Yes, I am aware, almost every morning after hair transplantation, you look in the mirror and wonder when this hair will grow and when I will regain a normal appearance. The word “final” in the title is somewhat misleading because it can mean both ultimate growth and ultimate development. By “development” I mean how hair continues to change in very subtle ways after full growth begins and hair grows back. Let me explain a little more…
After hair transplantation, the grafts go through the habituation process. Hair has 3 main stages; Anagen (growth phase) and telogen (dormant) and categen (this is actually the shedding phase, not growth). In anagen, hair grows continuously for several years. When this anagen phase ends, the hair goes into the telogen phase. In fact, we can call it a kind of charging phase. In the telogen phase, for a period of three to five months, the hair shaft not only stops growing, it actually causes the hair to fall out. The telogen phase can happen at any time, and even at the end of the telogen phase, as new hair grows in place of the old hair and pushes the old hair out.
Having a hair transplant actually triggers the telogen phase of the hair follicle cycle. For this reason, in almost every hair transplant performed, the hair falls out between three and five weeks after the operation. This is what we call shock spillage. No one knows why this happens, but it’s completely normal and part of the hair transplant process. You’re basically taking five steps backwards before you can go twenty forward with your new hair.
Hair usually stays dormant for three to five months after shedding, but some patients experience earlier sprouting. Once the hair starts to sprout, it will not all come out at once. There will be some areas that arrive earlier than others, so new growth will appear rather patchy at first. And this is the process in which the patient wrote to me, constantly telling me what’s going on, and my teacher said, “I wonder if it didn’t work out, this place came out, this place didn’t work out, and there was an incredible rush.”
No panic, it will come out
Generally, we see a healthy hair percentage around six months after transplantation. I’d like it to be about 80% and I’d love to put it that way, but it’s very subjective. By eight to ten months, I expect all grafts to be out and most grafts to be 3 cm or more in length. The transplanted hair still continues to change and heal after one year, but full growth must be achieved within one year.
There may be slight color changes in texture and yes. In the first few months after growth begins, the transplanted hair may have a harder texture than the natural hair in the recipient area. If it does, don’t worry it will be fixed.
As a result, you will see the final result in 1-1.5 years at the latest.