Sat 11 Apr 2015
I’m looking into hair transplant surgery. However, I hear hair transplant patients talking about “shock loss,” and it’s making me nervous. What is shock loss? How can a surgery to give me more hair cause hair loss? Is this hair loss permanent?
Temporary shock loss occurs when strong, permanent follicles are exposed to trauma. The follicles are “shocked” into a temporary resting state (“telogen”) and return to normal function after a slightly prolonged dormant period. Usually, around 3-5 months. This happens most commonly in the donor area during hair transplant surgery.
Permanent shock loss occurs when weakened, pseudo-miniaturized follicles are exposed to similar trauma. These follicles are already “on their last leg,” and the stress pushes them over the edge. This causes “permanent shock loss” that does not grow back. This happens almost exclusively in the recipient area during hair transplant surgery. The zones surrounding the transplanted area are filled with these weakened, androgenic alopecia-affected follicles. The strain from the surgery is too great and the follicles simply can’t bounce back. It’s important to know that these follicles were going to fall out regardless. However, the shock loss simply speeds the process up.