage your symptoms with Finasteride or a similar medication. Our first-line recommendations include:
- Finasteride — an oral tablet that reduces systemic DHT levels (topical Finasteride is also available off-label).
- Minoxidil — this topical scalp treatment widens the scalp blood vessels, allowing more nutrients and oxygen to feed the follicles and promote hair growth.
- Combination treatment — studies show that using a combination of Finasteride and Minoxidil is more effective than using just one treatment, so some men choose to use them simultaneously .
A hair transplant is still a possible solution for extensive hair loss when you’re young, or if your hair hasn’t responded to non-surgical intervention.
What happens if you get a hair transplant too young?
The main problem with getting a hair transplant too early is that your hair loss is still in progress. There’s not much point replacing a few lost hairs if the hairs around it are going to fall out soon, as you’ll be left with a patchy, thin result.
This has been a problem throughout Wayne Rooney’s hair journey. He got his first hair transplant quite young, at the age of 25. While the transplant looked OK for a year or so, more of his native hair soon started to shed, leaving him with thinning hair despite his hair transplant:
As a result, Wayne Rooney has since needed a second hair transplant to keep his hair looking thick and full.
This is more likely to happen if you get a hair transplant too young. But no matter what age you get a hair transplant, it’s important to use preventative treatments like Finasteride to keep your native hair intact, so your transplant continues to offer fantastic density.
Can you be too old to get a hair transplant?
While it’s more common to see people who want FUE or FUT treatment when they’re still very young, it’s also possible to leave it too late to get a hair transplant.
That’s because male pattern baldness is progressive. So if you’re vulnerable to male pattern baldness, your hair loss will get worse as you get older. If you’re at Norwood stage 5, 6, or 7, it’s more difficult to get the coverage you want from a hair transplant.
While it’s still possible to have a hair transplant when you’re in your 50s or later, it’s much harder to get great results than for men in their 30s and 40s, who typically still have decent mid-scalp hair density.
- Norwood Stage 1: Photos, Treatments, Results
- Norwood Stage 2: Photos, Treatments, Results
- Norwood Stage 3: Photos, Treatments, Results
- Norwood Stage 4: Photos, Treatments, Results
- Norwood Stage 5: Photos, Treatments, Results
- Norwood Stage 6: Photos, Treatments, Results
- Norwood Stage 7: Photos, Treatments, Results
Find out if you’re at the right age for a hair transplant
While it can help to do some research about the best age to get a hair transplant, the only way to find out if it’s the right time for you is to speak to a hair transplant surgeon. They can examine your individual hair loss and offer advice about whether you’re an appropriate age for surgical hairline enhancement.
Book a free consultation with the Wimpole Clinic for free, impartial advice about whether you’re the right age for a hair transplant, and to discuss all your hair restoration options for now and in the future.
- ISHRS Practice Census 2022
- The psychosocial impact of hair loss among men: a multinational European study
- Biochemistry, Dihydrotestosterone | NLM
- Finasteride | NLM
- Combined treatment with oral finasteride and topical minoxidil in male androgenetic alopecia: a randomized and comparative study in Chinese patients
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