Hair Loss 2 Months After Surgery Normal?

I had a wonderful facelift in August, however, in October I started losing my hair. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 16

Hair Loss

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Thank you for your question. It is common during surgery for hair follicles to be “shocked” causing them to cease hair production for up to 3 months or so. Other causes of hair follicle loss could be anesthesia, loss of adequate blood supply to the scalp, or scarring. It is probably best to wait a year before making any decisions, but until then, Minoxidil and other medications could offer temporary relief.

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Hair Loss Is Not Uncommon

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Hair loss is not uncommon following facial rejuvenation surgery. It can be the result of general anesthesia or the stress of the surgical procedure. In the vast majority of cases hair loss is a transient phenomena and resolves with time. Occasionally, it can be permanent and requires secondary treatment.
Hair loss may also be associated with scarring. This may occur for a variety of reason including tension on the wound closure, use of the cautery and thinning of skin flaps.
A variety of options exist for treating permanent hair loss following facial rejuvenation surgery. These include surgical scar revision, hair transplantation and the use of Rogaine.
The majority of the patients are happy with their surgical result even when hair loss occurs. In most cases, scars and hair loss can be easily hidden. When hair loss is visible, secondary procedures may be necessary and in most cases, solves the problem.

Hair loss after facelifts

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i agree that hairloss can occur. especially in the scalp or just from the anaesthesia or physical stress of surgery.

the hair will usually grow back over several months. rogain and vitain supplements can help

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

I had a wonderful facelift in August, however, in October I started losing my hair. Is this normal?

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Hair loss after a Face Lift can be from two causes.

  1. The incisions within the hair bearing scalp disrupted or injured the hair follicles.
  2. The general anesthesia itself has been relported to give temporary hair loss with any type of surgery, not just Face Lifts.

I no longer place incisions within the hairr bearing scalp, front or back, when performing a minimum incision Face Lift and when doing a full Face Lift or Brow Lift that does require these incisions, I place patients on Rogaine or ladies Rogaine to stimulate the hair follicles for 1 year following the procedure.  only 1/3 of hair follicles are in the growth phase at any one time and the growth phase lasts 3-4 months.  This means that full recovery of all fiollicles can take a full year. 

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Is hair loss after surgery normal?

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Although generalized hair loss after facelift ( or any other surgery, for that matter) is not common, it is well recognized.  Women, typically those with a thick head of hair, seem to be the ones who experience this most often.  Normal hair is in a growing phase, a resting phase or a shedding phase.  That is why we notice some stray hairs in our brush each day. The stress of surgery shifts many more hair follicles into the shedding phase and the hair seems to fall out by the handfull.

The good news is that the hair usually grows back by itself without further treatment, although it can take 6 month to  a year.  Talk to your doctor, but don't panic.  This should take care of itself.

Michael S. Hopkins, MD (retired)
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Hair loss after surgery

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This is always a possibility.  This is related to post surgical stress.  If it happens, usually hair will grow back.  Usually no medication is needed.

Alberto Arguello, MD
Costa Rica Plastic Surgeon

Hair loss

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Hair loss that occurs months after your surgery is probably not associated with your surgery. It may be caused by something else. 

Hair Loss After Surgery

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In general, hair loss after surgery is not associated with the operative procedure unless there are other factors involved such as a browlift which can cause transient alopecia.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Hair Loss after Facelift

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   The hair loss can occur from a variety of causes, but if this hairloss was not the result of direct damage to the hair follicles during surgery there is a good chance of regrowth.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Hair loss form general anesthesia

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If you had general anesthesia then it is possible that the anesthetic is contributing to your hair loss.  This is one of the many reasons we prefer to use IV sedation for face lifts instead of general anesthesia

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

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.