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Does Hair Transplant Hurt? You May Be Surprised

Most people want to improve their appearance, but not at any cost. The amount of pain someone experiences from a surgery can be a dealbreaker, especially if it’s an elective procedure. Therefore, it makes sense that one of the most common questions prospective patients ask Dr. Carlos Puig is “Will it hurt?”

Fortunately, the answer to this question is “Not really.” In this blog, Dr. Puig, Chicago’s top hair transplant surgeon, explains what you can expect before, during and after hair transplant surgery.


Arguably the most uncomfortable part of a hair transplant occurs during the preparatory phase. To ensure that you are comfortable during your surgery, the IHI team numbs two parts of the scalp: the donor area where the follicles are harvested and the recipient area where the follicles are implanted. A needle injects local anesthesia (like what is used during dental appointments) into both parts of the scalp. The prick from the needle may cause some discomfort for the moment, but the fast-acting anesthetic should have your head thoroughly numb within minutes.


While you may expect the process of moving hair follicles from one part of the head to another to hurt, most patients say they feel nothing because the anesthesia is sufficiently strong, and many patients take a nap during the surgery. Although it is unlikely, if at any point you do start to feel pain or significant discomfort, please inform Dr. Puig so he can provide you with more anesthesia.


Before you leave the International Hair Institute, more local anesthesia is injected into your head to keep it numb for a few extra hours. This gives you time to get home and start taking the pain medication Dr. Puig has prescribed to keep discomfort to a minimum while you recover. So long as you take the painkillers before the numbing agent stops working, you should be fine. By the next day, you should only feel minimal pain even without the medication, though you can certainly finish your pills (or use Tylenol) if you do experience minor, lingering discomfort.

Discuss Hair Transplant with Dr. Puig

The bottom line is that if you want to transform your scalp with hair transplant, you do not need to worry about being in pain. Discomfort is a part of any surgery, but here it is minimal enough that it is not much of a factor. To meet with Dr. Puig and ask all your other questions about hair transplant before making a final decision, please schedule a consultation by calling the International Hair Institute at (312) 854-3898.