Why Do Hair Transplants Fail?
Posted on 21st December 2022 at 13:59
5 main reasons of failed hair transplants
In all aesthetic procedures, including hair transplant, there is a potential that you won't be entirely pleased with the outcomes. Understanding potential failure points is the greatest method to steer clear of these unpleasant events.
A hair transplant is a fantastic cosmetic treatment for balding or severely thinning hair. Thinner hair or bald patches concern many people because their hair has a significant impact on their overall appearance. These issues may be permanently and attractively resolved with a hair transplant. However, a hair transplant also bears some chance of failure, just like any other cosmetic procedure.
If you've been considering getting a hair transplant but are hesitant due to the possibility of unfavourable outcomes, keep reading.
Hair transplant is a great aesthetic solution to severely thinned hair or balding. Because our hair has a great effect on our overall appearance, thinned hair or bald spots bother many people.
A hair transplant can offer a permanent and natural looking solution to these problems. However, just like any other aesthetic operation, a hair transplant also carries a certain risk of failure.
If you have been thinking about getting a hair transplant but have concerns about the surgery because of the potential of undesired results, keep on reading to find out what are the possible reasons of failure and how to prevent botched hair transplant and poor results down the line.
5 of the main reasons of failed hair transplant surgery.
Even though the success rate of hair transplants is relatively high accross the globe certainly some countries are better than others. There is still a possibility of failure even in the UK and all patients should be fully informed prior to scheduling a hair transplant surgery. Knowing the potential reasons behind a failed hair transplant can help you make a better decision throughout your hair transplant journey. Several factors can cause hair transplants to fail including graft rejection, eligibility for hair transplant, non-realistic expectations, poor post-hair transplant care, and an inexperienced clinic with poor hair transplant technicians.
1 - Hair transplant graft rejection
Some patients can experience hair transplant graft rejection. Rejected hair implants lead to a failed hair transplant operation and unsatisfactory results. This condition can be linked to a disease called Lichen planopilaris (LLP) that may cause graft rejection. LLP is known as a type of primary scarring alopecia. This disease leads to inflammation at the upper regions of the hair follicle which causes the hair follicles to be replaced by scar tissue. Even though it has not been proved yet, some connections between hair transplant procedure and the development of Lichen planopilaris have been established.
2 - Not being eligible for hair transplant
Your general health and the specific condition of your hair affects the outcome of your operation greatly. The most important requirements for hair transplant are having a healthy and suitable donor area, being younger than 65 year of age (may vary), and not having blood-borne illnesses or haemophilia. Sometimes, the health of the grafts at the chosen donor area and the age factor can be overlooked. Even though these factors seem like you can go around them, they have a direct impact on the success of your hair transplant. Underqualified donor grafts or hair grafts that are taken from different areas of the body may not perform as good as you would have hoped. This can lead to decreased hair viability and shedding after the hair transplant operation. Choosing the wrong age for a hair transplant can also have counterproductive effects. If you are suffering from male or female pattern baldness, getting a hair transplant at the early stages can mean that you can get some bald patches down the line. Also, keep in mind that your hair needs to go through its phase of maturity as it can show a different pattern after a certain age. This age limit is usually said to be 22. So, it might be smart to wait until you can see how your hair loss progresses after this age.
3 - Non-realistic expectations
The outcome of your surgery will heavily depend on the specific condition of your hair. Understanding the limitations of your condition and avoiding non-realistic expectations eliminates the chance of unsatisfactory results. To avoid a hair transplant result that can seem “unsuccessful” to you, make sure that you openly communicate your goals and expectations with your surgeon. Your surgeon can advise you on what you can truly get out of your hair transplant operation and can warn you about your unrealistic goals. For example, if you don’t have an ample amount of donor grafts around the back and sides of your head in the region that is immune from the causes of hair thinning, it might be misleading to hope for a high hair density.
4 - Poor post-hair transplant care
An essential component of a successful hair transplant is adhering to your surgeon's post-op instructions. The freshly transplanted hair follicles should be supported, the donor and target areas should heal more quickly, and the hair follicles should sustain as little damage as possible. You can read our post on the dos and don'ts following a hair transplant to ensure that you are providing your freshly transplanted hair with the proper care.
Changing your sleeping position after surgery to prevent any friction on the transplanted areas will lessen the likelihood of fallout. By doing so, you can safeguard the hair follicles and lessen swelling following surgery. Additionally, it's crucial to refrain from applying any pressure or creating any traction.
5 - Inexperienced clinic
A failed hair transplant can also be the result of the wrong clinic choice. Because hair transplant is such a popular operation, a lot of clinics and surgeons have started offering hair transplant surgery procedures. However, not all of these clinics, surgeons or its technicians are experienced and professional enough to provide you with a great hair transplant result. An inexperienced clinic may extract the wrong donor grafts, they may extract grafts too close together causing thinning in the donor region (overharvesting) that would not perform well after the transplantation process. This can lead to higher shedding rates and unsatisfactory results. In addition to choosing the right donor grafts, they also need to be handled properly and stored in a suitable environment during your operation. Failure to protect the extracted hair grafts increases the effect of shock trauma and leads to post-surgery hair loss.
Question: What percentage of hair transplants fail?
Thanks to sophisticated methods developed recently and surgeons getting more and more experienced in the field, the failure percentage of hair transplant operations is only around 2-8%.
Solution: What happens if a hair transplant fails?
If you still have enough number of hair grafts on your donor area after a failed hair transplant, you can go through a 2nd hair transplant to fix the issue at least 1 year after your first surgery. You and your surgeon must be careful during the planning stage as the second hair transplant could be your last chance. Our medical team at Elite Hair Restoration recommends using Finasteride after a consultation if your suffering with ongoing MPB to prevent further hair loss. In the worst case scenario, if you are out of healthy grafts, you may consider getting scalp micropigmentation.
How to choose a clinic to prevent hair transplant failure
Hair transplant failure is an obvious concern for all patients contemplating hair transplant surgery. Many people decide against surgery as they hear a story of a very poor outcome from getting a hair transplant and as a result may look worse than they do now with less hair, scars and a bank balance far lower than prior to surgery! The best way to avoid a hair transplant failure is to choose a good clinic and follow the aftercare instructions fully. If you are wondering how to choose a clinic, here are a few tips on why we think Elite Hair Restoration stand out as one of the UK's leading hair transplant clinics.
Have a free video consultation with your hair loss advisor
On top of sending your photos from certain angles, scheduling a video consultation session can help you get to know your hair transplant team and allow them to get an idea about the condition of your hair. You can understand what kind of treatment you need without going to the clinic.
Make sure the staff is experienced in your hair type. Not every hair transplant procedure is the same. The procedure should be tailored to your hair type and the progress of your hair loss. If you have curly, thin, or afro-type hair, not every clinic might be experienced in your hair type. Make sure that the clinic you choose has a lot of experience in hair transplant operations similar to yours. Our team are on hand 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm daily.
Find similar before and after photos and ask for details
You can ask for before and after photos to use as a reference and get an idea about the outcome you would get. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you are wondering anything. We also have lots of before and after photos online via our website but also on Instagram, Facebook and other referring pages.
Talk to a previous patient about their overall experience
You can even talk to a previous patient to see if they are happy with the process and the results. What better reference than a former client? We also have social media Vlogs from previous patients including Luxeria - available on Youtube to watch at your leasure. Not to mention VERIFIED REVIEWS online via Doctify.
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