After a hair transplant, people are naturally excited to see the results. The recovery process takes time and after around 3-4 months you can expect to see initial growth. From there, full results may take up to a year.
A hair transplant can be a transformational experience. It revitalizes the way you look and feel, meaning that it’s a powerful tool. However, hair transplant candidates can sometimes be concerned about the recovery process. There’s a worry that people will be able to tell they had a hair transplant and while some are fine with this, others would like to stay more discreet.
Hair Transplant Healing Time
The hair transplant healing time depends on what we mean when we say recovery. Medically, recovery would mean that the wounds are healed and the patient is well on their way to resuming normal activity.
So with this definition, after the procedure, the wounds on the scalp are mostly healed by day 3-4 after surgery. The hair follicles are safely incorporated under the scalp. The risk of infection by this point is pretty low. Pain is a non-factor by this point and the patient can resume regular activity including work. Now this can vary by patient, but most people take a few days off.
Hair Transplant Results
When speaking about hair transplant recovery time, if the patient considers recovery as meaning how long until there are no signs they had surgery, it would be more like 7-10 days. The most visible signs of the procedure are the scabs from where the grafts were placed and the donor sites on the back of the head. The scabs over the grafts will be the last reminder of the surgery. These scabs take about 7-10 days to fall off. It’s very important to let them fall off on their own so the grafts don’t become dislodged and to minimize scarring.
Additionally, we need to shave the donor site very closely to see the follicles we will harvest. With an FUT procedure only a small area is shaved and that tends to be covered by the hair above the shaved area as it falls back over the site. With an FUE procedure, the back of the head is shaved and the sites where the follicles were punched out will be visible. The hairs we don’t harvest grow back very quickly. By one week after surgery, the hair has grown back enough to cover the places we took the hair from.
Some patients don’t want anyone to know that they had surgery and some don’t care if others know. By 4-12 months after surgery everyone will notice how much more hair you have!
If you want to keep your hair transplant procedure to yourself, I would recommend no social interaction or work for 10 days to 2 weeks in order to fully recover from your hair transplant. This should allow for everything to return to normal. If you don’t mind the curious looks and questions, it’s pretty safe to return to work or be social by 2-3 days after surgery. Either way once the results start to show, you’ll be very happy that you decided to go through with the surgery!
Author: Mishelle Risman