Helpful To Know Before Hair Transplant: Is It Painful?

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Hair Transplant Before After

If you are a lazy reader, the short answer is NO. One of the primary reasons for hesitation in choosing hair transplant surgery is the fear of pain. This question requires elaboration to answer. To make the operation as painless as possible, our doctor employs 30+ years of experience and uses local anesthesia. 

However, depending on a person’s tolerance for discomfort will often determine the answer, but after the local anesthesia application, you will not feel any pain during the procedure. Let’s break down the procedures and examine where you may feel any pain.

Understanding the Hair Transplant Procedures

There are two types of hair transplants available: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT).

FUT hair transplants extract healthy hair follicles from the donor area in small strips and separate them into individual hair grafts and place them into the balding area. But in FUE transplants, the doctor harvests hair follicles individually and then replaces them in the balding area. 

The procedure structure makes FUT more invasive than FUE. The recovery and healing time will likely be longer in FUT and also there is some scarring as well. But the FUE technique is minimally invasive and has a shorter recovery time of 3-7 days. The procedure leaves little to no scars.

Because of the difference in procedures and recovery durations, FUT is generally thought to be more painful than FUE. However, both operations are performed under local anesthesia and are painless. This is the reason why we employ the FUE method in our surgeries.

Is Hair Transplant Painful?

Painless Hair Transplant

As with any other surgery, the first job is to prepare the operation area. The doctor will clean and trim the recipient and donor areas. He will mark the scalp and define the required graft amount, then both donor and recipient areas will be numbed by local anesthetics. The doctor will only use small amounts and the injection will be the only discomfort you get. Most patients say that the injection feels like a pinch and it was the only discomfort they get. However, some patients say that the procedure can feel uncomfortable.

This is because patients are awake throughout the procedure, they are fully aware of what is going on. They may feel some pulling or tugging while the procedure is being performed. Although this is generally uncomfortable rather than painful thanks to the local anesthetics. Following local anesthesia, you will not feel any pain during the hair transplant. Once the procedure begins, you will feel like the hair transplant surgeons lightly touching your scalp. 

Is a Beard Transplant Painful?

A beard transplant is a surgical procedure in which hair follicles are taken from another part of the body and transplanted to the beard area. As with any surgical procedure, there may be some discomfort or pain associated with the procedure. However, the extent of any discomfort or pain will depend on the individual and the specific technique used by the surgeon. In general, the procedure is performed under local anesthesia to minimize discomfort. Most people find that any discomfort or pain from the procedure is tolerable and goes away within a few days.

Is the Recovery from Hair Transplant Painful?

While the procedure itself is painless, the scalp is likely to feel tender and sore when the anesthesia fades away. Since the scalp tissue has been traumatized, resulting in redness and possibly hair transplant swelling in the first several days. We can say that the more grafts you get, the longer it takes for the wounds to heal.

Patients can use mild pain relievers to cope with any post-surgery pain and discomfort. This comprises paracetamol or ibuprofen as pain killers; prednisolone for swelling reduction and tetracycline to prevent infection. The soreness should fade away in a few days. 

Most patients will not feel any pain after two days and do not require any additional medications. After that, everything goes pretty well. Your scalp should no longer hurt, and you should expect new hair to grow in a few months.

After your hair transplant, you will receive a recovery package and instructions. 

Hair Transplant Recovery Time

The recovery timeline for a hair transplant can vary depending on the individual and the specific technique used by the surgeon. In general, most people can expect to return to their normal activities within a few days of the procedure. The transplanted hair may shed within the first two to three weeks, but new growth should begin to appear within a few months. Full results from the hair transplant procedure may not be visible for several months to a year, as it can take time for the transplanted hair to fully grow in and for the desired aesthetic result to be achieved. It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care to ensure a successful recovery and optimal results.

The initial healing period can last anywhere from 7 to 14 days. However, keep in mind that the whole recovery period following a hair transplant takes 6-12 months. But you should not have any discomfort after the first 1-2 weeks as long as you avoid any inflammation by carefully following the aftercare guidelines.

Key Takeaways

  • Active hair follicles are extracted from the body or scalp and implanted in the balding area in a hair transplant.
  • Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) are the two main methods of hair transplants.
  • Aftercare is crucial in the post-operation period. Hair transplants might cause side effects[1] like hair shedding, inflammation, infections, and swelling.

If you want to learn why we lose hair, you can read our guide: Even Your Doctor Can’t Explain This Clearly: Hair Loss 101

Further Information:

British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (BAHRS): hair restoration

International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS)


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