When you’re experiencing a hit to your self-confidence because of hair loss, a hair transplant can seem like the dream solution. You literally grow your own hair! However, there are instances when getting a hair transplant might not be the best choice for you. Here are several reasons not to get a hair transplant.
Unrealistic expectations and wanting instant results
It’s important to know that every transplant is different, and each patient’s outcome will be different. The density that can be achieved with a transplant will depend on these factors:
- Condition of the scalp
- Presence of scarring
- Density of the donor hair area
- Quality of grafts
- Amount of hair loss at the time of the hair transplantation.
- The patient’s compliance with aftercare
Having realistic expectations of the hair transplant process is vital to make sure you get a good outcome that you’re happy with. A hair transplant is not a quick fix. After FUE hair transplant (Follicular Unit Extraction), the new growth begins approximately 3 months in. Growth is more evident at 6-, 12-, to 18-months following the procedure. Remember, it is permanent, but it does play the long game. Read more about the timeline of hair transplantation here.
You haven’t researched hair transplant
Some people start the process without fully understanding the procedure, the risks, aftercare requirements, and the growth journey afterward. Not only is it wise to fully understand any medical procedure you undergo, but it will also ensure peace of mind and give the best chance of a successful outcome and a smooth recovery. Read widely, speak to a hair transplant surgeon, and ensure you understand the risks and aftercare.
You are young or it is too early in your hair loss.
Early-onset hair loss can be damaging to self-esteem, especially when friends and family who are the same age have no signs of hair loss. This might send you looking to hair transplant as an answer, however, in the early stages of hair loss, it is still unclear what the process of losing hair may look like for you. Everybody is different. If you have a hair transplant during this initial hair loss period, further hair loss may occur and make the coverage look odd. For example, early hair loss is often at the temples and receding hairline. If this is filled in early with transplanted hair, after a few more years, hair loss may begin on the crown of the head, leaving a hairline and temples that remain full, while the top of the hair thins.
When a hair transplant is left for a few more years, it can become evident where further hair loss will occur, which will allow the surgeon to make more informed decisions about where to place the transplanted hair. This can also be a reason why multiple hair transplants can be necessary over someone’s life. Having said that medical treatment for hair loss may be an option for you. This should be discussed with your primary care provider or hair transplant surgeon.
Technicians perform the procedure, the surgeon is not present the whole time
While hair transplant technicians can be highly skilled, they are not equivalent to a hair transplant surgeon carrying out the procedure. In some clinics both here and overseas, technicians are used to do the bulk of the procedure to keep costs low. To ensure a quality transplant, reduce the potential transections, and ideal direction of the implanted hair, and more, hair surgeons ought to carry out the procedure from beginning to end.
You haven’t met the doctor
When you have not met in person with the hair transplant surgeon who will be carrying out the procedure during an early consultation, this is a red flag for going ahead with the procedure. This might occur as a cost-cutting measure for the clinic and may be an indicator that the surgeon will only be minimally involved with the procedure itself.
This also happens in the case of people heading overseas for treatment. Not meeting the surgeon in person means you may not have your mind set at ease about the hair transplant surgery. It also risks the sunk cost fallacy, once you arrive at your overseas procedure destination, if you find yourself not to be comfortable with the procedure, the clinic, or the surgeon at that time, you may still go ahead with it because you feel you’re in too deep and it’s too late to turn back now.
Meeting the surgeon in person represents more than just a meet-and-greet. It is an opportunity to assess the person doing the procedure, the professionalism of the clinic, and what kind of care you can expect.
You feel pressured by the clinic, surgeon, or someone close to you to get a hair transplant.
If your reasons for having a hair transplant are based on pressure from someone close to you or from the clinic once you have enquired, you may want to reconsider. The hair transplant clinic should adhere to the guidelines from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) not hitting you with a hard sales pitch to make you go ahead. You should feel able to decline going ahead and not feel an obligation to go through with the procedure if you don’t feel comfortable for any reason.
Additionally, if someone close to you is putting on pressure to change your appearance, this may be a red flag for going ahead with a hair transplant. You ought to be the only person deciding if hair transplant surgery is the journey you want to take.
You can’t afford it
Hair transplantation is not an inexpensive solution. The investment necessary for hair restoration is accounted for in its long and involved technique (a long procedure time) and follow-up. When patients cannot afford it or they are pushing their budget, this can create a vulnerability. For example, if you are especially conscious of costs, you may make more risky decisions such as choosing to go overseas for treatment or opting for a procedure that may appear more affordable at first but may bring with it long-term scarring or immediate complications (excessive bleeding, pain, follicle transection). Read more about FUT transplantation scarring here.
If hair transplantation is something that puts pressure on your budget, you might consider delaying the procedure until you have saved enough to be able to weigh options based on what’s best for you, rather than deciding based on price. Or if you still choose to go ahead, be mindful that the squeeze of budget may increase risky decision making.
- Here are some reasons not to have a hair transplant
- Unrealistic outcome expectations and wanting instant results
- You haven’t researched how it works, what happens after, how long it takes, and about the clinic and surgeon you’re seeing.
- You are young or it is too early in your hair loss.
- Technicians perform the procedure, the surgeon is not present the whole time.
- You haven’t met the doctor in person.
- You feel pressured by the clinic, surgeon, or someone close to you to get a hair transplant instead of independently deciding for yourself.
- You can’t afford a hair transplant and therefore take risks.
- To learn more or to make an appointment with hair transplant surgeon Dr Peter Paraskevas, please give us a call.