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. #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. 

Most Hair Growth After a Transplant Occurs Between 6 to 12 Months

Some hairs can grow between 3 to 4 months but 75% of my patients have almost nothing then.  Most hair starts to grow at 6 months with ongoing improvement between 6 to 12 months.  A few of my patients do not see appreciable growth until 9 months.  This is less likely but possible.  Although you must ask your physician, check out my video to understand how hair grows after a hair transplant procedure with me.

Samuel Lam, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 45 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 9 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

More time is needed

Consider non surgical methods such as Rogaine for now. There are many methods of hair transplantation.  Wanted them RFUE and another can be a surgical flap.  Grafts can be taken with as few as one hair follicle or multiple follicles.  The quality of the hair, the number of follicles per unit and the location in which the hair is to be placed are all important determinants in the final result.  While it is a common misconception that hair can and should be taken from any location, taking appropriate hair from an appropriate location is key to success.  For instance, one cannot always use hair from a beard to replace a frontal hairline.  The orientation in which Harris placed is also important.  If the frontal hairline is being created then it is important to make sure that hairs are aligned in the correct orientation.  The way the hair is also laid down, for example a staggered pattern versus a straight line will also change the quality of the result.  You should certainly visit with a surgeon who does many of these types of transplantations as well as offers multiple options for hair restoration.  The cost can vary by geographic locale.  In general they can arrange from $7000-$25,000.  When you go over consultation ask for before and after photographs.

Hair Growth Improves Over Time

The earliest that we would expect to see some hair growth is 3 months post–op. Hair grows about 1 cm per month, so it takes an additional year for those earliest hairs to get almost 5 inches in length (15 months post-op ). Each month there are more and more hairs coming in and joining that initial growth, creating greater density. As the hair grows it also increases in diameter so there is additionally increased volume of hair as well as increased numbers. All of this results in increased coverage. This all means that it will take a minimum of 1 year to have a good idea of what kind of coverage you will get from your procedure.

Richard Fitzpatrick, MD (in memoriam)
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 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.