Hair loss & Treatment FAQs

Hair loss and hair restoration can have a huge impact on your wellbeing. To help you get the right answers to your hair-related questions, we’ve put together this extensive hair loss FAQ based on our 45 years’ experience in dealing with hair loss, hair restoration and hair transplant surgery.

Find out everything you need to know about losing and restoring your hair — from the causes of hair loss to how to prepare for hair transplant surgery.

What causes your hair to fall out?

Genetics are the main cause of hair loss. Most people who lose their hair — particularly at a young age — suffer from hereditary pattern baldness. However, there are a number of other factors that contribute to hair loss, including age, diet, stress, and hormone imbalances. Find out more about the causes of hair loss.

Can stress affect hair loss?

Yes. Conditions such as telogen effluvium and trichotillomania can be caused by stress and emotional trauma. These conditions can lead to substantial hair loss. Find out more about stress and hair loss here.

Can diet affect hair loss?

Yes. You need the right balance of vitamins, minerals and proteins to ensure healthy hair growth, so a good diet is vital for retaining your hair and minimising hair loss. Read more about individual food groups and their impact on your hair.

Can smoking affect hair loss?

Studies suggest that smoking can contribute to hair loss by damaging the hair follicle, suppressing blood circulation and causing imbalances in the enzymes your body needs to sustain hair growth. You can learn more about smoking and hair loss here.

What are the stages of male pattern baldness?

Male pattern baldness is measured using the Norwood scale. The Norwood scale indicates the 7 stages of male hair loss. Stage 1 is light thinning at the temples or the widow’s peak. The scale progresses in severity to stage 7, which indicates severe hair loss and balding across the whole scalp. Learn more about male pattern baldness, causes & treatment options.

Why does male pattern baldness occur?

Everyone has a hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in their body. DHT reacts with a certain hereditary gene, which causes hair follicles to shrink. Eventually the hair stops growing, causing baldness and thinning. Men typically have higher levels of DHT, leading to greater rates of hair loss which is why men are affected more than women.

Why do some women experience hair loss?

Women experience hair loss for the same reasons as men. It’s mostly down to genetics, but can also be affected by diet, hormones, smoking, stress, and other factors. Find out more about hair thinning in women here.

What is the difference between male and female hair loss?

Men tend to lose their hair in predictable areas on the head: usually around the temples and crown. When women lose their hair, it tends to be widespread across the scalp. Find out why hair loss is more common in men than women.

Can women get a hair transplant?

Yes. Provided you are a good candidate in terms of age, hair loss type and general health, you can have a hair transplant regardless of sex or gender. Find out more about hair transplants for women here.

What is a hair transplant?

A hair transplant is a type of cosmetic surgery. It involves extracting hair follicles from an area on your head that produces healthy hair growth and transplanting them in thinning or balding areas.

What are the different types of hair transplant?

The 2 most common types of transplant are follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT). Find out more about the differences between FUE and FUT here.

What other options for hair loss prevention are there?

Many non-surgical treatments are proven to help prevent hair loss. This includes vitamin therapy, laser hair therapy, and medication.

What should I consider before getting a hair transplant?

Before you opt for hair transplant surgery it’s important to ensure you’re a good candidate for a hair transplant. Hair transplants aren’t a good option for people who have lost hair due to certain conditions (such as chemotherapy or some autoimmune conditions).

You should also ensure you’re working with an experienced, reputable clinic with a track record of good results. Find out all the hallmarks of a good hair transplant clinic here.

Do hair transplants work for afro hair?

Yes. People with afro hair can have a hair transplant, though the hair follicles are sometimes harder to extract from the head. Despite this, the time, cost and success rate is the same as for those with straight hair.

Am I too old for a hair transplant?

Age is less of a factor than your rate of hair loss when it comes to hair transplant eligibility. Find out more about choosing the right time for a hair transplant here.

Am I too young for a hair transplant?

If you’ve started losing your hair in your late teens or 20s, you might want to address your hair loss sooner rather than later. But if you’re still losing your hair, it may be too soon for a hair transplant. Ask a hair restoration specialist about non-surgical hair loss treatments. Find out more about losing your hair in your teens and 20s here.

Can I have multiple hair transplants?

Yes — provided you have enough hair in your donor area.

Can I get a beard transplant?

Yes. The same techniques can be used to give you fuller facial hair. Find out more about beard transplants here.

Can I get an eyebrow transplant?

Yes. Thinning eyebrows can be restored using hair transplant techniques too. Learn more about getting an eyebrow transplant.

I am at Norwood stage 6/7. Can I have a hair transplant?

Hair transplant eligibility depends on how much hair is available in your donor area, and if there are enough grafts to cover the balding area. Candidates at Norwood stage 6/7 may have lost too much hair for a transplant to be successful. However each person is different, so you should book a consultation to see if you are eligible.

How much does a hair transplant cost?

The cost of a hair transplant depends on many factors. These include how much hair you’ve lost, where your clinic is based, and whether you need to pay for a consultation. Read our 2022 hair transplant cost analysis to find out how much you should be paying. You can also see Wimpole Clinic’s hair transplant pricing here.

What is the success rate of hair transplant surgery?

If your hair transplant is completed by an experienced surgeon at a good clinic, it’s rare for the procedure to fail. Wimpole Clinic’s success rate is between 97% and 100%.

What should I expect during my initial consultation?

At your initial consultation, you’ll undergo an examination to determine if you’re a good candidate for hair restoration treatment. This will include being asked about your medical history, and a physical exam of your hair and scalp. You’ll also discuss what results you’d like to see, and how this can be achieved. The clinician will walk you through the procedure and tell you about potential risks. For more information, take a look at this detailed breakdown of what happens during your consultation.

What medical conditions do I need to tell the clinic about?

It’s very important that you disclose an accurate medical history to your surgeon so they can provide you with safe treatment. This is especially important if you have any history of abnormal bleeding, haemophilia, heart attacks, epilepsy, allergic reaction to drugs or any drugs being taken to thin the blood.

How much does a hair transplant cost?

The cost of a hair transplant depends on many factors. These include how much hair you’ve lost, where your clinic is based, and whether you need to pay for a consultation. Read our 2022 hair transplant cost analysis to find out how much you should be paying. You can also see Wimpole Clinic’s hair transplant pricing here.

What are the risks associated with hair transplants?

Like all surgeries, there are potential complications when you have a hair transplant. This includes infection and ongoing scalp soreness. There’s also a risk that your hair transplant may fail, though this is unlikely with an experienced clinic. Here’s what you need to do if your hair transplant goes wrong.

How long does hair transplant surgery take?

It depends which type of surgery you choose and how many grafts you need. FUE typically takes longer than FUT. Most surgeries take anywhere between 6 and 10 hours, and are completed over the course of 1 day.

Is there any special preparation before the surgery?

Ideally your scalp should be clean, so you should shampoo your hair the night before surgery. Try to get a good night’s sleep and have a normal breakfast the morning of your surgery.

If you are regularly taking aspirin, this should be stopped 1 week before the operation. If you are a smoker, it’s also a good idea to avoid smoking 1 day before your surgery. Find out more about preparing for hair transplant surgery here.

Does it hurt to get a hair transplant?

The surgery takes place under local anaesthetic, so you won’t feel anything during the procedure. Afterwards you may experience some soreness and swelling across the scalp, but otherwise hair transplant surgery is usually painless.

What aftercare do I need for a hair transplant?

For the first 2 weeks you’ll need to treat your hair and scalp with extra care. This involves washing your hair gently with a special shampoo or saline solution, and sleeping with your head elevated for the first few nights.

Will I need time off work after my transplant?

We recommend taking at least a week off work to recover from hair transplant surgery. FUE surgery usually heals faster than FUT, so you may need longer to recover if you have undergone FUT surgery. Scabbing will also be visible for a couple of weeks after surgery, so you may want to take time off for cosmetic reasons.

How long does it take to recover from a hair transplant?

In most cases you can go home the same day as your surgery. You can usually get back to work and your regular exercise routine a week or so after your transplant, but it’s best to check with your surgeon if you’re in any doubt. See more about your hair transplant recovery timeline here.

When will I see results from my hair transplant?

Most people see the final results from their hair transplant around 12 months after surgery. However, not everyone has the same recovery timeframe, so it can take up to 18 months. Learn more about the stages of hair growth after FUE surgery.

When do hair transplants look normal?

It takes around 2 weeks for the swelling and scabbing on your scalp to settle down, and after around 4 weeks the hair transplant should no longer be noticeable. At around 3-6 months you should start to see sustained hair growth in the transplanted areas.

Why is my new hair falling out after a hair transplant?

Shedding hair is a normal part of the hair transplant recovery process. A few weeks after implantation, your new follicles may go into shock, causing your new hair to start falling out. Don’t worry — after a few weeks or months, you should start to see new hair growth in those areas.

When can I dye my hair after a transplant?

You should wait at least 4 weeks after surgery to colour your hair. Your scalp and follicles may be extra sensitive to dyes and heat treatments before this point, so being too eager to dye or treat your hair can damage your transplant. You should always perform a patch test after a hair transplant, even if you have used hair dye before.

When can I get my hair cut after a transplant?

Most people can get their hair cut without restrictions around 3 weeks after transplant surgery. Find out more about getting a haircut after a hair transplant here.

What type of scarring should I expect after a hair transplant?

While both methods of hair transplantation carry a risk of scarring, FUE is much less likely to cause significant scarring than FUT. A strip of skin is removed from the back of the head in FUT surgery. This wound is then sutured up by your surgeon, leaving a visible scar that eventually fades. This scar may be visible with short hairstyles.

FUE leaves a series of small dot-shaped scars. However, these scars stem from tiny cuts that heal on their own, eventually fading and becoming unnoticeable.

Is a hair transplant permanent?

Yes — hair transplants are designed to give you permanent results. However, this can depend on the surgeon’s expertise, and how well you care for your transplanted hair.

To ensure you get lifelong results from your transplant, visit a reputable clinic with an experienced surgeon. After the surgery, make sure to follow the immediate and long-term aftercare instructions from your surgeon and hair loss consultancy team.

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