What if I lose more “native” hair after a transplant?

11/4/2007 12:07:11 AM

“Native” hair can be defined as any natural hair that on the scalp that wasn't transplanted. It is referred to as "native" because it is has not been uprooted like transplanted hairs.

Hair loss is a progressive condition that may very well continue after hair transplantation. This is why it is extremely important for those who are considering hair transplantation to consider hair loss treatments such as Propecia (finasteride) and/or Rogaine (minoxodil). These FDA approved hair loss medications may help prevent future native hair loss and may even regrow hair. Learn more about what else to consider before undergoing hair transplant surgery.

Though transplanted hair is permanent, hair transplantation is not a hair loss cure but a surgical procedure where hair is removed from one area of the scalp (the donor areas: sides and back of the scalp) and transplanted into balding areas (recipient area: top of the head). A hair transplant doctor will transplant hair into balding areas where native hair has been lost. Because future hair loss is possible, subsequent hair restoration procedures may be necessary.

There has been some discussion on our hair restoration discussion forum about a “stand-alone” hair transplant surgery.  It was the general consensus that though this is possible for some hair loss types, this is not probable in most cases.  I would say the greatest chance for a stand-alone hair transplant are diffuse hair thinners (diffuse pattern baldness) or those who are already bald who get hair transplant megasessions, so even if they lose the rest of their native hair, they will be left with a thinner, but still very natural looking head of hair.

To illustrate why stand alone hair transplants are not often probably, let's take a 30 year old hair transplant patient who currently has a receeded hairline. This hair loss sufferers has been on Propecia for a year and it has helped slow his loss of hair - but hasn't completely stopped it.  He decides to undergo hair transplant surgery with an ethical hair transplant doctor to conservatively lower the hairline. The hair restoration physician has already warned the hair transplant patient that future hair loss is possible and subsequent hair transplant procedures may be necessary. One year after hair restoration surgery, he looks great.  Two years later, however, he loses more native hair behind the transplanted hair and now he is left with a ridge of hair in the hairline with hair thinning and balding behind it. Subsequent hair transplant procedures are now necessary in order for this patient to once again achieve a natural look. Therefore, this patient's hair transplant was not a "stand alone" hair transplant because additional hair loss created an unnatural appearance.  

The potential loss of additional natural or native hair is exactly why planning for the long term is extremely important and why hasty decisions should not be made. Research is the key to a successful hair transplant.


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    All Articles by Bill Seemiller

    Bill was the managing publisher of the Hair Transplant Network and The Hair Loss Learning Center. He is 4 time hair transplant patient and has over 15,000 helpful posts on our hair restoration discussion forum. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a Master’s in Christian Counseling. In addition to his work in helping hair loss experiencing men and women finding the best hair transplant surgeons, he helps people with various addiction and mental health related issues in his free time. He enjoys weight lifting, kickboxing, movies, researching conspiracy related topics and spending time with his family.