Many people live an unhealthy lifestyle or have bad genes that cause their hair to fall, and maybe getting completely bald. To avoid that, people are now doing hair transplants more than often. If you too suffer from thinning hair, possibly balding, or hair loss, you may also be a good candidate for this procedure; and since we know how much recovery is important as a part of any operation, we will inform you with hair transplant recovery timeline and we are happy to answer any question you have about his procedure.
We all fear surgery; however, hair transplant surgery shouldn’t scare you away from gaining your good hair again. If you did your hair transplant surgery under the supervision of a well-trained and experienced plastic surgeon; You will get a fast, and safe recovery.
Before talking about the recovery timeline and post-surgery instructions, it is important for you to know the procedure first. We’ll give you an overview of hair transplants, the recovery stages, and how will your hair grow back and look eventually
Hair Transplant Procedure
Such as any other surgery, a hair transplant will be done in a medical facility. It’s only a one-day procedure, it will be done under a local anesthetic. That is why most patients will be able to drive themselves home right after the procedure.
Doctors will take hair follicles from your body and transplant them to other areas where you have experienced hair loss. Donors follicles are usually harvested from your back or head sides. These implanted follicular grafts will grow natural hair after some time.
Internationally, doctors will use one of the two known techniques to collect follicles during the procedure, which are: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
In the FUT technique, we will remove a single and thin strip of skin from the donor area, then isolate each follicular graft from the strip to implant it into the desired locations on the scalp.
While grafts will be individually removed from the donors’ areas in an FUE procedure. We make 1mm diameter or less circular punch incisions to collect the grafts. These small incisions will heal within 1-2 days to become an undetectable scar, that is why this technique is well-known for its quick healing time.
You need to consult your doctor to know the best hair transplant technique for your case.
What to expect in the Recovery Process?
After a hair transplant, you could feel some tenderness, itchiness, redness, numbness, and pain in the first week, however, many patients told us that most of those symptoms were minor after the first two days. Some patients have to take some medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen to feel more relived in the first week.
However, you need to follow your doctor’s instructions to minimize the pain and help your scalp heals properly and quickly.
How to prepare for the hair transplant?
You need to prepare your body for the surgery by improving your diet and lifestyle. You can do that by avoiding drinking alcohol, smoking, eating spicy food, taking painkillers, or any other supplements for a week before the procedure. You need also to know that you shouldn’t drink caffeine on the surgery day, this is a small price to pay to get new and more attractive hair for your life.
On the day of the hair transplant surgery
You will meet the surgeon and his team who will assure you that you are in good hands. You need to know that there are three essential parts to the hair transplant operation, which are: extract the grafts, opening up the channels in your scalp, and implant the hair follicles to the recipient area.
In the first part of the procedure:
- The grafts will be extracted from the donor area, which is usually the back of your head where the hair follicles are strong.
- You will receive anesthetic injections, many people told us that it is similar to the pain of a tattoo.
- After the injections you will feel some pain while the hair grafts are being extracted from the back of your head using FUE or FUT technique; however, it can be challenging to sit still in the same position for one or two hours.
In the second part of a hair transplant:
- As we mentioned earlier, in this stage, your surgeon will open small channels in the area where you need to get the hair transplant.
- We will apply a local anesthetic is applied to the recipient area at this time.
- You will continue to feel a small amount of tattoo pain.
- Your surgeon will count the channels he opened by touching a foot clicker every time he makes an incision to ensure getting the right amount of channels.
In the third and final part of the hair transplant procedure:
- We will implant the grafts that have been taken from the donor area into the recipient area.
- You won’t need more anesthetic since your head is already numb.
- Your surgeon will use his special technicians to complete your hair transplant.
Hair growing timeline after the transplant
Your hair transplant growth rate can be different, however, their most patient had their hair growth in the following timeline.
Hair growth after two weeks of hair transplant
During this time, the patient will begin to notice a mild hair loss, which is may develop fear and worry about the results. But you should not worry since hair separation is expected at this point, so, it is important to know that the separation of the only structure of the root follicle is intact and safe. Shedding will create a new hair structure, which is always healthier and more natural look. However, there will be no more drastic changes after two weeks to a month from the surgery.
Hair growth after four months of hair transplant
Hair will begin to grow; however, since it lacks strength, and cannot penetrate the scalp, it can result in a skin condition known as folliculitis. Some patients may mistake folliculitis for infection. You should know that the infection will be accompanied by other symptoms of inflammation and it will get worse over time. While folliculitis and its symptoms will improve within 10 days.
Hair growth after 4 to 8 months of hair transplant
After 4 to 8 months of the surgery, you can notice that your hair is growing to a higher density than before. Although some of your new hair is not pigmented and may look brittle, it is important to know that your hair structure will continue to improve in terms of pigmentation and strength.
After that time, hair growth will become more noticeable, and the growth rate will also increase. And within a year, you can finally see the final result of the operation with more minor adjustments taking up in the next months.
You need to know that hair growth after a hair transplant is effortless. During the first two weeks, some of the transplanted hair will start to fall. However, this is nothing to worry about. Regrowth will begin soon after that and it may cause safe folliculitis after four months of the procedure. This folliculitis will fade and brittle over time, and non-pigmented hair will replace it after four months of surgery. While, in the next eight months, hair will gradually become thicker and darker and the patient will be able to notice the final hair growth pattern. However, all significant changes will stop after 12 months, revealing the final results of your hair transplant.
To summarize the Stages of hair growth after hair transplant, we will take a closer look at the percentage of growing hair after a hair transplant surgery:
- About 10 to 20% hair growth will be observed in the first 3 to 4 months after getting a hair transplant.
- You can see about 50% hair growth over the next six months of the procedure.
- 80% of results will need 8 to 9 months to be noticed.
- The final results of a hair transplant need about 9 to 12 months to appear.
How to speed your hair growth after a hair transplant surgery?
- Maintaining a healthy diet will provide you with the right nutrition for more quality hair.
- Also taking prescribed medications by your doctors, such as minoxidil, finasteride, multivitamins, and many more can improve your results.
- You can apply oil to your scalp, and massage it to get even better results.
- Avoid intense activities after the hair transplant for at least ten days, which will allow the hair follicles to settle better on your scalp.
- It can also help if you stopped itching your scalp since it can damage the transplant area, and endanger the follicles’ stability.
Factors affecting hair growth after a hair transplant
The grown follicles have different growth rates due to many factors. The used method to perform the procedure is important in addition to the location where the follicle is implanted. For example, if the follicles are implanted in the frontal area, they will grow faster than the implanted follicles in the head especially since this area contains several arteries and blood vessels that are responsible for nourishing the hair.