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Hair Transplant Trypophobia: What Is It? How To Deal With It?

Hair transplant trypophobia is the fear or dislike of hair transplant surgical scars. Noticeable clusters of scars on the scalp, make trypophobic people feel fear, disgust, or general discomfort when they see them.

Trypohpobia affects approximately 15% of people in general, and it is manageable if you are looking for a hair transplant thanks to psychological therapies, and some simple solutions.

First, you need to understand what it is and how it can affect you after getting a hair transplant surgery. Here are some of the key points we clarified in this article.


Now, we will further explain and dive into the details of hair transplant trypophobia.

What Is Hair Transplant Trypophobia?

In a recent study trypophobia, commonly known as the “fear of holes”, is described as a reaction of predominantly disgust-based aversion to clusters of roughly circular objects and patterns.

So, what is hair transplant trypophobia? Trypophobia caused by hair transplant is a phenomenon you might experience when you see the surgery scars on the back of your scalp and the scabs over your hair-planted area during the first week of your recovery.

Some other well-known triggering factors of trypophobia are sunflowers, honeycombs, sponges, seedy fruits, sponges, skin on snakes, lizards, frogs, and bubbles in boiling water, or coffee.

What Causes Trypophobia In Hair Transplant?

There are two visual triggers areas of scarring trypophobia after a hair transplant procedure:

  • Tiny red dots of scarring on the donor area
  • Healing hair grafts on the planted area

The exact reason causing this irrational fear is not known, although there are two theories. It is either an exaggerated version of a defense mechanism for contamination or overwhelming of one’s brain.

Trypophobia Test: Assessing Your Sensitivity

It is always better to be safe than to be sorry. Test yourself before undergoing a hair transplant if you have trypophobia or not. Here we have images with different levels of spatial frequencies and contrast colors.

If you made it so far and felt like you needed to avoid seeing these pictures, you are not alone. Everyone might have trypophobia it is a common thing. You just need some guidance if you are thinking of getting a hair transplant, that is all.

What Do Hair Transplant Holes Look Like?

The visible holes occur on the back of your head, due to small incisions of the micro-punch tool device. The area is shaved before harvesting, and the incisions leave small red, circular healing scars like tiny polka dots scattered randomly.

Which Hair Transplant Technique Triggers Trypophobia The Most?

In today’s technologies, they don’t use extra-large punches anymore that could trigger trypophobia that much. However, when performed with large punches, the FUE technique might leave disturbing scarring on the back of your head, which can trigger trypophobia the most.

Can They Open Tiny Holes So That It Won't Trigger Trypophobia?

Yes, they can. Actually with latest developments, during FUE, they use the minimal blades possible made of 0.5 mm of punches to extract the grafts. The limit to how small the blade can be is your hair follicles’ sizes. The punch should be a bit bigger than your hair follicles, so it can grab the follicles and extract them out.

The variety of punch sizes goes between 0.5 mm to 1.2 mm in diameter depending on patients’ need. Larger punches are needed when a patient has thinner or less elasticity over their skin. If you have no such concern then smaller punches can be utilized to leave smaller tiny holes.

Can Trypophobia Affect The Hair Transplant Decision?

It should not affect your decision to undergo a hair transplant. Let your doctor know that you have this condition, and they should be able to help you overcome this and have a calm and safe recovery process for the perfect results.

Anyone can get a hair transplant surgery thanks to modern techniques, easy-to-apply methods, and even some psychological therapies.

Hair Transplant Trypophobia And Misguidance Of The Internet

If you felt terrified when you saw the pictures of people with terrible hair transplant donor area scars on the internet, unfortunately, you might be misguided. 

The photos of people with terrible and huge FUE donor area scars are bad examples of hair transplants’ natural healing process caused by old instruments and large hair plug grafting techniques.

Today’s technologies allow doctors to use micro grafting that does not leave horrible large scars on the donor area.

How To Deal With Hair Transplant Trypophobia?

Hair transplant surgery is possible even when you have hair transplant trypophobia thanks to these methods:

Get partial shaving: With the DHI method you can get partial shaving and cover your hair transplant scars easily so it will not trigger your trypophobia

Get sedated during the surgery: The soft FUE method will help you feel much more relaxed during the surgery controlling your fear

Exposure therapy: Also called cognitive behavioral therapy, or immersion therapy this method gradually exposes you to your fear to help you overcome it in a supportive space

Breathing exercises: This can help you keep calm in almost every fear or phobia, practice it with the proper instructions and you will feel much better

Anti-anxiety medications: Antidepressants prescribed by a doctor including sertraline may help you ease your fear by reducing the activity of your brain triggering your fear.

Look before and after photos: It’s best to check your doctor’s before and after results including the long-term recovery and right after the surgery photos

Mindfulness meditation: Mindfulness meditation can help you accept your trypophobic fears and help you overcome them

Online support groups: Many online social groups can help you develop coping mechanisms, find good therapy methods and doctors for your trypophobia

HERE IS A LINK FOR FACEBOOK SOCIAL GROUP: Trypophobia Support Group | Facebook

Still unsure about getting a hair transplant? Contact us via WhatsApp, and we will happy to help you!

(1) Cole, G. G., & Wilkins, A. J. (2013). Fear of holes. Psychological Science, doi:10.1177/0956797613484937

(2)Tom R. Kupfer & An T. D. Le (2017): Disgusting clusters: trypophobia as an overgeneralised disease avoidance response, Cognition and Emotion, DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2017.1345721

(3) Ayzenberg V, Hickey MR, Lourenco SF. 2018. Pupillometry reveals the physiological underpinnings of the aversion to holes. PeerJ 6:e4185

(4) Trypophobia: Triggers, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment (

(5) Sasaki K, Yamada Y, Kuroki D, Miura K. Trypophobic Discomfort is Spatial-Frequency Dependent. Adv Cogn Psychol. 2017;13(3):224-231. Published 2017 Sep 30. doi:10.5709/acp-0222-2

(6) Garg A, Garg S. Overview of Follicular Extraction. Indian J Plast Surg. 2021;54(4):456-462. Published 2021 Dec 20. doi:10.1055/s-0041-1739244