Shave Head Before Hair Transplant

planning a FUE procedure in way to improve my hairline. Do you alsways have to shave your head before undergoing it? i hope you say no!

Doctor Answers 28

Shave before FUE hair transplant

It is necessary to shave the donor zone (Back of the scalp) before an FUE hair transplant procedure.  However, the rest of the head typically does not need to be shaved especially in the hairline area.  Occasionally I will recommend it to patients with longer hair as sometimes creating recipient sites and placing the grafts is more difficult in patients with longer hair.  However in the hairline I find it not necessary in the majority of cases to shave.


Irvine Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

You need to shave the donor site before a FUE Hair Transplant

Thank you for your question.  With the FUE method of hair transplants, you will need to shave the donor site (back of the scalp) before your procedure.  The good news is that in most cases you will not need to shave the entire head, permitted that the recipient transplant site is easily accessible.   I typically recommend that my patients get their hair cut the week before their FUE hair transplant procedure.

Hate to say it but...YES you do have to shave it. And you WANT to.

It's a pain to deal with a shaved head. But remember, hair is filthy ! Absolutely filthy. Even the fine vellus hairs on your abdomen are shaved prior to a, say, abdominal procedure because even those tiny hairs are bacteria sponges. Shaving it away reduces bacteria markedly.

Also, all hair transplant procedures involved bleeding making it very hard to see what you're doing. Having hair in the mix makes it even harder. Imagine trying to thread a needle but you have to look through six other strands of thread to do it. Now turn off the lights. That's what working in hair is like.

Dr. Feller

Alan S. Feller, DO
Great Neck Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Yes and No

In general you need to shave the donor area.  If it is a small number of grafts (under 1000) and you have long hair you can shave a portion of hair and hide the shaved areas. 

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Shaving of the scalp

Whenever possible, unless a patient feels comfortable with a shaved head, we will allow the hair to remain long.  With FUE, it is possible to remove the follicular units from narrow strips of shaved scalp, allowing us typically to obtain as many as 600 grafts.  Of course the recipient areas are not shaved not only for easier post op healing but also that these existing longer hairs allow for the appreciation of the angle and direction of hair growth.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Hair Transplant and Head Shave

The donor site where we take the grafts that are used will have to be shaved.  However, where the grafts are implanted does not have to be shaved.  If your hair is long enough in the back, there is an option to try to camouflage your donor site.  We have had many patients that are not able to tell their hair was even shaved.  It can be very discrete with the right length of hair.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

You do have to shave the donor area

Unfortunately, the answer is a yes...but its not as horrible as it may seem. You will only have to shave the donor site, along the back of your head. So what we have done is consult with hairstylists and used certain tricks to "fade" the shaved area in to the non shaved part. We have also had to do this on women prior to a hair transplant and we have just used techniques to utilize the long hair to cover it up. The good news is that it will grow back and fairly quickly. So it is only a temporary problem to fix a much bigger one. 

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Hair care prior to Neograft FUE - hair transplantation in Seattle

During the procedure, we will prepare the donor site hair (in the back of head) by clipping the hair relatively short. The recipient sites (frontal hair line, vertex of scalp etc) are left long and unclipped because it helps to establish the direction of hair growth, and thus the direction of hair transplant placement.

Shave Head Before Hair Transplant

Hello, thank you for that question. That is a very common question we get. Depending on how many grafts are needed, sometimes patients can have the option of keeping the recipient hair its regular length, for the donor region if you are considering FUE, it must be clipped very short.

Matt Tahsini, MD
Pasadena Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Shaving for a hair transplant

The goal for most patients is to be able to disguise the procedure from your colleagues (and some family members!).  There a few techniques that can be used to disguise the work you have had done.

  1. One week before:  We recommend you have a military style hair cut (at least on the sides) before you procedure to get your colleagues accustomed to your hair short on the sides.
  2. Day of the procedure:  The sides and back of your hair will be cut to between 2-4 mm.  This hair will grow back to an acceptable level in 7-10 days.
  3. The recipient area:  You will have scabs in your new hairline.  Sometimes these can take 7-10 days to fall off. There are few techniques to accelerate scab loss so that this doesn't prevent you from returning to work.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.