What are the Most Common Hair Transplant Side Effects?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2019
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The most common hair transplant side effects include thinning of the hair, hiccups, itching, redness, and swelling of the head and eyes. Most patients do not get infections, but they are common enough to mention, and doctors take many precautions to prevent them. Side effects may vary based on the individual.

One of the most common hair transplant side effects is thinning of the hair. This includes the transplanted hair and the original hair. Eventually hair begins to grow back in the transplanted area and the remaining scalp may remain thinner than it was before the surgery. In the meantime, bald patches or spots may occur. After a time, hair should be eventually distributed throughout the entire head.

Another one of the most common hair transplant side effects is itching. Severe itchiness and redness are both common after a hair transplant, and may last longer than other side effects. It is important not to scratch the area any more than necessary due to the risk of infection. Scabs often appear and cause the itch to intensify. Medication may be given to reduce this symptom.

Swelling of the head and eyes are also relatively common after hair transplant surgery. These are generally short-lived and do not cause severe irritation. Those who suffer from a longer-term case may seek advice from their doctors and receive prescription medication to alleviate discomfort.


Infection is one of the most dangerous hair transplant side effects. It is not as common as other effects, but it can cause the most damage. Those who have had transplants are more likely to contract infection because the skin is inflamed and sensitive during the days after surgery. Many doctors given antibiotics both before and after the transplant to help avoid this potential side effect.

Patients who are having problems with severe or prolonged hair transplant side effects should speak with their doctors for treatment. Most times medications can be given to alleviate discomfort until these reactions subside. Occasionally, irritation may persist if complications arise from the procedure, and these will need to be dealt with as soon as possible.

Signs of infection are after surgery include redness, pain, swelling, bleeding, and oozing of pus that is green or yellow. If these symptoms appear, a doctor should be notified right away. Antibiotics and antiseptic salves can generally be used to treat an existing infection.


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