It is really unknown what causes shock loss.  Shock loss is hair loss resulting from a hair transplant procedure. There are many theories, however. Shock loss most likely is due to an inflammatory response as a result of physical trauma.  It is really quite uncommon in the donor area. It is more common in the recipient area. The density of incision sites may play a role as high density incision sites tend to produce shock loss more comm
only. Shock loss will occur only in the area where the incisions are made. It will not occur in adjacent regions.

Shock loss begins about 2 to 3 weeks after a procedure and it will continue over a period of a few weeks. If you experience hair loss months after a procedure, it is not due to shock loss, but rather due to progression of hair loss or some other factor unrelated to the hair transplant procedure.

Some feel it is due to the injection of epinephrine, which is commonly added to the anesthetic. This is most likely untrue as you will not see shock loss in areas where anesthesia is given, but rather only in areas where the incision sites were made. You also more commonly see it in the recipient area while epinephrine is also given in the anesthetic given in the donor area during a hair transplant surgery. Even though the same anesthetic with epinephrine is given in the donor area, you do not see shock loss in the donor area when it occurs in the recipient area.

The inflammation might result from physical trauma, but it also might be due to the free radicals that accumulate in tissue that continues to metabolize outside the body in an anaerobic state. Free radical scavengers in the storage fluid along with cooling of the tissue outside the body might help reduce the amount of free radicals produced by the grafts. One might also limit the free radical load by limiting the recipient area density during a hair transplant.

Shock loss is uncommon in the donor area with both strip harvesting and with FUE or CIT.

When shock loss occurs, the hair will generally begin to grow back after a hiatus of 3 months. It is only the fine wispy baby like hair that seems most prone to remain dormant following shock loss. This sort of baby fine, short, lightly pigmented hair produces the least amount of coverage, however, so it will not be missed as coarser, darker, longer terminal hairs will take their place when the hair transplantation produces new hair growth beginning three months after the hair transplant.