Hair Growth After Hair Transplant

I had a hair transplant of about 2,600 follicular unit extraction (FUE) grafts Nov 08. New hair is now visible in the frontal area, but it is sparse and I'm unhappy with the looks. Though most of the grafts were put in the frontal area of head, I had quite a few in the vertex area too, where so far I haven't seen any growth or changes. I'm now near the 6th month after surgery. What can I expect from this point on? What are my chances of having further improvement? Thanks!

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Hair growth after hair transplant

Usually after hair transplant surgery, the hair has to go through its normal cycle of growth. Each hair follicle has its own cycle.   Depending on the it's position in its cycle, once implanted it will go through its cycle and therefore grows in accordingly.  So normally gradually the hair starts to grow in.  Around six months, about fifty percent of the hair would grow in, and continue to grow to up to 18 months after the procedure.  As it is starting to come in there is a stage when the hair growth looks kind of awkward, at that stage you just have to be patient.

Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Hair Growth After Hair Transplant. #NeoGraft #results

Thank you for your question!  Hair growth after transplantation requires patience.  It may be that even at the 6 month post operative point, the appearance of the result is not what you expected.  There are some patients that take longer to see results and is the reason why so many of the transplant surgeons stress waiting a good year before arriving at any conclusions as to the success of your procedure. 

It's hard to wait.........

The hardest part of this procedure is the waiting.  What you are most likely noticing is that you see some hair, but you are disappointed with the overall fullness.  You have probably seen pictures of people who have a full head of hair 6 months after a transplant and wondering why this is not the case for you.  When you feel your head you might feel short hairs that are not yet growing.   Although you have seen some growth, it can take longer than a year for many of the transplanted hairs to grow.  The initial growth might be a thin, wispy hair despite the fact that the follicle was taken from a site where the hairs were thicker.   Don't despair.  It does get better.  However it could, as some have commented before me, take another 6-12 months of waiting.  I advise my patients of this because this has been my experience as a surgeon and as a patient.  As an aside, there has been some reports of enhanced  growth by injecting PRP into the scalp.  Perhaps it might be proven to stimulate the growth of transplanted follicles.  You might want to get an opinion about that from your hair transplant surgeon.

Barry S. Citron, MD, FACS
Montclair Plastic Surgeon

6 Months Post Surgery

At this point, your best bet is to continue following post-surgery instructions and keep in close touch with your surgeon.  Generally, it can take up to 12-18 months to see final results.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Expected Hair Growth After a Hair Transplant

At 6 months although transplanted grafts may not have reached their maximal hair-strand thickness or other characteristics such as curl pattern etc. (which help account for overall hair volume) some grown from grafts which remain viable should have occurred. 

Hair Growth Post Transplant can be categorized briefly into three phases
Catogen, Telogen and Anagen-

a) 0-1 month Post Transplant (Catogen Phase)
Typically 95% of transplanted hairs go through a brief Catogen phase where the newly transplanted short hairs (but NOT the actual hair follicles themselves where the growth occurs) are shed and fall out.

b) 1-4 months Post Transplant (Telogen Phase)
Newly transplanted hair follicles remain dormant anywhere between 1-4 months re-vascularizing and preparing themselves for the growth phase

c) 4-6 months (12 months Max Post Transplant) Anagen phase
Follicles will again begin to grow new hairs which will last anywhere from 2-6 years depending upon ones genetics prior to again cycling through the above phases.

Warm Regards,

Dr Quinton Chivers MD FRCSC
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons

Quinton Chivers, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Hair growth after hair transplantation

Everyone will grow their transplanted hair at different rates.  However, for the most part some growth should be seen at 6 months.  Full growth will take about a year.  Use of Rogaine and possibly Propecia before and during the transplant can increase density by preventing further loss and restoring "injured" follicles to produce more robust hairs. I'd still be patient.  2,600 follicles in not a tremendous amount for all of the areas you described, but you will certainly see a noticeable difference.  Hang in there!

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

We expect 70-80% hair growth at 6 months

The final result of hair transplant is visible within 1 year. After the transplant some of the hair falls, whereas others grow after some months. This happens gradually. It is still early to judge if something has been successful. However, after such an operation I usually tell my patients to take minoxidil treatment, as it has been shown to prevent hair loss. If the operation has been done in the right way-after the operation we tell patients to spray their head every 30’ with saline for the first days–you shouldn’t worry. Normally we expect 70-80% hair growth at 6 months after a FUE procedure.

Anastasios Vekris, MD
Greece Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Hair growth after hair transplant

Following a hair transplant you can expect the grafts to start growing after 4-6 months following the surgery. They usually grow at a pace of 1cm per month and you see the full result of the hair transplant at the end of 9-12 months. It might even keep improving beyond that time frame. I recommend patients to use Minoxidil & Finasteride for at least a year following the surgery as a supportive measure.

Be patient for now, it will get better. All the best.

Hair growth after restoration

One of the most difficult parts of a hair restoration procedure is waiting. It can take many months for you to notice any growth from the transplanted follicles and even then they will be so short that they will contribute absolutely nothing to the fullness or thickness of the hair in that area. It really may not be until a full year after the procedure that you notice the true results of your procedure. Between years one and two you will still notice improvement and thickening. Don't give up hope. There are still many changes to come.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.