Hair transplants are one of the leading hair loss treatments due to their success rate. However, it can take several months before you start seeing results and between 12 and 18 months after the surgery when you’ll see the hairline you desire. We understand that you may wish to cover the transplanted area during the first few months while regrowth starts. So, we’ve put together our advice for handling the aftermath of your hair transplant, before you see results.
First Week After Your Hair Transplant
Results aren’t instant with a hair transplant. The procedure involves implanting hair follicles into your scalp, these will take time to settle and then start producing hair.
Immediately after the transplant, you may experience some pain on your scalp. Your donor area will have to be covered and you may be given a headband to reduce swelling.
At our hair clinic, you may be given some pain medication and you’ll be wearing bandages for a few days. Antibiotics may also be administered to reduce the chance of infection.
After a few days to a week, you’ll be able to return to work. We would recommend taking as much time off as you can, and if you are able to work from home then do so. This is a good time to hunker down and engage in some self-care.
It is best to avoid wearing a hat in the first week as much as is possible. The potential damage to your skin grafts is not worth it and it can be as little as a five day wait before you can safely cover your head again, so we thoroughly recommend against this.
If you wanted to cover your scalp in these first few days however, the best way to do this is with cling film and a light hood. If you must wear a hat, then choose a loose fitting one, or if its adjustable make it as wide as you can. You need to be cautious during this initial period as hats can jeopardise your grafts and during the first week you want to maximise chance of success.
Post-Procedure Hair Loss
This may sound strange, but you will experience hair loss for up to 3 months after the transplant. But don’t worry, this is totally normal! The first month or so will be your hair going back to normal since the donor area was shaved for the procedure and so on.
You will shed your new hairs but this is just part of the follicles adjusting to the transplant. When a hair follicle is moved it will stop hair growth briefly. This results in shedding of hair, to make way for new ones.
This is what’s known as the ‘dormant phase’. Essentially, your hair follicles take a little breather. This means your hair falls out, but hair transplants aren’t hair transplants, they’re hair follicle transplants. So don’t be alarmed by your new hair falling out, as the hair follicles are still there.
Hair Transplant Results
The first real signs of tangible results will come about six months after the procedure. Most of your new hairs will have already broken through or are coming through. Some may form spots that resemble acne, this is just the hair trying to break through the skin.
After around ten months, your hair will be at its thickest since the transplant. You should have a few inches of length at this point.
After a year has passed, the results of your hair transplant should be in full swing. There may still be some changes in the texture, colour and appearance of your hair after this point.
Patience is Key
Waiting for the effects of your hair transplant to take place is the hardest part of the entire process. The surgery is straightforward and has been done many times by people from around the world so there really is nothing to be worried about. Waiting to see the results though can be difficult especially as you start going through the hair loss and regrowth stages.
Our advice is to have faith in the procedure and patience is the key thing here. The time will fly before you know it and it will be worth it in the end. There are also ways of making the wait more manageable.
Ways of Covering Recovery
For our male patients, the upheaval of hair transplant surgery is fairly minimal. Within a month your hair will have grown back to a point where you can’t tell you’ve had surgery.
However, for our female patients, shaving the scalp means there will be a decent amount of time where you may want to mask the back of your head as you wait for the donor area to grow back. As the transplant is likely to be around your hair line, there’s also going to be a period of a patch of hair growing through on your forehead which will be quite obvious to begin with.
The best way to mask the donor area is by wearing your hair down or in a ponytail. This should conceal the donor area until it grows back. It’s not that different in principle to having an undercut hairstyle. If you put your hair up. you’ll see it. Leave it down and you should be fine. You may choose to visit a hairdresser during this period to help you find a new style that you feel comfortable with. It can help with boosting your confidence and stylists will know all the tricks to help with coverage.
Alternatively, after the initial week or so you could choose to wear a hat.
A good amount of time to wait before wearing a hat is between seven and ten days but always check with your surgeon beforehand. After ten days though the grafts should be firmly set so you shouldn’t have any problems with headwear.
It is very unlikely that you will have any scars to conceal after your procedure. The FUE hair transplant procedure is designed to cause unnoticeable scarring, but the FUT hair transplant procedure may leave a thin scar at the donor area. This should be done in a way that is easily concealed by your remaining hair follicles. A good hair transplant surgeon will understand the artistry behind the craft, so they’ll conduct your surgery with minimal scarring in mind.
If you did have visible scarring you may get cortisone injections which reduce their appearance. You can also get hair follicles implanted directly into the scar tissue to conceal it. Other methods include laser repair, dermabrasion or dermal fillers.
So although it is very unlikely, there are options available if it occurs.
Hair transplant recovery while relatively straightforward can be mentally challenging while you wait to see the results. It’s all worth it in the end though. Hair transplants offer comprehensive and amazing results and we’re confident you’ll be amazed by the process.
If you are struggling with hair loss, get in touch and arrange a consultation. We ensure our patients receive a comprehensive assessment specific to them, so they receive the correct treatment for their type of hair loss.