I had a hair transplant. Is my hair density going to cover my full head? I am concerned about my density! (Photo)

I had a hair transplant on 15 sep. It has been 1.5 months since. Below are my photos , my scalp looks clean and i can see my scalp .I m concerned about my hair density .Will it be enough or i would have to go for another transplant. Doctor told me he has tranplanted 5500 hairs but density looks thin.will it be enough to make me look not bald ? Please see the photos and let me know. can i expect some growth of hair to cover my scalp before 1 Feb . I have a special function to attend !

Doctor Answers 6

You can improve transplant results with better graft healing and thickening native hair, but your timeline is a bit tight

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question. You’ve undergone a 5500-graft hair transplant in September, and are concerned you didn’t get the kind of coverage you wanted. You have an important event to attend in February, and wonder if you’ll have adequate coverage by that time.

I think I can assist you with your question as I have been performing hair transplant surgery for over 20 years in Manhattan and Long Island. I am also the founder of TrichoStem® Hair Regeneration centers, which provides a non-surgical hair loss treatment alternative that makes use of extracellular matrix and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). I’m also a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and an oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon.

Usually, when people shop for hair transplant surgery, they often look at the number of grafts that can be transplanted, and overlook the limitation of the actual number of grafts that can be harvested from the donor area. In your case, you received a relatively high number of grafts during your transplant. In fact, we can say that you had a “mega session”, as you received enough grafts for two transplants in one session. In addition to this, we also have to take into account that you have very advanced hair loss. This means that, even if all 5500 hair grafts survive, you would still have a significant lack of overall density compared to when you still had hair.

To give you a better idea about density, your peak hair count was about 100,000 hairs in your early teens. Upon first noticing the signs of hair loss, you’ve already lost about half of that number. For natural surface density, people usually have about 50-70 hairs per square centimeter, in contrast to hair transplant surgery which can only transplant about 20 hairs per square centimeter. From these factors, you can understand that a hair transplant cannot achieve natural, full density, but is effective in making someone look not as bald as they were prior to the procedure.

To understand a bit more about the phase you’re in, you have to understand that there are two things that can happen after hair transplant surgery. Usually, immediately after the surgery, the hair grafts look quite good. After a few months, it is not unusual for the grafts to undergo shock loss, which means that the hairs temporarily go into the telogen or shedding phase. In such cases, the top of hairs fall out, but the roots or the dermal papilla remains in the scalp. In addition to this, collateral shock loss may also occur on adjacent hairs. Another thing that is not unusual to see is long-term collateral loss of existing hairs due to incidental trauma of transplant surgery.

Your timeline of September to February, which is about 5 months, is a bit tight. In our practice, we usually tell our patients the expect full results after a year, and for patients who are slow growers or have more advanced hair loss, we say about 18 months. I’m not sure how satisfied you’ll be with your hair by that time, though this does not mean that you won’t see more growth as time goes on.

What we do for patients like yourself is treat them with Hair Regeneration, which is a non-surgical alternative to hair transplants we developed over the years. Hair Regeneration effectively reverses hair thinning in both men and women, and in the right candidate, can yield results that exceed two hair transplants. The treatment was initially developed with the intention of using it to improve the results of hair transplants, hair graft survival, and donor area healing.

We do have patients who come to us for this treatment during the critical time of the first 1-3 months after having a hair transplant, though I usually prefer treating them within 1-2 months to more effectively heal grafts and thicken thinning hair. We have a great deal of success with this treatment.

Ultimately, I’m not saying you should get Hair Regeneration treatment, but that it is one of your options. I suggest that you speak with your doctor about what to expect from your hair by February, so you have more realistic expectations. I think it’s important to understand that a hair transplant is not an ideal solution, but a compromise; and that the donor area, by nature, is very limited. I think communication with your doctor is very important. In the meantime, you may also look into using topical fibers to help with your February event.

I hope that was helpful and I wish you the best of luck!

This personalized video answer to your question is posted on RealSelf and on YouTube. To provide you with a personal and expert response, we use the image(s) you submitted on RealSelf in the video, but with respect to your privacy, we only show the body feature in question so you are not personally identifiable. If you prefer not to have your video question visible on YouTube, please contact us.

New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Hair density in the recipient area

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
You can not know for sure how the dense the recipient area will be until all the hair grows in which may take up to 18 months. 

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Hair growth and density

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
These questions should have been covered in your consultation and post operative discussions with your doctor. 

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD FACS
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
This can take 1-1.5 years to see final results.  Some transplants do not even produce results as nothing in medicine is 100%. I think its best to be patient and keep close follow up with your doctor.

Rashid M. Rashid, PhD, MD
Houston Dermatologist

Your hair loss pattern is a Norwood 6. You probably will not get full density of hair after surgery. Your doctor should have

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Your hair loss pattern is a Norwood 6. You probably will not get full density of hair after surgery. Your doctor should have told you this and given you realistic expectations.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

5500 hairs transplanted

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The area shown in your picture reflects a Class 6 balding pattern with a wide distribution of the grafts (not hairs). A wide distribution of I would guess was 3300 grafts, unless your hair is coarse, will not create a full density. If that is the case, you can add scalp micropigmentation under these transplants when it is fully grown in, and make it look much, much fuller. See below in web reference

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 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.