Deciding to get a hair transplant should not be made lightly. Before committing to a surgical procedure, patients should consider every aspect. These aspects include what the recovery is like, how long it will take before the results are visible, what level of discomfort is to be expected, and what sensations and experiences are normal during the healing process.
In this article, we will outline the healing process and what can be expected while recovering from a hair transplant so you can be sure you are making the right decision for yourself.
Although hair transplants are technically a surgical procedure, they are noninvasive. Since they are performed under anesthesia, they are also painless. However, they do cause some discomfort, which is especially true during the first week of recovery.
During the first week of recovery, swelling of the surgical area, forehead, and/or eyes is a normal side effect. It is also possible that you could experience some slight bleeding and itchiness as scabs start to form. Slight discomfort and some redness around your hairline are considered normal, but you should not be in substantial amounts of pain.
During the third and fourth weeks of your recovery, the scabs will fall off, your swelling should be minimal, and the redness around your hairline will disappear. However, you may also notice some hair loss. Referred to as “shock loss,” this period of shedding after a hair transplant is perfectly normal and can last for two months.
The second month of recovery is still dominated by shock loss. Even though this period of hair loss varies from person to person, it is still normal. By the end of the third month, the shock loss should slow down, and new hair should start to be visible.
Before new hair grows, some people have reported seeing small pimples in the area where the physician placed the transplanted follicle. This is a good sign, as it means new hair should be growing soon. If you do not develop pimples, however, it is not a concern. The hair will still grow even if you do not have this side effect.
Once the new growth appears, it may seem irregular or uneven. On the other hand, it may also seem fine compared to the other hair you already have. Do not worry, however, as this hair will thicken over time. Your new hair will also grow at a rate of one centimeter per month.
During this time, you will see a lot of consistent hair growth and thickening. In fact, you will be able to notice coverage of up to 80% during these months of recovery. All of this growth and thickening means you will be able to get haircuts to take care of any unevenness and brush your hair lightly. Your hair is finally starting to get back to normal.
For most patients, the transplanted hair is nearly 100% recovered by the 12-month mark. As a result, you should have stunning results when compared to what your hair looked like on day one of recovery. Not only should there be hair where all the follicles were transplanted, but the new growth should be thick and blend in with the rest of your hair.
Recovering from a hair transplant takes a lot of time and patience. Each step of the way brings changes and challenges for the patient. Although it is not a painful procedure, it can be uncomfortable during the first month of recovery between the swelling, slight bleeding, and scabbing. It can also seem daunting and unsuccessful during the second and third months when hair loss is at its greatest.
Pushing past that phase, however, the final six months of recovery are more rewarding and exciting. This is the time when most changes can be seen. The new hair comes in, it thickens, and the results are finally within reach. This phase makes the procedure worth it. Not only does your hair grow back, but your confidence is boosted.
Patients should not decide to get hair transplant surgery on a whim. Instead, patients should examine all the factors of the procedure beforehand, which includes the recovery period. If you can be patient and handle this longer recovery window, the hair transplant procedure can be incredibly rewarding and provide a promising solution to hair loss.
If you're curious about getting a hair transplant or want to set up a consultation, please reach out to us. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have and help you decide if a hair transplant is a good fit for you. There's no pressure and the consultation is complimentary.