Shock loss – what is it and can it happen to you?

Shock loss is a condition which can occur after a hair transplant surgery. The pre-existing hair in the recipient and donor areas fall out, causing new and increased hair loss. As you can imagine, this is upsetting for many people, as they feel they look worse-off than pre-surgery.
Why does the hair fall out? Anytime we put our bodies through the stress of a surgery, our bodies experience a degree of trauma. Our bodies have different ways of dealing with this trauma such as fatigue and pain. With hair transplant surgeries, the surrounding and existing follicles can be traumatized (or shocked) by the transplantation of new follicles and can respond by falling out.
For most individuals that experience shock loss, the condition is temporary and the hairs return during the next growth cycle. This can take anywhere from 2-6 months. But for others, the shock loss is  permanent. This is the case when the hairs that have fallen out were on their way out anyways, meaning, they were due to fall out soon. The trauma of surgery gave them just the push they needed to fall out permanently and create new areas of hair loss.
There are many factors that play a role in whether you will experience shock loss. Firstly, the condition of your existing hair. Hairs that are weak are more likely to fall out. Secondly, the type of hair and hair loss you have. If you have hair that is thin and thinning throughout, you are more likely to experience shock loss. Those who are experiencing receding hair loss are less likely to get shock loss.
Regardless of your predispositions, a certified and experienced hair transplant surgeon can evaluate your hair and give their suggestions and expectations for surgery. Dr. Yazdan believes maintenance and prevention are two of the best tools in fighting hair loss. Treatments such as PRP therapy, laser therapy, and medications can work in conjunction with surgery to protect and nourish the existing and newly transplanted hair follicles and prevent future hair loss.
If you would like to learn more about surgical and nonsurgical hair loss options, give us a call.