Reading time: 4 min.
Hair Transplant Scars: What To Expect After Hair Transplant Surgery

Hair transplants carried out by trained professionals can serve to dramatically improve a person’s emotional well-being and confidence. At our London hair transplant clinic, we always have our patients’ best interests at heart. That’s why we’re always honest about possible hair transplant scars.

The type of scarring you might get after a hair transplant depends on:

  • the technique used — FUE or FUT
  • the skill of your hair surgeon
  • your aftercare and recovery.

Let’s look at the risk of hair transplant scarring, and how you can minimise the chance of permanent visible scars.

How is a hair transplant performed?

There are two main types of hair transplant surgery used both in our clinic and throughout the world: FUT and FUE.

The FUT method involves removing a strip of donor hair from the back of the head. This thin strip is then cut into smaller follicles and transplanted onto the required area. In the FUE extraction method, hairs are removed from the donor area one-by-one using a punch tool. These are hairs are then transplanted into the area of thinning hair.

Both methods of hair transplantation carry a risk of scarring, though the risk is slightly higher with FUT [1].

What type of scarring should I expect?

Any good hair transplant surgeon’s primary aim is to create a natural-looking head of hair without any obvious signs of surgical intervention. But due to the nature of the procedure, light scarring often occurs. If you choose a reputable, experienced surgeon, this scarring is likely to be unnoticeable once your hair has grown. This is one reason why it’s so important to find the best UK hair transplant surgeon possible.

Nonetheless, it’s important to understand the type of scarring you might experience after your procedure. You may have scarring in two separate sites: in the donor area (usually the back of the head) and the recipient area (where the grafts are inserted). Depending on the method of surgery you choose, the type of the scarring will differ.

FUT hair transplant scarring

As a result of the strip method of donor hair removal, FUT creates a linear scar on the back of the head. If you wear your hair long, this won’t usually be noticeable — but it can sometimes be seen if you opt for a buzz cut after hair transplant surgery.

When we remove the donor strip during an FUT procedure, we ensure there is minimal damage and scarring. We use a trichophytic suture to close the wound, which is a technique designed to limit any scarring. Trichophytic closures allow hairs to grow through the scar, reducing visibility and ensuring thick continuous hair growth.

This image compares 4 strip scars after 4 different types of closure: non-trichophytic, single trichophytic (upper and lower), and double trichophytic.

fut strip scar after hair transplant

Image: FUT strip harvest wound scars after 4 types of closure have been applied [2].

The double trichophytic closure allows hair to grow through the stitches, creating a much less noticeable scar. Make sure you ask your surgeon which type of closure they’ll use, so you know how much FUT scarring to expect.

If your FUT scarring is worse than expected, scalp micropigmentation (SMP) can disguise your scar. Learn more about SMP and hair transplants.

FUE hair transplant scarring

FUE is a newer type of procedure that was developed in part to reduce the risk of scarring from hair transplant surgery.

The punch used to extract individual hair grafts leaves behind multiple small dot shaped scars in the donor site.

fue scars after hair transplant

Image: the patient has tiny pinpoint scars in the donor site following FUE surgery [3].

The type of hairstyle a client favours may determine the procedure that is best for them. For example, a client who prefers a very short haircut might choose FUE as the small circular scars are spread out and less visible, meaning they are less likely to be noticed. FUE also allows for a fast hair transplant recovery timeline and hair growth post transplant.

Scarring complications

If your surgeon lacks the skill or experience needed to pull off a successful hair transplant, you could see much more significant hair transplant scars.

This unfortunate patient has a very obvious scar following poorly executed hair transplant surgery:

wide FUT scar

Image: a patient has a very wide scar following poor closure after FUT surgery [3]

Overharvested hair follicles can also leave a more conspicuous scar, since an unnecessary amount of grafts have been taken from your donor site:

Can you have a hair transplant over scar tissue?

If you’ve lost hair as a result of scarring on your scalp, a hair transplant can restore your hair. But hair transplants on scar tissue work in a slightly different way to other hair transplants. Unlike the rest of your skin, scar tissue is made from collagen, and has a reduced blood supply — so it can be more difficult to transplant follicles in scar tissue.

If you want to get a hair transplant over your scar tissue, it’s a good idea to discuss this with a hair transplant consultant.

Learn more about getting a hair transplant into scar tissue.

How to reduce scarring after a hair transplant

The best way to reduce the risk of visible hair transplant scars is to find a clinic with a skilled surgeon and excellent hair transplant reviews. It’s also important to view images of patients before and after their hair transplant, so you can see real results from genuine patients.

You’ll also need to take special care of your hair transplant once it’s complete. Follow your surgeon’s aftercare advice carefully to promote fast healing with minimal scarring.

Ready to find out how we can help you restore your hair without the scar tissue? Book a free consultation with our trichology team.

Hair Transplant Scars: What To Expect After Hair Transplant Surgery, Wimpole Clinic

Sources:

  1. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Hair Transplant: Curves Ahead
  2. A Study of Donor Area in Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation
  3. Complications in Hair Transplantation
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.