Are You a Good Candidate for Hair Transplant Surgery?

Just like we tend to take our youth and health for granted, most of us assume that our shapely eyebrows and full heads of hair will stay with us for the rest of our lives. The truth is that many people will experience hair loss due to a variety of causes such as simple genetics, aging, or other lifestyle factors, during their lifetime.

Fortunately, advances in medical science have made it possible for eligible patients of hair loss, especially hereditary hair loss, i.e. male and female pattern baldness, to undergo hair transplant surgery to restore lost hair and regain their youthful appearance.

Is hair transplantation right for you? With a number of factors that influence candidacy, having a clear understanding of the procedure will help you and your consulting physician make the appropriate determination.

What is Hair Transplantation?

Hair transplantation surgery has been around for over 60 years. Traditional hair transplantation (also known as Follicular Unit Transplant) involves the removal of a narrow strip of hair from an area of the head (usually the back of the head) and transplanting these hair follicles onto the thinning and bald areas of the head. The hair follicles harvested from the donor area are resistant to the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is the hormone most responsible for progressive hair loss. When transplanted, these follicles will continue to grow naturally.

The hair transplant procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, making it a pretty simple outpatient procedure. Many Bosley patients return to work the next day. Depending on the extent of the hair loss and amount of grafts to be transplanted, the procedure can take anywhere from four to eight hours.

Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?

As with any surgical procedure, undergoing hair transplant surgery comes with a minor risk of infection and bleeding. Some patients report minor discomfort due to swelling in the transplant area, but this is easily managed with medication and cold compresses from your hair transplant physician and usually passes quickly. Some patients may experience inflammation or infection of the hair follicles around the time new hair begins to grow, most often as a result of ingrown hairs. Aside from the normal swelling and minor discomfort, there are no known side effects from the procedure.

What Makes a Good Hair Transplant Candidate?

Most people can undergo a hair transplant procedure with no problems, but there are a few traits that physicians look for in patients before recommending the procedure. Here are a few things your doctor will discuss with you during your consultation to determine your candidacy for hair transplant surgery.


Technically a person can undergo a hair transplant at any age, but there are some precautions that must be considered for very young people looking to restore their hairline. “We’re very, very careful in patients under the age of 18. We want them to be fully mature, we want to see what the pattern is evolving into” notes Dr. David Deutsch of Bosley Medical Beverly Hills. “The most important thing is to make sure that the patient has proper expectations about what their hair loss is going to be in the future. A lot of young patients want a very low hairline just like it was when they were kids, and that’s not going to be realistic.”

Younger patients have immature hair loss, which means their hair loss will continue to progress as they age. Having a hair transplant too early may require multiple procedures in the future to maintain natural looking results as the hair loss continues to progress over time. Patients over the age of 30 are the best candidates as their hair loss pattern has been well established and the hair transplant is more likely to stay natural looking over the years.

Health Conditions

Before considering any type of surgical procedure, patients must first be healthy enough to undergo a medical procedure and have a heathy immune system. Serious medical conditions should be treated and resolved before surgery to reduce the risk of complications post-procedure. If you have a chronic health condition like diabetes or are prescribed medications that may adversely affect your results (like blood thinners), be sure to discuss your situation with your hair transplant surgeon so a customized treatment plan can be created for you.


Making healthy lifestyle choices like eating a balanced diet, exercising often, and avoiding stress not only help us feel better, but are also key factors in the success of a hair transplant. Making healthy choices every day boosts your immune system which means less recovery time, less swelling, and a lower risk of infection for hair transplant patients. Keep your body in top condition by staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep each night.

Hair Loss Classification

Another important factor for hair transplant candidacy is the severity of the hair loss, or the amount of donor hair that is available to transplant to thinning areas of the head. With the most severe hair loss classifications (Class 3 on the Ludwig Scale for women and Class 7 on the Norwood Scale for men), the amount of donor hair available will determine the results that can be expected from a hair transplant procedure. Consult a Bosley counselor to get an idea of your hair loss classification and if you would like more details about your hair restoration options.

Commitment to Aftercare

Your commitment to following the aftercare instructions from your physician is one of the most important factors that will predict the success of your hair transplant procedure. Following the aftercare instructions correctly will reduce your risk of infection, reduce your recovery time, and keep discomfort to a minimum. Once your scalp has fully recovered from the outpatient procedure, in a few months’ time you’ll be able to enjoy the hair transplant results. The transplanted hairs will grow naturally, just like the rest of your hair.

Next Steps

Follow these steps to assess your candidacy for a hair transplant procedure:

1) Conduct preliminary research to understand what hair transplant surgery entails and make a personal assessment of your hair loss situation using the Norwood Scale for men or the Ludwig scale for women.

2) Speak to your family doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions or medications that may be contributing to your hair loss. Make sure your immune system is not compromised and you are cleared to undergo an out-patient cosmetic procedure.

3) Schedule a free consultation with a Bosley counselor or/and hair transplant physician to review your overall health, the nature of your hair loss, the speed at which you are losing your hair, and the results you can expect after your procedure.

It’s important that you work with your hair transplant physician to set realistic expectations about what results you expect from your procedure. A typical hair transplant takes a few hours to perform and several months to show positive results. Depending on the extent of your hair loss and your desired results, you may need more than one procedure. Have an open discussion with your surgeon to make an informed decision. Contact a Bosley office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your hair restoration options.

Learn More:

Hair Transplant FAQs

Healthy Hair Tips

Choosing a Hair Transplant Physician

Common Household Items That May Cause Hair Loss

Every household likely uses a variety of items containing chemicals for cleaning and gardening. Some of these chemicals can cause some health issues, including hair loss if ingested or in some cases, on contact. Heavy metals or heavy toxins like lead, mercury, iron, and copper can be found in paints, electrical work, arts and crafts, or any other activity that may create metal fillings. Common household pesticides can contain arsenic or formaldehyde, which can also affect your overall health and the health of your hair.


In order to prevent accidental ingestion, it is important to always keep any toxins stored away from pets and children and to always take the proper precautions when using harsh chemicals. If you think you may have ingested a toxic material, call your local poison control center or emergency center for information. Most toxins can extremely dangerous, even in small quantities. If you think your hair loss is caused by chemical ingestion or toxic contact, we suggest that you seek your physician to identify the causes and possible treatments.

If you find that hair loss persists even after you lay off these chemicals, there is a good chance that your hair loss is hereditary, stress related or is a symptom of another ailment. Your doctor should be able to provide a diagnosis on what is causing your hair loss.

Bosley has been the leader in hair restoration since 1974. We treat men and women, from all over the world, who suffer from progressive hair loss. To find out which treatment option is right for you, request a FREE guide to hair restoration  or schedule a free, private consultation with Bosley today.  During this consultation, a Bosley counselor and/or physician can help you understand your hair loss and the available treatment options.

Bosley Donates to Breast Cancer Research Foundation In Support of Breast Cancer Awareness

One of Bosley’s core values is to give back to our communities by participating in Good Works projects.  For the month of October, Bosley contributed a portion of our revenue off procedures to the fight against breast cancer.

Bosley would like to thank entire team for their efforts in meeting our goal and donating $30,000 to Breast Cancer Research Foundation, in support of breast cancer research and awareness.


Armen Markarian, CEO, Rob Spurrell, COO & Dr. Ken Washenik, Chief Medical Director, present Bosley’s donation to Breast Cancer Research Foundation (October 2014)

Bosley is awarded the 2014 Platinum Follicle Award & Distinguished Assistant Award by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS)

Last month, Bosley received top honors in the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) annual scientific meeting, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Chief Medical Director, Ken Washenik, M.D., Ph.D. and Laureen “Laurie” Gorham, R.N. received the Platinum Follicle Award and the Distinguished Assistant Award respectively.

The Platinum Follicle Award is awarded to Dr. Ken Washenik for outstanding achievement in basic scientific or clinically-related research in hair pathophysiology or anatomy as it relates to hair restoration.

A board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Washenik has spent most of his medical career researching all aspects of dermatologic disease, including HIV-related disorders and wound healing. For the past 15 years, he has focused his research on hair loss and researching tissue engineered hair follicle neogenesis and cellular based hair restoration. He earned his PhD in cell biology, in which his research focused on hormone metabolism. A former director of the dermatopharmacology unit at NYU School of Medicine in New York, Dr. Washenik still serves as a clinical investigator and faculty in the school’s department of dermatology. Currently, Dr. Washenik is the medical director of the largest hair restoration group in the United States and serves as CEO of the Adderans Research Institute with a focus on hair follicle cloning.

The Distinguished Assistant Award is awarded to Laurie for her exemplary service and outstanding accomplishments in the field of hair restoration surgery.

Laurie has been a hair restoration surgical assistant since 1995, beginning her career with a large hair restoration practice in her hometown where she later became the clinical supervisor and then the national nursing manager. An active surgical assistant member of the ISHRS, Laurie previously organized one of the largest surgical assistants meetings in Boston and became the director of the assistant’s course at the Orlando Live Surgery Workshop. She serves on the ISHRS Surgical Assistants Committee and is a former editor of the “Surgical Assistant’s Corner” in The Hair Transplant Forum International.

Bosley is very proud of their achievements in the field of hair restoration and how they exemplify the quality of talent, experience and dedication found throughout the Bosley organization. Congratulations! We are so honored to have them on the team.

To read the original press release, CLICK HERE.

ISHRS – Dr Ken Washenik receives the 2014 Platinum Follicle Award

Healthy Hair Tips

Hair loss is experienced by many, if not most, men and women at some point in their lives. Fortunately, physique dictates that lost hair is designed to be replaced with new tresses of hair. The concern is that the process of regrowth slows down as the body ages. Another hurdle to hair regrowth is the heredity aspect of hair loss.

Generally, men are more vulnerable to this problem than woman. Be it hair growth or hair loss, heredity plays a pivotal role, and acts as a determining factor in the renewal process. This is the reason why baldness hits different people at different ages. Aside from hereditary hair loss such as Androgenetic Alopecia (male pattern baldness), environmental pollution, stress, anxiety, and excessive use of chemicals can also be major triggers of hair loss.


While there is no magic pill that can fix this problem of baldness, there are ways in which the process of hair loss can be decelerated. Here are a few tips to keep your hair healthy:

  • Follow a healthy diet:

Since hair is essentially made of proteins, a balanced and healthy diet consisting of different kinds of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, and eggs can lead to healthier hair. Food rich in fatty acid and protein is also recommended.

  •  Stay hydrated

Proper hydration is important to keep your hair strong and lustrous. A lack of water is the main cause of hair brittleness, breakage and dullness. It is also important to reduce the intake of sugar, and caffeinated beverages that lead to dehydration.

  •  Get enough sleep

Experts claim that a lack of sleep can lead to stress, and be a root cause of major health problems. A minimum of eight hours of sleep is recommended. Sleep alleviates stress, and provides energy to the body, enabling it to nourish hair and strengthen its growth.

  •  Switch to mild hair products & gadgets

The overuse of shampoos, conditioners, hair- dryers, and strengtheners can be detrimental to hair growth and quality. Hair appliances such as hair dryers can overheat your hair, making it brittle and weak. While it is impossible to eliminate usage, use only when required, and switch to mild products.

  •  Go for a walk

A brisk walk can surprisingly be very beneficial for hair growth. Exercises like walking can promote blood circulation, especially on the scalp, increasing the flow of nutrients to the hair follicles.

Bosley has been the world’s most experienced hair restoration expert since 1974. To request more info on Bosley and the hair restoration solutions we offer, or to schedule your free private consultation, Click here. Or you can call us at: 800-249-6946.