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FUE Hair Transplant Timeline

After a hair transplant, it’s natural to wonder how soon you will start seeing the results of your procedure. How can you tell if your recovery is on track or if your hair is growing faster or more slowly than the average patient’s? Here is a breakdown of what you can expect from a typical FUE hair transplant recovery timeline.

The timeline for recovery and results is one of the most common questions people have once their FUE hair transplant is complete. For example, you might need to know how much time you’ll need to take off from work. Or perhaps you’re keen to find out how long it will take for the final results to be established. 

Our leading hair transplant clinic in Glasgow offers advanced FUE hair transplant procedures, allowing for less invasive surgery and faster recovery times. If you decide on this popular hair loss treatment, you can expect to be fully healed and enjoying the results of your investment within a few weeks after surgery.

If you are concerned about a faster recovery process, an FUE hair transplant is probably your best choice. Unlike the older FUT method, there is no need to remove a strip of scalp from the back of the head. As a result, FUE allows for a faster and more straightforward recovery process. It also means there will be no linear scar across your scalp, giving you more freedom to wear your hair short.

Here is what you can expect in the days and months following your hair transplantation procedure with Dr Bonaros at our Glasgow clinic.

FUE hair transplant timeline dr bonaros Glasgow
A basic guide on the growth and recovery following an FUE hair transplant

FUE Hair Transplant Recovery Timeline

Day of the hair transplant procedure

On the day of your procedure, local anaesthetic will be used to numb the donor and recipient sites. Local anaesthesia works by blocking how nerves transmit pain signals to the brain. It usually lasts between 4 and 6 hours and may cause the sites to feel swollen or tight. Be careful not to injure the numbed area during this period, as you may not feel any damage.

As the local anaesthetic wears off, you may experience a tingling or burning sensation. If the anaesthetic contains adrenaline, it can cause the surrounding blood vessels to shrink temporarily and the skin to appear paler. In areas where new hairs have been implanted, the skin may appear red. This redness usually resolves itself after the first week or two, but in the case of people with pale or sensitive skin, it can last slightly longer. 

After surgery, your donor area will be covered with bandages. You can remove these the next day. A small amount of bleeding into the dressing is normal.

fue hair transplant recovery timeline immediately post-op
The donor and recipient area immediately post-op.

Dr Bonaros will prescribe you the necessary medications to help with your postoperative recovery. He will also give you detailed aftercare instructions for caring for your newly transplanted hair grafts. Receive expert assistance whenever you need it with our comprehensive support features.

What to expect after your hair transplant

Days 1 – 3 after the procedure

The first few days following hair transplant surgery are the most critical, as the hair follicles are adapting to their new environment. Following a hair restoration, it is possible to experience some general complications such as swelling, redness, itching or discomfort around the transplant area. The graft sites will also form scabs 24 to 72 hours after surgery. These are normal reactions and typically subside quickly. 

A hair transplant is a minimally invasive procedure and, in theory, you could go straight back to work the following day. However, you may want to allow a couple of days for your skin and scalp to heal. Some people return to light work the day after surgery, although most prefer to take at least 2–3 days off.

In the weeks following a hair transplant, you may experience tenderness, itchiness, redness, numbness, and some mild pain. However, the average patient reports only minor symptoms after one to two days. Some transplant recipients use over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen to address their symptoms.

During the first three days, patients may also experience swelling of the forehead or donor area. Dr Bonaros will provide medication and discuss ways to address this.

Days 4-10 after your hair transplant

At this point in the recovery period, you should no longer have a swollen scalp and all redness should be faint or completely gone. During this time, Dr Bonaros will have his patients gently remove their graft crusts by thoroughly soaking and then gently rubbing them with a finger. By 10 to 12 days after your FUE hair transplant, all crusts should be gone. 

The donor and recipient areas' healing 10 days after the FUE hair transplant
The donor and recipient areas' healing ten days after the FUE hair transplant.

It is essential for scabbing to be cleared away so as not to inhibit new hair growth. However, the scabs must be removed gently and gradually; otherwise, damage to the transplanted hair follicles may occur. In line with this, you also shouldn’t rub your hair with a towel, scratch your scalp, or engage in any physically strenuous activities for two weeks after your surgery. More information can be found on our aftercare page.

Weeks 2 – 3 after the FUE procedure

The donor site will continue healing, and any remaining redness will start to fade. At this point, the transplanted hair may begin to fall out. This is a normal part of the healing process and can occur as early as two weeks post hair transplant. 

The extracting and transplanting of hair generally shocks the transplanted follicles into the telogen (resting) phase. For this reason, most patients may shed some or all of their newly transplanted hairs until about 6–8 weeks after surgery. In some cases, it has been observed that post-operative use of Minoxidil may decrease this shedding.

During the shedding process, only the hair shaft is released. The actual follicular unit and bulb remain intact, and a new hair shaft will soon begin to grow. However, not every patient experiences shedding after a hair transplant. For some, the transplanted hair stays on the scalp for months.

It is important to know that the outcome of a hair restoration does not depend on whether a patient’s hair falls out or not. After a dormancy period of 4–5 months, hairs will begin to regrow from the transplanted follicles.

Months 1 – Month 2 after hair restoration surgery

Almost anything you did before your surgery can be resumed 1 month after your hair transplant — even swimming laps in the pool. Your hair follicles will now be in the resting phase of their growth cycle. The length of the resting phase can vary between patients. 

At this stage of the recovery process, patients may look exactly as they did prior to surgery. However, it is important to stay positive. New growth is only a few months away. While waiting for more hair, remember that initial hair transplant results do not indicate the overall success of your surgery.

FUE Hair Transplant Growth Timeline

Months 3 – 4 after the procedure

About three months after your hair transplant, you should start to grow hair that is very fine, transparent, short and wispy. This will eventually normalise.

At this point, it is also normal for some patients to see what appears to be an imbalance in the areas of regrowth. For example, hair may appear fuller on one side of the head than the other. It is important to remember that hair grows at different rates, for each individual. Additionally, hair does not all grow at the same time. 

At any given moment, hairs may be growing, resting, or shedding according to where they are in the hair growth cycle. You should remain patient, and avoid worrying about any patchiness. As hair regrowth continues, the distribution of hair will soon appear more even.

Dr Bonaros will hold check-up appointments in the 3rd month to evaluate and take photos of your progress. The hair transplant healing process is different for everyone, and frequent follow-ups allow us to ensure there is nothing unusual about your recovery. They also give you a chance to discuss any questions you may have about the aftercare process and the future of your hair.

fue hair transplant photos 3 months dr bonaros glasgow clinic scotland
By month 3, the transplanted hairs begin popping through the scalp

Months 5 – 9 after the hair transplant

Five months after your hair transplant, you should notice a considerable amount of hair growth. This hair will still be thin, but from now on, it will become thicker and exhibit textural changes

After another month, approximately 60%–70% of new hair has fully penetrated the scalp, and the result is around 40%–50% mature. The maturation process refers to the darkening, thickening, and normalising of your hair. At this stage of the recovery process, Dr Bonaros will organise another follow-up to see how you are doing.

fue hair transplant dr Bonaros 6 months 2000 grafts glasgow
6 months after the FUE hair transplant procedure

6 months after your hair transplant

The six-month mark represents the halfway point of your total hair transplant recovery time. By this stage of recovery, most patients are satisfied and have begun to see actual cosmetic results.

Your transplanted and native (existing) hair should blend together seamlessly. This new, full head of hair is easily styled and cut according to your preferences.

Over the next six months, your new hair will grow even more and that which was already present will mature and thicken. The donor area should be nearly completely healed by this point.

The donor area before, immediately post-op, the 10th day after FUE and 6 months after
The donor area before, immediately post-op, the 10th day after FUE and 6 months after

12 months after your hair transplant

Typically, your new hair is fully grown and matured a year after your transplant procedure. Dr Bonaros will schedule a follow-up appointment to examine the overall outcome and discuss any questions you may have. 

hair transplant results photos before after images receding hairline treatment Dr Bonaros Glasgow Scotland
Hair transplant surgery can give you a hairline that looks completely natural and is virtually undetectable.

It’s important to remember that this hair transplant timeline is just a rough guideline. For some transplant recipients, it may take longer for hairs to emerge and mature in density and thickness. This is especially true for patients who undergo mid-scalp or crown hair transplants. These areas grow and mature more slowly than those in the front, and it may take a full 18 months to see final results.

If you find your recovery to be ahead of or behind the curve, it does not mean your overall hair growth and coverage result will be better or worse. It just means your FUE recovery timeline is unique to your situation.

Help ensure the success of your hair transplant recovery with expert advice from Dr Bonaros. Feel free to contact us at any stage of your recovery with any questions you may have. 

fue hair transplant recovery timeline photo
FUE hair transplant recovery / regrowth timeline photos

Dr Bonaros: An expert hair restoration surgeon in Scotland

As one of Scotland’s leading hair restoration surgeons, Dr Bonaros offers tailored surgical and non-surgical hair loss solutions. Whether you are looking for a natural-looking hairline or want to restore your crown, Dr Bonaros can help you regain your confidence with a healthy head of hair.

Learn more about what you can expect during the FUE hair transplant recovery timeline — schedule an appointment now to see Dr Bonaros at his Glasgow hair loss clinic. 

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