I am scheduled for a hair transplant procedure in two weeks, but I am worried about having shock loss. Is there anything I can do to prevent or mitigate shock loss prior to my procedure?
Unfortunately, telogen effluvium (shock loss) can often occur after a hair transplant procedure because of trauma caused to the scalp by surgery. Telogen effluvium (shock loss) is a form of short-term hair loss that occurs for various reasons such as stress, trauma or a surgical procedure. Telogen effluvium (shock loss) is described as a chronic hair shedding for an extended period of time generally lasting three to six months.
Hair restoration surgery causes shock loss because hairs are implanted in close proximity to surrounding native hairs. Consequently, causing trauma to the surrounding follicles which are prematurely shed and put in to the telogen (resting) phase. Every person has around 5-10% of their hair in the telogen or resting phase at any given time. However, with shock loss a significant amount of hair follicles enter the telogen (resting) phase all at once causing a massive hair shed. This temporarily creates the appearance of thinning hair.
Sadly, there isn’t anything a patient can do or take prior to a hair transplant that will prevent shock loss completely, but there are some treatments that can reduce the risk and speed-up the recovery of telogen effluvium (shock loss). The treatments include Propecia (finasteride), Rogaine (minoxidil) and low level laser therapy (LLLT). With that said, telogen eflluvium (shock loss) generally resolves on it’s own without any treatment.
Hair lost due to telogen effluvium (shock loss) typically grows back around three to six months after the initial traumatic/stressful event occured. In most cases, all of the hair returns and the normal hair life cycle continues as usual. However, the aforementioned treatments can ensure the telogen effluvium (shock loss) is not permanent and can even kick-start the anagen (growth) phase of the lost hair follicles. Thus, significantly reducing the “ugly duckling” stage.
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