Are Hair Transplants Painful?

You’re concerned about your thinning hair, enough that you’ve seriously considered a hair transplant. But you’re also concerned enough about pain during or after the procedure that you’re hesitant to find out more about follicular unit extraction (FUE) or strip harvesting (FUT). While both methods of hair transplantation do require surgery, it’s important to understand that neither will leave you in extreme pain.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Before an FUE or FUT procedure, your surgeon will inject a local anesthetic into the area of the scalp where hair will be harvested and in the area where hair is going to be transplanted. The local anesthetic will completely numb the area so that you don’t feel any pain. You might feel some "tugging" or pulling during the procedure, but it won’t be painful. You might also feel a pinch when the surgeon injects the anesthetic, but that’s all.

Along with the local anesthetic, your surgeon might also give you a sedative, usually through an IV. With conscious sedation, you’re not fully asleep, but you’re not fully awake and alert, either. You might still be able to talk to the surgeon during the hair transplant, but it is very unlikely that you’ll remember much, if anything, of what went on during the surgery.

What to Expect After the Procedure

After your FUE or FUT procedure, you might have some mild pain and discomfort on the scalp. If you have strip harvesting, there will be an incision that needs to heal, as well as the grafts where the hair was transplanted. Perhaps the best way to describe the way you can expect your scalp to feel after your surgery is "tender." There might be some redness and swelling, and some patients might notice a bit of a bleeding. 

Usually, a pain reliever, either prescription or over-the-counter strength, is enough to manage any discomfort people experience. Some patients find that they don’t need to take any pain medications at all after their hair transplants. What you feel depends in large part on your own tolerance for pain.

What About PRP Therapy?

PRP therapy, or platelet-rich plasma therapy, can be an option for people who aren’t ready for a hair transplant or who want to improve the results of their surgery. The procedure involves taking a sample of blood, separating the plasma from it, then injecting the plasma into the areas of the scalp where hair is thinning.

Since the procedure does require injections, many people do feel a bit of a pinch, first when the blood is drawn and again when the plasma is injected. Otherwise, PRP therapy isn’t painful or uncomfortable.

If you are ready to learn more about your hair restoration options, call 844-261-7020 to schedule an appointment at Contemporary Hair Transplant in Paramus, NJ today. 

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