Hair transplant is a slightly invasive procedure that involves the transfer of hair follicles from a healthy site, called the “donor site,” to an area with minimal or unhealthy hair growth, usually called the “recipient site.” It’s an effective solution to male pattern baldness, insufficient hair in the eyebrows, eyelashes, beards, chest, and other body parts that contain hair.
You may consider a hair transplant after different attempts at improving your hair growth or reducing the loss of your hair density. This option is effective, but it occurs in stages.
So, suppose you’re considering getting a hair transplant. In that case, you need to know the timeline that’s essentially the gradual journey to restoring your hair mass, and that’s what we’re exploring in this article, alongside the different types of transplants.
Follicular Unit Transplant
Hair transplants have been in existence since as far back as 1939 in Japan. However, the results were so noticeable and didn’t leave natural-looking results. Then, surgeons discovered that they could make hair transplants look natural and blended. That was the beginning of follicular unit transplants.
It entails cutting out skin grafts from the donor site and transplanting at the recipient site. During this four- to eight-hour procedure, you’ll stay awake. Follicular hair transplant entails extracting your follicles with your scalp, but you’ll feel no pain because the surgeon numbs the donor and recipient sites. Then, the surgeon will separate the follicles from the scalp and transplant them into the area with less or unhealthy hair growth.
This method requires incisions as the surgeon extracts the hair follicles and sutures when closing the scalp. The extracted hair follicles must be healthy, as your body will accept them and replicate the growth level at the site they were harvested from.
Follicular Unit Extraction
Follicular unit extraction is more common than follicular unit transplant, and that’s because of the faster recovery period, lack of scars because it doesn’t require incisions and sutures, and leaves you in less pain after the procedure. In addition, it doesn’t limit the hair that can be harvested to just the scalp – hair from other healthy parts of the body is suitable for this procedure.
In follicular unit extraction surgeries, hair is individually removed from the donor site and transplanted into the recipient site. So, it takes a lot of time and precision, making it costlier than the follicular unit transplant.
This procedure can take about two to four hours or ten hours a day in extreme cases. It’s usually done in sessions, which could span days. However, you’ll be able to go home after each session.
These surgeries are effective, and you’ll begin to see results within months. Read on to find out about the evolution of hair transplants in stages.
The Evolution of Hair Transplant in Stages
The hair transplanted into the recipient site is trimmed to a small size. So, after your surgery, you won’t get immediate results. Of course, there’ll be some evidence that you’ve just had a procedure, such as redness in the area. However, the hair won’t materialize until after some time, known as the evolution of hair transplant in stages.
These stages include:
Two Weeks After the Procedure
Two weeks post-procedure, you may still be experiencing some pain. That’s because the recipient area is just beginning to heal. At this point, the swelling must have reduced or died down, and scabs will start to fall off the surgery area.
The transplanted follicles will be very strong now, and your body will have accepted them at this point. Then, you may notice something that appears alarming to most people but is quite normal – the hairs begin to fall off at this stage.
However, they are only making room for transplanted follicles to get accepted by your body and grow like the others. If you’re more disturbed by this, don’t hesitate to reach out to your surgeon for counseling.
Two Weeks to a Month After the Procedure
It’s still an early-stage post-procedure, so your hair will still fall out at this stage. Most hair transplant patients take some time off work at this point because the recipient area goes back to the state it was pre-transplant in a bid to adapt to its new circumstances. Remember, shedding hair at this stage is still expected, and you’ll have healthy hair growth before you know it.
Haircare should be a delicate affair a month after the procedure. Be mindful of the strength of the shampoos and conditioners you apply to your scalp, as they may be harmful if they contain too many chemicals.
Four Weeks to Three Months Post-Procedure
This is the stage where the hair starts consolidating, and you may begin to see little stubbles of hair. You may still shed hair at this point, but it’s still all a part of the regrow that process. However, now that you’re aware of the different growth stages, you can readily anticipate this and even make provisions to make it less conspicuous, like getting a hairpiece.
The essence of all the hair shedding is to give the recipient area sufficient room to thrive, so you’ll have to be as patient as possible.
Three to Six Months Post-Procedure
Your hair will grow at an accelerated and healthier rate from the third or fourth month. Again, some people may experience swift growth or a slow but steady one – it depends on your body’s natural hair growth. But at this point, you’ll be satisfied because the result of getting a hair transplant will begin to manifest.
Six Months to a Year After
Finally, your hair will be restored to its previous glory or will even produce a healthier and thicker result. It’s best to stay in contact with your hair transplant surgeon and make semi-regular visits to the clinic to ensure that the growth is going as expected. You can resume hair care as you used to, as the area is no longer delicate.
A hair transplant is a very effective solution to any form of baldness and is an option for any gender. Understanding the evolution of hair transplants in stages can point you in the dire ton of what to expect if you eventually decide to give it a shot and may also provide the information that determines if this option is suitable for your lifestyle or not.