Woods’ Candidacy for Transplant Might Be Toothless Tiger

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Tiger Woods Losing Hair? Definitely! Surgery A Solution? Probably Not.

This before and after photo shows Tiger Woods losing hair over a decade and a half

Tiger Woods in 1997 and in 2013, showing clear signs of a receding hairline

It’s no surprise to anyone who’s seen pictures or followed his career that the answer to the question “Is Tiger Woods losing hair?” is a resounding yes, absolutely!

Tiger Woods’ hair loss recently came to the forefront, when he opened up about his male pattern baldness to Fox Sports’ Colleen Dominguez.

What may be surprising, however, is that Tiger might not be the best candidate for hair restoration surgery.

A Celebrity-Endorsed “Tiger Woods Hair Transplant” May Not Be Ideal Endorsement Deal

Tiger Woods’ hair transplant options need to be weighed very carefully.

Norwood Scale

The Norwood Scale illustrates the stages of androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. Tiger Woods appears to be a Norwood III or diffused III A.

While he’s a major mixed-race icon, being African, Chinese, Dutch, and Thai, Tiger’s African heritage in particular can spell trouble for hair transplant patients. It’s an unfortunate reality that goes ignored far too often: The African hair profile, even if it genetically expresses itself in an ethnically-mixed person’s background, can open them up to a high transection rate of donor hair, regardless of harvesting technique.

A comparison of hair profiles. African heritage tends towards coiled, putting them at higher risk for transection

A comparison of hair profiles. People of African heritage tend towards the coiled end, which puts them at higher risk for transection during hair transplantation surgery

And darker complexions (including people of non-African heritage) carry a higher risk of keloid scarring, a kind of raised scar composed of collagen that can expand beyond the bounds of the original incision.

“If you do consider permanent hair restoration, choose your doctor carefully.”

While hair transplant “experts” may have fallen over themselves giving Tiger Woods advice on which hair restoration surgeon to pick in the wake of his public announcement, Rahal’s commitment to both excellent results and excellent patient care leaves us with only one thing to tell Tiger: If you do consider permanent hair restoration, choose your doctor carefully. Make sure they take into account your unique physiology, and they’re not just trying to recruit a celebrity. This is true for any patient, but doubly so for African patients.

All Is Not Lost For African-American Hair Transplant Patients

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Tiger’s racially mixed background might carry with it a hair profile that’s less susceptible to transection. And previous scars might indicate that Tiger’s not prone to keloid scarring. Only a top doctor can accurately say.

“We aren’t suggesting men and women of African heritage should not consider hair restoration. Just that they consider their options carefully.”

Tiger Woods losing hair

Tiger Woods showing characteristics of both typical hair loss and likely African hair profile. He’d need a professional diagnosis to be sure of his options.

We aren’t suggesting men and women of African heritage, or those with darker complexions, should not consider hair restoration. It’s that they, like Tiger Woods, need to consider their options carefully, and make sure they choose a doctor who will help make the best choice.

The Big Three For Tiger Woods’ Hair Loss: Propecia, Rogaine, and Nizoral

The best advice is for Tiger to consider the “Big Three” (Propecia, Rogaine and Nizoral) to stabilize this hair loss first. And only then consider hair restoration. Doing so should give him time to research all his options carefully and make an informed decision, should he go the hair transplant route.

More on the “Big Three”…

  • Propecia (sold generically as finasteride), the DHT-inhibiting pill that blocks the hormone responsible for causing hair to fall out.
  • Rogaine (sold generically as minoxidil), available as both a topical serum and a topical foam, which slows hair loss and can, in some cases, promote new hair growth.
  • Nizoral, a shampoo marketed primarily towards dandruff sufferers; Nizoral has become vital in the treatment of hair loss.

At Rahal we remain committed to helping men and women achieve a permanent hair loss solution.

Dr. Rahal is one of today’s leading hair transplant physicians. He’s recommended by the American Hair Loss Association and recognized worldwide for producing his Rahal Hairline™.

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About Dr. Rahal

Dr. Rahal, Founder & Medical Director of Rahal, is highly recommended by the American Hair Loss Association and recognized worldwide for designing his "Rahal Hairline™" — resulting in youthful, natural hairlines with maximum fullness & density,

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