What is scarring like after a hair transplantation?

A common question we have to answer when someone inquires about hair transplantation is many people ask what scarring is like after a hair transplant. Scarring from hair transplantation is not an uncommon thing and can happen to anyone. Your experience, however, may not necessarily be the same as that of a friend or family member who just had his hair worked on too.

But don’t worry! Whether you have already had your hair transplantation done or are still trying to decide if it’s something you want to do, this post will answer some of the questions and concerns you might have about scarring after your procedure.

Procedure Matters

Depending on the hair replacement procedure, there are subtle differences in what to expect when it comes to scarring and the subsequent healing process after you’ve got your new set of hairs in. So here’s what you should consider regarding your preferred hair transplant procedure.


If you’ve done some research, you’ve probably heard that the follicular unit transplantation (FUT) procedure has more scarring than the FUE alternative. This information is accurate in some sense, and here’s why.

Also referred to as the strip procedure, this method is where we take out individual hair follicles from your donor area and transfer those to other areas of your scalp where they’re needed. With this procedure, all the hairs are taken out against one line during the removal process. The result is, therefore, relatively more dense scarring at the extraction location because of the linear nature of the removed hair grafts.


In this procedure, you should still expect some scarring as a result of your hair replacement surgery. However, unlike the FUT procedure, the scarring is more like polka dots at different points on your scalp. This way, when someone looks at the back of your head after your procedure, they won’t be able to tell any difference in appearance.

Another consideration with the FUE procedure is how big the punch used during the hair graft extraction process is. Many patients will spend some time thinking about this when considering opting for an FUE procedure.

This factor, however, doesn’t matter in the overall context of your hair transplantation process. That’s because, with the FUE procedure, you can generally expect the healing process of the affected spots to progress at relatively the same rate, regardless of the size of the punch used for the procedure. So instead, we recommend paying more attention to a few other effects you may want to consider.

For example, if the punch is too big, it can injure hairs nearby when collecting hair grafts, leading to alopecia and making those scars appear larger than they should.

What Next?

The good news is that many practices help reduce scarring and maximize your results. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your hair transplant treatment:

Wash the area daily with mild soap and water, and only treat the area with mild products as your doctor recommends after the procedure. You may also want to use ointments or creams that contain vitamin E or other antioxidants. These will help minimize swelling and discoloration in the area.

Don’t pick at your hair transplantation scars! If you pick at them, you will only make them worse by breaking off pieces of skin which may cause infection and further damage. Instead, try gently massaging them with moisturizing lotion daily so that they can heal properly without being broken off into smaller pieces.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! Scarring is unavoidable and will likely be present after one undergoes an FUE or FUT hair transplant. And while the visibility will vary depending on the type of procedure or equipment used for the removal process, what we’re really concerned about at Northwestern Hair is the health of your hair at the end of the day.

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