Most men are concerned that after a transplant, they will continue to bald. Five weeks after a hair implant, the newly transplanted grafts will typically shed, allowing new hairs to develop in. Shedding is a natural process that occurs as part of the growth cycle. It is natural to shed your transplanted hair after a hair restoration procedure, which is also known as “shock loss.” When the new grafts reach a resting period and the volumes are shed, shock loss occurs between two and eight weeks after a FUT or FUE. This is a completely normal and natural process that should not be feared. Your fresh, healthy volume will begin to develop in their place within a few weeks. When you experience hair loss after transplant, there’s nothing to be surprised about, despite the term. As your new volume begins to develop, you should plan for it and take steps to care for them.
Why does this loss occur after a transplant?
Hair grafts are removed from the ‘donor’ areas of the scalp, where hairs are engineered to continue developing for the rest of their lives, and transplanted into the ‘recipient’ areas affected by this loss in both the FUT and Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) procedures. A strip of skin is removed from the donor area in a FUT, while follicles are excised separately in a FUE implant, but the recipient area is treated the same in both procedures. The surgeon creates a series of microscopic slits in the scalp and carefully inserts the individual follicles into these recipient locations. This is a highly qualified procedure, and the surgeon must pay close attention to the placement of the grafts as well as the pattern and angle of growth to achieve a natural appearance. The new grafts will remain in place for a while, but the follicles will undergo a ‘resting’ process after a period of time typically between two and eight weeks. The implanted hairs will shed during this time. This hair loss after transplant does not indicate that the operation was unsuccessful, nor does it indicate that the scalp is rejecting the follicles. It is, rather, a normal reaction to the surgery. The grafts are stable, and fresh, healthy, permanent hairs will begin to develop in the recipient areas of the scalp if proper aftercare is followed. These loss medications like finasteride or minoxidil are thought to help stabilize and reduce the risk of shock loss. During implant surgery, a professional surgeon may be able to take some precautions to reduce this risk.
After transplant surgery, will shock loss occur in other areas of the scalp?
When new grafts are placed into an area of the scalp where there are already a thinning, then hair loss after transplant occurs as a reaction to the surgery’s trauma. This, however, is not unusual, and it is just temporary. The follicles remain intact, and new hairs will emerge over time. Patients who have had a FUE or FUT procedure may experience shock loss in the donor region where the hair has been extracted on occasion. A professional surgeon, on the other hand, will reduce the chances of this occurring, and this loss should only be temporary.
After the shock loss, when will new hair grow?
Between two weeks and two months there is a hair loss after transplant, in which your grafts will usually fall out. You will now be in a ‘resting process,’ during which your scalp will resemble that of before surgery, so be patient! Around four months after surgery, new hairs will begin to develop. These may be very small and barely noticeable at first, but you will be able to feel them with your fingertips, and they will develop at different rates. These are, however, permanent, and you should treat them like the rest of your volume. The new hairs will thicken, grow, and act more like your original ones 10 to 15 months after the implant. This is the average time it takes for your transplant to show its full potential.