Reading time: 6 min.
How To Deal With Hair Transplant Trypophobia

In the UK, around 10 million people are thought to have phobias [1] and around 1 in 6 adults suffer from trypophobia [2].

If you feel uncomfortable, anxious, or afraid when you see clusters of small holes together, it could be an indication that you are trypophobic [3].

Trypophobia can affect you in many different aspects of your daily life. But it can also be an obstacle if you’re considering getting a hair transplant. People who suffer from trypophobia may worry about issues with getting hair transplants due to the process of creating small holes in the scalp to extract and reimplant hair.

Fortunately, your phobia doesn’t have to affect your ability to get a hair transplant. Find out more about the link between hair transplant holes and trypophobia below, and take a test to find out if you have trypophobia.

Please note this article includes images people with trypophobia may find distressing.

What is hair transplant trypophobia?

Trypophobia is a fear of small holes [4] and is a condition that can affect a lot of people although the cause of it is largely unknown.

People who suffer from trypophobia can also have what’s called hair transplant trypophobia. This is where someone feels disgusted, afraid or extremely uncomfortable about the small holes that could occur in the donor and transplanted area of the scalp during an FUE hair transplantation.

In an FUE procedure, surgeons use a micro punch device to extract follicles in tiny clumps. This creates small holes, but the exact size depends on the instrument the surgeon uses. More than half of surgeons (50.4%) of the International Society of Restoration Surgery use a punch 0.81-0.9mm in diameter . So you can expect to see hair transplant holes less than 1mm wide in the donor area (usually at the back of the head).

How To Deal With Hair Transplant Trypophobia, Wimpole ClinicImage credit: ISHRS

The surgeon then reimplants the hair into areas that are balding, creating a multitude of holes all over the head. This process could cause an issue for people who suffer with trypophobia, but it doesn’t mean they will never be able to get a hair transplant to reverse balding or male pattern hair loss [5].

What triggers trypophobia?

Trypophobia occurs when people with the condition see an item (or an image of an item) that contains lots of holes. This can be anything from bubbles to fruit seeds to sponges.

If you’ve felt fear, anxiety, or revulsion looking at these kinds of images before, you may already know you have trypophobia. But the condition can develop at any time, and research suggests there may be certain risk factors for experiencing trypophobia, such as generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and major depressive disorder [6] [7].

Fortunately there are ways to treat trypophobia. If your condition affects your daily life — or is preventing you from getting a hair transplant — you may want to explore these treatments. However, it’s important to know that modern techniques don’t create substantial hair transplant holes.

How to know if you have trypophobia

Some people are aware of their phobias from a young age. However for less common phobias – like trypophobia – you may not realise you have it until later on in life.

It may be triggered by a specific event, or discovered completely incidentally. No matter how you discover you have trypophobia, it could really affect your life.

The simplest way to find out if you have trypophobia is to look at potentially triggering images. We’ve compiled a set of images that can help you diagnose trypophobia. You can also speak to a psychiatrist or specialised doctor to determine the cause of your phobia, or to discover your triggers. Treatment may be available to help your manage your phobia.

Trypophobia image test

Please note this section contains images trypophobic people may find distressing.


trypophobia image test 2 -

trypophobia image test 3 -

trypophobia image test 1 -

How is trypophobia treated?

The most common way to deal with phobias like trypophobia is with therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you challenge and manage feelings of anxiety and fear stemming from your phobia.

Other therapists recommend exposure therapy for phobias. This involves facing your fears in a safe, supportive space. Exposure therapy is designed to help you change how you respond to your triggers. This minimises the discomfort and fear you feel when you encounter them unexpectedly.

If your trypophobia is linked with depression or generalised anxiety disorder, a doctor may also prescribe medication to help you manage the overarching issue.

What do hair transplant holes look like?

Please note this section contains images trypophobic people may find distressing.

After a hair transplant procedure, a patient’s head may be covered in small holes. But normally this only occurs if the surgeon uses the wrong micro punch tool, or uses outdated techniques. Learn more about the history of hair loss treatments.

hair plugs gone wrong - ISHRS

Image credit: ISHRS

Although the process does involve making holes around the scalp, it shouldn’t result in the wide, deep-set holes you see in the photos above. If you want to avoid these kinds of holes appearing on your head after a procedure, you should only get your hair transplant from a trusted and specialised clinic – like the Wimpole Clinic.

When a surgeon performs a procedure in the correct way, using up-to-date techniques, the hair transplant holes created during the process are far less obvious than with older methods. Mostly the area will look as though it has been grazed, with slight red scabbing across the area as the wounds and grafts heal. You also shouldn’t experience any significant pain.

Modern techniques use tiny micro punches that create very minimal holes in the head. They won’t leave any noticeable marks that could trigger someone who has hair transplant trypophobia.

After your hair transplant you may see a few tiny holes on your scalp. These should heal within a few days. Your clinic should advise you on the best recovery tips to help them heal as quickly as possible.

How to speed up the recovery process of your hair transplant holes

If you’re worried about small holes being on your head after a hair transplant, you may be thinking how you could speed up the recovery timeline.

Hair transplant wounds usually heal within a few days, but it can be quicker if:

  • You follow all the recovery advice that your surgeon gives you
  • Patients use the proper recovery products – like shampoos, lotions etc.
  • You get your hair transplant from a trusted surgeon who uses up-to-date techniques
  • Your surgeon uses the smallest micro punch tool possible
  • None of your hair follicles were damaged during the procedure
  • Your surgeon doesn’t overharvest your hair follicles

How to ensure your hair transplant is successful

If you suffer from trypophobia, it may put you off of getting a hair transplant. This could affect your daily life.

A hair transplant can help you feel more confident and improve your self image when you have thinning hair. So the benefits of undergoing this procedure really do outweigh the risk of potentially triggering your trypophobia.

It is possible for people with hair transplant trypophobia to get their full head of hair back. We recommend that, if you’re worried about this, you should always go to a trusted surgeon in a reputable hair loss clinic who will minimise the risk of triggering your trypophobia by using appropriate equipment and safe techniques.

You should also do your research and ask for help before you go through with the procedure. This can help put you at ease and reassure you that your phobia will not be triggered.

Book a consultation

If you’re thinking about getting a hair transplant done but worried about your trypophobia, you can get advice and support from our experts at Wimpole Clinic.

Start off with a no-obligation consultation to discuss the hair transplant process. Renew your confidence and self image with a new head of natural-looking hair. 

How To Deal With Hair Transplant Trypophobia, Wimpole Clinic







[6] Trypophobia: an investigation of clinical features [7] Fear of eyes: triadic relation among social anxiety, trypophobia, and discomfort for eye cluster
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

Book a consultation

Simply fill in your details in the form below and we'll get in touch with you shortly.