Shock Loss: Losing Hair after a Hair Transplant

Q:

My hair is slowly getting back to normal, but I think I have lost most of the grafts and I am suffering from some real shock loss. Now, my hair is not looking too good, it seems like I have less hair in the crown and temple area than I did before the surgery. I really liked the look after the 2nd day of surgery when I had hair in the temples and frontal hairline. I understand that now it is a waiting game, but I am not seeing little dots where the implants were made to give me hope that the hair will grow out. I would really appreciate to hear your thoughts.

A:

Shock-Loss after transplantLosing hair after a hair transplant is referred to as “Shock Loss”. We can have two types of shock loss after a hair transplant:

1. The transplanted hair is supposed to fall out in over 90% of the patients after a hair transplant surgery, because the transplanted hair follicle goes into a resting phase until it starts growing new hair within a few months.  This is the most common type of shock loss that people experience after hair transplantation.  Of course this type of shock loss is temporary and recovery is complete.

2. Patients who receive a hair transplant before completing their hair loss may experience accelerated loss of their native hair. Native hairs, which are prone to shock loss, are those that are supposed to fall within the next few months to years.  Any stress can accelerate the rate of this hair loss.  Hair transplant as well as the inflammation of healing of the skin can trigger this type of shock loss.  People who take Finasteride can minimize the risk of shock loss, but it may not be stopped completely.  A good portion of these follicles will grow hair after their resting phase, which may last a few months. This type of shock loss may also be reversible to some degree.