Hair transplant surgery is a complex process that requires a lot of skill and experience. So, results of the surgery are completely dependant on the surgical team. If something goes wrong during the hair transplant, it could have lasting negative results. In this article, we will explain what Shock Hair Loss is, why it happens and how to combat it.
To learn more about hair loss, read our article about How to Prevent Hair Loss.
What is Shock Hair Loss?
Shock Hair Loss (SHL) is the rapid fallout of hair some time after hair transplant surgery. If the surgery doesn’t go according to plan, patients can experience hair loss for weeks after. SHL can occur in two ways; temporary and permanent. Temporary shock loss is very common. The transplanted hairs are very weak and they usually fall off within the first week after surgery. This isn’t a cause to worry, as the hair will start growing back strong and healthy after a few months.
On the other hand, permanent SHL is a much more serious issue. In this case, the hair grafts may never produce hair again due to trauma during surgery. Permanent SHL can occur both in the donor and the reciever area, and the hair follicles surrounding the two. It is only the hair follicles that fall out during this process, the transplanted grafts (or roots) remain fixed.
What Causes Shock Hair Loss?
Shock Hair Loss (SHL) can have multiple reasons. If an inexperienced surgical team does the operation, they might traumatize the scalp while inserting hair grafts. Another, more common reason for SHL is the Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone.
DHT is a more active and powerful version of the male sex hormone, testosterone. Both men and women have this hormone, although men’s metabolisms produce it a lot more. DHT contributes to men’s puberty on many accounts. It deepens the voice, incerases muscle mass and sperm production. Yet, with advancing age, DHT can affect people negatively.
The DHT hormone has control over the hair follicles. High levels of DHT can shrink the follicles and even shorten the hair growth cycle. This causes thinning hair and faster hair loss. Additionally, DHT can also make it longer for new hairs to grow out.
It is also important to note that hair shaft breakage can be another cause of SHL. This doesn’t pose a serious issue with Follicular Unit Extraction method. However, the Follicular Strip Method is a lot more dangerous because grafts are more likely to get damaged. The surgical team can make mistakes during the hair transplant. These include harvesting too many grafts in one session or not stiching the area correctly. Both of these mistakes can lead to permanent shock hair loss in the donor area. Due to this reason, Shock Hair Loss occurs a lot more in patients that prefer FUT over FUE.
Click here to find out more about Taking Care of Your Hair After Hair Transplant Surgery.
How to Battle Shock Hair Loss?
There are medications patients can use that diminish the affects of SHL. Here are the most common ones;
- Minoxidil: A form of topical medication. Increases hair growth and makes the fine hairs look darker. More suitable for patients younger than 30. Only works if the patient has been experiencing hair loss for a short amount of time. It is a strong medication with side affects such as itching, redness or hair growth in unwanted areas.
- Finasteride: Limits the over-production of DHT hormone and helps with diminishing male pattern baldness. May not work on every patient. Side effects may include decreased libido and erectile dysfunction.
- Hair Regeneration Treatment: A non-surgical treatment that uses adult stem cell based wound-healing properties. The treatments include extracellular matrix, platelet rich plasma and vitamin D.
As powerful as these listed above may be, the best option for patients is to avoid SHL altogether. The only way to achieve this is to choose the right hair transplant clinic.
Click here to find out about Top 7 Hair Transplant Clinics of the World.