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Graft shed post op

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  • Senior Member

This is a somewhat tangential thread, but it is a question that has been on my mind lately.


I noticed that most people at some point post operatively note that the transplanted hairs fall out or "shed," and this allows the underlying follicle stem cells to grow. In this vein, I have noticed some people suggest shampooing more directly a week or two after transplant to help allow this process to progress.


I also seem to recall someone mentioning that in a minority of cases, the transplanted hairs do not fall out, but can continue to grow without falling out.


Is there a way to accurately distinguish which of these processes is occurring after surgery?


For example, grafts that have not 'shed' a week out -- should one shampoo to see if one can cause them to shed, or wait to see if they grow? At what point in time should this be done?


Does the shedding help the underlying stem cell generate a new follicle?


Can hair that is stuck "in limbo" (ie. not growing and not shedding) inhibit the stem cells ability to generate a new follicular growth cycle? (ie. induce a prolonged telogen phase/inhibit anagen)


It almost makes me wonder if, outside of surgery, shaving one's head induces it to grow faster than in an individual with longer hair, and what 'messengers' could be triggering this process. I wonder if minoxidil acts by a similar mechanism.


Was curious as to your experiences/thoughts.

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