Shedding is usually a term used to describe the hair your pet left behind on your sofa. Humans shed hair too. And if you are considering a surgical hair replacement therapy, brace yourself: you are very likely going to shed hair post-operatively as well, no matter which transplant technique, Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) or Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), is used.
Do not fret. It is normal. Shedding occurs because after a follicular unit is extracted from the donor area, it loses contact with the scalp’s blood vessels, and is thus temporarily starved for nutrients. The result is shedding, technically called “effluvium,” which begins about a week after a surgical transplant procedure and can continue for about a month and a half.
There are some patients who do not experience much shedding, and others who see that the transplanted hair only sheds once new hairs push the old hairs out. While watching this occur, or not, may cause you to feel anxious about your results, try to remember that the transplanted hair that is shed will grow back.
If shedding is a concern, there are a few temporary measures that can minimize its appearance.
Finasteride, also known as Propecia®, stops and in some cases reverses the miniaturization of hair follicles, which is a key symptom of male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia. Using finasteride may reduce shedding, but its efficacy in alleviating shedding has not been proven in a formal clinical trial.
And finally there is a cosmetic option, such as Toppik, a keratin fiber body-building application. Because Toppik’s fibers carry a natural static charge, when they are applied to the scalp they are attracted and then bind to your hair, even fine hair. The results are fuller looking hair, and less visible scalp. These fibers are then fixed to the hair with a fine spray tonic. The whole process takes no more than a few minutes. What’s more, it will only be temporary as your transplanted hair will grow back, making the product unnecessary.
Wearing a Hat
Post transplant patients can safely wear a hat a couple of days after the procedure to cover their grafts while healing takes place.