Hair transplant surgery is a very precise and delicate process that also requires patience for you to achieve your desired results. The post-surgical phase is the final stretch that calls on every patient to be extra careful and mindful of the surgeon’s instructions. Here are 10 of the common questions that some of you have asked us, and we will tackle each of them here.
1. What happens after a hair transplant?
After the surgery, it is the protocol that you will be advised a personalized program which involves a course of antibiotics to prevent infection. As an option, you may also be instructed to take medications that can prevent post-operative swelling.
2. How does the hair look like after hair transplant?
It is true that your patience can be tested after the procedure is done. You may constantly look in the mirror carefully checking out the changes as they come. Hair transplant growth has several phases, and you just have to give it some time and patience. The phases include the following:
This is within 0-3 months after surgery. This is a point where one experiences shedding or shock loss. Typically, there is still no hair growth seen yet at this stage.
This falls within 3-8 months after surgery, and it is when new hair eventually appear. Around 80% of the hairs emerge for most patients at the 8-month mark, and hair growth will be characteristically fine. It is also expected that the grafts on the crown area have the slowest growth.
This is within 8-12 months after surgery. The new hair eventually thicken, and those who naturally have frizzy hair will notice it to be frizzier for a few months. Due to the erratic pattern of hair growth, surgeons would tell people to expect that results would take a full year to realize.
3. How long after hair transplant surgery can a person comfortably go out in public?
This will depend on the approach that was used. If you had an FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) hair transplant done, then you most likely had the back and sides of your head shaved. The tiny holes or incisions in the donor areas heal remarkably fast within 24-48 hours. However, your hair does not grow that fast, so, you have to get used to the shaved look. You may feel comfortable being seen in public after 2 days or so.
If you had the FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) or strip method, the donor site will be completely hidden with your existing hair above it. This means that the site is completely hidden immediately after the surgery because it is still possible to keep your hair long. However, you will have tiny crusts in the recipient areas which you may or may not be able to hide depending on the amount of existing hair that you can style over it. If it is not possible to conceal this area, then y expect it to be visible for a week or two after the procedure.
4. Will people know I had a hair transplant?
In most practices, the surgeon would prefer to shave off the area for them to perform the procedure better. You may need a minimum of three weeks of downtime due to the healing process. The surgical area will be red and scabbed. After the procedure, the hair growth occurs slowly. As more growth occurs people may notice ‘something’ different about you, but won’t be able to pinpoint the exact physical change in you, especially if you had minimal work done.
5. How long does hair transplant last?
Hair transplantation is a permanent solution for hair loss. The transplanted hairs generally retain the characteristics of the donor hair in terms of color and texture. If your hair loss is progressive, a combination of laser treatments and vitamins are recommended to help solidify the transplanted hair follicles and aid in slowing hair loss from untreated areas that are prone to it.
6. What are the side effects associated with a hair transplant?
Generally, hair transplants are safe procedures with few side effects. The most common ones include swelling, minor discomfort, numbness, itching, and local inflammation. However, they are not severe and they are temporary. The patient may also experience shock loss, but this is temporary since the hair will grow back around 3-6 months.
Unnatural results or a bad hairline design is also a risk factor but this can easily be avoided by choosing an experienced surgeon and by establishing good communication. Scarring is also a risk, especially with strip procedures or FUT. Meanwhile, FUE procedures can create hypopigmentation once the scabs have healed. Cysts may also form due to a graft placement that is too deep or the partial removal of hair transplant grafts. In some cases, numbness may also be experienced, especially in strip procedures.