Though modern hair transplants are a popular and increasingly common procedure, they are still a form of surgery, so if you’re thinking about opting for this increasingly popular hair loss solution, it’s a good idea to give some thought to the recovery process.
The good news is that the latest methods for harvesting and transplanting hair follicles are much more advanced than the early days of hair transplants, especially if you opt for the FUE procedure which has the shorter recovery period.
Whether you choose the new FUE method or the traditional FUT procedure – also known as the Strip Method as it involves the removal of a section of scalp from a donor area – both are straightforward day surgeries, done using a local anaesthetic.
Here’s a general guide to the timescales of results and recovery for a typical hair transplant procedure.
Once the operation is complete, the scalp will be treated and dressed by the surgical support team who will be experts in ensuring the best possible recovery and healing. They will also advise you on self-care following the anaesthetic and surgery, although this should be quite basic given that a hair transplant is classed as a minimally invasive procedure.
The day after the operation you should be able to remove any dressing. This might be your first chance to assess your new hairline, however there’s likely to be a degree of redness and maybe some swelling around the transplant area and donor site. There will probably also be some scabbing around the tiny incisions. All of these after-effects are completely normal, though of course, you’ll still need to treat the area very carefully. Your clinic will advise if you need to take any additional steps to protect the new follicles or to treat your skin and scalp.
Many clinics will include a follow-up assessment around three days after the operation. This timescale allows the area to heal and settle down so that the surgeon can assess the transplant results. This is also an opportunity for the clinic to ensure your skin is healing normally and there are no complications or adverse side-effects.
After two or three days of rest and recuperation, you should be fully able to return to work. However, depending on your job or if you’re feeling self-conscious about your appearance, you may like to allow a little extra time for any scabbing, swelling or redness to completely fade.
Within a week or two of the transplant, you should be feeling sufficiently recovered to get back to normal life. Although the visible signs of your operation should have healed and diminished, you’ll need to continue with your aftercare practices in order to give your new hair follicles the best chance of getting fully established.
After a few weeks, your scalp will be completely healed, so you may expect to be enjoying your transplant results during this phase. However, it’s good to remember that the hairs that were transplanted during the surgery will gradually shed around this time. This is an expected part of the process, and your surgeon will no doubt have explained this to you beforehand.
New growth from the transplanted follicles will usually appear around three months after the surgery. Although your skin and scalp should be fully recovered well before this timeframe, it’s around the three-month mark that you finally get to enjoy the permanent results.
Modern hair transplant methods have made this procedure a highly accessible option, with minimal downtime and rapid recovery timelines. And while you may not see the final permanent results until a number of months after the surgery, you should be able to get back to your normal life within a few short days. It’s easy to see why this effective hair loss solution is becoming such a popular and in-demand procedure.