In the second month after your hair restoration surgery, you might feel as though you are right back where you started. In most cases, your scalp will have healed from the procedure and you won’t have any scabbing, redness or numbness anymore. 90 percent of patients also shed the hair that was transplanted to the area, usually by the sixth week after surgery.
You might be wondering if the surgery was worth it around the two-month mark. Just sit tight and be patient, as your hair will start to grow back in and within a short amount of time, you’ll have a head of hair you can style and groom.
One thing you should be aware of after your hair transplant is a condition known as telogen effluvium, a type of hair loss that can occur when the body has had a shock. Women often experience it after pregnancy, when they use hormonal contraception, or after they go through menopause. It can also occur following a fever, illness or surgery. Some patients experience it after a hair transplant. The transplanted hair isn’t affected, but rather the hair around the area.
Typically, telogen effluvium becomes visible around the second or third month after the surgery. The hair goes into the resting phase, known as the telogen phase. After a few months, it is shed.
Losing hair because of telogen effluvium can make the results of your surgery look worse, at least for a short period of time. But, hair lost due to the condition usually grows back within a few months’ time.
It’s common for patients who didn’t experience telogen effluvium to see some new hair growth about three months after the transplant. Results vary, and some patients see growth earlier, around two months, and some later, around four or even five months. Early hair growth in the transplanted area is usually not very impressive. Don’t be surprised to see that the hair is thin or fine, a different color, or curly. As it continues to grow, it will become thicker, the color will better match the rest of your hair, and the texture will change.
Some patients experience scalp itching at this stage. It’s also possible for a condition called folliculitis to develop. If you have folliculitis, you’ll develop small pimples on the scalp. Your surgeon can offer treatment advice in that case.
By the sixth month mark, the majority of the transplanted hair will be visible and growing. But, don’t expect a full head of hair at this point. In most cases, your hair will about halfway to the final look and feel of it. Some hairs might be considerably shorter than others and there might be areas of thinness still. Your hair might not have regained its texture at this point.
Some patients will see the full results by the eighth month after their surgery. Your hair will be considerably thicker by month 8 than it was at month 2, 3 or 4. It’s typically recommended that patients see their surgeon for a follow-up appointment starting in month 8. Depending on how your hair grow is progressing, you might be able to put off the follow-up until month 10 or 12.
At the follow-up, your surgeon will evaluate your hair growth and scalp. If you’ve had additional hair loss since the transplant that wasn’t due to telogen effluvium, he might recommend an additional procedure or a touch up to fill in areas. You might need a touch up procedure if the hair didn’t grow in the way the surgeon expected, leaving you with somewhat patchy results.
Looking at before and after pictures of patients who have had a hair transplant can give you a reasonable idea of the results you can expect. To learn more about what to expect in the first year after your hair restoration surgery, contact Dr. Kyle Choe, a Virginia Beach hair restoration specialist. You can call his practice, the Choe Center for Hair Restoration, at (757) 389-5850 for a consultation today.