This is a very open question and depends largely how realistic your goals are in relation to your hair characteristics and potential for advanced hair loss. A man in his early/mid 20´s with minor hair line recession wanting to rebuild the hair line to its original position; can this be achieved? Yes of course, with a relatively minor number of grafts the hair line can be rebuilt, 1000-1500 FU´s needed.
The goals of the individual have been met but what happens as hair loss progresses over the years and the balance of hair to bald area becomes disproportionate and unnatural with a hair line fixed in a low position. Of course it is possible to have multiple hair transplant procedures but the donor hair is a finite resource and needs to be managed well to ensure the maximum number of follicular units can be safely removed as hair loss advances.
Prior to undergoing surgical hair restoration it is important to understand a hair transplant is not a miracle cure; as positive it can be on the right candidate it does have limitations that cannot be overcome. Understanding the limitations and accepting them it is then possible to set your goals accordingly; this will go a long way to ensuring your long term happiness and well-being, and not being another “repair case” statistic.
As tempting as it maybe to jump into hair restoration it is always better to take a step back and rethink your goals long term. A hair transplant is not something that can be reversed if you do not like the result. A common response is “I will shave if I do not like the result or cannot have more procedures”; shaving is rarely an option as there will always be some signs a surgical procedure has been performed. This is not a good plan to enter into surgical restoration with.
As the donor hair is key to the long term result, especially as hair loss is progressive over our lifetime, it is essential to have a clear plan in the worst case scenario what the donor resources can give. Have the donor hair density measured, calculated the approximate average hair to FU count, good, bad or fair hair characteristics, skin healing and laxity, donor safe zone size, the best techniques to use now and in the future.
Create a plan based on these qualities and then review your goals to ascertain whether at your stage of hair loss now your goals can be sustained over the longer term as the hair loss advances. Be aware that to rely solely on family “hair history”, especially at a younger age is ill-advised as hair loss does not always follow the genetic pattern of our paternal, maternal or siblings; it is a guide only.
In the early stages of hair loss important factors such as potential for future loss, recipient surface area, the size of the donor safe zone are impossibly to determine accurately. In more stages of hair loss compromises may be required on hair line placement.
It is important to be realistic and objective, if your goals cannot be met and the reasons are explained logically it is sensible to come to terms with this and either not undergo a hair transplant or revaluate your goals to fit with what is possible with the hair resources available.