Receding Hairline Fix Surgery: First Stages Of The Norwood Scale
Receding hairline fix surgery is the first step of hair transplants. Recently, in our article “Norwood 6 Hair Transplants: Excellent Results Impossible, Or Myth?” we explained why Norwood 6 or beyond hair loss is not very different than earlier stages when your surgeon is good enough.
You can find any information you need if you fall into Norwood 6 and beyond in that article while now we will concentrate the earlier, beginning stage of hair loss.
In general after the age of 25, sometimes earlier or later, people realize their hair recedes from sides or the center of the forehead. This is the first sign of hair loss in this individual’s life.
The speed of hair loss differs from person to person. Some people lose their hair very fast and need a hair transplant surgery very early. In most cases, these individuals are beyond Norwood 3 and aim for covering bald are mainly.
However, the other individuals lose the hair very slowly, and it takes a long time for them to reach the third level of Norwood. Naturally, the problem of these people is a receding hairline.
Therefore, they need a hairline fix surgery to cover both sides of the forehead.
When a Norwood 1-2-3 patient communicates a clinic, they ask for a hairline fix surgery. The thing with hair loss is, it might stop occasionally. It doesn’t have to be consistent.
Yet, people think that their hair loss has ceased. They start considering a hair transplant procedure.
In most cases when asked, they indicate their hair loss stopped. In other cases, the clinic doesn’t even ask, and they proceed with the operation.
After the procedure, for a while, everything seems perfect. The patient is delighted because of the new look. However, as time passes, hair loss starts again.
For some time, it is not visible, but as it continues, a void begins to appear. Now the patient has to do something to cover the void or use Finasteride or Minoxidil.
But the sad truth is, after that point, only a new hair transplant surgery can fix the problem.
Insufficient Donor Hair Supply
The void between the transplanted and original hair is a severe problem in the short term. But there is an even bigger problem which you will experience in the long term. That is insufficient donor hair supply.
Each individual has a certain amount of hair which qualifies as a donor. Unfortunately, not all the hair can be used for hair transplants.
This means each individual has 4500-5500 grafts in their donor pool. Multiplied by 3, the number of donor hair follicles are around 15,000.
The chances are high that, your hair loss will continue past Norwood6. Now you might be a Norwood 2; someday you might become Norwood 7. This is the critical part.
Even when you have the maximum amount of hair follicles for transplants, that is still not enough the cover the entire scalp. You will have to sacrifice an area.
If you get the hairline fix surgery, then you will use up to 2000 grafts from your pool. The remaining 3000 is not sufficient to cover your entire scalp.
You Have To Think About Long Term
With 3000 left, after 10-20 years, you will have the crown and the back to cover. It won’t be possible. That means either your back will be bald, or your top. Both cases you will have a problem.
We believe with the first hair loss, each individual should learn about the process and options. There is no single truth for all. Everyone has a unique ideal for this journey.
But the sooner you start learning, the better your chances for handling the situation right.
It is essential to plan ahead while considering the first steps. You have a problem, and it needs fixing the right way. Otherwise, you will keep having new issues to fix.
You might think in twenty years there will be new solutions so you will probably be okay. Since the first FUT surgery in the early 1990s, it was everyone’s idea. In thirty years, only FUE method could be developed.
We all hope that there will be a new way one day that will save us from hair loss problem, but for now, you will have to be smart about it. Otherwise, you will have a significant problem in the future.
Success Of Hairline Fix Surgeries
Warning you about the potential problems is our duty. However, it is your decision, and if you want to get the hairline fix surgery anyways, then you need information about results.
Even people know the risks, they still go ahead and get the surgery done. This is perfectly normal.
The bright side of this kind of procedures is the success rate. Compared to a Norwood 6 operation which involves twice as many grafts, Norwood 1-2-3 has a higher success rate.
Norwood 6 restoration surgery requires both aesthetic work and dense look. The surgeon deals with twice as many grafts and has two goals to achieve. But in hairline fix surgeries, the objective is to make the hairline look original.
A delicate and dedicated work is still needed; however, the doctor can only focus on one area. Naturally, the chance of having a natural hairline, in the end, is significantly more.
But don’t let this fact tempt you. The skill and experience are still essential. Working with fewer grafts doesn’t mean an easier procedure. It means the surgeon has to perform even better.
Because it is easier to spot an error after these surgeries. Attention to detail is more vital. Even if there is a small mistake, it ruins the entire look. Therefore, these type of surgeries is harder for the surgeon as the risks of failure is more.
Factors Reducing Chances Of Natural Look
If you have decided to have a hairline fix surgery, congratulations! But now you have to be very careful. Because the risk of failure increased, these things are more important.
- The quality of extraction
- Skill and experience of the surgeon
- History of hair loss in the family
- Lifestyle and stress
The Quality Of Extraction
Any mistake, even if tiny, can affect the outcome. The most common thing is after the surgery, because of an error, the patient has to adapt living with it the rest of his life.
When the hairline is asymmetrical, or there is uneven density, you might become obligated to use your hair in a certain length.
Just like the FUT method where you have to hide your linear scar, now you will have to hide the mistake. In some cases it can be repaired by the doctor; still, it is a lot of effort and stress.
In procedure with higher extraction quality, we see less of these problems. Because the quality of extraction affects the results significantly, a properly extracted hair is harder to look bad.
Therefore, it is essential for your surgeon to perform exceptionally while harvesting. If he extracts perfect, you will have a higher chance of a natural look.
Skill And Experience Of The Surgeon
This is very straightforward, the more skill and experience bring a more natural looking hairline. It is sufficient to have a surgeon with enough experience to visualize the best possible look.
Adding the talent to make it happen, you will have what you seek.
The critical thing here is consistency. Our view for technician use is clear; hair restoration society needs its surgeons to achieve the highest standards.
Technician involvement slows down the process. In this case, the problem with technician-handled surgery is the consistency.
When technicians extract or plant hair, they do it in a pattern. Now, when there is a risk with only one person conducting the surgery, it is now doubled with technicians.
Moreover, the quality of work drops because of lack of experience even if there is the skill.
You might get a perfect hairline surgery with a technician performance. But that means you are just lucky. Because both the math and logic say, you are reducing your chances. We see so many impressive results of technician work.
However, there is rarely consistency. Unfortunately, mistakes happen more than they should.
History of Hair Loss In The Family
You don’t necessarily lose hair the same age your father did. Genetics are important, but it is not easy to know whose genetics you acquired. Looking at the hair loss pattern in your family can give you an idea about possibilities.
You can guess what your hair loss will be like.
In some cases, you get the majority of hair genes from one side of your parent, that is why your hair loss is almost identical to that person in your family. However, if the gene comes from both sides, it is harder for you to guess it.
Informing your surgeon about the pattern in your family is useful. It gives you an idea for when you should have the surgery. If your pattern suggests you will keep losing hair, there is no point in fixing your hairline.
Soon, you will need another surgery, and eventually, you will have no donor hair left for the future. Therefore, you can use the pattern of hair loss in your family to your advantage.
Lifestyle and Stress
You are in charge of a company where you control thousands, millions of dollars. Or you manage a department where there is constant change in the market, and you have to solve problems all the time.
You might be a rock star, partying all the time and performing.
The stress and lifestyle are essential when you consider a hairline fix surgery. Stress and fast lifestyle lead to faster hair loss.
If you maintain your life the way it is, then you should reconsider a hairline fix procedure. Because of the higher chance of losing hair, you are a candidate for a second and third operation.
Considering you have responsibilities that you can’t leave, your hair restoration journey might become painful.
We recommend everyone to be ready to adapt their mindset while changing the way they look. The outcome will be even better!
Finding Your Ideal Surgeon
We believe if you are sure about getting your hairline fixed, it is essential to find your ideal surgeon. We understand your wish to improve your look. In this case, your relationship with your doctor will be very long-lasting.
Probably, you will get the second operation and eventually, the third.
Then, if you find your ideal surgeon the first time, you don’t have to worry about the rest any longer.
After the hairline fix, you will keep in contact with your surgeon and will be asking his opinion periodically. When the hair loss moves towards your crown, you will probably start considering the second fix.
If you have an excellent communication with your doctor, this whole process will be very smooth. But if you make a mistake the first time, then you will have to start over the second time.
Therefore, we highly recommend doing extensive research and making the decision only after you consider everything thoroughly.
Here is a guide you can use to find your ideal surgeon. If you need help along the way, we will be here to help you.