Man scratching the back of his head

Side effects of a hair transplant: Itching, thinning, hiccups?

September 3, 2014 4:11 pm

A hair restoration surgery is a relatively non-invasive procedure. It requires minimal anesthesia and using the NeoGraft method, has a short and mostly painless recovery time.

That’s not to say that hair transplantation is not without side effects. While none of these effects is life threatening or particularly dangerous, you should know what to expect from your hair transplant surgery.

One common side effect of hair restoration you won’t experience with NeoGraft: Scarring


One of the main issues with traditional “strip” method of hair restoration is scarring. In this method a surgeon harvests a strip of your scalp from an area of healthy hair growth. They then dissect the strips, removing individual hair follicles for implantation in the area receiving the grafts.

The surgeon will use a needle or small blade to puncture the scalp for graft implantation in a predetermined pattern to mimic natural hair growth. The harvested follicles are then inserted into the punctures which will eventually heal allowing for normal hair growth in the grafted area. The area from where the follicles were harvested is then closed with sutures, leaving an unsightly scar.

With the NeoGraft Follicular Unit Extraction method, individual follicular units are extracted under local anesthesia using a handheld device that uses tiny punches, often smaller than a millimeter, to harvest the follicular units. The individual follicles are then implanted in areas of thinning hair on the scalp.

The NeoGraft method doesn’t require the closing of a wound with sutures and therefore will not leave an unsightly scar at the donor area. This also means a shorter recovery time and fewer activity restrictions post-transplant.

Temporary Thinning of Hair

Man checking his hair

This might seem counter-intuitive after just having undergone a procedure to improve your hair growth, but it is possible for you to experience thinning hair after your procedure. This is known as “shock loss,” and can be common after any surgical procedure involving your scalp. In the majority of cases it is temporary and normal hair growth should return after a few months.


Man scratching the back of his head

This is commonly the result of the formation of scabs after the procedure. It is very important that you do not scratch your scalp if you experience post-transplant itching, as it is possible you could seriously damage the transplanted follicles. If it becomes unbearable, consult your physician for recommendations on treatment that won’t affect the transplanted follicles.


hiccup cure

Around 5% of patients have been shown to experience hiccups after a transplant. It’s unknown exactly what causes these in patients, however like any bout of hiccups; they should subside on their own after a period of time.

If you are interested in learning more about NeoGraft and hair restoration, call Dr. McMullen at 405-751-4847 or visit our Contact us page.