COVID-19 has truly impacted the way that we all work, live, and socialize. We have been made to adapt to being grounded firmly at home, living a slower-paced life. Within this slower-paced environment, we have more time to privately reflect on our goals and aspirations.
This may mean managing elements of your personal aesthetic goals that you’ve been putting off. Perhaps you know someone taking this time to get in shape. Some are clearing out old clothes and clutter. Many are also choosing to have their ideal cosmetic procedures carried out, as all the recovery time can be managed quietly and calmly from home. This is incredibly convenient; you get the time you need to rest and recover in a way that is completely private.
At Look Natural Hair Restoration, we have seen many people happily coming in to get the hair transplants they’ve always dreamed of in this time. Hair transplants are a fantastic solution to the age-old issue of thinning hair. There are a variety of causes for receding or thinning hair, including:
- Hereditary male pattern baldness
However, all these factors result in the same thing; thinning hair and individuals that are unhappy with their looks, feeling less confident than ever before. Hair transplants promise to reverse this issue – ensuring that hair looks thicker and fuller.
Many people who go through a hair transplant want to know; what are the stages they can expect to go through? Will it be obvious that they have had a hair transplant? The short answer is no, it will not be obvious. However, there are of course stages to the recovery that you can expect. These recovery stages are the reason that people are choosing to get their hair transplants done during COVID-19’s lockdown.
Before we dive into those stages, you need to understand a quick crash course in the phases of hair growth. Those are:
- Anagen: The growing phase, which lasts 2-7 years and determines the length of the hair.
- Catagen: The transitional phase in which the follicle shrinks. This lasts about 10 days.
- Telogen: This is the resting phase, and it lasts around 3 months.10-15% of hairs are in this phase at any given time. While the old hair is resting, new hair begins its growth phase.
- Exogen: This is where the old hair sheds and a new hair begins to grow. Around 50 to 150 hairs can fall out every day, which is considered normal.
So, after a hair transplant hair will still go through these phases. Recovery from a hair transplant is often much simpler and easier than people expect. Take a look at the timeline, below:
You will have received careful and detailed aftercare instructions that take you through everything to expect during your first two weeks after a hair transplant. Such as:
- You may experience some slight swelling.
- You should sleep with your head elevated for the first 48 hours.
- You will also be asked not to touch your hair and to start your post-op washing procedure.
- We advise patients not to exercise or have a power shower in the first 14 days.
After 7-10 days the skin will have healed and increased in strength so it’s possible to lightly touch the grafts without damage.
Months 0-4: Telogen
Though it surprises many people, the first stage of healing after a hair transplant is for the transplanted follicle to enter a resting phase in which it stops growing hair and the current hair shaft falls out. This stage is completely necessary and is also key for healthy hair growth in the future. The follicle itself will continue to produce hair when ready – this is not a sign of a failed transplant! This rest period can last weeks up to months, at which point, it will begin to grow again.
Months 4-8: Anagen
Around this time, things get really exciting – hair begins to grow back in the recipient area! This is known as the anagen phase, where active hair growth happens. Note that if you’ve had a transplant on the crown of your head, you can expect growth to take longer as the skin there is thicker than on other areas of the scalp.
This is around the time when you can expect to return to your surgeon for a follow-up visit. The donor site should now also be fully healed.
Months 8-12: Anagen
During the last few months leading up to your one year anniversary of getting a hair transplant, you’ll enter the maturation period, where your hair becomes thicker and the majority of growth has come in. Newly sprouted hairs are able to be styled and treated just like normal hair. This is the hair you’ve been dreaming of!
Of course, all results that you see in a hair transplant may vary, but by the 12-month mark, your hair should have reached its peak levels of density and thickness. Certainly, by the 24-month mark onwards all growth should have achieved its final form. Your transplanted hair should now be following normal growth cycles fully, producing more hair in the anagen phase, then entering catagen (rest), and then finally telogen (hair falling out) before entering anagen again.
Generally, people who are concerned that their hair transplant will be obvious are pleased to find out it’s a subtle and gradual change – over the year, their hair simply starts coming in thicker and begins to look healthier. However, for that first week of swelling, this could not be a better time to rest and relax. With COVID-19 slowing everyone down, why not get yourself looking beautiful and prepared for when it is all back to normal? Our facilities are also adhering to the highest standards of practice in response to COVID, in order to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Heather O’Neill, Director of Marketing
Jen Neary, Digital Marketing Associate