Can I Have a Second Hair Transplant?
- When do you need a second hair transplant?
- How long should you wait before having a second hair transplant?
- How would the repeated surgeries affect the donor area?
In the vast majority of the cases, the answer is yes, you can have a second hair transplant.
The procedure can be repeated multiple times actually – the average is 2-4 surgeries is a lifetime.
However, the number is affected by the quality of the donor area, and the number of hairs extracted in each procedure.
In this post, we will take a look at when a second procedure is necessary, how much time one has to wait in between the sessions, and how repeated procedures affect the donor area.
When do you need a second hair transplant?
In one hair transplant surgery, roughly 6000 hairs can be extracted safely over a 2-day procedure.
This number ensures that the extracted grafts do not spend too much time outside the body.
In addition, it keeps the amount of necessary medication within safe limits and allows larger patient comfort during the procedure.
Depending on the severity of the hair loss one hair transplant procedure might not be enough. In such cases, the surgery has to be repeated to achieve the desired coverage.
A second hair transplant can also be necessary years after the first session if the hair loss continues to progress.
Though hair loss is in part hereditary, there are a large number of factors that may affect it.
Among others, hormonal imbalance, stress, certain medication, our lifestyle can affect the hair loss process.
While there are cases when it is slow and gradual, there are others when the hair loss is more periodic.
As hair loss is rather unpredictable, surgeons aim to achieve the best possible result with the session at hand while preserving the donor area for possible treatments in the future.
How long should you wait before having a second hair transplant?
One may enjoy the result of a single hair transplant for years before the natural hair loss process starts again. As such, 3-5-10 years might pass before the second hair transplant becomes necessary.
However, due to the severity of the hair loss, or continued thinning a follow-up procedure might be necessary earlier.
In these cases, the doctors typically recommend waiting around 12 months in between the sessions.
The two main factors affecting the exact length of the period are:
- The recipient area
After the surgery, the transplanted hairs need 12-15 months to grow out.
Thus, it is best to wait at least a year if you plan to increase the density on the same area, or if you want to address a section that reaches into the previously implanted area.
Firstly, this allows the surgeon to see the previously implanted hairs, ensuring that they do not damage hairs yet to grow out.
Secondly, this way the surgeon can also take into consideration the overall look and plan the distribution better. The recommended waiting period might be shorter if the second surgery is to address a different area of the scalp.
- The hair loss
If the hair loss restarted after the surgery, you will have to wait until it stops again.
This will help to find the optimal distribution of the hairs during the second surgery providing better results in the long run.
How would the repeated surgeries affect the donor area?
The number of hairs we can transplant – and the number of surgeries we can carry out – varies.
The options are always determined by the density and size of the donor area.
In each case, the donor area has a certain limit; a finite number of hairs can be extracted from it.
Each hair transplant will lower the number of hairs in the donor zone and thus, its density.
This is one of the main reasons why you must choose your surgeon and the hair transplant method carefully. Higher success rates mean not only that the transplanted hairs grow out in higher numbers. It also means that fewer extracted hairs go to ‘waste’.
With the right technique in the right hands, overharvesting the donor area can be avoided and the doctors take out only as many hairs as absolutely necessary for the good result.
With the FUE2 SafeSystem method we use, around 95% of the transplanted hairs grow out after the surgery.
Naturally, proper aftercare is also crucial to realize this success rate.
One of the best features of the FUE2 SafeSystem is that it does not leave any visible scars.
The remaining tiny dots are less than 1 mm in diameter, so even short hair provides proper coverage.
Furthermore, during each surgery, the hairs are harvested evenly from the whole expanse of the donor area.
Subsequently, the hair at the back and the sides will have a lower density –but the look will be natural, and there will be no patches.
You can see David’s example below and how his three surgeries gradually affected the donor area:
Hair transplant surgery offers a permanent solution to thinning hair.
However, in most cases reaching or maintaining the good result is a process. And as such, it might require a second hair transplant surgery over the years.
The number of hairs available for repeated procedures and the time one has to wait in between two sessions vary greatly.
Besides the result of the previous transplant(s) and the area we would like to implant, it is important to consider whether the hair loss is in progress.
Due to the nature of hair loss, it is difficult to predict how many surgeries will be necessary in the future.
Nevertheless, within the limits of the donor area, the hair transplant can be repeated 2-4 times in one’s lifetime.
It is vital to always carry out the hair transplant surgery at hand in a way that offers the best result in the current condition while preserving the donor area as much as possible.