Neograft starting to feel like it's not worth it anymore. Donor area is not even with the rest of the hair.

Hello, I am 35yrs old and my hair style is a #1-1.5 buzz cut. I had a receding hair line, so I had neograft done about 6 weeks ago (by a known good doctor in the area). As I am able to cut my hair again, I have noticed the donor site IS NOT EVEN with the rest of the hair anymore! It looks like it's a shorter buzz cut fade in that area. Will this area thicken back out over time or will I pretty much never be able to buzz my hair anymore?? Have I sacrificed the back of my head to fill the front?!

Doctor Answers 13

Donor Area after an FUE Procedure

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In general you need to wait 2-3 months for the hair to become even with the rest in the donor zone.  This is provided your procedure was done with a small punch and that the donor zone was not over harvested.  At 6 weeks it is usually too early to tell.

Irvine Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Remain Patient

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You have not sacrificed the back of your head to fill the front. The donor site has naturally occurring groupings of hairs that will continue to grow. As for the transplant site, I suggest you remain patient as you are experiencing results along the faster timeline with 6 weeks following the operation.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Donor area not even after NeoGraft FUE procedure?

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Dear NeoQ777,

You may have sacrificed the ability to trim your hair with a 1 or a 1.5 level trimmer.  The FUE procedure, whether using NeoGraft or any other FUE tool, reduces the number of follicles in the donor area.  It's like removing trees from a forest; if you remove too many, you're going to see a lot of the forest floor.  The surface area of your scalp remains the same while the number of hairs in the donor area is decreased.  Over-extraction can be a major problem, especially for inexperienced clinics.  I see many physicians in the country who have been doing other types of medicine (eg: botox and fillers and laser resurfacing) purchase a NeoGraft device and call themselves hair restoration surgery experts by piggybacking on the marketing efforts of the NeoGraft corporation.  Using the NeoGraft, because it is a hand-held instrument, and must be performed manually, is very difficult work, and typically a technician with or without any experience in hair restoration is asked to actually perform the procedure of follicular unit extraction (FUE) with the NeoGraft device while the surgeon performs procedures simultaneously on a different patient in a different room.  Because of these various factors, the results from an FUE procedure using the NeoGraft device, or the ARTAS robotic hair restoration system, will vary dramatically from one provider to the next. One major advantage of the ARTAS robotic system is that it allows me to set the distance between the harvest sites in the donor area down to an accuracy of 0.001mm.  For instance, in a person with very dense hair in the donor area, I might set the robot to extract follicles no closer than 1.875mm from each other.  In a person with less dense hair in the donor area (as measured by the ARTAS system itself) I will increase that to 2.225mm, or even 2.575mm to prevent over-extraction.

Hair transplant results will depend entirely and 100% on the experience and dedication of your physician and his or her team of technicians. There are literally hundreds of subtleties and nuances in the performance of this hours-long, surgical team-oriented, artistically-demanding procedure. Clearly, common sense would tell you that a physician who has dedicated their practice and career to hair restoration will deliver much different results than a physician who recently acquired a device to start performing hair restoration procedures. Interview more than one physician, and make sure you're comfortable with their background in the field before proceeding.

Ken Anderson, MD, FISHRS
Atlanta Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Early evaluation

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It is still too early to really evaluate how things will look once it heals and the hair starts to grow in.  The whole process takes 6-12 months (not weeks!) so patience is necessary at this point.  What you mention is one of the major drawbacks of FUE procedures - a "moth-eaten" appearance to the donor area and it really depends on the density your donor area was to begin with.

In the final analysis, though, you still simply have to wait to see how it all grows in and that is going to take a full year.  If your donor area looks thin compared to the top, one potential remedy to consider would be SMP (scalp micro pigmentation). For the moment, take a deep breath and realize you are going through a transitional stage right now.  Everything will look different in 6-12 months, just give it some time.

I hope that helps!

Sara Wasserbauer, MD
Walnut Creek Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Donor area not even

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In most cases, the donor area will retain adequate hair density so that no post-surgical effects are noted, but over-harvesting in the donor area is certainly possible. We make every effort to ensure that this does not occur, and I personally have never seen this be an issue in my practice after one transplant session. After a 3rd or 4th transplant session, this is a very realistic concern and should be addressed during the pre-operative consultation. 

It is possible that wearing the hair even slightly longer (a #2) on the sides/back might make a tremendous improvement in the appearance of the donor area. It is also possible that more time is needed for the hair in that area to return to normal after a transplant less than 2 months prior. 

Post-operative concerns should be discussed with your hair transplant surgeon, and I always recommend seeing a fellowship-trained hair restoration surgeon.

All the best,

Matthew Richardson, MD
Frisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

6 weeks

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At 6 weeks it is really too early to tell what the end result is going to be. The hair has not even started to grow in yet. It has been 2 years since you asked this question so I would be interested in hearing how everything turned out. Hopefully you got a great result. 

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

You need an exam

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The results of a hair transplant surgery will not be evident for 6 to 12 months.  At 6 weeks it is too early to judge.  If you are concerned about the surgery please follow up with your doctor for a recheck.

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

Problems with Neograft

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Since this is a blind extraction from the surface, There are always some collateral damage to the surrounding hair thereby limiting the safe donor hair. Neograft has a bigger tip therefore leaves even larger circular scars and damaging more collateral hair. Unlike the way it is being advertised, when the hair in the donor area will thin out as a result of these circular scars.  Since this does not require any training, many clinics that do not specialize in hair transplantation get these instruments and use it as a side job. Since your donor hair is limited, if the extraction is not done by a hair restoration specialist you may use up most of your donor, get thinned out in the donor area and have damaged hair transplanted in the recipient area thereby not getting any improvement from hair transplantation.  

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

Hard to tell

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It is hard to tell without photos. Depending on where the hair was harvested, the overall size of the area and how much hair was harvested will determine the appearance. The larger the surface area of the harvest the newer the chance of a more even appearance of density. If the area is smaller the hair in this area can be thinner and with a buzz be more noticeable. If you grow out your hair with the new restoration, it might be less noticeable in the back.

Michael S. Beckenstein, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Neograft starting to feel like it's not worth it anymore. Donor area is not even with the rest of the hair.

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You really should give 6-12 months before making any judgment.  There will be many changes over the coming months.

The FUE harvest typically is imperceptible.

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.