Understanding “Shock Loss” After Hair Restoration Surgery

People undergo hair transplant surgery in an effort to restore their hair in places where it has completely fallen out or is extremely thin.  If you have researched hair transplantation, you may have come across the phrase “shock loss”.   Shock loss refers to the loss of hair after hair transplantation.

Understanding what shock loss is and how it happens can help individuals calm their fears regarding this phenomenon when considering hair restoration.

What is Shock Loss?

Shock loss can occur to either hair from the donor site or hair near the transplant site. The hair loss typically occurs several weeks after the surgery has taken place.  There are a number of possible causes for shock loss, but is nearly always temporary loss of hair affecting only a percentage of hairs in the area, not all of the hair.  Typically the shock or stress from the surgery causes the natural hairs to go into a resting phase or Telogen phase of the normal hair grown cycle.  Eventually, these hairs will restart their growth cycle and come back.

The exact cause of shock loss is unknown, but one cause could be a result of trauma to the donor site or transplanted hairs during the surgical process. This can happen as a result of a surgeon’s technique, so it is less likely to occur with an experienced surgeon.


How Common is Shock Loss?

Even though shock loss is listed as a complication of hair restoration surgery, it is extremely uncommon, especially if the surgeon is experienced with hair loss surgery. Experienced hair transplant surgeons may only have a shock loss rate of 1%-5%.

If shock loss does occur, it is almost always temporary.  The hair that has been ‘shocked’ will start to grow back. This regrowth usually occurs anywhere from three to six months after the surgery.

How is Shock Loss Prevented?

When shock loss occurs as a result of surgical technique, typically the surgeon has packed the hair too densely during the transplant process or used the wrong angle when making an incision.

The best way to minimize the chance of shock loss is to choose a qualified hair restoration surgeon for the process.  If you are considering surgery for hair restoration in New Jersey, then call Contemporary Hair Transplant, a division of The Chuback Medical Group. We will schedule you a consultation with a board-certified physician who will be willing to discuss your concerns and help you find a hair restoration procedure that will work best for your unique situation.

Filed under: Hair Restoration

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