Shock Hair Loss after Hair Transplant - Is it Permanent?

Shock Hair Loss after Hair Transplant - Is it Permanent?

If you’re planning to get a hair transplant you must have gathered enough information about the surgery and what to expect afterwards.

By now, you already know that shedding of the newly transplanted hair is very normal and nothing to worry about.

But have you heard about shock hair loss after hair transplant which causes the non-transplanted hair to fall?

Yes, you heard it right!

Your natural hair (which hasn’t been transplanted) might fall out but that’s a temporary side effect of hair transplant

How and why it falls?! Let’s find out the scientific answer together.

What is Shock Hair Loss After Hair Transplant?

“Hair shock loss” is a term used to describe a phenomenon that occurs after hair transplant where the non-transplanted old hair falls out. This could happen for many reasons including: scalp trauma, blockage of blood flow, overharvesting of grafts or lack of experience.

Shock Hair Loss after Hair Transplant - Front and Mid-Scalp

 The shedding is temporary, and the hair will grow back soon within 3 to 6 months.

When patients start losing their native hair after the surgery they panic and start thinking that the operation failed.

The good news is that “shock hair loss” is not an indication of failure of the hair transplant because it’s a temporary side effect. And it affects around 5% of the patients who have undergone a hair transplant.

Difference Between Hair Shedding and Shock Hair Loss After Hair Transplant

Some patients confuse between the hair shedding process and shock loss after hair transplant. In Fact, there is a big difference between these two phenomena.

“Hair shedding” after hair transplant is the process where the newly transplanted hair starts falling out 2-3 weeks after the operation.

This is a normal process as part of the transplanted hair growth cycle and doesn’t raise any concerns. Because the hair goes into a resting phase and grows back again during the 3rd month after hair transplant.

On the other hand, shock loss is the trauma that targets the native (original) hair causing it to shed.

Shock Hair Loss after hair transplant - Donor Area

 What Are the Reasons Behind Shock Hair Loss After Hair Transplant? 

There are certain causes that trigger the natural existing hair to shed after a hair transplant such as:

  1. Scalp Trauma:

    Scientifically speaking, after any medical intervention the human body goes through a trauma. Hair transplant exposes the scalp to too much pressure which makes it react adversely.

    During a hair transplant procedure, hair follicles are inserted next to areas that already have existing hair.

    Therefore, the implantation of new hair follicles traumatizes the original ones causing them to fall out.

    This disruption doesn’t last too long and soon the hair grows back in a matter of 3-6 months.

  2. Excessive Harvesting of Hair Grafts:
    “Overharvesting” means extracting a big number of hair grafts from the donor area and transplanting it into balding sites.

    This act of excessive harvesting makes the scalp weak and respond by making the original and transplanted hair shed.

    That’s why hair transplant surgeons should be realistic in setting expectations and transplant a certain amount of grafts in a single session.  

  3. Lack of Experience:
    Sometimes due to lack of experience, the surgeon could harm the neighboring hair follicles while creating incisions in the recipient area.

    It could also block the blood supply to the follicles making them fall.

  4. Thinning of Native Hair:
    In many cases the existing hair is already thinning and prone to hair loss. Thus, when it’s under trauma and intensive work it falls out easily.

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