I’m a Class 4 evolving to a Class 6 pattern. My concern is if I have a transplant now and am happy with the result, but the hair loss pattern continues to a Class 6, that I may find myself chasing this problem for potentially many transplants and then run out of donor hair and regret the decision altogether. I’d hate to have an un-natural hair loss pattern many years from now because of this. As I understand it, you can do a test to map the scalp for miniaturization which can help in developing a long term Master Plan and help determine if the hair in the donor area is healthy and how much is available for moving. Can you comment ?
After mapping out your scalp for miniaturization and knowing your donor density, scalp laxity, and your hair and skin characteristics, I can usually tell where your hair loss pattern is going. Your question is appropriate about a long term Master Plan. Generally, if we transplant the frontal area to a line drawn between your ears, that area can almost always be made to look normal and the density in that area is something that is worked out with your surgeon. The area from the line between the ears to the very back of your head (the crown area) is significant if your density is low. If your density is average or higher and you want the back of your head transplanted, we must ascertain the available donor supply to do that in a worst case scenario.
If you take drugs like Propecia (finasteride) then the hair loss to a Norwood class 6 may be improbable. Most of our patients focus on the frontal area first, and then based upon desire, the crown if there is enough donor hair to manage a possible expanding crown. A frontal to mid-head reconstruction works for most people, as the man in the mirror is who most men want transplanted. Under a worst case scenario where you progress to crown loss, you can look perfectly normal with a full front and a thin or balding crown (which can be covered like this patient did).