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What is the Success Rate of a Hair Transplant?

Hair transplants are generally considered to be safe procedures, with most UK clinics reporting success rates of around 90% and above. However, there are still many factors that you should consider if you are making the decision to undergo a hair transplant procedure.

There are two main types of hair transplant procedure:

  • Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) - a small strip of skin is removed from the scalp and skin grafts with hair are taken and transplanted
  • Follicular unit extraction (FUE) - the head is shaved and tiny hairs are removed one-by-one to be planted back into the area of the scalp where the hair loss occurs

Any surgery has a certain level of risk, so you should inform yourself about the alternatives before deciding to undergo hair transplant surgery. If you do decide to go ahead with your procedure, you should make sure you choose a UK clinic that you trust to conduct the hair transplant successfully. The reason we advise patients to choose UK clinics rather than travel abroad for cheaper procedures is because UK surgeons are held to higher and stricter standards regarding how they must conduct the procedure - having the procedure done abroad can increase your chances of something going wrong.

The hair transplant experts at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors have written the following guide to help you understand your chances of success and how to maximise them against the risks that you may face when undergoing hair transplantation.

What factors can increase the chances of hair transplant failure?

If you are planning to undergo a hair transplant procedure, there are a number of factors that can affect the result of it that you should consider. As with any surgery, your own health will play an important part in how well you heal, so you should do your best to avoid things that may impact this before and after your procedure.

Having a poor diet can significantly impact your body's healing capability, so you should ensure you are eating a good amount and maintaining a balanced diet. Conducting research into what you should include in your diet will help you to balance it out and get the right nutrients and vitamins to facilitate good healing of scarring. You should make sure you eat well before your surgery and continue to do so throughout the healing process.

Stress is also one of the key factors that may affect your body's healing. In some cases, it can reduce your body's healing speed due to your brain having more to deal with. In more extreme cases, stress can cause skin breakouts - such as rashes and dry patches, which can have an even more significant impact on the healing rate.

You should also avoid smoking, vaping, excessive drinking and taking drugs other than those that have been prescribed to you. All of these substances can affect your brain's ability to direct the body to heal and can lead you to be more unhealthy - if your body is also fighting off the effects of substances, it will take longer to heal, and the transplanted hair may fail to take to your scalp.

What factors typically cause hair transplants to fail?

While there are steps you can take to improve your chances of hair growth following a hair transplant, there are some things you may not be able to avoid.

The most common causes of hair transplant failure include:

  • Hair transplant graft rejection
  • Poor health of the hair grafts to begin with
  • Poor care following your hair transplant
  • Negligence from the surgeon

How can you improve your chances of a successful hair transplant?

To have the best chance of success following your procedure, you should make sure you follow the recommended healing process that your surgeon should guide you through.

Firstly, listen to your surgeon's directions for removing any dressings or bandages that they apply. While hair follicles typically benefit from fresh air, the open wounds are susceptible to bumps, rubbing and infection - do not wear anything on your head or rub the affected area. Instead, wait for your surgeon to remove any dressings, which will usually be done between two and five days of your surgery, and avoid touching your hair with anything until you are told it is safe to do so.

Avoid washing your hair until your surgeon says you can. When you do, avoid submerging your head in a bath as this can cause bacteria to enter the wounds. You should also avoid putting your head directly under the shower, as this can cause damage to the wounds. Instead, allow water to gently drain onto the affected area and make sure not to leave any soap in the wounds.

For the duration of the healing process, do not take part in any physically strenuous activities. These include stretching, heavy lifting and sports. You may exercise by walking, but make sure not to stay out in the sun for too long, as this can cause the skin to tighten and will affect the health of your hair follicles.

You may notice some of the transplanted hair falling out - this is normal and will be the deciding moment in whether your surgery is successful or not. If it is successful, the hair will begin to grow back.

How will I know if something goes wrong?

If your hair begins to fall out and does not grow back, it will be clear that your hair transplant has not been successful. You should liaise with your surgeon so they can monitor the process and inform you how it is going and what you can do if it shows signs of failing.

Alternatively, you may have an infection. Symptoms of this include painful swelling that does not go down and bleeding. An infection will severely affect your chances of success so you should speak to your surgeon as soon as possible.

If you feel that the reason your hair transplant is failing is due to your surgeon's negligence, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. One of the reasons we always advise against leaking the UK for hair transplant procedures is due to the difficulty in seeking compensation that it can result in. In the UK, medical professionals are held to a high standard and must legally abide by it. Failing to meet this standard can leave them open to legal action from their patients.

Making a successful hair transplant compensation claim will allow you to seek funds to cover any support you need due to the failure of your procedure, including further surgery, medical treatment and therapy.

At Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, we understand the issues that can come with hair transplant surgery if it is not done correctly. We regularly help those who are treated negligently to seek compensation for their grief.

If you have suffered at the hands of a cosmetic surgeon, contact us after you have sought medical help, and we will discuss how we may be able to help you seek and secure the help you need. Call us on 0808 159 3773, or fill out an online contact form and we will return your call at a time specified by you.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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