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  1. #1
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    Default Hair Loss Few Years After Hair Transplant

    I had a hair transplant at the end of 2011 and the procedure went well and was done by a physician who is rated as one of the top ones on this site, so i have no issues with how the procedure was done or the physician's credibilities. I had a significant number of grafts placed in the front region of my head (over 3500) and my hair grew over the course of the 12-18 months cycle. It wasn't perfect, but it definitely had significant growth. Over the last couple years, the hair has significantly thinned out and neither the doctor or I can explain why. This past December I decided to do another hair transplant, so we will see how that goes.

    Has anyone encountered anything like this? I actually just had some bloodwork done yesterday to make sure everything was working properly. All the normal blood work came back fine, but my doctor did an additional test for Thyroid Antibodies and they were slightly elevated, which could be a sign of something autoimmune. I'm wondering if there is any correlation between that and me losing transplanted hair.

    Just trying to see if anyone has any information that would be helpful for me. Appreciate it in advance

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nish View Post
    I had a hair transplant at the end of 2011 and the procedure went well and was done by a physician who is rated as one of the top ones on this site, so i have no issues with how the procedure was done or the physician's credibilities. I had a significant number of grafts placed in the front region of my head (over 3500) and my hair grew over the course of the 12-18 months cycle. It wasn't perfect, but it definitely had significant growth. Over the last couple years, the hair has significantly thinned out and neither the doctor or I can explain why. This past December I decided to do another hair transplant, so we will see how that goes.

    Has anyone encountered anything like this? I actually just had some bloodwork done yesterday to make sure everything was working properly. All the normal blood work came back fine, but my doctor did an additional test for Thyroid Antibodies and they were slightly elevated, which could be a sign of something autoimmune. I'm wondering if there is any correlation between that and me losing transplanted hair.

    Just trying to see if anyone has any information that would be helpful for me. Appreciate it in advance
    I had hair transplants 30 years ago. After the transplants grew in, it took about 2-3 years before I began to lose hair again, although this might have only the hairs growing between the transplanted hairs. Nevertheless, over time I lost more and more hair every few years. Then about 25 years after my transplants, the strangest thing started to happen: many transplanted hairs began to have smaller and smaller diameters, some almost as fine as spider silk.
    I suspect a few things: We have heard that when body hair is transplanted to the scalp, that the transplanted body hair begins to take on more of the characteristics of head hair.
    Might it not be possible that when donor hair from the back of the head is transplanted to the top of the head, that donor hair starts to acquire the characteristics of hair at the top of the head, including a susceptibility to male pattern baldness--although it may take decades for that trait to be acquired from the surrounding tissues?

  3. #3
    Doctor Representative mattj's Avatar
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    Nish, I'm guessing that when you had your procedure, the area treated wasn't totally bald and that hairs were transplanted close to already existing, 'native' hairs. It's possible that over time, you've lost those hairs due to a continuation of male pattern baldness. This would explain why the area has become thinner over time.

    Does that sound like a reasonable explanation?
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    That doesn't explain my case, because I had the old plug style transplants, and I can clearly see a large percentage of the hairs growing from the plugs have greatly diminished in diameter. I have other ideas what might be causing this. Senescent alopecia is one possibility, although the hair in my donor area doesn't seem to be as drastically affected. Another possibility is that transplanting damages follicles in such a way that does not become evident until many decades later.

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    Might you be suffering from alopecia areata? If so, I believe it can be diagnosed.

  6. #6
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    Ahab, it seems unlikely that follicles would be damaged in such a way that they would only show that damage years later. Were your plugs taken from outside of the usual safe zone?
    I am a patient and representative of Dr Rahal

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattj View Post
    Nish, I'm guessing that when you had your procedure, the area treated wasn't totally bald and that hairs were transplanted close to already existing, 'native' hairs. It's possible that over time, you've lost those hairs due to a continuation of male pattern baldness. This would explain why the area has become thinner over time.

    Does that sound like a reasonable explanation?

    Inside the safe zone. And there's no reason to rule out that damage to follicles may take decades to manifest. Should telomere's have been shortened as a result of the follicles going into shock at the time of the transplant, that may well cause senescent cell death years earlier than otherwise. And should the same follicles be shocked repeatedly, by subsequent transplants into neighboring scalp, the telomeres could well have been shortened even more, resulting in premature senescent alopecia in the transplanted follicles.

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