hair transplant gone wrong example

Hair transplants are one of those surgeries that have a high percentage of success rate. Most hair transplants have a success rate of 90% however that doesn’t mean they won’t fail. Though it is highly unlikely, your hair transplant may fail due insufficient aftercare or lack of hair viability. But the question remains: how can I make sure my hair transplant does not fail? Keep on reading to find out all about how a hair transplant may fail and what are some steps you can take to ensure the viability of your hair transplant and find out why your hair transplant might fail.

How does a failed hair transplant happen?

Though uncommon hair transplants do fail sometimes due to numerous reasons. These reasons may be due to patient’s insufficient or wrong aftercare or it may be due to the lack of the capacity of the clinic. There are some rare cases where the scalp might reject the implant leading to a failure of the operation itself. Some of these may be preventable by choosing the right clinic and following your doctor’s recommendation for the post-op after care of your new hairline. However there may be cases where your hair may not be viable to any kind of hair transplant which may force the patient to result in topical and temporary solutions to improve their hairstyle like wigs or extensions which are not medical but aesthetic.


1- Unprofessional clinic


2- Not being suitable for a hair transplant

hair transplant donor area

3- Unhealthy donor area for hair transplant

hair graft

4- Rejection of transplanted hair grafts


5- Insufficient post-hair transplant care

Top 5 Reasons of Failed Hair Transplant

Hair Transplant Top 5 Reasons

1. Unprofessional Hair Transplant Clinics

The quality and the capability of the hair clinic and the surgeons is the top reason why some hair transplants might fail. In order to ensure the quality of the clinic the patient needs to be able to communicate with the clinic and make sure that their concerns are prioritized. When choosing a hair clinic make sure to check out their reviews online and contact the hair clinic for a consultation. You should request information and reviews from the clinic to make sure that the clinic is experienced in the type of procedure you would like to have. You can also request to visit the clinic to observe the hygienic and professional environment for yourself to see if the clinic is worthy of your trust. 

At Vantage Hair Clinic we offer free consultations to our patients to ensure trust and professionality. We believe these consultations are important not just for potential patients but any patient that may be looking for more information on how hair transplants works.

2. Not Being Suitable for Hair Transplant

At your physical consultation your doctor will check your scalp and hair viability for the transplant. However in some cases the patient’s hair will not hold up for the operation or the scalp will reject the graft. This may be due to severe trauma to the hair or open wounds in the hair line. In these cases the operation may not be viable. 

3. Unhealthy Donor Area for Hair Transplant

In hair transplant procedures the first step is determining the donor area. Upon consultation your doctor may deem your donor area unfit and unhealthy for a hair transplant. Your doctor may suggest a round of medication and attempts of revival of the hairline like shaving. Or depending on the severity your doctor will advise that your hair type may not be compatible with hair transplant procedures and might suggest a few rounds of PRP.

4. Rejection of Transplanted Hair Grafts

Even though the operation may be successful and the surgeon may plant the grafts onto the recipient area there is still a risk of rejection. Your doctor will inform you that your new hairline will shed to make room for new and healthy hair. However if severe inflammation occurs post-op that may be a sign of a rejected hair transplant. If you observe little to no growth in the operated section of your scalp contact your doctor for a check-up. Sometimes a condition called LLP (Lichen Planopilaris) may cause severe inflammation on the upper part of the hair follicle which may be causing the failure of the grafts.

5. Insufficient Post-Hair Transplant Care

There is not much post-care that needs to be done after a hair transplant. However there are a few things one should be mindful of that might change the game. First and foremost is the no touching of the implanted area. For the next 3-5 days the patients must not touch their new hairs. After the initial period the patients must use topical cream to lessen possible itching and must make sure NOT to itch their hair. If the patient is not mindful of these complications may occur that result in the failing of the transplant. 

Can I understand if my hair transplant fails?

There are some visual signifiers of a failed hair transplant, so you can understand if your hair transplant has failed or not. Obviously if there are a lot of scars that do not seem to get better over time this may be a sign that the hair transplant has failed or inflammation has occurred in the transplantation zone. If the newly growing hair does not look natural or it has a pluggy appearance the hair transplant may have failed. You may see this happening if the regrowth of the new hair is not even and even patchy at places. If you are unsure about whether these apply to your case, you may contact your surgeon or clinic for a consultation. 

What can I do if my hair transplant goes wrong?

The unspeakable has happened and your hair transplant has failed. First thing you should do is not to panic. Consult your doctor to know what may have caused the hair transplant to fail. Your doctor will call you in for a consultation and clear up any misinformation that you may have. Understanding the main cause of the failure is a right step to take on the path of recovery. Depending on why your transplant has failed you might be eligible for a revision or correction surgery.

Can failed hair transplant be fixed with corrective hair transplant?

Short answer is yes, failed hair transplants can be fixed with a revision or correction surgery. If the cause of failure is due to unprofessional hair clinic or compromise of the hair after care, these may be fixed with a revision surgery with a better clinic and careful after care. However if the hair transplant has failed because the donor area was unhealthy or the scalp has rejected the hair transplant there might be other methods of treatment that need to be resorted.

When can I have my second hair transplant?

Usually the recommended time frame for a secondary hair transplant is one full calendar cycle, so 12 months at the very least. This is to ensure a complete recovery from the first and to see the results. However this time may change if the consequences of the hair transplant have been severe. If the scarring is severe or the after discomfort of the initial surgery has not passed your doctor may advise you to wait for a few more months to ensure the viability of the hair and the overall comfort of the patient. 

What should be taken into consideration to ensure that hair transplantation does not fail?


1. Providing the Necessary Sterilization for hair transplant

As per any surgery providing the utmost level of hygiene is very important to ensure the health of the patient.  When choosing a clinic one of the most important criteria a patient should have would be the professionalism in keeping up the hygiene for a medical procedure. You may ask your clinic for all the steps that they take in order to provide the necessary sterilization for a hair transplant.


2. Detailed Planning of Hair Transplantation

Ever heard of the saying “It is not the destination but the journey that matters”? Well in this case both the destination and the journey is of great significance. The step by step planning of a hair transplantation is key to ensure the success of a hair transplant. Your doctor will carefully inspect your scalp and hair and designate a donor area. The doctor should also study the natural direction of the hair and make sure to implant the new hair in a seamless manner reviewing that direction. 

donor graft collecting

3. Collection of Healthy Donor Grafts

The overall viability of the donor area is key to maintaining a healthy hair transplant. If the donor area is problematic then the hair transplant is bound to fail. When a viable donor area is designated by the surgeon the surgeon is then responsible for collecting the graft without losing its vitality. The surgeon choses strong follicles and prepares them for the number of grafts designated beforehand. 

graft transplantation

4. Transplantation of Grafts with Natural Hair Directional

Our hair has a natural direction that is unique to us. This may be unbeknownst to us when we look at the mirror but when your doctor looks at your scalp they should be able to see the natural way your hair is tilted. When planting the hair grafts the doctor will be mindful of the natural direction of the hair so that it blends in with the rest of your hair. 

hair washing

5. Careful First Washing after Hair Transplant

After your hair is translated you will be given directions on how to go about that first wash post-op. Being gentle to not cause irritation is key for this stage. You should make sure to use shampoos that have been vetted by your doctor as certain chemicals may hinder the healing process. At Vantage Hair we provide our patients with a 1 month aftercare kit that includes your medical grade shampoo and conditioner. Some patients also request us to do the initial wash for them which is included in our packages


6. Following the Instructions in Post-Hair Transplantation Care

Even though the aftercare is simple, you should still be mindful of the steps in order to have successful recovery. Your doctor will warn you about not touching your hair, sleeping in an elevation for the first few days and being mindful when washing your hair in order to avoid any inflammation.

Consult the Experts for Revision Hair Transplant!

The decision of having a revision hair transplant should not be taken lightly. In fact such a decision should ONLY come from experts in the field. Make sure that the clinic you have chosen has the experience to make the call for a revision hair transplant and has actually done them in the past!

What should I expect from a revision hair transplant?

Depending what is causing your hair transplant to fail you may expect the following steps:


  1. Your doctor will extract the failed hair follicles.
  2. Healthy grafts will be collected from the donor area. These follicles are collected one by one.
  3. Depending on the method for transplant it may be applied via small incision with the FUE technique or with a pen-like device if the chosen method is DHI.
  4. After the surgery you will surely see your hair growing with a careful after-care routine.


More information in our article dedicated to hair transplant revision surgeries

How to find a qualified clinic for successful hair transplant?

How to find clinic for hair transplant

We’ve compiled a list of things you can do in order to find a clinic that is qualified and successful in hair transplants. Get your notepads ready, here is what you need to do!

clinic reviews

Check Out Clinic’s Reviews

Even though the experience may be different for everyone it is best to read the experience of other people that have been patients. From reading their experience you get a great picture of what the process will be like. Most clinics will have these reviews on their own website or you can usually find them in Google Reviews. At Vantage Hair we proudly present the reviews from our patients on our website for everyone to see. 

online consultation

Make an Online Consultation with Clinic

Before making the trip to the clinic you can request an online consultation to meet the team and the surgeon that may be responsible with your procedure.You will see that most clinics in Turkey offer these consultations to patients in order to plan their course of action. At Vantage Hair we offer these online or in-house consultations for free in order to ensure patient accessibility to information. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for any questions.

hair transplant before after

Ask for Before and After Hair Transplant Results 

When you want to purchase an item, the first thing you would do is check out how the product looks when customers have purchased it. It provides a sense of trust and reality beyond the marketing aspect. It may be the same for the case of hair transplants, you are entitled to see before and after photos to see real results. When you go into the consultations feel free to request these from the clinic to see how the timeline looks for a hair transplant. At Vantage Hair we have created a timeline of what a transplant looks like along with several before and after photos and testaments from our patients.. Feel free to check them out!

hair transplant technique

Get Detailed Information about the Clinics Hair Transplant Techniques

As the hair transplant community grows the technology also advances. Nowadays there are multiple ways of techniques to do hair transplants. Even though they are designed to successfully transplant the hair follicles each of them have their own unique benefits befitting to needs of patients. For example, depending on your unique case your doctor may recommend a DHI hair transplant, a Sapphire FUE transplant that uses sapphire blades or a Ice FUE. You may ask your clinic about the methods they use beforehand to do your own research. This ensures you get a clearer picture of what you should expect and what your recovery process will be like. 

hair types

Find Out Which Hair Types Clinic Specializes In

It’s not like all hair is alike. There are many hair types from curly to afro and from thin to thick. If you are not aware of your hair type you may ask your doctor in the consultation and then ask them whether the clinic has had surgery with this hair type. Not all clinics will specialize in diverse hairs so for your hair transplant to be a success you should choose a clinic that has worked with diverse hair types. Not to toot our own horn but at Vantage Hair we have a diverse range of hair types and patients. You can read more about them here

hair transplant doctor

Research Clinic’s Doctor and Hair Transplant Team

It is important that you know who is going to be responsible for you when you are undergoing the surgery. In your consultation you will meet your surgeon however you can ask them to introduce you to the staff. You can even ask them about their experiences so far. Do not shy away from asking questions about hair transplants to the team that will be working on your scalp. It should be the team’s priority to make their patient feel safe and informed.

support service

Ask if Clinic has a Support Services After Hair Transplant

Just as the transplant procedure the post-op care is also important to ensure the success of a hair transplant. Most clinics in Turkey offer after-care kits and will give instructions on how to use them. Make sure to ask your clinic whether they carry them out. At Vantage Hair we offer our patients a 1-month after care kit that includes instructions, shampoos and conditioners that are safe for our patients to use after a surgery. 

FAQs about Failed Hair Transplant

What percentage of hair transplants fail?

Hair transplants are usually procedures that have the highest success rate. Thus the percentage for a failure is quite low, the failure percentage for hair transplants are as low as 2% to 5%.

Who is eligible for a hair transplant?

Taking into consideration what the problem you are experiencing is, it is safe to say that people who experience patchiness and boldness are usually viable for a hair transplant. However for a more sound diagnosis your bloodwork and family history of hair viability should also be taken into account. 

How bald is too bald for a transplant?

General rule of thumb is that if there is no viable donor area to get the hair follicles from you can not be considered for a hair transplant. Thus it is safe to say that a completely bald scalp is not suitable for a hair transplant. However your doctor will have the final say about your viability for a hair transplant

Can FUE hair transplant fail?

Even though FUE Hair transplants have a high success rate there may still be a small chance that the hair transplant will fail. There are many factors that contribute to this but simply put the failure of a FUE hair transplant may rest on unhealthy donor area, unhygienic or inexperienced clinics and improper after-care. 

Will my second hair transplant also fail?

If the reasons why the first hair transplant have been identified and solved there is no need for your second hair transplant to fail. Make sure that you do your research and work with a clinic that is able to identify the cause of why the first one failed. Patient morale is also a key contributor in the true success of any medical procedure, so keep up your spirits and follow the instructions of your doctor! 

Why does crown hair transplant fail?

Amongst hair transplants crown hair transplants are by far the hardest transplants as they are located at the top of the hair and prone to outside damage more than the other sides as the patient is supposed to be careful after a procedure. More importantly however is due to the fact that the loss of hair or balding in the crown is multi-directional referring to the various directions our hairs grow in the crown part of our scalps. The surgeon’s experience in handling a natural looking crown hair transplant is key to ensure its success. 

Article Review By: Dr. Jyothi Shenoy V
Profile Link
MBBS, MD – Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MRCOG(UK)
23 Years Experience Overall