Hair transplants have changed a lot over the past 10 to 15 years. These terrible corn row hair transplants are a thing of the past in modern hair restoration surgery. Techniques today are much more sophisticated and precise in the way surgery is performed. Most importantly, the results of modern hair transplantation are much more natural than anything you have seen or heard before in cosmetic hair surgery.
But there is the thing. Your transplant may just be cosmetic anesthesia, but it is still an operation, so there are signs that you have done “work”. That’s what most people care about – what will you look like afterwards?
It really depends on the type of transplant you are going to have. Let’s look at each type:
Strip cut graft
Here, a piece of hairy skin is cut off from the back of the head. The tiny, single hair transplants are then removed and transplanted to your scalp. You need stitches on the back of the head to close the donor area. Healing takes a few days and there is swelling and discomfort. In fact, you need a few days off for the scar to heal. It will also take some time for the newly transplanted hair transplants to your head to heal and the scabs to dry and fall off and your scalp to return to normal.
An FUE transplant does not require a large scar in the donor area. With FUE, each hair transplant is removed directly from the back and sides of your head and then transplanted to the bare parts of your scalp. Instead of a single large “sore” on the back of the head, an FUE transplant leaves hundreds or thousands of microscopic holes in the back of the head and on the scalp. Again, it will take a few days for the transplanted area to heal and the scabs to dry up and disappear. The donor area (from which the hair was removed) takes longer to heal because there are a lot of small “sores” instead of just one big one. It takes a week or two for the recipient area (where the hair was placed) to heal properly. It may therefore be wise to take some time back.
It doesn’t matter if you have a strip cut or an FUE transplant, you have scars from the surgery. It is really very important that you keep physical activity to a minimum so that you don’t stretch those scars and make them much bigger than they need to be. Ideally, keep physical activity at a bare minimum for a few weeks after hair surgery until you are properly healed.
How fast is your hair growing?
Hair transplants are fun things to do when hair is growing back. When the hair is transplanted, it grows for a few days or even weeks and then falls out. Relax – this is perfectly normal and your hair surgeon will have (or should have) warned you. A few weeks later, the newly transplanted hair will grow back – you can assume this will happen within the first 90 days. Some people will see it grow back quickly and others will have to wait a little longer. After 9 to 12 months, you should see the final growth results from your transplant. Then you can decide if you are happy with the end result or if you want to thicken the hairline a bit more with some other method.
Shortly after your surgery, your scalp will look a bit coarse – there will be dried blood and scabs. These heal within a few days and your scalp will remain pink for a few days afterwards. Your donor area is usually hidden unless your head was shaved during the transplant (which is increasingly common), so all scars should be hidden there. Even if your head has been shaved, there should be enough regrowth within 3-4 weeks to cover the donor’s scars, so in the worst-case scenario, you’ll be out of action for almost a month. Not bad for a life-changing result!