Day 0: Day of the Procedure
Once the procedure is over, your surgeon will cover your head with bandages and a surgical cap which stay on overnight. You’ll likely experience some tenderness, swelling, and potentially minor bleeding in the transplant areas.
Day 1-2: Bandage Removal and Graft Spraying
The day after your procedure, you’ll remove the bandages and begin using the “cup method” as outlined in your post-op paperwork to wash your hair. Expect your hair or scalp to be wet most of the day as you spray the solution provided on your newly-implanted grafts On day 1-2 The skin on the scalp and forehead may begin to bruise, and you may have additional swelling.
Days 3-7: Continued Swelling and Scab Formation
During the first week, swelling moves from the scalp down to the forehead and around the eyes. This is normal and should peak between days 3-5. Small scabs will also form around each graft; these should not be picked or scratched, as they protect the new hair follicles.
Day 10-14: Scab Shedding
Starting around day 10, the scabs should begin to fall off. It’s important that you allow this to happen naturally through washing gently following the instructions provided and not by picking them. You might notice that hair is shed along with the scabs. Don’t be alarmed – this is normal. The hair follicles are intact beneath the skin and the hair will start to regrow in a few months.
Day 14: Suture Removal
If you’ve had an FUT (aka linear) surgery, you’ll have your sutures in the donor area at the back of your scalp removed on day 14. You might notice some itchiness as the wound heals; this is normal but try not to scratch it. Keep the wound clean and covered in bacitracin until the sutures come out.
Two weeks post-procedure, your scalp should look a lot more normal. The redness would have subsided significantly, and the scabs should have largely disappeared. The transplanted hairs remain, giving a fuller appearance to the treated areas.
Weeks 3-4 Post-Procedure
By the end of the first month, the transplanted hairs will begin to shed. This is a normal part of the process and not a sign of failed transplantation. Your scalp may start to look like it did pre-procedure, though without signs of the surgical procedure.
Months 2-3 Post-Procedure
At this stage, you might see some new growth from the transplanted hair follicles. But you may see less hair than ever. This is expected! The transplanted follicles are in a resting or dormant phase, and you might not see any significant hair growth. Some people may continue to experience shedding, and the scalp may look much like it did before surgery. If you’re concerned, just call us – your doctor wants to talk to you abut your hair progress and most patients dislike this phase. You can rest easy… your new hair is just getting ready to grow.
Months 4-6 Post-Procedure
Now you’ll start to see more noticeable hair growth. The new hairs will have thickened and grown, and the areas of transplantation will start to look fuller. The wait will have all been worth it.
Months 6-12 Post-Procedure
From six months to a year, the transplanted hair will continue to thicken and grow. By the end of the first year post-op, you should be able to see the final results of the transplant, with a fuller, natural-looking head of hair. Keep in mind that hair grows slowly – only about ½ inch per month – and each hair follicle starts regrowing hair on its own timetable, so seeing an appreciable difference as the hair trickles in can sometimes be feel disheartening. We take serial 360° photographs at the Anderson Center for Hair so that we have an objective view of changes over time. You can call the office at any time during your recovery process & the new growth phase to request a photos appointment and we’ll add the progress to your medical record. Also, while it’s not medically necessary to follow up after surgery, we love seeing our patients’ results and strongly suggest a 12-month post-op appointment.