Bad Hair Transplants: What Can Go Wrong

bad hair transplant downsides

 So you’re looking for a way to improve the appearance of your thinning hair and you’ve exhausted what seems like all the most common hair loss solutions but to no avail. Hair transplants may be your answer to hair loss, but there are also downsides to consider before undergoing the surgical process as well. While hair transplants are becoming more and more popularized, what do they really entail and are there better alternatives? 

The Hair Transplant Process

A hair transplantation is a surgical process in which hair follicles are removed from one site of the body to another balding part. The donor site is where the hair follicles are being removed from and the recipient site is the area that receives the hair follicles. There are 2 types of hair grafting transplant procedures: 

  • Slit grafts: Slit grafts contain 4 to 10 hairs per graft. 
  • Micrografts: Micrograft procedures contain 1 to 2 hairs per graft.

In the donor site, a dermatologist or plastic surgeon will take grafts that contain hair follicles that are genetically resistant to balding and transplant them to the balding recipient area of the scalp.

Hair transplants are minimally invasive and have been stated to be not as painful as they may seem, many people who have had hair transplants heal fairly painlessly. The process can last a few hours depending on the size of the affected area. You should be able to see results from a hair transplant within a few months. The process also lasts a lifetime, meaning you do not have to undergo a continuation process. 

Who are the Best Candidates for Hair Transplants?

Good candidates for the hair transplantation process include men and women with thinning hair and those who have experienced minor hair loss from burns. Those who may experience issues with the hair transplant process include those who are susceptible to forming thick keloid scars after surgery, those with hair loss due to medication, women with widespread pattern hair loss, and those that lack enough thick hair sites for the procedure. 

Advantages of Hair Transplants

An advantage to hair transplants is that it is a new option to have when you have exhausted the most common hair loss solutions such as supplements, Minoxidil, or Rogaine. Hair transplants take from the areas where your healthiest hair is, so there is a pretty high chance of success and hair regrowth once the transplanted skin has healed. Hair transplantations can also help with permanent hair loss in cases such as traumatic burns, alopecia areata, or thyroid diseases. 

Disadvantages of Hair Transplants

  • Cost. One of the biggest disadvantages of hair transplants is that it can be costly. The process itself varies from person to person depending on the size of the area of balding hair, but you can expect to spend anywhere from $4,000-$15,000 for the process.
  • Prerequisite Hair Health. Another downside to the hair transplantation process is that you do have to have some areas of thick hair health. If you are completely bald, this method may not be for you. For instance, it is reported that Lebron James' hair transplant history has necessitated multiple hair transplants. 
  • Infection. Hair transplant infections can be a real risk post-surgery. A bad hair transplant can lead to other complications, including an infected hair transplants
  • Other risks. Other medical related precautions to consider as it is a surgery; some risks of bad hair transplants include failed grafts, hair transplant scarring, and loss of feeling on your scalp, to name a few.

Alternatives to Hair Transplants

If you aren’t quite ready for the hair transplantation process, there are other alternatives to achieving thicker, fuller-looking hair! For example, you can consider options such as hair extensions (tape-in and hand-tied extensions are compatible methods for thinning hair), Revela’s follicle-focused serum, and wigs. 


Hair transplant surgery is an option to consider if other hair loss solutions didn’t work for you. Depending on your own personal circumstances, it is important to work with a hair health specialist to choose the process that will best meet your end goals. You should also consider the practical aspects of hair transplant surgery like cost and healing. 

If you are struggling with hair loss, Revela is here to help you find healthier, fuller-looking hair. Revela’s signature Hair Revival Serum was designed especially for women and men experiencing hair loss. Our cruelty, hormone, and toxin-free formula works to penetrate the scalp and optimize hair follicle health for visible results within 6-8 weeks.

Profile photo for David Zhang

Reviewed by: David Zhang, PhD |

David is an immunologist and bioengineer with over a decade of medical research experience. He completed his PhD at Harvard University, where he worked on developing life-saving cancer therapies. He received his undergraduate degree in immunology from McGill University and his master's degree from the University of Toronto

Written by: Enzo Benfanti, MEng |

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