What to Do After a Hair Transplant

Hair shock is a temporary byproduct of the hair transplant procedure which causes the surrounding hairs to fall out before your new hair grows in. The surg…

What is “hair shock?”

Hair shock is a temporary byproduct of the hair transplant procedure which causes the surrounding hairs to fall out before your new hair grows in. The surgery is a stressful event for your scalp and whenever there is a shock to the body, there are some effects. With hair transplants, you have to take a step back before you take a step forward. What happens is that the surrounding hair that is healthy may have reduced blood flow that will cause temporary shedding of the hairs around the transplant area. In worst case scenarios, hair shock can even be permanent if the client sustains an injury during the procedure. Some surgeons out there move too fast. We call them “sewing machines” and these guys can cause lots of shock. Working that fast will injure existing healthy follicles when they transect. Often hair is shocked out because the surrounding hair is thinning and on its way out anyway and the transplant procedure just accelerates that loss. Think of a tree. It will die temporarily as it is shocked if you replant it to another place. This is naturally occurring too. It will be fine eventually, but it will die temporarily and then it will come back stronger. We have found that we can eliminate the hair shock phase and regrowth phase by adding lasers as an adjunct therapy. When a patient uses the lasers for three days a week, we have found that has minimized and reduced hair shock quite a bit and in some cases, even skipped it entirely.

Do I have to worry about the rest of my hair eventually falling out?

Yes. Hair loss is ongoing and that why we recommend lasers and Rogaine as an adjunct therapy for post op. These treatments help prevent the severity of hair shock.  We always advise that patients try Propecia, supplements, Rogaine and/or laser therapy.  Propecia takes time. You have to be committed. Combating hair loss is an ongoing battle. While we do, within the procedure, compensate for future hair loss, if you overcompensate, that is no good as well. So we always tell our patients to expect to come back for second procedure. We tell them to expect some hair shock, especially if you don’t do anything post op top prevent it. Probably 80% of our clients come back for 2nd procedure. We let them know that this is not the end-all magic bullet, you will want to come back to thicken things up after a while. If you don’t do that, you hair will continue to thin and while the hair we transplanted will stay, the hair around it might fall out. When people say that they only to do this once and that is it we tell that we are sorry, but we are not going to promise you that. While some people are happy with just one procedure, most have to come back to get their hair thickened later.

For the second procedure, we use before and after shots and the surgeon goes in between the previously transplanted hairs and adds follicles between these to thicken the overall hair.

What is the recovery time?

After about 3 days you may or may not see some swelling occur. This can be under the eyes or sometimes above eyes. Then what happens is that the grafts that begin as red dots begin to dry up and become tiny scabs which flake off in about a week. In two weeks the sutures from the donor area are removed it looks like mild sunburn on your scalp. Some of grafts will continue to grow for about a month then fall out. Some grafts will begin to grow immediately. It very much depends on the individual and their use of adjunct therapies. Within three or four months after the operation, the hair will start to grow again. In 10 percent of patients, the grafts continue to grow from day one. We don’t really know why this is. Some people are just lucky. With most people, after a year, they have a nice solid head of hair.

The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.