How Long Should You Wait Between Hair Transplants?

hair transplantation

As soon has hair transplant patients start to experience a little hair growth they're asking "when can I get the next procedure?". Society today runs on instant gratification, everything we could ever want is at our fingertips. Unfortunately, surgical hair restoration doesn't follow the rules set by modern standards. So just how long should you wait in between procedures? Well, keep reading.

Hair Restoration Recovery

Right after a hair transplant, the scalp is typically pink with tiny scabs forming around the micro-incision sites. The micro-incision sites heal quickly within 7-10 days. After surgery patients may experience some minor swelling and redness in their scalp. 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 grafts around the third to fourth week after surgery.

It is important to remember that each hair follicle is independent and goes through the anagen (growth), catagen(transitional) and telogen (resting) phase at different times. Therefore, some patients may experience some of the follicular unit grafts shedding faster than others, this is a normal part of the surgical hair restoration process.

When Does Growth Begin

Most patients begin to see hair growth around three months after surgery. By seven months most patients have grown a significant amount of new hair. That said, the hairs are not mature yet  and will continue to grow in diameter in the following months. In some cases, the newly transplanted hair may appear curly and frizzy. This is a fairly common issue.

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 into 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.

So When Should You Have Another Hair Transplant?

The general rule of thumb is 12 months. Now there are exceptions to every rule and nothing is ever set in stone, but for the most part 12 months is sufficient time to allow the results of the first procedure to fully manifest. It is a common misconception that having a hair transplant too soon will somehow kill the previously transplanted grafts. This is not true.

The truth is, the grafts become permanent after two weeks of being transplanted. Therefore, a second hair transplant session would not damage the follicles transplanted in the first session, even if the grafts were transplanted in the same place. A large portion of patients are dissatisfied with their results at the 6-month mark, only to be thrilled by the 12th month.

This is why most surgeons advise their patients to allow the full 12 months before undergoing another procedure.