Are there certain people or conditions in which shock loss is more likely to occur after a hair transplant? Are there any ways to avoid this?
Dr. Friedman’s Answer:
Whenever we transplant into areas that still have existing native hair (remaining hair), there is always the possibility of causing shock that is a temporary fallout of your existing hair. I always tell patients that any hairs or follicles that were destined to continue growing for at least another year typically will re-grow following shock. Hair follicles that were destined to stop growing within the next 12 months may never re-grow.
The more hair you have in an area that we are transplanting (the more residual hair you have present), the more chances for shock to your existing hair. If there is no hair in an area, there is no way to know that you are undergoing shock because there is no hair present.
The answer to figure out who is going to have more shock is the more hair you have present prior to transplanting, the more that person is going to experience shock or temporary hair loss.
As far as how we can try to avoid this situation, one of the things we do is we have patients use Rogaine or minoxidil up to five to seven days prior to surgery to increase the blood supply to the scalp. It is questionable as to whether or not we actually see a significant improvement or decrease in shock. I think more than anything we are finding that low-level laser therapy immediately following surgery for the first couple to three weeks is giving us less shock or potential for developing less shock to your existing hair than no laser therapy.
We start laser treatments on post-operative day 1 after shampooing your hair and every other day for the next two to three weeks. We have found that there is a significant decrease in hair transplant shock loss when patients do undergo laser therapy post-operatively.
— Dr. Shelly Friedman, DO
Board Certified Hair Restoration Surgeon
Arizona’s Most Trusted Hair Loss Doctor
Named Phoenix Magazine’s Top Doc – Hair Transplant Surgeon