Do Hair Transplants Last Forever?

10/27/2020 7:27:03 PM

They say diamonds are forever, but what about hair transplants? Do the hairs really last a lifetime, or do they thin and fade over time? Theoretically, yes, transplanted hair should last a lifetime and more. However, there are factors to consider. Not every hair transplant surgeon is created equal; their skill, experience, and results vary widely, as do their results. This article will explain why hair transplants last forever and the instances when the hair may not last forever. 

Donor Dominance Theory

The basis of surgical hair restoration is based on a theory called donor dominance. This theory was first discovered by a surgeon by the name of Dr. Norman Orentreich in 1952. Dr. Orentreich later went on to have his work published in 1959, and he was the one who coined the term 'donor dominance.' 

The fundamental principle of hair transplant surgery is that the hair taken from the back and sides of the scalp will retain its genetic resistance to the hormone called DHT, even when transplanted to another location. DHT is the main culprit for triggering male and female pattern alopecia. 

Therefore, in other words, a bald man with full and robust healthy hair on the sides and back of the scalp could use that hair and transplant it into the balding areas, and the hair would continue to grow long and healthy as it does on the back and sides of the scalp. Thus, the dominant genetic resistance does not go away regardless of where the hair is placed.

There is NO Universal Safe Zone

Unfortunately, there is a fallacy constantly perpetuated in the hair restoration industry- this notion that every hair loss sufferer has the same 'universal donor zone.'  No two people are the same, especially when it comes to hair loss. Dr. Norwood created the 'Norwood scale,' which many believe to be a progression chart, but it is not a progression chart. The scale is used to show hair loss sufferers their current hair loss pattern. Now granted, many do progress into a larger scale of hair loss. That said, not everyone will progress into a Norwood 7 level of hair loss, which is categorized as the most severe hair loss, where a small band of hair is retained. 

Some men and women don't progress past temple recession or minor thinning. It really varies and depends on the individual's sensitivity to DHT. For some unfortunate cases, even the hair on the back and sides of the scalp is susceptible and vulnerable to DHT's effects- this condition is called Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia (DUPA). The relevance is that someone with DUPA could receive a hair transplant, but the hair may not be stable or suitable for transplantation. Unfortunately, that transplant wouldn't last forever, and the hair would eventually thin and fall due to DUPA. 

Assuming that the patient has a 'universal safe zone' is a big problem that isn't addressed enough. Conversely, a patient with mild hair loss and a family history of minor hair loss could benefit from hair being taken outside of the 'typical' donor zone, as the chances of their hair loss progressing are minimal. A strategic masterplan should be built with a surgeon, and a thorough inspection of your top and sides should be done with high-magnification to detect potential miniaturization. 

Building A Masterplan To Ensure Your Hair Transplant Will Last Forever

Building a long-term plan is critical for achieving results that stand the test of time and last forever. As previously mentioned, not every hair restoration physician is created equal. Skills, experience, results vary widely. It would be best if you looked for a top-rated physician rated for his results and recognized among his patients for their results. To consult with a surgeon rated highly by actual hair transplant patients, click HERE


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    All Articles by Melvin Lopez

    Melvin is an Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network and the Hair Loss Learning Center. He is a 3-time hair transplant patient, having received over 5,000 grafts via FUE. He has thousands of helpful posts on the popular hair restoration network discussion forum. Melvin writes articles, moderates the hair loss forum, and creates YouTube videos for the Hair Transplant Network YouTube channel. View Melvin's impressive hair transplant journey HERE.