FUE hair transplants are an advanced, long-term technique to restore hair after loss. Due to progressing technology, these treatments are becoming safer and less invasive. However, it is still a medical procedure that involves anaesthesia and surgical micro-incisions to be made into the target area. This does mean there are some risks of hair transplant surgery.
Hair transplant side effects are rarely painful, and a typical recovery process should be quite simple and easy to manage. Hair transplant side effects are short term in the days, weeks and sometimes up to a month after the procedure. If any adverse side effects occur, you should contact the advice line you will be provided with in your aftercare packet. Our trained specialists will be able to recommend emergency actions or make an appointment to assess hair transplant risk factors and how they might have affected the results of your procedure.
Bleeding After Hair Transplant
One of the most common FUE hair transplant risks is bleeding in the days or up to two weeks after the treatment. The harvested follicles are taken from the donor area and re-implanted into the scalp (or target area) with micro incisions. Our surgeons are specially trained and experienced in making microsurgical incisions with minimal damage to the skin cells on the scalp, minimising the wound and therefore the likelihood of it bleeding.
To further minimise the risks of hair transplant surgery, patients should avoid taking medications that thin the blood or engaging in any activity that could dislodge the transplanted hair and the donor area. Exercise should also be avoided in the first 2 weeks after hair transplant because it stimulates blood flow, too. We recommend you speak to your GP or one of our doctors prior to your hair transplant to discuss the effect on your health, but also to ensure that medications will not interfere with your recovery process. If you are taking prescribed medication you will need to disclose this during your consultation.
You should experience a slight scabbing or thin crust of clotted blood to appear across the area. This is caused by healthy clots. They will naturally fall away 4 – 10 days after they are formed. They should be left alone to shed on their own, as interfering and picking the scabs can cause infections and traumatise the hair. If scabs persist, even after you have returned to work and look unsightly, you will be able to speak to your doctor who might suggest a moisturiser that will decrease scab formation.
Infections After Hair Transplants
Hair transplant surgery side effects can lead to infections in the scalp. Our aftercare instructions help you avoid any situation that means you could get dirt or harmful bacteria into the sensitive area, which causes an infection called folliculitis. This is normally identified by swelling of the face and scalp. It can often be treated with topical antibiotic application. Patients should be aware that these hair transplant risk factors can impact the final result of the procedure. To mitigate any risk, our patients can call the aftercare help line they will be provided with.
Itching is a natural response to any part of the body healing. One of the risks after hair transplant surgery is that these fragile follicles will become dislodged. This means that you must prevent yourself from itching during the critical stages after the procedure. For frame of reference, the newly implanted follicles will not be secure until 4 – 12 days after transplant, and even then, you should be gentle when touching the area.
Itching is also a concerning hair transplant side effect because the dirt and foreign bacteria can harm the growth and health of the follicles.
Bruising Around The Head
Light bruising around the operation area is a common hair transplant treatment side effect. It is natural after hair has been extracted and incisions have been made to have some sensitivity and slight discomfort. You will be prescribed medication to make sure you are comfortable throughout this period.
One of the rare hair transplant side effects is severe bruising around the forehead, cheeks and eyes that lasts more than 2 days and causes black eyes. Although this is not nice to look at, it is not a cause for concern.
Shock Loss & Hair Loss
This is often the hair transplant surgery side effect that causes the most concern because patients worry that their hair transplant has been unsuccessful, and they have wasted their money. Shock loss, which is the process of shedding hair post-procedure, is actually to be expected. This is because the hair cycle is interrupted, and the scalp has also undergone ‘trauma’ which forces this natural reaction. This is actually healthy for the newly transplanted hairs as it allows them to grow and the area to heal without interference.
Are There Any Hair Transplant Side Effects That Will Impact You Long Term?
Scalp laxity is the skin and cells on your head tissue’s ability to recover to trauma or impact. Naturally, this will be affected, but one of the long term side effects of hair transplant is that your scalp could loosen, which could cause some of the hair to fall out. In turn, tighter scalp tissue can help minimise the appearance of scarring over time.
One of the key hair transplant risk factors is hair curl. This is the situation when a follicle has been damaged during the extraction or re-implantation process, and once it has attached and the incision has healed, it begins to curl under the skin. This causes ingrown hair in the scalp. These can be a cause for concern as they can become sore, infected and fill with pus. Inexperienced doctors can insert or cause a lot of curled hairs. This can cause the hair transplant to look sparse or unnatural.
The surgeons here at the Harley Street Hair Clinic have years of experience with these operations and using the microsurgical incision tools. This means that we do all we can to mitigate the risk of hair curling and other risks every step of the way. Our entire team will be on hand to help both before and after your procedure. We also offer a bespoke treatment plan, which ensures that everything we recommend is suitable for each individual patient.