The Realistic Timetable For Hair Restoration Surgery
“Doc, how long is it going to take to get my hair back?” is a common question I’ve been asked over these last 29 years in this field. After my own transplant a year ago, I asked Dr. Lopresti this very question…and didn’t stop asking it until I finally saw a difference myself!
What is the timetable from surgery day until all of the hair is fully grown in from a hair transplant?
DAY of TRANSPLANT: Transplant is performed. The grafts contain hairs from the donor area, which have been shaven to essentially skin level.
TWO to THREE WEEKS LATER: These initial hairs grow out of the transplanted grafts. In other words, they fall out. Don’t panic! This is physiologic and normal.
THREE to FOUR MONTHS LATER: The newly transplanted follicles produce new hairs that can be felt to the touch, but not always seen. Some transplanted hairs, however, just began to grow from Day One without first falling out—this is UNCOMMON.
AFTER MONTH SIX: Not minute six or hour six or day six or week six, but AFTER MONTH SIX, there will be a noticeable difference of hair density from the transplant. The area looks darker because of this new growth. Depending upon what type of hair loss pattern a given patient has and given how much native hair he or she already had in the transplanted area, the patient may not recognize the new growth. After all, we have been looking every single day for our new hair; and, we very often cannot recognize any changes with this daily inspection. This phenomenon is much more common than you might think! We often have to point out the new hair to these patients. Others, especially those with little or no hair to start, are excited to show us what has grown so far! At this juncture, NOT all of the transplants have grown new hairs through the skin—many more are to come over the following twelve months.
MONTH EIGHTEEN: At this point, we can say this is essentially what you received from your hair restoration procedure. For some, new growth may be delayed; however, this typically is what one has gotten. These new hairs can be cut, combed, colored, permed, and styled in any way because it is your own growing hair.
Having been a hair transplant patient myself, I can truly empathize with my patients who are impatient about seeing their new hair grow sooner rather than later. I can tell you, however, it is worth the wait! The results are amazing.
Dr. Robert Leonard
Founder and Chief Surgeon