Indications for hair transplant surgery

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) support the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (BAHRS) in its position that Hair Transplant Surgery for male and female pattern hair loss is a treatment for a diagnosable genetically caused and hormonally mediated medical condition, and that in the majority of cases should not be considered ‘cosmetic surgery’.

This distinction is important for ensuring patients take appropriate care when undergoing procedures and that regulation of the space is taken seriously.

As the hair transplant surgery field is unregulated, there is little oversight of online advertising especially from overseas clinics. BAPRAS encourages young men with minimal degrees of hair loss to visit the Think Over Before You Makeover section of our website for more information.


It is natural for young adult men to have varying degrees of temporal recession as part of a normal maturing hairline but many men confuse this with male pattern hair loss, develop high levels of anxiety and seek inappropriate hair restoration surgery procedures. This is fuelled by aggressive social media advertising targeting this patient population, often with misleading messaging.


Anybody considering having hair transplant surgery should do careful background research and ensure that the doctor designing and performing their surgery (including making the incisions for the Follicular Unit Excision method of harvesting donor hair) is fully qualified.  


Patients should have the psychological impact of their hair loss assessed, should be counselled on the medical management of genetic hair loss, and should take into account the implications of ongoing hair loss - factors that are often not prioritised when seeking cheaper alternatives as part of medical tourism.