Stress can have all kinds of effects on the human body from panic attacks to weight loss and, yes, to hair loss. So it is perhaps natural to worry about whether stress can affect your hair transplant, particularly if you’re prone to stress in your daily life.
Whilst some initial loss of hair is a normal part of the transplant process, most leading hair transplant surgeons agree that stress does not affect transplanted hair.
However, there are undoubtedly certain aspects of your lifestyle that can have a bearing on how successful your hair transplant procedure will be.
Although, there are some conditions where stress and anxiety can lead to hair loss, this type of stress-induced hair loss is often temporary. Meaning, that once the individual has overcome their stress and anxiety issues, their hair will re-enter the normal hair growth cycle.
Transplanted hair follicles also pattern of hair growth as natural hair. Therefore, even with stress-induced hair loss, the transplanted hair will retain the same DHT-resistant characteristics as it originally had when it grew healthy in the donor area. Therefore, it will go through the same growth cycle.
In order to give your surgeon the best chance of creating the successful head of hair you want it is essential that you be honest and truthful about your lifestyle and habits right from the start. This is because certain habits, like heavy smoking, for instance, may impact the healing process . This applies whether you undergo FUT or FUE hair transplant surgery.
It is a well-known fact that smoking has a negative effect on blood circulation and can compromise the supply of blood to the scalp. This could mean that new hair grafts may not properly take root.
Excess alcohol intake can cause bleeding or interfere with the blood clotting process . Medications, even herbal remedies, can also affect the outcome of any surgical procedure. By stopping smoking and/or drinking or at least limiting your intake, you will be increasing the chance of a good hair transplant success rate.
If you are taking any medications, prescribed or otherwise, it is important that you tell the surgeon because these can sometimes interfere with any other medications that your surgeon may prescribe during and after your hair transplant.
Stress in itself very rarely affects the outcome of a hair transplant. However, it can affect your mental well-being. As a knock-on effect, your physical health can suffer. A certain amount of stress can help you get through a busy day or complete a complex task but excessive stress can impair the body’s ability to heal itself.
Stress-related conditions like anxiety can also lead to hair loss, via compulsive hair-pulling (trichotillomania) or shock hair loss (telogen effluvium). These can still affect you after a hair transplant, so good stress management is essential for a healthy head of hair.
In the two weeks prior to your procedure, you should try to avoid stressful situations where you can. Try deep breathing exercises, or even counting to ten, in situations where things are getting on top of you. Curb your intake of alcohol and tobacco to create the best chance of complete stress-lowering success.
It’s also a good idea to take some downtime after your hair transplant to reduce your stress levels.
You may be worried about going back to work after a hair transplant, in case your transplant is extremely obvious. In these cases, the best thing to do is take 1-2 weeks off while your scabs harden and fall off.
You can then use hair fibres after FUE or hair thickening sprays to mask your thinning hair until your hair transplant grows naturally.
Having a hair transplant can be stressful in itself. That’s why it’s important to choose a team that will listen to your concerns and provide outstanding care. At the Wimpole Clinic, we are:
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