The BBC has highlighted concerns by a top surgeon regarding the fact that young men who start losing their hair shouldn’t immediately sign up for hair transplant surgery.
Dr. Bessam Farjo, is one of the UK’s leading hair transplant surgeons. In a recent interview with The BBC’s Newsbeat, he cautioned that some hair transplant clinics are not doing enough to warn people under 30 about the long-term risks of hair transplant operations.
Although Dr. Farjo reports he has had inquiries from men as young as 19, he personally doe not recommend hair transplants for those under the age of 25. Why? It may not be the best first course of action for someone losing their hair.
In fact, even though he makes his living as a hair transplant surgeon, he warns people not to have surgery until they are closer to the age of 30. Why? Dr. Farjo warns that if you get surgery too young, it can look worse than it did in the first place.
Unfortunately when celebrities like footballer Wayne Rooney get the procedure done and openly discuss it with the media, it becomes a much more popular option. It may not be the best option but it certainly becomes more well-known due to the celebrity factor.
When Rooney had a hair transplant in June of 2011, the 25 year old sports celebrity was willing to talk about it and show photos of the results.
Exhaust All Other Hair Loss Transplants Before Surgery
The doctor has his patients record their hair loss and monitor it over a set period of time. He also offers medications to see if the hair loss will stop or at least slow down. The doctor’s goal is to preserve as much of the current hair and prevent it from falling before taking the ultimate plunge with surgery.
Influence Of Wayne Rooney Over Transplant Surgery Trends
When discussing the recent transplant surgery of Wayne Rooney the doctor said “When a celebrity comes out with it, you only hear the good things,” he said. “You don’t hear the cautions or the potential complications.”
He noted “If you have the surgery too early and you go bald, you don’t have enough hair to keep chasing the hair loss. You can end up with isolated patches of hair. You could end up with hairy temples and a bald forehead which isn’t pretty but is also hard to fix.”
By taking time and understanding a patient’s hair loss history and patterns Dr. Farjo notes that “I am (then) able to have a much fuller picture of how much hair they will lose.”
Hair Transplant Surgery Is Best After Age Of 25
Male baldness can start in the late teens. According to The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery baldness affects a quarter of men in their 20s.
There were more than 33,000 hair transplant operations in Europe last year.
No Medical Code Of Conduct
Unfortunately there is no code of conduct or regulation to force hair transplant surgeons to stick to a minimum age. Due to the enhanced public awareness of Wayne Rooney’s hair transplantation surgery at age 23, more people are pursuing this option at earlier and earlier ages.
Other surgeons have told BBC’s Newsbeat that there should be a regulatory body to stop abuses in the industry. The surgeons want to make sure hair loss clinics give people the best possible advice and treatment.
Dr Farjo, who runs the The Farjo Medical Centre, admits there’s no concrete way to stop some clinics putting money before the well being of patients. He believes hair transplant surgeons should work together to educate each other and their patients about risks.
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