I am considering a hair transplant and have been labeled as a 5A on the norwood scale with diffuse hair thinning. I am concerned however, about shock loss. I don’t want to come out of hair transplant surgery with less or an equal amount of hair than when I went in. What should I do?
Hair loss sufferers with “diffuse” hair thinning can be excellent hair transplant candidates however, there is definitely a risk of shock loss. Below is a list of ways that the risk of shock loss is typically reduced during hair transplant surgery by a qualified hair restoration physician.
- The use of FDA approved hair loss treatments such as Propecia (Finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxodil) 6 months to a year prior to your hair restoration procedure can help strengthen any miniaturized hairs which will help minimize the risk of shock loss.
- The use of “ultra refined” surgical blades to make recipient incisions in ultra refined follicular unit grafting also mimimizes the risk of shock loss since there is less trauma to the scalp.
- Distributing and spacing apart the follicular unit grafts rather than extreme dense packing around native hairs can also minimize this risk.
Keep in mind however, that any hair that is “permanently” shocked would have fallen out anyway though hair transplantation may expedite this process for miniaturized hairs. “Temporarily” shocked hairs, though unpleasant, will grow start to grow back typically between 3-6 months.
It is important however, to discuss the concern of shock loss as well as your LONG TERM hair restoration goals with your hair restoration physician. Since your pattern of hair loss on the norwood scale is a diffuse 5A – most likely additional native hair loss will occur over time which is why using Propecia or Rogaine is an important measure to help combat future hair loss.
Keep in mind that there is no guarantee with any hair loss medication and future hair loss may occur. If this happens, most likely a subsequent hair transplant procedure will be necessary to achieve an illusion of hair density.
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