TIMELINE ON RECOVERY FOR HAIR TRANSPLANTS
Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that a specialist surgeon can carry out to help to thin hair or baldness problems. The procedure involves harvesting hair strands from hair-rich parts of the body like the back of the head or face. The hair grafts are then planted on the affected area, either by balding, hair thinning, or receding hairline problem. About 60 per cent and 50 per cent of men and women respectively experience hair thinning, balding, or receding hairline issues, which forces them to go for hair restoration options.
While there are over-the-counter products that one can use for hair restoration, hair transplant procedures are the most effective. Having been implemented and made better for decades, they are now among the most preferred hair restoration options. With up to 80 per cent of transplanted hair growing within three to four months after the transplant, it is clear that the procedures are efficient. We spoke with a hair transplant doctor from San Francisco to get more information about the ins and outs of the recovery process.
What is the Recovery Period for Hair Transplants?
The responses to this question may vary depending on a number of factors. The individual in question, the aftercare precautions they take, as well as the procedure that was done can affect the recovery timeline. Generally, the following factors may affect the overall timeline that most individuals’ hair transplant recovery may take:
Type of Procedure Done
The two primary procedures one may have are either FUE or FUT. The method used for harvesting hair strands, making holes, and planting them may determine how long you take to recover.
Skills and Experience of the Surgeon
How skilled and experienced the surgeon who works on you is can affect your recovery timeline too. The more skilled and experienced they are, the better the results that they will get you. In this case, the recovery time could be reduced significantly if the right practices were taken.
After a transplant, your surgeon will suggest the right precautions to follow during the recovery period. This should help your hair to start growing healthily and uniformly. Some of the possible recommendations may include your lifestyle changes, changes to your hairdo and treatment, as well as treatments such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medicine, and pain medication. As long as you follow the specialist’s directives, you should not have major issues recovering.
The other factors that may affect your recovery period include:
- Whether you take the recommended resting period before resuming work
- Whether you follow the recommended cleaning procedures
- Avoiding nicotine, alcohol, and aspirin intake
- Taking plenty of protein, iron, zinc, omega-3 amino acids, and vitamins
- Using the shampoo or other hair cleaning products that the surgeon may recommend
- Avoiding scratching the transplanted area even during cleaning
The Hair Transplant Recovery Timeline
You may expect your recovery timeline to look like below:
This is the most crucial period. It is advisable that you leave your head alone, avoid touching it unnecessarily, and only clean it as per your surgeon’s recommendations. You should never play with the transplanted hair to avoid dislodging it. In the first week, you can also expect to have the bandages removed, as the incisions made will have healed.
During the second week, the transplanted hair follicles will be entering a “resting phase.” Some hairs may start to fall out (which is called a shock hair loss) but should not be a reason to worry. During this phase, the crusting and scabbing start to disappear, too, while the incisions get completely closed. If you still have some scabs left, continue with the cleaning routine recommended by your specialist until the scabs eventually come off on their own.
Months 2 and 3
During the second and third months, you may start noticing the first strands growing. Gradually, the hair will start to grow thicker and longer. The scars on the donor area will also take the final shape.
Months 4 through 6
During these two months, your hair has not grown thicker and longer. At this point, you can even try some more hair-styling ideas. The donor area will also have completely healed.
Months 7 to 12
Almost all of the transplanted hair has grown now. It is now clear whether the procedure was successful and the results will be permanent or not.
Between the first year and the first 18 months, you should have known the success of the procedure. Your hair should have developed fully now, in both the donor and recipient areas. Also, any scars that might have been made should have healed and cleared completely.
The above timeline is a general one if all the factors are put into consideration. As long as you had the right procedure, a qualified specialist for it, and then followed through with the aftercare, you should not have any issues with the recovery timeline.