How much pain do you feel in hair restoration?

FUE hair restoration

Stitch and scalpel

People often ask: how painful are hair transplants? Many automatically assume that it is an excruciatingly painful procedure with cutting and stitches. The main reason this is a major concern for people is due to the many hair transplants done in the past with a scalpel. This method required a large amount of stitching and downtime for the patient.  The hair transplant scars can be incredibly painful.  These scars can be found on any internet search and are scary.   They are hard to hide. 

How bad is the scar?

This scar is located on the occipital part of your scalp i.e back of your head.  The scar looks like a smiley face.   It is the result of a scalpel cutting out a large chunk of your scalp and then stitches used to try to bring close the gap created by the surgery.  The scar from what is called as trip harvest hair transplant can be as thin as a few millimeters and barely notable.  However, the scar can be as wide as a few inches and almost impossible to hide unless your hair is kept inches long.  This sort of long hair is not ideal for most men.  Females, on the other hand, have an advantage in hiding the scar.

 Better Anaesthesia?

While anesthetics have not changed much, the changes in the procedure itself have given people more incentive to go through with a hair transplant.   The standard anaesthetics are local and have been used for decades.  Most often used are lidocaine and Bupivicane.  Reactions to these medications are rare.  However, if you do have an allergy, make sure to bring it up during your consultation. 

No scalpel FUE can mean less pain in a Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

So, going back to the previous question, how painful are hair transplants really?With the newer FUE procedure for restoration, the scalpel has been eliminated entirely, along with the horrendous scare line that used to come with it. Pain is NOT eliminated 100%, but many patients find the experience to be so tolerable that they are able to nap through the procedure. Other patients are able to compare their experience to that of a visit to the dentist.  Also, the FUE procedure does not leave a line scar.  However, the FUE hair restoration procedure is not for everyone and you should read up more about this on your own.

FUE is not always the best choice

Fue hair transplants also have lots of limitations.  In particular you can not do large hair restoration procedure in one sitting.  This means you may have to come back for more hairs to be transplanted.  Also, it is very hard to do FUE in certain hair types i.e curly hair.  In such cases, many FUE doctors often refer the patients for strip harvest surgery.  Another downside of FUE is it can take 20% more time to do the procedure.  This can result in a very long and boring day.

Keep Learning
Before the hair replacement procedure is conducted, one or two rounds of local anesthesia are required, and is able to last through the procedure. Most hair transplant centers have comfortable chairs or beds that are similar to being at home, thus promoting the patient’s ability to nap.  It is good to visit your center and doctor to talk about these details beforehand.   Your goal is to be comfortable with the doctor and place.

If this is something that you have considered for some time, make sure you do your research. Just as hair transplant procedure options may vary, so do the options in choosing which type of doctor is doing the procedure. When looking for a local hair transplant doctor, make sure you are checking all of their credentials as well. Don’t jump in head first.


Line scar from strip harvest in a hair transplant

Strip Surgery for restoration

hair transplant line scar