The short answer is yes – you can experience hair loss following a hair transplant. This shedding is generally down to one of two hair loss conditions and can be either temporary or a more permanent condition.
Temporary hair loss following hair transplant surgery is common and is caused by a stress-related condition called Telogen Effluvium (TE). The trauma caused to the scalp during the hair restoration procedure can cause Telogen Effluvium to develop although it is not generally noticeable until around three months after surgery. This is because TE is linked to the hair growth cycle and causes hair follicles to prematurely enter their resting phase. This causes hair fall, uneven growth and temporarily shuts down hair production which then resumes around three months later.
The other type of hair loss that men can experience following a hair transplant is the hereditary condition, androgenic alopecia.
The reason this type of shedding can occur is that you are already genetically predisposed to hair loss and, whilst one area has been dealt with by the transplant, the rest of the hair remains susceptible to male pattern baldness.
Following a hair transplant, although the newly embedded hair may grow normally, any areas still susceptible to male pattern hair loss (the top of the head from crown to hairline including the temples) around the transplanted hairs will still be susceptible to shedding. In some cases, this can leave you with unnatural-looking patches of hair loss around the transplanted area.
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It is generally recommended that any men who decide to undergo a hair transplant should always try a six-month course of clinically-proven pharmaceutical hair loss treatments prior to surgery.
This is to strengthen the hair, stabilize shedding in order to give the surgeon a cleaner area to work with and to prevent any further hair loss in the future.
In some cases, men may find that using a personalized hair loss treatment featuring one or both of the only MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved plans may produce promising results, negating the need for a transplant after all. However, if you do decide to go ahead with the surgery, continuing treatments for male hair loss post-surgery is a must.