Prepare Yourself to Face the Challenge Before the Surgery: The Side Effects of Hair Transplantation

Both under plastic or dermatological procedure, hair transplant operation can happen, which generally occur under local anesthesia. To combat baldness problem and serious hair loss issues, it is one of the advanced technological and effective solutions. 

You might be very excited about to have again long hair naturally appearances with the surgery. However, while your hair is moved from the back or side of the head depending on your problem to the transplanted area you want, you might have to face some problems after the surgery.

The most common side effects of hair transplant surgery can be listed as bleeding, infection, bruising around the eyes, and itching. Follow the rest for the more detailed information!

The Side Effects of Hair Transplantation You Should Be Ready Before the Operation

Here are some of the side effects of hair transplant surgery so that you can think twice before undergoing the operation.

The Sense of Itchiness

Itchiness is the most common side effect you might encounter after the hair transplantation surgery. During the operation, the surgery team has to make a lot of tiny wounds in your hair scalp. It is the way how to implant hair. As a result of this, you will probably feel a sense of itching, especially for the first three days.

What should you do against itching? Needless to say, you should not scratch the transplanted area so that you can avoid any removing of the scabs, which will make the healing process longer and longer. Bleeding might be the other result you might face if you keep scratching the transplanted area. 

As long as you follow the procedures you need to do and not to do, you can make this itching time period shorter. I am sure your doctor will give you a guideline to show what to do and not for the post-operative time.

According to that, you should wash your hair without using any shampoo and hair conditioner as well as any chemical hair products. Following this rule will help you when trying to alleviate the itching.


Numbness is quite a common side effect of hair transplant surgery. That is why you should be careful if you have so since numbness of the hair scalp is just a temporary result of this process.

Both the site of the transplant and at the donor site you can have numbness in different degrees, which varies from patient to patient.

This feeling might come together with tingling, burning, and even itchiness. Those feelings are temporary, just keep the calm attitude. Actually, it is also a sign of the healing part of the nerves but you need to be patient enough to handle this feeling of uncomfortable sensations.

When you follow your doctor’s suggestion, you will fight with easily this one which is supposed to be done within a week. For some cases, it might continue for two or three more weeks. The treatment might change based on the patient’s medical condition so there is no certain and one answer of what to do. 

Having Cysts 

Hair transplantation might make you fight with cysts because of infection on your hair scalp in the transplanted area. When your hair follicles as been hurt your body might have cysts as a reaction of this condition.

Your skin is also affected by this condition since it also penetrates the are deep. In other words, when the graft area is infected, you might see some cysts. You should inform your doctor since cysts are risky to block or limit the regrowth of hair.

How can you treat cysts after the hair transplant surgery? There is no one way but the common one is to remove all with the help of another surgery. Although some certain medications can work properly, it is generally the first way most doctors apply.

I recommend you to handle it with surgery as a last option after trying other treatment ways since each surgery process has its own difficulty for your health and psychology.


Swelling on the hair scalp is another common side effect of hair transplant surgery. If you have swelling on your forehead starting from the second or the third day after the operation, it is just a part of the healing process. Yet, if it continues more than this duration, you should call your doctor to take some advice. 

Not only around the forehead but you may also have some swelling around your eye area.

To prevent forehead swelling after the hair transplant operation, your doctor might suggest you some prescription medications and anti-inflammatory drugs. You need to follow the dosage recommended by your doctor.

To keep the head position properly especially when you sleep, not having a physical activity for the first two weeks such as swimming and cardio, avoiding using some certain making the blood-thinning such as aspirin, and ibuprofen, and using the cold compression techniques around your eyes are other methods in order to prevent swelling after the hair gratification surgery.

Still, I recommend you to consult with your doctor when choosing treatment way which is the best for your own condition. 


Compared to other side effects of hair transplantation listed above, scarring is rare. However, it is still possible to observe some severe scars because of strip plantation transplants or follicular unit transplants for some patients.

For this side effects, doctors should be very careful to treat since some treatment ways might cause bigger problems such as a large scar on the hair scalp.

The amount and size vary from hair transplant techniques. In other words, the typology of the scar might be different according to the surgery method you choose. While you might have noticeable scars all over your hair scalp if you apply FUE techniques, it is possible to see little ones with FUE procedure. 

It is just 15 percent of patients who have to handle wide scars after hair transplant surgery. It might be annoying sometimes when the appearance of the scar does not allow you to show your hair openly but you have to wear some short hairstyles like crew cuts. 

Bleeding After Hair Transplantation

Bleeding is not a common side effect of hair transplant surgery. This temporary condition as a part of a healing period might happen both in the donor site and the graft area.

This condition might last during the two weeks. It is possible for both two areas written above by themselves naturally. Yet, when the bleeding start to happen excessively, now you need to stop it.

For the first days after the hair transplant surgery, it is needed not to take any medications not to make your blood thin. As a result of bleeding in your hair scalp, you can only use some certain medication if your doctor suggests you to use against the excessive bleeding problem.

Finally, when you want to clean the are bleeding, you should be very careful. It is now allowed to use any chemical product to clean. just water would be enough not to have a serious infection. Do not forget that too hot and too cold water might hurt you. The best option is to have warm water when cleaning the bleeding area.


Hiccups problem after the hair transplant surgery is a common side effect. If it bothers you a lot, you can ask your doctor for some medication to get rid of this hiccups condition. Chlorpromazine might work for you.

The real cause of hiccups after the hair transplant operation is now known but there are some predictions. Medications used right after the hair transplantation, local nerve irritation ( especially phrenic nerve stimulation has a big role when it comes to triggering hiccups), and some food materials in the daily diet that is related to gastric dilatation might be a result of hiccups.

While it takes only for some hours for some patients, it might take days for others. 


Necrosis is one of the damage types causing cells and tissues to early and self-inflicted death. To be honest, this side effect is quite serious and critic compared to other ones. 

There are some external factors to happen for necrosis. As an example, poisoning, shock, and infection are the reasons to make cells work not properly and have an irregular manner at the end. 

It is a serious side effect since when the cells die, there is no way for new cells to emerge and replace the dead ones. Therefore, it is something to take some precautions to advance.

The reasons behind necrosis might be also about the hair transplant surgery period. When the channels open in a wrong way, which is the hardest part of the operation, and planting in one session more than enough, you mir suffer from necrosis.

Other problems related to the lack of surgical techniques, and planting an area more than enough hair roots are risky. 

What can you do to prevent necrosis? Your role here is to quit smoking since when you keep smoking during the first two months after the surgery, it may damage to blood vessels feeding the head with blood. You should definitely obey your doctor’s rule to do and not do to after the surgery.

Shock Hair Loss

Shock hair loss is just a temporary condition you might face as a side effect of hair transplantation surgery. The common time period is between two and eight weeks after the operation.

You should know that your healthy hairs will soon come to grow in their place and you will have the natural and more beautiful appearance within two months. This shock hair loss is also a part of the healing process, which is no need to make panic.

I can understand that hair shedding right after the hair transplant surgery might be quite shocking, but I am sure that your doctor already warns you about this side effect. You should not lose the way of thinking positively and trust the process.

Having hair loss is less in the donor area but it generally happens in the recipient area. Hence, we can not wait to see the same reaction from all the areas in your hair scalp.

Here are some tips for you to look after your new hair grafts meticulously. You should not intervene the new hair grafts during the first week by touching your hair scalp. It might get an infection. At the same time, you should keep the area moisturized in order to protect the new grafts 

Lastly, when sleeping it is better to sleep with a neck pillow as a supportive neck cushion so that you can prevent some risky conditions such as rubbing your scalp against a pillow in your sleep.

Other Side Effects of Hair Transplant Surgery

The other side effects of this surgery might be listed as a crust and pus drainage around the surgical sites, hair scalp pain, inflammation of hair follicles, losing sensation around the surgical sites for a while, and noticeably thinner of hair which means continuing to lose hair.

Furthermore, some medications you use to combat the pain and the hard and tough process of hair transplantation might have some side effects. Minoxidil and Propecia are the most common two medications to use after the hair transplant process.

What Are the Side Effects of Minoxidil and Propecia?

Although those medications are famous for the advantages connected to hair loss and many more problems, they also have some side effects. You might feel dizziness and headaches after using these medicines.

Furthermore, it is possible to feel irritated scalp, chest pain, irregular heart rate, breast swelling, and lastly sexual dysfunction. These side effects might continue after stopping using it.

Who Are the People Who Should Not Undergo the Hair Transplant Surgery?

While some side effects of hair transplantation are quite normal during the process, some problems might be because of the patient’s condition. What does it mean?

There are some group of people who should not undergo hair transplant surgery. If they do not obey this rule, the side effects of the surgery might be dangerous for them although it is just a temporary situation for others who are suitable to have the operation.

  • Hair transplant surgery might be risky for those who are under chemotherapy treatment because of the risk of hair shedding.
  • When people do not have large amounts of hair in a donor area, the hair transplant surgery would fail since there is no place to a donor to transplant into a recipient area. It might hurt the patient in the worst way.
  • The next risky group is women who have widespread diffuse hair loss across the hair scalp. This group should definitely ask for advice to hair clinics to undergo hair transplant surgery or not.
  • Those with keloid scars should avoid having the hair transplant operation since keloid scars might be thick so they can raise up from the affected area. You would face a more dangerous and unpleasant condition at the end after the hair transplant procedure.

Savaş Ateş

I'm a hair loss expert. The picture was taken 10 years ago :) I have been losing my hair. So I started to learn everything about hair loss and hair transplants. I contacted a lot of hair transplant doctors. We shared our experiences. I'm writing blog posts for people who have the potential of losing their hair. I give some tips about hair transplants and medical issues too.

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