Physician Answered Q & As

Is Hair Transplant Shock Loss Temporary?

Is shock loss from a hair transplant temporary? I have heard that if you experience shock loss there is a real possibility that this hair will not grow back. Is this true?

Thank you for your question. “Shock loss” in the recipient area may be either temporary or permanent depending on the quality and genetic predisposition of the existing hair. It is generally felt that shock loss is likely temporary, however if the preexisting hair is thin and weak (likely to fall out in the near future due to the hair loss process) the transplant procedure may cause the majority of those hairs to fall out permanently. The downside of that situation is that the amount of hair placed may equal the hair that is shocked out and the patient experiences no “net gain” of hair. The upside is that even if there is no net gain of hair, the transplanted hair will last a long time, likely longer than the weaker would have lasted.

The more common situation is that the preexisting hair will thin out in the first 1-3 months after the surgery and will re-grow with the new grafts making the area look much thicker.

One of the things that you can do to help prevent shock loss is to make sure the preexisting hair is as strong as possible. Using 5% minoxidil and Propecia will help accomplish this. If you are very concerned about significant shock loss you may opt for a smaller number of grafts knowing that you will likely need additional surgery to accomplish your goals.


Find A Surgeon

The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons is a consumer organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. The IAHRS does not offer an open membership policy to doctors practicing hair transplatation, and is the only group that recognizes that all surgeons are not equal in their skill and technique. Its elite membership seeks to represent the best in the discipline, the true leaders in the field of surgical hair restoration.