How Long Does Hair Transplant Last?

I'm considering a hair transplant and I have male pattern baldness. Is surgery just a temporary solution? How would I be able to achieve full head of hair if Male Pattern Baldness is progressive? The doctor recommended i get 4000 grafts. If I can get it done in one surgery OK, but I don't want to be going in and out of surgery every few years. Am I just delaying the inevitable?

Doctor Answers 67

Hair Transplant for Permanent Solution

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The great part about hair transplantation is that it is a permanent solution for hair loss.  After your hair transplantation procedure, we recommend a combination of laser hair therapy, propecia, and Rogaine to help solidify the transplanted hair follicles and aid in slowing the loss of hair from follicles that were not transplanted.  Talk with your doctor about his recommendations for post transplantation hair care.

Length of time hair transplant lasts

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Hair transplant is permanent!  You doctor will be able to tell you his or her success rate per graft.  I quote our patients higher than 95% take rate. 

4000 grafts is a mega session and will likely correct most of the baldness you see now.  If your balding continues and you don't take steps to minimize further baldness, new areas may show up in the future.  Talk with your doctor and make sure what steps are recommended to prevent future baldness. 

Permanent cure?

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That's a really great question.

You are right when you say that male pattern hair loss is progressive.  In the vast majority of men with male-pattern hair loss, hair is progressively lost from the front, temporal and vertex scalp, but is retained in a "horseshoe" pattern around the sides and back (the occipital scalp). This hair is very resistant to normal hair loss, well into the 70s and 80s (there's a scientific reason for that - let me know if you want to know more).  When these hair follicles are harvested carefully using FUE and implanted in the bald areas, they retain their resistance to hair loss for decades, even in the new location. That means most patients can expect their transplant result to last for decades, well into their 70s and 80s.  That's about as close to permanent as medicine can get. You can certainly improve the results and permanence of the transplant by continuing medical treatment with Minoxidil and Finasteride after the procedure, and you should consider doing that on a permanent basis, as long as you don't experience any side effects.

There are forms of alopecia where even the hair on the back and sides of the scalp are lost.  Fortunately, these are much, much more rare than the typical male-pattern baldness.

It is not possible to comment on the number of grafts required to reconstruct your scalp without a face-to-face assessment.

If done right, you should be happy with your transplant for decades.

I hope this information is helpful!

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How permanent is a Hair Transplant?

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Generally speaking it is well established that a hair transplant is permanent. The hair follicles are taken from areas that are not genetically programmed to fall out such as the back and sides of the scalp. This is called the "Safe Zone".

It is note worthy and in my opinion however, if the hair is taken out side of the safe zones or along the edgesof the safe zone, then some of these hairs may have the genetic DNA to succumb to DHT driven male pattern baldness. In other words, some of these hairs could still fall out.

Hair grafting duration

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You are asking some great questions concerning hair transplants.  You did not mention your age.  If you opt for hair grafting, the hair donor site is from the back part of your hair where your hair is terminal and the hair grafted is permanent; however in the frontal area and crown areas you may still be losing hair in these areas until your mid 30's or longer and you should be evaluated by a hair transplant surgeon to determine whether you are a good candidate for hair restoration.  I usually do not recommend hair grafting for most men before their 30's as I like to be sure your hair loss is stable in the areas where you want grafting; if you are already bald in those areas then that will not be a concern.

I hope I helped you answer your questions.

Bradford S. Patt, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

How long does a hair transplant last?

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In many ways, hair transplant is a permanent solution to hair loss.  Of course, each patient is unique, but if the hair from the donor area is destined to never fall out, it will retain those same characteristics when moved to the recipient area.  Most grafts will survive and be a permanent improvement.

The question of the number of grafts and the number of sessions needed to achieve a desired result is a different issue altogether.  Some patients need only a small amount of improvement of the frontal hairline, which might be achieved with 500 - 1000 grafts, while others might need significant thickening of the entire top of the scalp, including the vertex.  This might require 2-3 sessions of several thousand grafts per session.  I recommend discussing all of your options with a fellowship-trained hair restoration surgeon.

All the best,

Transplanted hair should last a lifetime

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Transplanted hair, when harvested from the back of the scalp, has the potential to last a lifetime.

This is important when considering the harvest areas, to ensure that the proper follicles are harvested and transplanted to the balding or thinning areas. This is also why the design of the hairline is so important, as it is a permanent feature of hair transplant and needs to fit the natural shape and pattern of your face and scalp. 

Make sure you see an expert in Hair Restoration Surgery, who has the knowledge and expertise to provide you with the best advice and results!

Bharat Shah, MD, FACS
Springfield Plastic Surgeon

In theory it is supposed to be permanent

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In theory, hair transplant is meant to be a permanent solutions to the problem of baldness and thinning hair. Even in some specific cases, if it doesn't last a lifetime, it is extremely long lasting and one of the most successful treatments to regain lost hair. 

The transplanted hair follows the behaviour of the donor area and will continue to grow as it did in the donor area.

No two cases are the same, so comparing yourself to another before / after picture on the internet and imagining an expected result based on a Google search is not the right approach. Ideally, you should look for a well experienced and qualified surgeon in your city and visit him / her for a consultation.

This is because, permanence of hair transplant is something that depends a lot on suitable candidacy and your surgeon setting the right expectations. Your cosmetic surgeon should be able to evaluate your suitability based on your age, genetics, health record and family history. It  is then that the surgeon and patient mutually set the right expectations.

Hair Transplantation Results

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Hair transplantation operation gives permanent results if the extraction is carried out from the safe zone of the donor site.
The hair follicles transplanted in the operation are genetically resistant to the impact of testosterone that triggers hair loss. The transplanted hair survives on the transplantation site for a lifetime. If the transplanted hair would later be lost, it would not make sense to have hair transplantation.
Of course your hair loss trend should be considered and some reserve of donor should be kept safe for future.
Considering finasterid and Minoxidil treatment is also necessary to minimize further hairloss.

How long will trasnplantred hairs last?

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Excellent question! If the donor hairs are harvested entirely from the "Safe Zone," they should last indefinitely. Strip procedures have the benefit of ensuring that all harvested grafts come from this area, even for sessions of 4000 grafts or larger. However, for FUE, it is not possible to harvest such large numbers from within the traditional safe zone, and grafts harvested above and below this zone are more likely to disappear over time. This is something you must discuss with your surgeon.

It is almost always beneficial to slow down or stop the progression of male pattern hair loss with minoxidil, finasteride, laser therapy, and PRP to maximize your long term appearance of density.

Robert Haber, MD
Cleveland Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.