A hair transplant is a normal and simple procedure that many patients receive each year to replace hair in areas that have lost it. Getting a hair transplant can improve one’s confidence in their image and boost self-esteem, but it can also cause panic when hair starts to fall out a few weeks after the procedure. If this happens to you, don’t worry, it’s actually perfectly normal. Here’s everything you need to know about shock loss after a hair transplant, and why it indicates everything is on track.
The Hair Transplant Procedure
Hair transplant procedures usually involve removing individual hairs or an entire graft of skin from the back of the head (where hair still grows) and transplanting those hairs in balding areas. Shock loss can happen after either a Follicular Unit Transplant or a Follicular Unit Extraction. The hairs that get transplanted are secured in place using miniscule surgical incisions in the scalp, and care is taken to ensure the hairs are in the right place and will grow in the right direction to create a natural look.
Shock can occur between two to eight weeks after the procedure, regardless of which technique was used to transplant the hair. When this happens, the transplanted hair may begin to fall out. Some people panic and take this to mean that the transplant has not taken or there is a rejection in the scalp, but none of this is sound. Just as losing regular hair is normal, losing transplanted hair is to be expected. The tiny grafts in the scalp are all that matter; as long as they remain healthy, new hair will regrow from them.
Timelines for Regrowth
Transplants require time to take effect, and you may not see results for months after treatment. Four months is typically when you can expect to start seeing new growth following shock. At around a year, hair should be regrown to full strength.
Other Hair Loss
Sometimes hair is thin around the transplant area. Just as the transplant hair will fall out, the hair in the surrounding area may also follow suit, mainly in response to the surgery. Again, don’t fret, as it should regrow with the new hair for the desired effect.
Since you are recovering from surgery, you should not touch the transplant area for a week after the procedure. Keep the area moisturized and sleep with your head propped up so that it doesn’t rub. Your hair transplant surgeon, like Dr. Robin Unger, can tell you exact care techniques for your specific situation.