The Psychology of Hair Loss in Teenagers and Young Adults
In the late teens, an individual is dealing with pubertal and post pubertal physiologic changes, the challenges of seeing the world with a new eye, the loss of innocence, school, pressure form peers and social groups etc. These in themselves are psychological stressors that define and shape our humanity. The manner in which we cope with these early stressors have the potential for defining who we become for the remainder of our lives. Adding hair loss to that burden in a teenager’s life can have far reaching consequences. There is potential for it to result in depression, social withdrawal and even paranoia. An individual whose development is influenced by these additional stressors would be at a disadvantage in all realms of life.
Hair Restoration Surgery In Teenage and Young Adults – What Could Go Wrong?
A young patient considering a hair transplant should always remember that transplanted hairs are permanent, while the hair they currently have is temporary as the hair loss would progress with age. Because the extent and rate of hair loss progression cannot be predicted, planning a hair transplant can be tricky. If this is not taken into account a hair transplant would potentially result in an odd hair pattern which results after a transplant that initially merged into adjacent pre-existing hairlines assumes an odd look. This would occur when the previously blended pre-existing hairline progressively receded to create a bald gap between it and the transplanted hairs. To correct this, more hair transplants would be required to bridge the gap. However, this odd pattern might not be remediable if:
1. The patient runs out of donor hair. This is especially a problem in patients with severe baldness, or when the transplanted hairline was placed too aggressively
2. The patient cannot financially afford the cost of further procedures
3. Body hair cannot be used either because the doctors at the patients’ disposal lack the experience, skill or the technology required to perform successful FUE transplant using body hair (BHT) consistently. In some patients, however, BHT is not conceivable on account of an absolute lack of body and beard hair. There is a great deal of inter ethic variation in the quality and quantity of body hair in individuals.
Hair Transplant Repair Options for Victims of Hair Transplants Performed at Young Age
Unless the hair transplant on a young patient involved the creation of a very conservative hairline, the first challenge in most of these patients is the depletion of head donor hair supply often compounded by the presence of follicular unit strip surgery and / or FUE scars. In these head donor depleted patients, a successful and credible repair and restoration work would necessitate the use of beard and body hairs in BHT repair work. Donor source in BHT can include facial hair as well as hairs from the torso and limbs. A recent 122 patient study published in the Aesthetic surgery journal describes the criteria for determining the suitability of BHT donor hair. What more, the study described the kinds of features an FUE equipment used in BHT should possess. Younger patients destined for severe baldness should begin incorporating beard and body hair earlier on in their hair transplantation odyssey. With proper planning, requisite doctor experience and skill as well as the proper utensils it is indeed possible to execute a successful FUE repair in young victims of ill-conceived hair restoration surgeries that were performed at a young age.