Second Hair Transplant – When Is It Necessary?

Elisa Chistyukhina

Elisa Chistyukhina

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Second hair transplant operations are not always necessary, but in general, it is possible to undergo hair transplant surgery multiple times. However, second hair transplants are far more delicate than first-time transplants and need expert handling. Here are 5 things you need to know before getting a second hair transplant.

Can A Hair Transplant Be Done Twice?

A hair transplant can be done twice but it isn’t necessary in all cases. Hair transplant treatments are meant to be a long-term hair restoration technique, but depending on several factors, a second transplant may become necessary. However, a few conditions should be met before one is labelled a suitable candidate for a subsequent hair transplant:

  1. The patient must be experiencing significant hair loss after the first hair transplant surgery.
  2. A specific time frame of at least 12 months (3 years preferably) should be kept from the date of the initial hair surgery to ascertain the final results. 
  3. A hair transplant consultation should be done to determine if the patient is ready for a second operation and what kind of procedure would have the highest success rate.

Why Do People Get A Second Hair Transplant?

People generally opt for a subsequent hair transplant when the first one was unsuccessful. An unsuccessful hair transplant operation is often the fault of an inexperienced hair transplant surgeon. Sometimes, the fault can also be on the patient’s side: poor aftercare and post-surgery practices can make transplanted hair grow unsatisfactorily in the recipient area, resulting in a failed hair transplant treatment overall.

In other cases, an initial hair transplant for a patient may be successful and give natural results, but the loss of non-transplanted hair continues. In these cases, a second transplant may also be required. Here are some factors that can cause hair loss after initially successful hair transplant surgeries:

  • Ageing

Different people lose hair at different times. Some patients who had a transplant early in life may require a hair transplant again later in life due to age-related hair loss. Some individuals may develop a receding hairline while young, and as they age, they may begin to go bald at the crown of the head. A second transplantation helps remedy any new pattern of hair loss that may be caused by ageing.

  • Accidents

Accidents and burns may leave a scar, preventing hair from growing on a spot where it normally would. If a patient wishes to conceal such a scar, it’s best to opt for a hair transplant, even if one had been done previously.

  • Stress/Trauma/Lifestyle

Stress or trauma can cause significant hair loss in people. Also, a hair transplant patient’s lifestyle after a successful procedure will determine how long the transplanted hair will remain healthy and grow well. Bad habits like smoking and drinking may reverse the results of an operation.

  • Post-Surgery Donor Hair Issues 

If over-extraction of donor hair follicles takes place during surgery, the patient may experience hair thinning in the donor area afterwards. If this thinning persists, a second transplant may become necessary for donor hair restoration.

However, it is important to note that sometimes (depending on the severity of hair loss), a surgeon may prescribe a two- or three-step operation for a patient. These multiple operations are usually necessary for completely bald patients.

Is It Worth Getting A Second Hair Transplant?

Another hair transplant may just give that satisfactory final result you need. Most people undergo a second hair transplant for density, especially if the number of grafts used during the initial surgery didn’t produce dense natural hair afterwards. If done right, it’s always worth it for the right hair transplant candidate.

Can I Have A Third Hair Transplant?

Yes, you can even have a third hair transplant. However, hair transplant procedures rarely call for a third operation, especially if a surgeon uses advanced FUE hair transplantation techniques. Also, too many hair transplantation surgeries can deplete the donor site. This possibility is why second or third surgeries should be solely out of necessity and should only be done after due consultation.

Can You Run Out Of Donor Hair?

Yes, it’s possible to run out of donor hair. This, however, likely happens in extreme cases where a surgeon extracts too many donor hair follicles for an operation. Chances are the donor hair may continue thinning/falling after the operation. In worst-case scenarios, the donor hair zone may be lost, leaving only the transplanted hair zone full and healthy.

This is one reason why it’s important not to schedule another transplant too soon after an initial one. It also explains why you must consult an expert surgeon before you undergo surgery a second time. If you need a trusted and reputable surgeon, contact Cosmedica’s Dr Levent Acar.