Shock Loss After Hair Transplant: Everything You Should Know


I recently had a hair transplant. Everything was fine except starting around 2 weeks after surgery I started losing a lot of hair in the donor area. Now I'm 2 months out and parts of the donor area are still pretty bald and none of the hair has returned. I'm really concerned about that. Should I expect hair regrowth?


It sounds like you may be experiencing donor area telogen effluvium or "shock loss", a temporary hair loss caused by the trauma of surgery. This doesn't happen in every patient, but it's certainly not considered abnormal. In most cases, this hair loss is temporary and shocked hair will begin to grow back around the same time your transplanted hair starts to come in. 6 to 12 months later, your hair should be back to normal, of course, with additional coverage and density from your hair transplant.

What is Shock Loss After a Hair Transplant?

Shock loss is the common name we give to telogen effluvium, a temporary thinning Or loss of hair to an area of the scalp due to surgical trauma or another stressor.  

You can experience shock loss several weeks after hair transplant surgery. Shock loss is either experienced at the donor site or near the region where the transplantation has been done. The reason behind the shock loss is due to surgical trauma to the scalp from hair transplantation.  The good news is, shock loss is typically temporary and the only permanent hair loss occurs to hairs that are miniaturizing due to male pattern baldness and are on their way out anyway.  It will also only affect a percentage of hair and will last of a specific period of time. 

Shocked hairs will eventually start growing  again And typically takes up to six months to a year for the hairs to fully grow back. Essentially, transplanted hair and shocked natural hair typically start growing back around the same time although shocked hair grows back thick and terminal immediately while transplanted hair appears thin and colorless when it starts to grow and thickens and darkens overtime. 

Types of Shock Loss

There are two types of shock loss and both of them are mentioned below:

Permanent Shock Loss

Permanent hair loss due to telogen effluvium can occur two hairs that have already been affected by the DHT hormone, is miniaturizing and is on its way out due to the effects of male pattern baldness.  Another reason for permanent shock loss can be transaction. Transection of natural hair follicles can occur if an inexperienced surgeon damages the follicle when creating recipient incisions.  In the hands of a skilled surgeon, this doesn’t happen. This is why research and selecting an outstanding hair transplant surgeon is key to ensure you get the very best results

Temporary Shock Loss

As long as follicles aren’t transacted, healthy terminal hairs that have been “shocked“ due to hair restoration surgical trauma Will always grow back after a certain period of time. It may take up to six months or a year for these hairs to grow back in full

What are the Causes of Shock Hair Loss?

Shock loss after a hair transplant is experienced on a regular basis.  In fact, this risk should be discussed with your surgeon prior to undergoing surgical hair restoration.  Hair transplant related telogen effluvium or shock loss occurs as a result of trauma to the scalp during the procedure. This cannot be avoided as any scoring of the skin near and around hair follicles can traumatize them and force follicle to shed the hair and enter a resting state for several months before reentering the growth stage.  Shock loss can occur during both FUT and FUE treatment and can occur in both the donor and recipient areas.  

Does Shock Loss Always Happen?

There are several factors leading to shock loss after your hair restoration surgery.  The chance that shock loss will occur due to surgical trauma to the scalp after hair transplant surgery depends on both the surgeons still an experience and patient’s physiology.  While it doesn’t always happen, certainly can and does occur in many cases. 

How Long Does Shock Loss Last After A Hair Transplant and When Will My Hair Grow Back?

Experiencing shock loss is common but is only temporary. After the time period has passed, the hairs will grow back like they use to and will happen 3 to 6 months after hair transplant surgery.  Keep in mind however that shock loss often doesn’t even occur until a month or two has passed. So shock loss may not last very long depending on when hair starts to grow back.

How Can I Prevent Shock Loss after Hair Transplant?

for the most part, a patient won’t either experience temporary shock loss or they won’t. However, there are some steps  One can tank which may minimize the likelihood of sharp loss occurring. They are mentioned below.  

Minoxidil and Finasteride

Men and women taking certain medications such as Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil) may have a less likely chance of experiencing shark loss than individuals who don’t.  This is because both Propecia and Rogaine strengthen the hair follicle, making it more resistant to trauma.

Hair Density

When more hair is transplanted in between and around natural hair, the likelihood of telogen effluvium increases. More transplanted hair means more surgical incisions which essentially means more trauma to the scalp. 

Reducing the Danger of Transection

When the internal structure of your hair follicles gets damaged due to transection, these hairs don’t grow back.  Therefore, it is vital to select an experienced hair transplant surgeon with a proven track record of producing outstanding results for surgery. These excellent hair surgeons know what they are doing and know how to avoid transection.  

Have More Questions? Consult With a Qualified Hair Restoration Surgeon in Your Area

Before undergoing hair transplant surgery, it is important to research all surgeons you are considering. The Hair Transplant Network prescreens and recommends many top hair transplant surgeons in your area. We recommend consulting surgeon you are impressed with and considering them for surgery.

Bill - Associate Publisher