Hair Transplant Growth Timeline: What Can You Expect?

Written by Anjali Sayee

If you are considering a hair transplant or have undergone one, you are probably wondering how long it would take to see any hair growth. It is important to note that your hair may take a while before growing substantially, which is normal. In this article, we have discussed the different growth stages of hair transplant, methods to speed up hair growth, and the complications that may affect your hair growth. Swipe up for more information!

What Happens In A Hair Transplant

In a hair transplant, follicles are taken from a donor scalp and implanted into a recipient scalp. Sometimes the donor follicles can be taken from another part of the recipient’s scalp. Hair transplant can be performed in different techniques, including Follicular Unit Transplant, Follicular Unit Extraction, Direct Hair Implantation, and Robotic Hair Transplant.

The hair may take a while to regrow. Here is what the hair growth timeline might look like after a hair transplant.

Stages Of Hair Growth After A Hair Transplant

It takes about two to three months to notice any hair growth after a hair transplant surgery. Full-length hair growth takes at least a year.

  • 1 day to 3 weeks: The first few days after surgery is meant for post-op care (1). There will be some swelling after the procedure that would warrant a few oral steroids (your doctor would prescribe them). Your doctor may also prescribe 2% minoxidil lotion to stimulate hair growth.
  • 2 to 3 weeks: Two to three weeks after the transplant, the hair shaft and the skin surrounding it fall off. But the planted hair follicle remains in a resting period (1). This is called shock loss and occurs due to the trauma of surgery (2).
  • 8 to 12 weeks (2 to 4 months): New hair growth is usually visible about three months after the transplant. The roots of the hair shafts can be noticed on the scalp.
  • 6 to 9 months: Substantial hair growth takes about six to nine months. The hair shafts continue to grow. This would be the time to get a second hair transplant procedure if required.
  • 1 year: It takes a whole year to notice full-length hair growth. Hair grows naturally from here on.

You may accelerate the growth of the transplanted hair in the following ways.

How To Speed Up Growth Of Transplanted Hair

Doctors can prescribe a few medications to stimulate faster hair growth:

  • 2% minoxidil lotion is suggested for women to accelerate hair growth. Research shows that minoxidil is very effective in speeding up hair growth (1).
  • PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is another method to stimulate faster hair growth (2). This method uses proteins from the recipient’s blood to promote quick hair growth.
  • Prostaglandin therapy also may help stimulate new hair growth after a hair transplant surgery (3).
  • Low-level light laser therapy, known for wound healing, may also enhance hair growth after a transplant surgery (3).
  • Other drugs like finasteride, dutasteride, and bimatoprost may also help stimulate faster hair growth (3).

As with any surgery, a hair transplant comes with its own set of risks and challenges. Here are certain complications and side effects associated with a hair transplant.

Complications With Hair Growth After A Transplant

  • A second hair transplant procedure may be required depending on the number of hair follicles yet to be transplanted.
  • Sometimes, hair transplants can go wrong with hair either not growing or growing in a different texture. Though this can be corrected with hair transplant repair treatments, it may mean more complications and expense.
  • Hypoaesthesia (numbness) has been noticed in donors. While this resolves on its own, it may last up to 18 months.
  • The density of transplanted hair is usually lesser. This means that the hair grown might be thinner. This can, however, be corrected with a second set of thicker hair implants.
  • An infection may result from the surgery. But this can be treated with antibiotics
  • Sometimes the new hair follicle growth might be ingrown and lead to cysts. Your doctor may be required to burst the cysts and remove the ingrown hair.
  • There also could be chances of the hair follicle graft not taking to your scalp. This means the implanted follicles refuse to grow. These follicles will need to be replaced to stimulate hair growth.

Here are some care tips recommended after surgery.

Post-Op Care

After the surgery, the first few days focus on post-op care (1).

  • Oral steroids may be prescribed for any swelling. A headband can be worn to stop the swelling from spreading to the face.
  • Hair should be washed with a mild shampoo on the second and third days after surgery.
  • While you can comb your hair, ensure the comb’s teeth do not touch the transplanted follicular grafts.
  • T-shirts and pull-overs should not be worn for at least three weeks after the surgery as they may pull the hair out.
  • Avoid hair oils, strong shampoos, and other hair products for three weeks after surgery. Also, avoid helmets and other head-covering accessories.
  • A 2% minoxidil lotion is prescribed to stimulate hair growth.

Conclusion

While you might have to wait for hair to grow noticeably after a hair transplant, the same can be said about any other hair growth treatment. Certain therapies and techniques can help accelerate hair growth. However, consult your doctor before you follow any of them. Sticking to the right diet and making desirable lifestyle changes also can help with long-term hair growth.

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Anjali Sayee is a writer and an introvert. From studying Aeronautical Engineering and wanting to design her own airplane to writing articles on hairstyles, she has been on quite a journey. She believes that hair is one of the key factors that define a woman’s personality. To quote her, “What’s the first thing they do in the movies to show a personality change? Change the hair – because it has a life of its own.” She’s here to help you find the hairstyle you need. This bookworm is a self-professed Wholocker, a talented drummer, and an amateur photographer.