Hair Transplant Timeline: Preparation, Recovery, and Results
- Before surgery
- The surgery itself
- Hair transplant timeline
- Hair transplant growth timeline VIDEO
- Hair growth cycle
Hair transplant surgery is an increasingly popular procedure for treating hair loss.
It involves transferring hair from one area of the scalp to another, typically from the back or side of the head to the front or top.
Hair transplantation offers a permanent solution for hair loss, but it does require some time and patience. It is important to stay composed and carefully follow the recovery guidelines set by your clinic.
In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the hair transplant recovery timeline.
What to do before your hair transplant procedure
Following a healthy and balanced diet before your procedure is crucial if you want to prepare your body for the procedure.
You should also avoid consuming alcohol, smoking and eating any spicy food. It is also important to refrain from taking painkillers or supplements for at least 7 days before your hair restoration surgery.
Lastly, you shouldn’t drink any coffee or drinks containing caffeine on the day of your surgery.
What to expect during the hair transplant surgery
The operation is composed of three separate parts:
- the opening of channels in the scalp
- and the implantation of grafts into the recipient area.
The surgery will start by extracting DHT-resistant hair follicles from the back or side of the head. You will receive a local anaesthetic to ensure you fail no pain during your hair transplant surgery.
The only uncomfortable aspect of this process is that you have to remain in the same position for a couple of hours. However, this is a small price to pay for achieving the head of hair of your dreams.
The second part of hair transplantation is where the surgeon opens channels in the area of your scalp where the transplanted hair will be placed.
Your surgeon will inject another round of anaesthesia, this time into the recipient area. This is to ensure that you feel no pain whatsoever.
In the third and finishing part of the hair transplant operation, your extracted grafts will be implanted into the recipient area.
You won’t require another round of anaesthesia as the area is already numb from the channel opening process.
This part can take several hours, but most clinics will allow you to watch Netflix, enjoy some music or get some work done on your laptop.
Hair Transplant Timeline – 9 Stages
Now let’s take a look at how your new hair will behave following your procedure.
We will guide you through the post-op period through Bernardo’s example, who had 5042 hairs transplanted to his hairline at our clinic.
Hair transplant after 7 days
Now that you know what to expect during the surgery, let’s take a look at what will happen one week after your hair transplant.
After your hair transplant, the newly transplanted hair will need some time to heal and properly anchor into your scalp.
It is very important to follow the aftercare instruction given to you by your hair transplant clinic.
You may experience itchiness during the first week as scabs begin to form and fall off. Some minor swelling can also occur but this should go away within a few days.
In the first few days after your hair transplant, you will need to use a saline solution provided to you by your clinic to keep your scalp clean.
It is important to stay out of the sun and heavy exercise and heavy sweating.
Hair transplant after 2 weeks
You shouldn’t experience any swelling by this time. However, you may still experience some redness and itchiness as your scabs begin to fall off.
Although exercise is still advised against, it should pose less of a threat now than it did during the first week.
At the end of the second week, you may experience something called shock hair loss. This might be scary at first, but it is a perfectly normal part of the healing process.
As new hairs begin to form in the implanted follicles, they will begin to push out the implanted hair to make way for new hair growth.
Hair transplant after 1 month – Heartache
By the end of the first month, most of your implanted hairs will enter into the telogen phase. This is the part on the hair transplant timeline where most of the shedding will occur.
As the hairs in your recipient area are all at different stages of the hair growth cycle the front of your scalp may appear patchy or sparse.
However, this is only a temporary period and new hair growth should occur shortly.
It is important to contact your clinic in case you still notice some inflammation or redness.
Hair transplant after 2 months – The ugly duckling
After two months you will likely see the continuation of the hair growth cycle and the hair loss that comes with it.
This period is often referred to as the “ugly duckling” phase, and you may look worse than you did before the hair transplant. However, it is important to have faith and keep following the aftercare instructions.
While the patchiness can be frustrating, you shouldn’t be concerned or worried as all of this is completely normal and to be expected.
Hair transplant after 3 months – Hope
After three months you will slowly notice the first signs of new growth as your hairs start to emerge from the follicles.
This will most likely mean fine hair that may appear weak and almost transparent. This is solely due to their lack of maturity.
You should remain patient and give the transplanted hair time to fully grow out. You shouldn’t worry about the appearance of your transplanted follicles which may resemble that of body hair.
Once your hair grafts have had time to mature they will appear stronger and thicker.
Hair transplant after 4 months
Most hair transplant patients will notice a decent amount of hair growth by this point. Although the growth can still appear somewhat patchy.
Hair transplant after 6 months – Happiness
You are now way past the ugly duckling phase. You should notice a growth spurt as your transplanted hair begins to produce more and more new hair.
As you progress on the FUE hair transplant timeline this should continue at a nice rate over the next few months.
However, you should keep in mind that the growth rate in the transplanted area can be affected by many factors. Additionally, you won’t see the final results for at least another 6 months.
Hair transplant after 9-12 months
Your hair will continue to grow at a rate of 1 cm each month, and as your hair grows your results will appear better and better.
Your hair grafts should be completely secured in your scalp, so you can cut and style your hair freely.
Hair transplant after 12-18 months – Flourishing
Between 1 year to 18 months after the hair transplant, is when you will see the final results. The transplanted hairs have had time to grow out and they should look mature, thick and strong.
Congratulations, you got through the recovery period and had a successful hair transplant.
Hair transplant growth timeline – VIDEO
Hair Growth Cycle: 4 Stages (Understanding hair growth)
Before we discuss the hair transplant timeline, it is important to understand how hair growth actually happens.
Hair growth occurs in four different stages which regulate the cycle of growing and losing hair. These are:
- The Anagen growth phase – This is the longest of the four phases and may last up to five or seven years. During the anagen phase, your hairs are pushed out of the hair follicles and grow until they’ve reached the end of their growth phase. On average, scalp hairs are in this phase for longer than facial or pubic hairs.
- The Catagen transitional phase – This comes right after the anagen phase. Your hairs stop growing and begin to shrink over a ten-day period. The hair will become separated from the hair follicles but stays on the scalp for its final few days of growth. Only about 3-5% of your hairs are in this phase at any given time.
- The Telogen resting phase – After the catagen phase, your hair will remain in place for a period of about three months. During this period your hair follicles will begin to form new hairs. Usually, around 10.15% of your hairs are in this telogen resting phase.
- The Exogen shedding phase – This stage lasts around two to five months. During the shedding phase, the separated hairs will slowly fall out. This may mean shedding during your sleep, showering or when your brush your hair. As the new hairs begin to grow out from the follicles they will push out the older hairs which result in hair shedding.
Hair transplants can differ in terms of recovery and results, but most patients should see full growth by the end of the first month.
However, everybody is different and some people may see results quicker or slower.
The hair transplant timeline may be altered based on the hair transplant technique used, and the level of care during the healing process.
This timeline is simply a rough estimate of what you can expect in the 18 months following your hair transplant.
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