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Why Do Hair Transplants Fail?
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Updated on August 21, 2023

These days, good hair transplant surgeons confidently expect close to 100% of their procedures to be successful. Hair transplant surgery is now so advanced that anyone considering hair restoration can fully expect to enjoy effective and long-lasting results. 

However, a quick search on the internet will reveal that not all hair transplant procedures are considered to be successful. Some patients end up having hair transplant regrets.

So why do some hair transplants fail? What can go wrong? Also, if you’re considering undergoing a hair transplant operation, how can you ensure that your results will provide the aesthetics you’re hoping for?

Table of Contents

Why do hair transplants fail?

Hair transplant doctors in top clinics consider failed hair transplants to be any operation where the patient is not satisfied with their results. In a more literal sense, a hair transplant procedure has failed if a significant portion of the transplanted hair fails to have become established in the new site. As a result, the transplanted hair is not able to grow naturally and permanently after the recovery period has ended. 

While there are several specific reasons that some hair transplant surgeries aren’t successful, they usually fall into two categories:

  1. The hair transplant opeartion wasn’t done well (or wasn’t appropriate) in the first place
  2. the hair transplant patient didn’t follow the aftercare instructions.

In some cases, the failure may be a result of both of these aspects combined. Therefore, it’s important to note that the success of any hair transplant can only be determined a number of months after the procedure was carried out. Some patients may see their newly transplanted hair falling out a few weeks after the surgery and hastily assume that the procedure has failed.

However, the shedding of these transplanted hairs is a completely natural part of the recovery process and doesn’t mean the transplanted hair follicles have not become established. In most cases, the hair continues to regrow successfully after this initial shedding period. 

What can go wrong in a hair transplant?

Some of the ways that the surgery itself is responsible for the subsequent failure of a hair transplant are:

  • overharvesting
  • poor hairline design
  • insufficient or patchy transplants
  • an unskilled or inexperienced hair transplant surgeon
  • unnecessary scarring
  • patient suitability failure

Post-operative care or the patient’s self-maintenance can contribute to a failed result, such as: 

  • not protecting the newly transplanted hair follicles
  • poor hygiene practices that result in infection
  • scratching the scalp, resulting in scarring or dislodging the implants
  • lack of aftercare practices that support recovery and transplant success

Check out what a hair transplant gone wrong may look like and what to do about it – warning  – images may be a little disturbing.  

Tips for successful hair transplant results

The good news is that many of these issues can easily be prevented. Here are some suggestions for ensuring the best possible hair transplant results.

1. Do your research

Investing some time in good research and due diligence in selecting your surgeon and clinic can reap dividends in terms of your results and satisfaction. We have prepared a guide that looks as cost as an indicator of quality to help choose the right clinic with your budget.  

2. Beware of cheap quotes

Opt for the best you can afford. When it comes to a highly-skilled surgical procedure, the old adage You get what you pay for can be a good indicator of what to expect.

3. Set realistic goals

Having realistic expectations yourself and good communication with your hair transplant surgeon can help to ensure that you know what’s possible, as well as helping the surgeon understand clearly what you are hoping to achieve.

4. Aftercare

Take extra special care of the newly transplanted grafts in the days following your hair restoration surgery. The degree that hair transplant patients manage their post-operative care can play a vital role in the success of any surgery.

5. Consider hair loss medications

Maintain good recovery practices and maintenance habits while the hair growth is becoming established, which can take up to 12 months after the transplant surgery.

6. Find a reputable hair transplant clinic

Choose a clinic that includes a comprehensive follow-up service, to ensure that you’re doing all the right things to support your fragile newly transplanted hair grafts, or even to receive rapid remedial attention if things begin to go wrong. This is one of the drawbacks when travelling abroad for the procedure.

How do you avoid an unsuccessful hair transplant?

While the vast majority of modern hair transplants result in successful outcomes and delighted patients, it’s impossible to guarantee perfect results in all cases, especially when either clinic or patient chooses to cut costs or cut corners.

By carefully selecting the right hair transplant clinic for you, along with setting realistic expectations, good communication, and the best possible aftercare, you can fully expect that your hair transplant will be one of the many success stories.

Why Do Hair Transplants Fail?, Wimpole Clinic

Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)Updated on August 21, 2023
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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