I am planning to have a hair transplant in December. I still have a decent amount of hair left, but I am looking to improve the overall density. Do the transplanted hair follicles grow as soon as they are transplanted?
No unfortunately, the hair follicles do not begin growing once they are transplanted. The newly transplanted hair follicles enter the telogen or resting phase once they are transplanted, some individuals can take anywhere from 3-6 months to see new growth. Immediately following a hair transplant the scalp is typically pink with tiny scabs forming around the micro-incision sites. The tiny graft incision sites heal rapidly within 7-10 days. After surgery the scalp may experience some minor swelling and redness. Generally, the redness clears up and fades away after a few weeks, but can prolong for months in fair skinned individuals. The majority of patients begin to shed their transplanted hair around the third to fourth week following surgery. In rare cases, some of the transplanted hair will not shed and will continue to grow.
Factors Affecting How Long it Takes for Your Hair to Grow After a Transplant
Phases of Hair Growth
There are three phases which are related to the hair growth procedure after hair transplant surgery. Take a look:
Is the active growth phase for hair follicles, during this phase the hair follicle grows approximately 1cm every 30 days.
The catagen phase is a short transitional phase that occurs at the end of the anagen phase. This phase can last anywhere from two to three weeks. During this time the hair follicle begins to enter the telogen phase.
Is the dormant phase of the hair follicle, during this time hair follicles shed and remain dormant for 3 months.
It is important to remember that each hair follicle is independent and will enter the various phases at different times.
How To Protect Your Scalp After A Hair Transplant
Unfortunately, patients with poor post-operative care can suffer from poor growth and a reduced overall yield of the hair transplant.. For the first 7 days the grafts are extremely delicate and must be handled with the utmost care. During this time grafts are extremely easy to dislodge, which causes the hair graft to be permanently lost.
Avoid harsh ultra violet (UV) rays
It is important that you avoid direct sunlight after FUE hair transplant surgery or Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS). (https://hairtransplantnetwork.com/Hair-Loss-Treatments/follicular-unit-extraction) Harsh UV rays can damage the grafts prolong the healing period.
Wear Loose Hats
For the first 7-10 days the newly transplanted grafts are not secure on the scalp. Any tug could potentially dislodge the grafts and cause the hair follicle to be lost. For this reason, most surgeons recommend patients wear a loose fitted hat for at least 2 weeks or until the transplanted grafts have shed.
Biotin is a water soluble B-vitamin that can be found in many of the foods we eat including beef, eggs and dairy. This vitamin is responsible for growing healthy hair.
Supplementing this vitamin could be somewhat beneficial, but most definitely not necessary.
What to Expect After Your Hair Transplant?
The majority of patients begin to see some slight growth around the third to fourth month following hair transplant surgery. However, it is not uncommon for some patients to not see any growth until the fifth to sixth month after surgery. Unfortunately, hair growth is a process that requires a little bit of faith and patience. Hair growth is measured by months and some patients may cause themselves unnecessary worry and panic by measuring their results daily. In the beginning stages of hair growth, the hair is fine, wispy and colorless making it extremely difficult for some patients to detect or even notice.
Hair Transplant Growth After 12 Months
Most patients begin to see noticeable hair growth around seven months after surgery. By this time most patients have grown a substantial amount of new hair. However, the hairs are not mature and will continue to grow in diameter for the next few months. In some cases, patients may notice their hair appears wirey and frizzy. This is common and the hair will begin to straighten over time as the hair matures. By twelve months most patients have grown all of their transplanted hair. However, even at twelve months some of the hairs have not fully matured and grown in to their final state. At eighteen months all of the transplanted hair has matured and grown in diameter providing a fuller and thicker appearance to the hair transplant result.