Shock loss after your hair transplant: what to expect

Hair transplants are one of the most effective ways to get your hair back. And while these procedures can significantly improve your appearance and self-confidence, shock loss is one side effect you may not have considered.

Shock loss is a common consequence of the hair transplant procedure, which is surprisingly easy to manage if you understand the process. In this post, we’ll shed some light on what to expect from shock loss after your hair transplant procedure and how to manage it when it happens.

Shock Loss During Your Hair Growth Cycle

The first step to understanding shock loss is familiarizing yourself with your hair growth cycle and how the healing process works. The human hair can be in any of the following three growth phases at any time, including when you experience shock loss.

Resting Phase

Generally, your hairs go into the resting phase when they get shocked, which occurs when they’re extracted from one part of your head and transferred to a new location. This process occurs due to the fact that your body is now processing the surgery and healing process.

This phase is where you can usually expect the onset of the shock loss process. Although relatively mild at this stage of your recovery process, the process is predictable. However, it can take a while because your hair may not necessarily exit the resting phase immediately after your procedure. So instead, you can expect this stage of your recovery process to take some time. 

Shedding Phase

After your procedure, hair loss will be minimal for about two weeks, and then it will increase over the following months as your hair follicles begin to exhibit the full effect of the shock loss process. The shedding phase can last between 3 days to 5 months after your procedure and will continue until most of your transplanted hair has fallen out naturally.

More often than not, you should expect your hair to remain in the shedding phase after your procedure and simply not grow.  During this time, it’s important to keep your head dry and clean so that it won’t collect bacteria on its own or from other people’s hands and make you unnecessarily sick.

Growth Phase

The phase will begin around the 6 to 12-month mark after your procedure. And depending on how quickly these hairs grow back into phase together, they may turn out excellently in sync and just a little less uniform in growth. However, this is nothing to worry about since the overall growth will occur within just a few months.

Once your hair has fully recovered from shock loss, growth can begin again about one year after surgery. This period is when most people start seeing their final result — their new hair grows back out until they reach their desired length and fullness.

Should You Be Worried About Shock Loss?

Shock loss is usually temporary and should resolve within five months after the procedure. The reason for this extended recovery period is that your scalp is transitioning to having many more hairs on your scalp than before, so it’s important not to panic or get too stressed out about it because it only lasts for a short time. Either with the discrete or traditional FUE method, each transplanted hair follicle resting in your scalp only requires about five days to get fully seeded in your scalp. You may sometimes experience shedding before the 5-day mark, but this is usually fine as the shaft is different from the hair follicle itself and is still embedded in your scalp. Here at Northwestern Hair, we’ve seen many of our patients who have had their hair transplant procedure done through the micro FUE method exhibiting a much lesser shock loss experience. While this may not necessarily provide additional benefits to the traditional FUE alternative, such outcomes tell us that the procedure is gentler, less traumatic, and likely a better option for patients. These hairs will eventually grow in due course after the shedding phase and shock loss process, so there’s everything to look forward to after your hair replacement surgery.


In the end, remember that shock loss is temporary. Instead, it should be considered a positive sign of your new hair growing in, meaning that you’re no longer balding or thinning and are on your way to achieving fuller, thicker hair than ever. In a few months, you won’t even remember what shock loss looks like with your hair just as good as it’s ever been.

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