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Poor Growth 16 Months After Hair Transplant - Need Recommendations

1/27/2010 2:09:35 PM

Question:

It has been 16 months since my hair transplant surgery and my results are not what I expected. In consulting with my surgeon, he showed me a number of thinner hairs that have broken through the surface of the scalp that have not yet matured. Thus, he recommended given my specific case that I wait up to 18 months to see if they grow in and mature. Is this reasonable?  What do you think I should do?

Answer:

While most hair transplant patients see their final results one year after surgery, you may just be a slow grower. The fact that you are seeing hair (even though it’s thinner in appearance) is a good sign. Hopefully these thin, fine hairs you are seeing are indeed transplanted hairs growing in and not the further miniaturization of natural hair due to male pattern baldness.

I think your hair restoration doctor’s request to wait a full 18 months is reasonable, especially since it’s only another 2 months from now. If the thinner looking hairs don’t thicken, darken, and grow, I’d ask your physician for his/her medical opinion as to why. While you can have a second procedure, the more information you can obtain on why the grafts didn’t grow, the better. While I don't intend to scare you, you should know that some hair transplant physicians are more experienced and skilled than others. In fact, the number one cause of poor hair growth is the careless handling of the grafts during surgery. Additionally, human physiological factors can influence hair growth. Thus, it may not be a bad idea to consult a dermatologist to make sure you don't have any underlying scalp issues that may affect hair regrowth.

Keep in mind that even if you achieve excellent growth, 1200 follicular units, especially if they've been spread out over a larger balding area isn't going to produce much in the way of coverage or density. You may want to do some research based on how many grafts you may need to achieve your goals given your degree of hair loss. Feel free to use our free animated graft calculator to assist you with this.

In the meantime, it's probably a good idea to give it another 2 months and see if there is any improvement in the result.

Bill Seemiller - Managing Publisher

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