Sometimes, after a hair transplant surgery, a condition known as shock loss occurs. Shock loss is when your natural pre-existing (aka native) hairs fall out. This can occur in the recipient as well as the donor zones. This hair loss causes new areas of baldness that were not there previous to the hair transplant.
Shock loss occurs due to the stress of surgery and the body’s response to that stress. Anytime we have a surgical procedure, we are putting the body through a type of stress. Stress responses differ from person to person.
In hair transplant surgeries, we sometimes see shock loss as a stress response. This happens because the surrounding follicles near the extracted or implanted grafts because traumatized or “shocked” by the procedure.
The good news is that shock loss is often a temporary condition. The hairs usually return during the next hair growth cycle (2-6 months). In cases where the hair loss is permanent, the hairs that were effected by shock loss were likely weak follicles. This means that they were on their way to dying off and becoming bald areas soon.
There are ways to avoid shock loss prior to and during hair transplant surgery. Avoiding mega-sessions, being informed about the hair loss and growth process, and choosing a surgeon that utilizes a precise hand technique as opposed to robotic all play a role in shock loss.
Post-surgery shock loss and graft-shedding are sometimes mistaken for each other. To clarify, shock loss refers to your native hairs falling out near where grafts were extracted or placed. Shedding refers to the newly transplanted grafts cycling through the natural hair growth cycle. Graft-shedding is natural part of the hair transplant process.
If you would like to learn more about hair transplant surgery and what it entails, give us a call for consultation.