Hair transplant with grey hair – is it possible? Many people have grey hair and do not feel comfortable with it, so they wish to improve their appearance by undergoing some kind of aesthetic treatment. It is estimated that by age 50, 50% of white people have 50% of their hair grey.
When someone suffers from alopecia problems, a perfect and definitive solution usually goes through a hair transplant, a very common technique nowadays with very good reviews. But what happens when hair is grey? Is then a hair transplant possible? Is it more difficult? What are the results? In the following lines we’ll answer all this queries, and more.
Can you stop hair from going grey?
Grey hair appears when hair, due to the absence of a protein called Wnt – which according to studiesregulates hair growth and structure – suffers from discoloration. Wnt protein affects the function of melanocytes, a group of stem cells responsible of hair pigmentation; when this protein is absent in a melanocyte, it does not function properly and then grey hair is generated. However, there are ways to stop greying hair, or preventing it at least.
Grey hair is usually thicker and less flexible than normal hair; this type of hair usually appears due to age triggered by genetic factors, but there can be also other causes, such as some diseases, stress…
If greying hair appears, it will no longer be able to recover its previous colour; however it is possible to slow down its appearance by following a healthy diet, low in fats and rich in vitamins and antioxidants; also through moderate and regular physical exercise; and of course avoiding alcohol and tobaccoconsumption, as well as situations of stress and anxiety.
While pulling out greying hair can be tempting, the fact is that doing so will not stop grey hair from appearing; however, it won’t make more grey hair to come out either: since plucked hair grows back in the same follicle… it will grow grey again. Another common belief says that grey hair does not fall out, but is completely false: greying hair does fall out. Actually, hair with no pigmentation will follow the same growth and fall cycle as the rest of hair.
Is a hair transplant with this type of hair possible?
When it comes to performing a hair transplant on people with grey hair who suffer from alopecia problems, it must be made clear that these types of patients are suitable to undergo a hair transplant as long as they meet the same requirements as patients with pigmented hair: that is, that the hair loss process has stabilized, and that the quantity and quality of follicles in the donor area is adequate.
However, it is true that performing a hair transplant on a person with greying hair is more difficult. Why? Well, because grey hair visually offers less density and coverage of bald areas, and because due to follicles discoloration it is more difficult for the medical team to locate them for extraction from the donor area.
The results of the operation will depend on the hair available in the donor area: if this hair is grey, the transplant will be made with grey hair – and it will continue like this when it grows back again after the transplant; and if hair is pigmented, the transplanted hair will be pigmented. In any case, even if transplanted hair has natural pigmentation, this will not prevent it from losing colour and turning greyover time.
Concerning the results of the transplant in terms of recovery period, hair density, duration of the hair transplant results, etc., they will be the same whether the transplanted hair is grey or not, since the absence of pigmentation in hair does not affects its quality and durability.
Why is experience so important in this operation?
As we already mentioned before, a hair transplant with grey hair is more difficult not for the patient, but for the medical team in charge of performing the operation, since they must pay more attention to the extraction and implantation of follicles from the donor area to the recipient area. Besides, the surgeon in charge of supervising the surgery will be the one who will determine the suitability of the patient to undergo a hair transplant.