Anxiety as related to hair transplants?

If there's one thing I have more of than hair loss, it's anxiety on a daily basis. My anxiety is increased in social situations where I'm surrounded by constantly talking people. I find myself overwhelmed trying to keep up with the conversations. I am making progress towards having a procedure but I'm already feeling anxiety thinking of the many people asking questions I will need to answer at parties and social gatherings. What advice do you have for dealing with this type of anxiety?

Doctor Answers 10

Anxiety and Hair Transplants

The subject of hair in both men and woman can create a tremendous amount of anxiety.  Generally speaking, after the procedure it seems patients anxiety has become much less.  With today's techniques and results you can hide the actual procedure fairly quickly.  My patients will generally do a procedure on a thursday and go back to work by monday.  Just plan ahead, tell your friends you have taken a vacation.  Give yourself a few days post op to heal and your anxiety levels will most likely be much less.

Irvine Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Anxiety with being detected with a hair transplant

I could write a book about this subject. Many years ago when larger grafts were used, it was impossible to hide a hair transplant because the wounds were large (between 3 and 5 mm). Large wounds, are obvious and at the time that these were done (late 1980s and early 1990s) the typical patient had to use a hat (baseball hat most common). When I innovated the small 1mm grafts in the early 1990s (I started doing hair transplants in 1992), I focused on this problem. There are two parts to this problem. The first reflects the post surgical period of a few weeks. The small 1mm grafts healed rapidly and with good post-operative washing, the surgery could be undetectable within a few days. Swelling was also a problem immediately after a hair transplant, one we solved with the judicious use of corticosteroids which reduced the post-operative swelling plaguing our patients. In the early 1990s as the number of grafts in my practice rose into the thousands (2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 grafts), careful focus on post-operative washing and the use of single large doses of steroids brought undetectability within a week or so. Most patients were able to go out into the public within a week, once we mastered the post-operative care.

The second concern was how did a man go from a completely bald look (Class 6 or 7 patient) to a hairy look. Here I have many stories and I will mention only a couple of them here. A Class 7 patient of Indian decent, let his beard grow out just before the hair transplant. To his and my surprise, his beard was white so everyone he knew laughed at his ‘Santa Clause’ appearance, but no one, observed his hair transplant or the change in his look from bald to hairy. He shaved off his beard and no longer paid attention to his hair. Like grass growing, you never see it grow. The second patient was a 55 year old male with a Class 5A pattern. His hair was prematurely white and his balding pattern was very obvious. His post operative care paid attention to his wounds and in a few days, his hair transplant was barely seen. He had rapid growth of the hair, an unusual rapid course. At Christmas, his daughter who knew her balding father, picked up the new hair on first meeting after a year of not seeing him. She said, dad, take off that silly wig. He told her that it was not a wig. Then she reached up to his hair and tried to pull off the wig. Of course, it did not come off because it was his own naturally growing hair. “Come-on Dad” she said, Yoy never had hair before. Where did it come from? He remained silent and then she said, Is that Rogaine that you used? He smile and acknowledged her comment. As a nurse, she followed, “that is the most amazing result of Rogaine I ever saw”. There was little else to say.

So, be creative in planing your hair transplant and you can hide it from every one easily if that is your concern. 

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

See a psychologist

If you believe you have an anxiety disorder and it is impacting your social and personal life, you should see a doctor that can help you.  You can consider seeing a psychologist.  

I realize hair loss may be causing the anxiety, but a hair transplant surgery may NOT be the obvious answer. This is not a frivolous attempt to pass you off.  This is serious and I have seen and treated several patients with your type of anxiety over the years.  In most all cases their anxiety issues are not resolved after surgery.  The anxiety issue is deep rooted beyond the superficial hair loss issue.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Hair Transplant and Anxiety

We have done a study that its results were published as Psychology of Hair Transplant in Hair Transplant Forum Journal in 2008.  In the study we have noted that younger men with hair loss will have significant improvement in their anxiety after restoring their hair.  That could be explained by the social anxiety that these men have to endure on a regular basis due to them losing hair.

You have to understand that transplanted hair grows very slowly and people who see you on a regular basis cannot detect the new hair growing.  So it won't be difficult to hide the new hair except for the first few days/weeks when there might be some redness or scabbing from newly transplanted hair in recipient area.

Parsa Mohebi, MD
Beverly Hills Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Anxiety and hair loss

I have had many patients over the years with the same situation. They suffer from anxiety and their hair loss only makes it worse. My advice for you is the same I give to my patients: do NOT do a hair transplant procedure until you learn how to manage your anxiety better. I have referred patients to therapists and to psychiatrists in the past, and they have made remarkable progress in their overall anxiety, to the point that I felt comfortable doing a hair transplant for them. My point is, the worse thing you can do to yourself is add another source of anxiety at this time.

Marco Barusco, MD
Daytona Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Anxiety while awaiting a hair transplant

Hair loss can certainly be a source of decreased self-confidence and discomfort in social situations; however, the level of anxiety you describe is excessive, and not likely to be ameliorated by a hair transplant. I would suggest you get some counseling before making a decision to proceed.

Jonathan Ballon, MD
Atlanta Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


You need to reverse your feelings about undergoing a hair transplant and know that this is a very positive proactive procedure that done correctly I'm encouraged  you will be extremely happy and enjoy a wonderful outcome for the rest of your life.

It may actually ameliorate and diminish your anxiety and you by delaying, will make a hard decision even harder.
If you have the right surgeon inplace my suggestion is "just go for it " and they  will and should also go out of their way to help you and rid your anxiety !

You'll be fine - enjoy the experience.

Keith Durante, MD, FACS
New York General Surgeon

Anxiety and hair loss

Stress and anxiety can be a cause of hair loss. You most certainly want to lessen these when having any elective cosmetic surgery. Exercise, Yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy and medical management can all help significantly. Consider meeting with a health care provider who can specifically help you formulate a plan to work through this. Best of luck!

Josh Surowitz, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Anxiety and hair transplant

It sounds, from what you have said, that your anxiety in social situations is having a negative impact on your life.
Before embarking on a hair transplant, I suggest you undergo a course of counselling from a psychologist to try and overcome your anxiety.
Not only will this help you to cope better with day to day interactions with people, but it may also help you to view the results of your hair transplant more favourably and objectively, should you decide to have one in the future.

Greg Williams, FRCS (Plast)
London Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Stress related hair loss

Stress is one of the causes of hair loss.  In order to decrease hair loss due to stress you need to do activities to lower your stress level, such as meditation and exercise.  Many clients are very anxious before the procedure due to the unknown factors related to surgery, but once they have a consultation and they are reassured about the procedure and what is involved their stress level subsides. 

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 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.