New Patients: (888) 305-4044

Shock Loss: Losing Hair after a Hair Transplant

Q:

Hello Dr. Mohebi,

My hair is slowly getting back to normal after my hair transplant but I am afraid I have lost most of the grafts. In addition, I think I am suffering from some real shock loss. 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 hair restoration surgery. I really liked my new look after the 2nd day of the surgery when I had hair in the temples and frontal hairline. I understand that it is now a waiting game after the surgery but I am not seeing little dots where the implants were made on my scalp. I am looking for the dots in order to to give me hope that the hair will grow out. I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts and letting me know if I am worrying about hair loss for no reason.

A:

The loss of hair after a hair transplant is quite common and it is referred to as “Shock Loss”. In general, we can see two types of shock loss after a hair transplant:

  1. Shock-Loss after transplantThe transplanted hair will normally fall out in over 90% of patients after a hair transplant surgery. Hair fall occurs because the transplanted hair follicles go into a resting phase until they start 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 a complete recovery is expected.
  2. Patients who receive a hair transplant before completing their hair loss may experience an accelerated loss of their native hair. Native hairs, which are generally prone to shock loss, are the hairs on the scalp that are supposed to fall out within the next few months to years.  Any physical or mental stress can accelerate the rate of this hair loss.  For example, a hair transplant as well as the inflammation from the healing of the skin can trigger this type of shock loss. A good portion of these follicles will start to grow hair again after their resting phase (which may last a few months). This type of shock loss may also be reversible to some degree and an experienced doctor can give you more information.

– MA