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Hair Transplant Growth Timelines: Are They Really Accurate?

3/5/2010 5:05:41 PM

Question:

Why are hair transplant patients always told to wait a full year before judging their final result? Sometimes even 14 months! Based on my research, the majority of people see an initial burst at 12 weeks, followed by a two-month spell during which most of the grafts grow. By month 7 or 8, all of the transplanted hairs have sprouted, and then it simply thickens up a bit. The charts I've seen just advise patients to wait and wait.

Answer:

The standard graft growth timeline applies to many patients, but the prevailing opinion among experts is that attempting to define a universal schedule for growth after a hair transplant is ultimately an exercise in futility.

Individual physiology will always play a significant role, so basing personal expectations on others' exact experiences will probably only further serve to stress out recovering patients. People fail to appreciate the subtle changes that are occurring gradually when they attempt to monitor their progress on a daily basis. This is why hair restoration physicians usually assess the patients' final result at 12 months, not because there is anything really relevant happening growth-wise at that point. I don't think most hair transplant patients expect profound changes past the one year mark, only the possibility of additional hair maturation.

It's interesting to follow, but no hair transplant surgeon heavily promotes one calendar over the other. What you've outlined is definitely accurate for many patients, though. Others may experience several growth spurts before sprouting the majority of their new transplanted hairs. The idea is to not obsess over it, which can be tough.

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Anthony - Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator
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