As the demand for hair transplants surges worldwide, American tabloid, the New York Post has reported a growing trend for teenage boys as young as 16, seeking hair transplants to address their hair loss.
The story suggests that today’s teenagers are keen to go under the knife – or robot – after spotting signs of male hair loss in photographs shared on social media. These candid shots often show people from angles that would be hard to see otherwise, leading to a hyper-awareness of their looks – a phenomenon known as ‘Selfie Culture’.
Speaking of his younger clients, surgeon Dr. Keith Durante told the Post, “Sometimes teens don’t recognize their hair is thinning until they see themselves in photos on Instagram or Facebook at a party. They go, ‘Holy mackerel, that’s me and I have a bald spot — I look horrible!’… A lot of these young gentlemen have lost self-esteem. They’re not comfortable in their own skin.”
One teen, who has a hair transplant scheduled, explained why social media made him feel so bad about his hair loss: “I’ve been the butt of too many jokes… I don’t put pictures on Facebook anymore — there were jokes about the way my head looks.” Adding, “I just want to look hot.”
Even the average $17,000 (£11,105) price of a hair transplant in Manhattan does not deter many image-conscious millennials, with rich parents generally footing the bill.
Teenagers and hair loss
Hair transplants are only advisable for adults affected by genetic hair loss or in severe cases of Traction Alopecia. However, there are a number of hair loss conditions that can affect teenagers, so it is crucial to get a professional diagnosis first.
Prolonged stressful situations, such as exams, the college or university application process and finding a job, can trigger a temporary form of hair loss known as Telogen Effluvium which causes the hair to thin all over the scalp. This can also be caused by lifestyle changes including excessive drinking, smoking and dietary issues – realistic concerns for teens who like to party or are moving away from home for the first time.
Patchy hair loss following a sudden shock or traumatic event, such as a car crash, can affect anyone at any age and is caused by the autoimmune condition Alopecia Areata. In mild-to-moderate cases the hair should regrow naturally, although there is no telling when, or if, this will happen, though treatment for Alopecia can help to speed up hair growth.
Can teenagers have hair transplants?
In the UK, hair restoration surgeons will generally accept patients who are no younger than 18 years of age. However, top surgeons like Belgravia’s hair transplant partner, Dr. Bessam Farjo recommend men wait until they reach 30 years old before considering this type of surgery. It is worth noting that the medically-proven hair loss treatments patients are advised to follow for six months pre-transplant, and on an on-going basis after surgery, are only available to those aged 16 and over for minoxidil and 18+ for finasteride 1mg.
Teenagers should be careful to distinguish between a maturing hairline and a receding hairline too – one is a natural development as a person matures and can affect anyone, not just those with a predisposition to androgenic alopecia; the other is an indicator of hereditary hairloss.
Any teens concerned about their hair should always speak to an expert before deciding on the best course of treatment – if treatment is actually necessary. For those diagnosed with male pattern hair loss, premature balding can be stopped and lost hair regrown by following a simple course of specially-tailored male hair loss treatments. Preventative treatment plans are also available, and both types of treatment have produced significant, confidence-restoring regrowth results for many Belgravia clients – without the need for surgery.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.