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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 transplant 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 hair transplant scars.

Table of Contents

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 (Follicular Unit Transplantation) and FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)

The FUT hair transplant procedure 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 hair transplant surgery, hair follicles are removed from the donor area one by one using a punch tool. These extracted hair follicles 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 the FUT hair transplant procedure [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. However, due to the nature of the hair restoration surgery, light scarring often occurs. If you choose a reputable, experienced hair transplant surgeon, this hair transplant scar or scars are 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. See what a hair transplant looks like up close.

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

FUT hair transplant scars

As a result of the strip method of donor hair removal, the FUT procedure 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 transplant 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 harvest wound scars after 4 types of closure have been applied
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. 

FUE hair transplant scars

FUE hair transplants are a new 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.

Pinpoint scars in the donor area following transplant surgery
The patient has tiny pinpoint scars in the donor site following FUE surgery [3].

The type of hairstyle a client favours may determine the specific 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
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 hair grafts have been taken from your donor site. These are some of the most common hair transplant regrets.

Are hair transplant scars permanent?

By definition, scars do not heal. Scars from hair transplants, however, can fade over time or even be concealed with hair growth.

If you are worried about noticeable scars, the best course of action is to have your hair transplant surgery carried out by a skilled surgeon who can minimise scarring and hide scarring by surrounding hair.

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. It should be noted that hair transplants on scar tissue work in a slightly different way than other hair transplants which implant transplanted hair follicles into healthy skin. 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 hair 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.

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

The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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