Hair loss after surgery, will it grow back?

hair loss after surgery, will it grow back

Many people ask the question, “Will my hair loss after surgery, grow back?” Hair loss can happen to anyone. The clinical term for hair loss is alopecia. It is most common in men in the form of hereditary baldness. While this is the typical cause, there are a number of factors that can cause hair loss.

It can also span across genders. Undergoing surgery comes with a lot of risks. The patient is putting their life into the hands of the surgeon and his staff. Many do not account for all the risks that are involved in the procedure. While it isn’t a commonly known cause of baldness, surgery can induce hair loss at an abnormal rate compared to what is natural.

Generally speaking, most humans naturally lose 100 hairs a day on average. Some lose less or more. The growth phase,  which lasts 2-8 years on average, regenerates the hair lost in the resting phase. The growth phase is referred to as the anagen phase. Without undergoing a stressful procedure, such as surgery, hair will remain in the growth phase for a long time.

surgery and hair lossMost can grow at least two feet of hair before the growth process comes to a halt and enters into a resting phase (telogen phase).  After this resting phase, the hair falls out and is replaced again with new, growing hair.  A stressful event, either physically or mentally, can cause hair to enter the resting phase prematurely.  If the telogen phase is entered into prematurely, due to some body change or shock, more hair will be lost than normal and the amount it can grow will be stunted.

Surgery is a perfect example of a body change or shock of the body which very well could induce a more rapid amount of hair loss than normal.  However, studies indicate that over time and as the body heals, the hair growth process will resume back to normal.

Hair Loss After Surgery May Be Caused By Stress

Hair requires nutrients to grow.  What does this have to do with stress?  The body has a difficult time keeping its organs, muscles and other vital parts well nourished during periods of stress.  Most people do not actually go bald after surgery.  Almost without regard to the cause, baldness isn’t as apparent in women.  This isn’t because their bodies are better at protecting them against baldness.  Simply, it’s harder to see balding on someone who has long hair. This is due to the better coverage long hair creates.   It is more likely to look thin and weak.  In some situations, the hair does not fall out after surgery to a large degree.  It simply grows in weaker.

It is known as telogen effluvin, when hair falls out after surgery and stress is the main factor. It doesn’t happen right away. This makes the many who are affected wonder about the cause of their hair loss. They don’t directly relate it to the stress of surgery as it happens once most of the recovery process is complete.

The Other Causes Of Telogen Effluvin

There are other causes of telogen effluvin that aren’t related to hair loss after surgery. There is no specific term for the hair loss that may occur after an invasive procedure. Other causes include:

-Chronic Illness

-Traumatic Event

-Child Birth


Stopping Hair Loss After Surgery Through A Proper Diet

diet for hair loss after surgeryThe human body requires much more nutrients when it is healing. Those who work out need to consume more protein in their diet as the muscles are being damaged every time they work out. The healing process uses biotin, protein, and zinc. These nutrients are vital to hair growth.

Taking zinc and biotin in supplement form may help reduce the chance of losing these strands after surgery.  A high protein diet is vitally important for the healing of the body after surgery and the production of hair.  Hair is made out of protein and lipids. That’s why hair responds to protein and lipid hair treatments.

Surgery And Recovery Drugs

Certain surgery and recovery drugs can cause hair loss. General anesthesia may cause hair loss in some patients. It offsets the body into telogen effluvium in some cases. This cause generally resolves itself quickly without aid. It is important to keep a nutritious diet after receiving surgery drugs.

Painkillers cannot result in hair loss. These are commonly prescribed to patients after surgery. With that said, there are medications that cause baldness that may have been prescribed for the illness that required the patient to get surgery.

Beta-blockers are often prescribed after heart surgery. This class of drugs can cause hair loss. Cholesterol medication can cause baldness as well.  If the patient has undergone electric convulsive therapy, what used to be known as electric shock therapy, the psych drugs that they are now on can be causing the baldness.  Many mood stabilizers, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics can cause baldness.

It Doesn’t Happen To Everyone

Relatively speaking, hair loss after surgery is pretty rare. Hair loss is much more likely to occur after chemotherapy administration or a drug that has nothing to do with the surgery undergone. That isn’t to say that surgery cannot be a cause of hair loss. It happens. Those who are concerned about or have noticed significant hair loss they have seen after surgery,  give it some time and let your body heal.

Like mentioned above, there are things you can do to accelerate the hair growth process like keep a proper diet after surgery is complete.  Drink lots of water.  Water is good for cellular rejuvenation.  Take some additional vitamins.  Again, it’s all about waking up those dormant follicles which are simply just resting.

Laser caps, which emit low levels of red light, are gaining in popularity among those who are losing hair at a more rapid rate.  This is because they help to stimulate those resting follicles.

You can check out our latest reviews on low level light therapy here.


In conclusion, the answer is yes.  Your hair after surgery, should grow back.  You just need to give it some time.  There are ways to make it grow faster than normal which we’ve explained.  If it’s been over a year after surgery and you are still noticing hair falling out at a more rapid rate than usual and you’re not seeing your hair come back like it used to be, you may want to consult your local physician.


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