Pros and Cons of a Surgical Hair Transplant

May 7th 2016

Hair transplant procedures are beneficial treatments that work well to reduce the appearance of hair loss caused by male pattern baldness, scalp injuries, and thinning hair in women due to the natural aging process or hormonal fluctuations. However, results can vary from person to person depending on the overall laxity of the scalp, hair quality and the density of transplanted hair follicles. By taking some time to research the benefits and drawbacks of hair transplants and discussing possible risk factors with a professional hair transplant surgeon, a prospective patient can be certain that the procedure is the right option.

Pro: Long-Term Results

One of the most positive aspects to hair transplantation surgery is that the procedure produces long-term results. The surgery itself takes place in multiple stages, but once the full procedure is complete, there is usually no need for repeat treatments. Additionally, hair transplantation procedures are more cost-effective when compared to treatments such as Propecia, a medication that requires continual use for optimal results.

Pro: Re-Growth of Natural Hair

During a hair transplant procedure, the surgeon relocates the patient's natural hair follicles and transplants them into thinning areas or bald spots. The transplanted hair follicles function in the same fashion as natural hair follicles, allowing for natural regrowth of hair, typically within three to six months.

Con: Side Effects

As with any surgical procedure, hair transplant surgery can cause a variety of side effects. Common side effects and complications include infected hair follicles, loss of transplanted hair (also referred to as shock loss), scalp swelling, itching and numbness of the scalp. In certain patients, the transplanted hair may also appear unnatural.

Con: Skin Bumps and Scarring

While hair transplant procedures are often successful, there is always the chance that the hair follicles will die off before regrowth can occur. When this happens, bumps can develop on the transplantation sites. Hair transplant patients are also at risk of developing wide areas of scarring, commonly referred to as stretch-back scars. The scars develop in response to tension that can occur when part of the scalp is reduced during a hair transplant.


A surgical hair transplant is an elective procedure in which hair is harvested from one area of the head and transplanted onto the bald portion or portions of the head. The procedure is recommended for men with natural male pattern baldness and for women with thinning hair

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