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Physician Answered Q & As

Hair Loss Caused By Car Accident

My 17 year old daughter was in a car accident about 4 months ago. Thankfully she is recovering well with no permanent injuries, however during the accident her head hit the dashboard of the car causing tremendous bruising. About 2 weeks after the accident all of the hair in that area just began falling out. the hair has not returned. Could there have been some permanent damage to the hair follicles so that the hair will not grow back and if it does not grow back will a hair transplant work to replace the lost hair?

The cause of the hair loss is what we call ‘anagen effluvium’ assuming that there is no severe scar tissue in the area of hair loss.  This means that the trauma caused an acute lack of blood supply (oxygen) to the hair follicles, causing them to shed hair.  Normally, we would expect all the hair to regrow.  If it does not all regrow, this would suggest that there have been some scarring under the skin that resulted in permanent follicles damage.  It would be best to wait at least 6 months to see if there is good hair regrowth, in which case a transplant would be unnecessary.  If there is no growth at that time, a transplant should be considered.


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