The Perils of Hair Transplants

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Anyone considering hair transplants should be aware of the possible outcomes that may not be disclosed by the surgeon.

Strong consideration should be given to The Weston System® scalp micropigmentation rather than the highly invasive hair transplants.

Surgical hair restoration (hair transplant) is an elective procedure that harvests and transfers your own hair follicles to a balding recipient site from a donor site on the scalp. Because the follicles in the lower back of the scalp are not commonly affected by male pattern baldness, this is the donor site most commonly used.  It is important to understand that hair loss is progressive. However, it must be known that a hair transplant procedure does not prevent further loss from non-transplanted areas. If an individual is actively losing hair, he/she may expect that pattern of hair loss to continue.

Hair transplants are at best a semi-permanent and ultimately ineffective solution to a long-term cosmetic problem.  With a hair transplant, you are fighting a battle that you will not win against male pattern baldness in the long term.


  • Most men do not have enough donor hair.
  • The transplanted hairs are going to thin and age over time, therefore eventually this surgical cosmetic procedure will be insignificant. If you have a transplant in your 20’s, those transplants hairs will not have the same cosmetic impact when you are older.
  • Hair transplants can never be as dense as non-balding hair
  • Costly; many people have numerous additional surgeries as previous implants die
  • The hairs in the back of the head will start thinning as well. You will eventually have the scalp of any man whom has male pattern baldness, with a bonus of the huge strip scar or white dimple-type marks from the donor site.
  • “Shock Loss” is the result of transplanted hair dying shortly after surgery.
  • Propecia, Minoxidil and other medications eventually stop working (if at all for most men) and your hair loss will continue.


The Perils of Hair Transplants - Strip Harvesting - Mark Weston Hair

FUT/Strip Harvesting

This method harvests a strip of hair from the back of the head.  The surgeon then separates the strip into smaller groups and implants in the recipient site(s).  This is the most common method as it is faster than harvesting from many different locations.  The size of the remaining scar can be as thin as a Sharpie pen to as wide as one inch.  There can be multiple strip scars if the recipient has chosen multiple surgeries.

The Perils of Hair Transplants - Mark Weston Hair

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

Small groups of hair are harvested in a larger area around the head and then implanted into the recipient’s loss site. There is less bleeding with the FUE method, as the grafts are harvested from all around the scalp.    There are no sutures are required and there is also less postoperative discomfort.  Most surgeons have termed the FUE method “scarless.”  However, scars do exist, but they are normally bright white and are quite noticeable on a scalp with shorter hair.  They are scattered and not concentrated in one area.

The Perils of Hair Transplants - Flap Surgery - Mark Weston Hair

Flap Surgery

Flap surgery is much more invasive as a section of the balding scalp is replaced with a section of skin that contains hair follicles. This can cover quite a large area of baldness and the hair follicles grow immediately because the skin was intact.  The hair does not require months to grow.  However, hair grows immediately from the area and will not need months to regrow.  The hair will grow in a pattern/direction that was not consistent with the patient’s natural growth.

The Perils of Hair Transplants - Scalp Reduction - Mark Weston Hair

Scalp Reduction

Scalp reduction is a procedure that removes a section of the balding scalp to pull the hairline inward or forward to fill in a bald area.  This is many times performed in addition to any of the hair transplantation surgeries described above.


Side effects are common with any surgical procedure.  The more common side effects and complications associated with hair transplant surgery can include:

  • Infected hair follicles
  • Loss of transplanted hair (shock loss)
  • Swelling and numbness of the scalp and intense itching.
  • In some recipients depending on the skill of the surgeon and type of transplant surgery, the transplanted hair may also appear unnatural.

While some hair transplant procedures appear successful in the beginning, there is always the chance that the hair follicles will die off before regrowth can occur. Bumps can also develop on the transplantation sites if this occurs.

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Post Author and Date: Weston System, December 5, 2016


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