The psychology of hair loss in adolescents and young adults

In late adolescence, individuals deal with physiological changes during puberty and after puberty, challenges of seeing the world through new eyes, loss of innocence, pressure at school, from peers and social groups, etc. It is even the psychological stress that defines and shapes our humanity. How we deal with these initial stressors can determine who we become for the rest of our lives. Adding to this burden of hair loss in a teenager's life can have far-reaching consequences. This can lead to depression, social withdrawal and even paranoia. An individual whose development is impaired by this added burden will be disadvantaged in all areas of life.

What can go wrong in Hair transplant surgery for teenagers and young adults?

A young patient considering a hair transplant should always keep in mind that the transplanted hair is permanent while the current hair is temporary with age. It’s because the rate and speed at which hair loss progresses is unpredictable, so it is very difficult planning a hair transplant. If this is not taken into account, hair transplantation has the potential to produce odd hair patterns, which occur when grafts that initially blend into a pre-existing hairline become odd-looking. This will occur when the pre-existing hairline is blended to gradually recede to create an empty gap between it and the transplanted hair. To fix this, more hair transplants are needed to fill the gap. However, this odd pattern may not be corrected if:

  1. The patient is left without donor hair. This is especially a problem in patients with severe hair loss or when the transplanted hairline is placed too aggressively
  2. The patient cannot financially bear the cost of the additional intervention
  3. Body hair is also unusable because the physician available to the patient does not have the experience, skills or technology required to perform a successful sequential body hair (BHT) FUE hair transplant. However, in some patients BHT is not possible due to the absence of body and facial hair. There are large attractive differences in the quality and quantity of body hair among individuals.

Hair transplant recovery options for younger hair transplant victims

Unless hair transplantation of young patients especially for hair transplant for women involves very conservative hairline creation, the first challenge for most of these patients is depletion of the donor hair supply on the head, often complicated by the presence of follicular surgery and/or FUE scars. In patients with depleted donor heads, successful and reliable repair and restorative work will require the use of beard and body hair in BHT repair work. Donor sources in BHT can include facial hair as well as body and limb hair. A study of 122 patients recently published in the Journal of Aesthetic Surgery describes the criteria used to determine the suitability of BHT donor hair. In addition, this study describes the types of features that must be possessed by FUE devices used in BHT. Younger, severely bald patients should start incorporating beard and body hair into their hair transplant journey earlier. With proper planning, the necessary medical experience and skills, and the right tools, the successful repair of FUE in young victims of hair restoration surgery performed at an early age is indeed possible.