Is Grey Hair Good For Hair Transplantation?

Hair colour is formed from a pigment called melanins and formed from cells known as melanocytes in the hair follicle. Our genetic disposition dictates the amount of melanin produced and ultimately the colour of the hair shaft

As we age it is common for some and even all the melanocytes either reduce or stop producing melanin and the hair shaft loses colour, turns grey or even white. Turning grey can happen anytime in adult life but commonly around the ages of 40-50 years of age; by the time a man or woman is in their mid-thirty almost 30% will have some grey hair and by the age of 50 around 50% of individuals

Darker haired individuals can have the cosmetic appearance known as salt´n´pepper; a mixture of grey and pigmented hair; fair haired individuals can have an advanced % of grey hairs but less noticeable due to the reduced colour contrast between the hairs

Is Grey Hair Strong Enough To Transplant?

Reconstruction of sides/laterals with salt¨n´pepper hair characteristics

Reconstruction of sides/laterals with salt¨n´pepper hair characteristics

A sometimes misconception is that grey hair is weaker that pigmented hair, this is actually not correct. Grey hair is as genetically strong as coloured hair in the donor safe zone and can be used for surgical hair restoration

A problem with grey hair is simply that it is grey and can be hard to see with the naked eye; dividing the follicular units from a strip or harvesting by FUE can take longer and needs a high level of concentration as it is easier to transect or damage the follicular unit

With any hair transplant, certain aspects of the procedure should be carried out under magnification; from excising or harvesting the grafts, cleaning and preparing the follicular units to the graft placement in the recipient area

Grey hair can have benefits to achieving a result with a hair transplant; the hair can reduce the contrast between hair and skin on the right candidate, salt´n´pepper can add to the look of thickness reached, and often the hair can be coarser so each hair gives better coverage over the scalp

Grey hair combined with other hair characteristics such as wavy or curly hair can hugely add to a hair transplant result, can help to reduce the graft numbers required to cover a surface area, so especially on higher Norwood scale hair loss stages total coverage can be achieved in a single one day procedure

It is always important to research thoroughly before deciding to undergo a hair transplant procedure; ensure there is an understanding of the benefits and cons and whether or not the goals set can be achieved with the supply of hair available

 

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