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Hair Transplant Shedding: Everything You Need To Know
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Updated on May 1, 2024

Hair transplant shedding is part of the transplant recovery process. Also known as shock hair loss, hair transplant shedding usually occurs two to four weeks after the procedure.

It can be worrying to lose your freshly transplanted hair so soon after surgery. So it’s important to know what to expect in the first few weeks after a hair transplant.

In this article, we’ll explore why hair transplant shedding happens, and whether you can prevent it. You’ll also discover:

  • Whether hair always sheds after a hair transplant
  • The three types of hair transplant shedding
  • How long post-transplant shedding lasts
Table of Contents

Is it normal for hair to shed after a hair transplant?

Yes. The shedding of transplanted hair is totally normal when you’re recovering from a hair transplant.

In fact, there are three types of hair shedding you might experience:

  • Transplanted hair shedding
  • Non-transplanted (native) hair shedding
  • Donor area shedding

Let’s take a look at each type of hair transplant shedding in more detail.

Transplanted hair shedding

Transplanted hair shedding is the most common type of hair loss in the weeks and months after a hair transplant. While it seems counterintuitive, there’s no need to worry — this isn’t your body rejecting the grafts.

Transplanted hair shedding happens when your grafts shift into the telogen phase of the hair transplant growth cycle. This usually occurs around 14 days after a hair transplant, though it can start later.

Hair follicle growth cycle
Hair growth cycle
All hair goes through the telogen phase after a few years of growth. A few weeks after the shedding phase ends, your new grafts will return to the anagen (growth) phase, and you’ll start to see permanent regrowth.

Non-transplanted hair shedding

It’s also possible to see hair shedding around your hair grafts. This is much less common than transplanted hair shedding, though it happens for a similar reason: the stress of the hair transplant surgery sends neighbouring hair follicles into the telogen phase [1]. 

Native hair shedding in the recipient area of a female hair transplant patient
Native hair shedding in the recipient area of a female hair transplant patient
Diffuse hair loss in the frontal and temporal areas post-transplant
Diffuse hair loss in the frontal and temporal areas post-transplant

Native hair shedding is also expected as part of a hair transplant process. Localised tissue damage and blood supply disruption in the recipient area will impact your native hairs, causing some shedding. Like transplanted hair shedding, native hair shedding is almost always temporary. Find out more about hair loss after surgery.

Hair transplantation requires extreme precision and care to minimise disruption to your native hair follicles. This often comes with experience. So it’s one of the reasons we recommend finding the best UK hair transplant surgeon, as they’ll have performed hundreds or even thousands of successful hair transplants.

Donor area shedding

Donor area shedding (also known as donor hair effluvium) is also possible, though this is a rare side effect of a hair transplant. Donor hair shedding usually happens as a result of surgical trauma, possibly due to swelling, inflammation, and damage to the blood vessels [2].

Donor area shedding
Donor area shedding

Why are my transplanted hairs falling out?

Shock hair loss is a type of telogen effluvium [4]. Telogen effluvium is a common cause of hair loss that’s usually triggered by physical or emotional stress.

The good news is that telogen effluvium is almost always temporary. While hair regrowth takes a few months, nearly all hair transplant patients who experience post-transplant shedding see full regrowth.

Does transplanted hair always shed?

No. While hair transplant shedding happens in the vast majority of patients, not everyone experiences it. So you don’t need to worry if your grafts don’t fall out.

You might also find that your hair shedding doesn’t start until one or two months after your procedure. This is also normal as shedding will depend on your individual hair growth cycle.

Hair transplant shedding in photos

Let’s take a look at the progression of transplanted hair shedding throughout the hair transplant timeline.


This patient has undergone an FUE hair transplant. Immediately after surgery, there’s substantial redness and some oozing from the recipient site.

Immediately after FUE hair transplant procedure
Immediately after FUE hair transplant procedure

2-3 weeks post-transplant

Around 20 days after the transplant, the patient’s native and transplanted hair begins to grow. While the scabs have disappeared, there’s still some redness in the area. None of the hair grafts have shed yet.
20 days after FUE hair transplant surgery
Day 20 after FUE transplant

3-4 weeks post-transplant

Around 3-4 weeks after the transplant, the patient begins to see some light post-transplant shedding in the recipient area. The native hair seems to stay intact, so there’s no non-transplanted hair shedding.
Light hair transplant shedding 24 days post-surgery
Light hair transplant shedding on day 24 post-FUE

Within just a few days, most of the transplanted hair has now shed. According to the patient, this was a rapid process:

“Imagine that just a few days ago you had so much hair. And now, most of it is gone. So quickly, just in a few days.”

Hair transplant shedding tends to happen quickly, as all the hairs are transplanted at the same time. So they all shift to the telogen phase simultaneously.

Major hair transplant shedding 27 days post-transplant
Major hair transplant shedding 27 days after FUE

5-6 weeks post-transplant

Around 10-11 days later, the shedding phase ends, leaving the patient with a slightly red scalp that looks pretty similar to his pre-transplant hairline.
End of telogen phase 38 days post-hair transplant procedure
End of telogen phase at day 38 post-FUE

This patient experienced a fairly typical hair transplant shedding phase, but your own shedding process may play out differently. It could start or end sooner or later and may last longer than two weeks.

If you’re concerned about your hair transplant recovery, you can always check in with your clinic, or book a free consultation at the Wimpole Clinic.

How long does the shedding phase last after hair transplant?

The shedding phase usually lasts for around 2-3 weeks, but it can last as long as three months. It all depends on the rate of shedding and your natural hair growth cycle.

The patient above started to see sustained hair growth approximately four months after his hair transplant, or three months after his initial shedding began:

Hair regrowth 4 months after hair transplant
Hair growth at approximately four months post-transplant

What happens if I have no shedding after a hair transplant?

If you don’t have any post-transplant shedding, your grafts have stayed in the anagen (growth) phase of the hair growth cycle, rather than shifting to the telogen phase. This is good news — it means you might be able to avoid the so-called ugly duckling phase of hair transplantation.

Either way, you shouldn’t worry. As long as you start to see some level of sustained growth within six to nine months, your hair transplant is likely to be a success.

When will my hair grow back after post-transplant shedding?

Most patients see initial growth around three months after the onset of post-transplant shedding. It can take longer to see full regrowth. Visible increases in hair density tend to appear around six months after your hair restoration procedure.

Hair transplant shedding FAQs

Here, you’ll find the answers to other frequently asked questions about hair transplant shedding.

Yes. You’ll often see some growth before the transplanted hair falls out. This proves that the grafts are healthy and can still produce hair.

However, if you don’t have much growth at this early stage, it’s not necessarily a cause for concern. Your hair may grow at a slower rate than other people’s, causing the grafts to shed before they start growing.

While it’s not always possible to completely prevent post-transplant hair shedding, you can take steps to minimise hair loss after your procedure. This usually involves non-surgical treatment, such as:

It’s a good idea to use these medications after surgery even if you’re not concerned about shedding. They can prevent ongoing hair loss which will reduce the chances that you’ll need a second hair transplant in the future.

Book a hair transplant consultation

Whether you’re worried about the progress of your hair transplant, or you’re considering an FUT or FUE procedure for the first time, our team can help.

Book a consultation at the Wimpole Clinic and meet our consultants online or in one of our nationwide clinics. They’ll be happy to give you all the free, impartial advice you need to make an informed decision about your hair loss.

Hair Transplant Shedding: Everything You Need To Know, Wimpole Clinic

Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)Updated on May 1, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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