Finding the right surgeon is by far the most important thing for anyone considering a hair transplant procedure.
FUE Hair Transplant 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.
Hair transplant procedures offered by our leading hair transplant clinic in Glasgow have become far more advanced, allowing for less invasive surgery and faster recovery times. If you decide that this popular hair loss treatment is the right choice for you, you can expect to be fully healed and enjoy your investment results within a few weeks following your surgery.
The FUE hair transplant is probably your best choice if you are concerned about a faster recovery process. There is no need to remove a strip of scalp from the back of the head (as in the older FUT method), so there is no linear scar across the scalp that might be unsightly if you wear your hair short. As a result, FUE allows for a faster and more straightforward recovery process.
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 Recovery Timeline
Day of the procedure
The donor and the recipient sites will have been numbed to allow surgery. Local anaesthesia works by blocking how nerves transmit pain signals to the brain. Local anaesthesia usually wears off between 4 and 6 hours after being administered. Be careful not to injure the numbed area during this period, as you may not feel any damage. The sites may also feel swollen or tight. As the local anaesthetic wears off, you may have a tingling or burning sensation. Another possibility is that the local anaesthetic contains adrenaline, which causes the surrounding blood vessels to shrink and the skin to appear paler. After the anaesthetic wears off, the normal skin colour will return. Where all the new hairs have been implanted, the skin may eventually 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 stick around for longer. Your donor area will be covered with bandages, which you can remove the next day. A small amount of bleeding into the dressing is normal.
Dr Bonaros will prescribe you the medications you need to help with the postoperative recovery, and he will also give you detailed directions for caring for your newly transplanted grafts. With our comprehensive post-hair transplant aftercare program, you will receive expert assistance whenever you need it.
What to expect after your hair transplant
Days 1 – 3 after the procedure
The first few days following a hair transplant are the most critical as the hair follicles adapt to their new environment. Following a hair restoration surgery, it is possible to experience some general complications such as swelling, redness, itching or discomfort around the transplanted area. These are normal reactions and typically will 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 following surgery, although most prefer to take at least 2-3 days off.
You may experience tenderness, itchiness, redness, numbness, and minor pain in the weeks following a hair transplant, but the average patient reports only minor symptoms after one to two days. Some patients use over-the-counter medication, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, to address their mild symptoms.
During the first three days, patients may also experience swelling of the forehead or at the back of the head, where the donor area is. Dr. Bonaros will give you medication and discuss ways to address any swelling you may experience.
The graft sites will form scabs 24 to 72 hours after surgery.
Days 4-10 after your hair transplant
Days 4-10: At this point, patients no longer experience any swelling, and the redness should only be faint or completely gone. During this time, Dr Bonaros will have his patients gently remove the crusts by thoroughly soaking the grafts and then gently rubbing them with a finger. 10 to 12 days after your fue hair transplant, all the crusting should be gone. It is essential that scabbing be cleared away during shampooing 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.
You also shouldn’t rub your hair with towels, scratch your scalp, or engage in any intense physical activity for 2 weeks. More information can also be found on our aftercare page.
Weeks 2 – 3 after the FUE procedure
The donor area will continue healing and any redness in the donor site will start to resolve itself. At this point, the transplanted hair may begin to fall out. Shedding hair after a hair transplant is a normal part of the healing and regrowth process and can occur as early as 2 weeks after the procedure. The process of extracting and transplanting hair generally shocks the follicles into the resting phase. For this reason, most patients may shed all or part of the newly transplanted hairs until about 6-8 weeks after surgery.
During this process, only the hair shaft is released, while the actual follicular unit and bulb remain intact and will soon begin to grow a new hair shaft. Not every patient sheds their transplanted hair. In others, the transplanted hair stays on the scalp for months until it is pushed out by a new one. It is important to know that the outcome of a hair restoration does not depend on whether a patient sheds or not. After a dormancy period, the hairs will begin to regrow from the transplanted follicles in 4 to 5 months. It has been observed that in some cases, post-operative use of Minoxidil may decrease this shedding.
End of Month 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.
Hair follicles are now in the resting phase of their life cycle. The length of the resting phase can vary before they start to grow again. At this stage, patients may look exactly as they did prior to surgery with regards to the amount of hair present. Stay positive. New growth is only a few months away. While waiting for hair regrowth, remember that initial results may not indicate the success of the surgery.
FUE Hair Transplant Growth Timeline
Months 3 – 4 after the procedure
About three months after the hair transplant, new hairs should start growing. When the hairs first penetrate the scalp between the 3rd and 4th months, they are very fine, transparent, short, and wispy. This eventually normalises. Hair regrowth will also occur at different rates, from individual to individual.
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. Additionally, scalp hair does not all grow at the same time. At any given moment, hairs may be growing, resting, or shedding. They cycle on their schedule. You should remain patient, and you shouldn’t be concerned about any patchiness on your scalp. As regrowth continues, the distribution of the hair will soon appear more even.
Dr Bonaros will hold check-up appointments in the 3rd month to check how everything is going and take photos of your progress. This is important because everybody’s healing process is different. Frequent follow-up checks allow us to ensure nothing unusual about your recovery and give you a chance to discuss any questions about aftercare and the future of your hair.
Months 5 – 9 after the hair transplant
A considerable amount of hair will grow on the scalp five months after the hair transplant. The hair will still be thin, but from now on, it will become thicker and exhibit textural changes. Approximately 60% – 70% of the new hairs have fully penetrated the scalp after six months, while the result is around 40%-50% mature. The maturation of transplanted hair refers to its darkening, thickening, and normalizing. Dr Bonaros will follow up with the patients to see how they are doing.
Six months after their hair transplant, most patients are satisfied and have begun to see actual cosmetic results.
The transplanted hair blends seamlessly with the native hair and is easily styled and cut. Yet we are only halfway there when it comes to the overall results. Over the next six months, new hair will continue to grow through the scalp, and those already present will mature and thicken. The donor area should be nearly completely healed by this point.
12 months after your hair transplant
Typically, the newly transplanted hair is fully grown and matured a year after the procedure. The final appearance from the hair transplant is appreciated at this point, so Dr Bonaros will schedule a follow-up appointment to examine you and discuss any questions you may have. For some patients, it will take longer for the hairs to emerge and mature in density and thickness. This is especially true for patients who undergo transplants in the mid-scalp or crown region. These areas grow and mature slower than those in the front, and it may take a full 18 months to see the final results in these regions.
Patients must remember that this is a rough guideline. Many patients grow quicker, and many also grow slower. Just because you find yourself ahead of or behind the curve does not mean your result will be better or worse. It just means it may take less or more time to reach its final conclusion. As with any surgical procedure, the success of your hair transplant depends on you following your doctor’s guidance, so you are always welcome to contact Dr Bonaros for advice. We are confident that with patience, you will be very satisfied with your new, fuller head of hair.
If you are trying to determine the best hair loss solution for you, we are here to help. Whether you are looking for a natural-looking hairline or want to restore your crown, contact us today for a complimentary consultation with Dr Bonaros.
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