When and Wil my Hair Transplant Thicken and Blend with the Non Transplanted Hair? (photo)

Hello, I had an FUE in December, 2012 1500 grafts in the front of my head. My hair started growing at 4 months, and seems to continue to grow slowly. The growth is sparse, and not even. I'm going into the tenth month now. My transplanted hair does not match the non transplanted, in fact; it has blotchy, thin areas, that look like holes. Should I hang in there a bit longer? Should I contact the MD who performed the surgery? Should I be worried? Any help is appreciated! Thanks! Joe

Doctor Answers 8

Patience is key with hair growth after a transplant

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Any hair transplant patient must be willing to make a time commitment before realizing their dream of new hair growth. By the end of 1 year after a hair transplant, all the grafted follicles will normally be cycling through the growth process, and permanent hair growth will have resumed in all of the transplanted areas. We recommend waiting at least one year before contacting the doctor who performed the surgery.

Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Different factors from time for transplant, the hair growth cycle, shock loss, progression, and how to stop future loss

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Male pattern hair loss which is basically 95% of what most men experience in hair loss, has a fast or slow progression. To combat this, patients choose to have hair transplantation, or the strategic placement of genetically resistant hairs to help areas that are affected by male pattern hair loss. Transplantation is done in context of the hair loss progression and the future of where the male pattern hair loss will be after their transplant. This genetically resistant to hair loss area of the head known as the donor area, will not likely fallout. Unfortunately, with the hair transplant, not every graft that’s placed will take.

I perform a lot of hair transplants and had a remarkable opportunity to be in a leadership position in the emerging field of Hair Regeneration. In my practice, I use extracellular matrix made by a company called Acell. This material is part of the hair transplantation procedure so that we can maximize the yield and healing of both the donor area and the hair grafts. I also do this in context of the hair loss progression.

For patients who have thinning hair who don’t need a hair transplant, we use a combination of extracellular matrix and platelet-rich plasma in a treatment called Hair Regeneration . This treatment restores the critical stem cells through a limited and specific wound healing mechanism that causes thinning hair to become thicker. I’ve applied this to a method and technique in helping men and women with hair thinning. I’ve also have a lot of experience with extracellular matrix in wound healing for cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.

One must understand that hair grows in a cycle - there are three specific phases: anagen, catagen and telogen. The anagen phase is the growth phase. After a hair transplant, there is going to be various hairs in the different anagen phases. Initially, there can be shock loss affecting both the existing hair as well as the grafted hair. So in my practice, I usually wait. We see people regularly but we wait for a year or more to make a conclusion to see the benefit the hair transplant surgery that we performed. Generally, it is understood that people may need more than one session to get the results that they desire. There are a lot of factors to determine the effectiveness of a transplant, but the limiting factor is the density and the available hairs in your donor hair. Whether you do strip method or an FUE method, you only have limited hairs to transplant. That’s why in our practice, we are extremely excited to help people especially younger people or people who are starting to thin by regenerating their existing hairs so that even if we need to do a transplant, we can be more strategic about the transplantation.

My advice is that you continue to communicate with your doctor. Review with your doctor your pre-operative photos and where you had the grafts placed. Tell him your expectations and move forward. I think that in a year or in a year and half, you are able to make a clear conclusion as to how much of grafts actually took and what you should do to get the look that you want. I hope that was helpful, and thank you for your question.

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Final Results

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Hi Joe

The vast majority of patients will achieve their expected density by 12 months and there are a small proportion of my patients who demonstrated marked hair growth between 9 and 12 months. Hanging in there a few months longer is certainly reasonable.   In general, it's a good idea to touch base with your hair transplant surgeon at some point 9 months to 15 months post-op.  He or she would appreciate knowing how your hair looks and can advise you on what, if anything, you might want to do  next. 

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Vancouver Dermatologist

Regional hair growth changes after FUE hair transplant surgery #plasticsurgery

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There are a variety of reasons why your hair growth appears 'patchy' just 10 months after FUE hair transplantation. Some of these reasons involve changes in local hair growth as a result of your surgery, and some are related to the way that transplanted follicles behave in their new locations in the early term post transplant. 


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In general, transplanted hairs start to grow for you to see results in 6 to 12 months.

If you had surgery in 2012, it's been close to 3 years now.  It is as good as it will get.  You may want to follow up with your doctor or a recheck.

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

Ten month status?

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The results at 10 months are what you are going to get. New growth beyond 10 months will be minimal and now you will just get length. If your results have not met your expectations, revisit your doctor

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

More time

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I agree with the other advice in that hair transplant result can take at least one year to see the final result, sometime up to 18 months. If at that point you have remaining concerns then seeing your transplant is certainly the best thing to do. Good luck. 

Ravi Dahiya, MD
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

FUE thickness of hair

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We have seen cases grow slow and uneven up to 12 months, however the vast majority start to look great by 1.5-2 years.  It does not hurt to talk to your doctor further.  However, if the center does mainly hair transplants , does not outsource its team, and does lots of FUE, then odds are in your favor.  


Rashid M. Rashid, PhD, MD
Houston Dermatologist

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.