After hair transplant surgery the scalp is typically pink with tiny scabs forming around the incision sites. The tiny graft incisions will heal rapidly within a week to 10 days. For the next few days, patients typically experience some discomfort when sleeping. Following Follicular Unit Extraction (formerly known as Follicular Unit Extraction FUE) patients may experience soreness and discomfort in the donor area for up to two weeks. Following Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) patients may experience soreness and tightness in the donor area which can last for two weeks. In rare cases, patients may experience numbness along the incision line for several months following their surgery. Generally, patients are able to return to their normal routine after 3 weeks of having surgery.
The redness and tiny scabs in the recipient area typically clear up and fade away during the first week. Once the scabs have cleared the patient should have a uniform appearance to their scalp resembling a buzz cut. Generally, most patients begin to shed their transplanted hair around the third to fourth week following surgery. In rare cases, some patients do not shed all of their transplanted hair. Once the hair grafts have shed the hair follicle begins it's life cycle and should begin to grow back within the third to fourth month.
Generally, most patients begin to see noticeable hair growth around 3-4 months. However, it is normal for some patients to wait up to 5 months before seeing hair growth. It is important to understand that not every patient will grow at the exact same rate. In the initial phase of hair growth, the hairs are thin and whispy which can make it difficult for a patient to notice or detect.
By seven months most patients are growing noticeable new hair. However, these new hairs will continue to grow in diameter for the next few months creating an even fuller and thicker appearance. At 12 months most patients have grown all of their transplanted hair. However, not all of the hair follicles have matured and grown in to their final state. In some cases, patients may have a curly and coarse texture to their hair which may not match their native hair. By 18 months virtually all of the transplanted hair follicles have grown and matured; any hair texture issue that a patient may have experienced is generally resolved by that time.