Transplanted FUE Post-op Hair
Fue post-op hair transplant recovery and what to expect is something that our patients are often curious about. Especially during their initial consultation. While many hair clinics post Before & After photos that show what a person looks like after transplant surgery, the “After” photos come out months or even years after the treatment when the patient’s hair has had plenty of time to grow. Patients often want to know what to expect in the initial weeks following surgery. They often share their concerns about what their transplant will look like in the immediate days and weeks following surgery. Especially in terms of how and when they can expect to comfortably resuming work and social engagements.
It is completely normal and natural for patients to feel a little vulnerable. For them to not want it to be too obvious that they’ve undergone hair transplant surgery. Thankfully, as cosmetic surgery is becoming more mainstream, and more celebrities are open about having these procedures, the level of stigma that is attached to cosmetic surgery is lessoning. Even so, the whole goal of procedures like this is to enhance one’s confidence. Additionally, patients wish to enhance their physical appearance. Therefore, it makes sense that patients want to know what does an FUE Post-Op Hair Transplant Look Like?
What is FUE Transplanted Hair?
Before we get into what to expect from your FUE post-op hair transplant recovery, let’s take a moment to review how an FUE surgery is performed. FUE stands for follicular unit extraction and is a fairly recent innovation when it comes to reconstructive hair surgery. Unlike its predecessor FUT or follicular unit transplantation, which is performed by removing a small strip of the scalp from the back of the head to harvest follicular grafts, FUE is performed using a small micro-punch tool that is able to extract the follicular units individually. While both methods of hair transplantation are completely safe and have similar rates of success, FUE has several advantages for prospective hair transplant patients. FUE procedures do not require any suturing at the donor site, and have a shorter recovery time as well, with less overall discomfort.
Other reasons patients opt for FUE over FUT include the potential for less obvious scarring at the donor site. Because the follicular units are extracted from the back of the head individually, the surgeon is able to extract them in a dispersed pattern throughout the back of the head. The sites where the grafts are harvested are so small, that they are practically invisible to the eye once the initial healing is complete. Some patients do wind up choosing FUT over FUE because with FUE the hair at the donor site must be completely shaved. People who enjoy wearing their hair long may prefer FUT because there is no shaving required for the donor site. Furthermore, their long hair can hide the stitches at the donor site as they heal.
What to Expect on the Day of Your FUE Procedure
On the day of your FUE, the doctor will mark the area on your scalp where the new donor grafts will be transplanted. Most often FUE transplants are performed to address thinning and balding hair around the forehead, temples, and the top of the head, but FUE can also be used for facial hair transplants. Once the area has been marked the patient’s hair will be shaved at the donor site and they’ll be cleaned & prepped for surgery. FUE is an outpatient procedure that is performed with a local anesthetic numbing agent. This means that you will be awake for the entire procedure. Many of our patients choose to listen to music or audiobooks with headphones while the surgery is performed, as it is time-consuming and lasts for several hours.
FUE post-op hair transplant recovery, day 0:
On the day the procedure is performed the patient will notice redness, and possibly some scabbing at both the transplant and donor sites. There will be small red dots visible throughout the back of the head. The number of grafts taken will depend on the size of the area that requires the transplant. At the site where the new grafts have been transplanted, there will also be some redness and swelling as well. Your doctor will provide you with antibiotic ointment to treat the scalp as it heals.
You will also be given care instructions to prevent any damage to the newly transplanted follicular grafts. Activities such as swimming, exercise, and smoking are all to be avoided while your body is healing. Other things you will be told to avoid include sun exposure, hats, helmets, and wigs. It is imperative that both the donor and transplant sites remain clean in order to avoid infection or permanent damage to the new transplants.
Post–op hair transplant recovery, days 1 through 7:
Within the first few days of surgery, the redness and scabbing at the donor sites will reduce dramatically. As each day passes the back of the head will appear more and more like just your average shaved head. After about a week’s time, the hair at the donor site will have grown enough that the marks from the micropunch tool will no longer be visible. The area of the transplant site will still be a little redder and more swollen than at the donor site. You will see small bumps, some with tiny scabs at the site where the new follicles were transplanted. As long as you are following your surgeon’s post-op instructions, your scalp will continue to heal.
Within the first few days following treatment most patients report that they are no longer experiencing any physical discomfort or pain from the surgery itself. As each day passes the scabs will slowly fall off and the redness and swelling will reduce. It may be tempting to pick at the scabs but please don’t! The last thing you want to do is to risk damaging your new hair, or worse risk infection.
Post-op hair transplant recovery, days 7-14:
By the end of the second week, the scabs at the transplant site should be all gone, as well as any swelling or redness. Many patients feel ready to return to work and social engagement at this point. Because the hair was shaved prior to surgery, the length of the hair is pretty uniform. There may be some dry skin and peeling at the transplant site. As the scalp continues to heal and the follicular grafts become more established, it will become less and less apparent that you even had surgery. This is usually the point when your surgeon will have you come back for your post-op evaluation. They will take this time to examine your scalp and make sure that your transplant is healing well.
Once they give you the all clear you can resume activities such as exercise or swimming. They can answer any questions about long-term care for your transplants. Some patients choose to incorporate LLLT or low-level laser therapy into their hair care routine after surgery. LLLT has been shown to encourage hair growth and has many other benefits as well, including preventing future hair loss and even reducing grey hair. Check out some of the other articles on our blog to learn more about how LLLT can be beneficial to you post-transplant.
Transplanted FUE post-op recovery, 1 month after surgery:
Be prepared for shock loss. This is a phenomenon that occurs during the first month following surgery. As the scabs fall from the scalp, don’t be alarmed if you see hair shafts coming out with them. This is totally normal. The hair follicles are safe and sound under the surface of the scalp and will begin growing more hair very soon. This shedding can occur as early as 4-5 days post-surgery.
Post-op hair transplant recovery, 2 months after surgery:
After this shock loss occurs the follicles go into the telogen, or resting phase, which is a natural part of the hair growth cycle. This phase lasts anywhere from 8-10 weeks. After this resting phase is complete the hair will enter its active anagen or growing stage. After this hair growth will start to increase. Though it may not be immediately visible quite yet.
Post-op hair transplant recovery, 3-6 months after surgery:
Within 3 to 4 months of surgery, you will be able to see visible growth at the transplant site. The hairs may start off being a little thinner or curlier than the rest of the hair on your head. As the hairs continue to grow in the length they will become thicker and more straight, unless of course, you have naturally curly hair. Due to the fact that not all hair on the head grows at the same time, in the beginning, the hair at the transplant site may look a little bit patchy. This is temporary and sometimes called “the ugly duckling stage”. Never forget though, that ugly duckling was really a beautiful swan the whole time.
FUE Post-op hair transplant recovery, 6-9 months after surgery:
Finally! All your patience is starting to pay off. This is when the hair at the transplant site grows thicker & fuller. Consequently, the new growth will definitely be noticeable. Expect your hair to grow 1-2cm per month during this stage, as it continues to fill out bald areas.
Post-op hair transplant recovery, 9-12 months after surgery and beyond:
This is the stage when a lot of “After” photos come about. That’s because the newly transplanted hair has grown out and filled in nicely. During this time your hair will continue to grow. You may even have enough new hair that you’ll be ready to start styling it. We advise our patients that during the first year after transplants that your barber only use scissors during a haircut. Razors and buzz cutters should not be used during the first year as they can damage your follicles. It is also important to use caution with styling products and shampoos.
Our team can advise you on the best products to use so that you don’t experience any congestion in the scalp, drying, irritation, or any other issues that can come from using the wrong products. Many of our patients choose to continue LLLT (low-level laser therapy) or include Minoxidil (Rogaine) into their hair care routines in order to preserve their existing hair and prevent future hair loss down the road.
Ultimately, it is important to keep in mind that everyone’s hair grows at their own speed. As such, there may be slight variations in terms of your hair regrowth timeline. Factors that can influence the rate of hair growth include age, overall health, and the extent to which you experienced hair thinning or loss prior to surgery. Some patients with extensive hair loss may choose to undergo multiple FUE procedures over the course of a few years. This is the best way to reach their desired look of fullness.
SUFFERING FROM HAIR LOSS?
Best Hair Transplant is the best place to schedule your hair transplant in Los Angeles. We’ve helped both men and women regrow their lost hair. But don’t take our word for it. We suggest learning as much as possible about hair restoration. Do so prior to making a decision on how to address your hair loss. Not every procedure is right for everyone.
We offer complimentary consultations that can be conducted either remotely or in person. This is a great way to learn about the different services we offer. Additionally, it’s a way to help you achieve the look you’ve always wanted. We will be there to support you at every step of your hair restoration journey. If you have concerns about what an FUE post-op hair transplant looks like we’re happy to show you images from our patient gallery. Then you’ll get an idea of what our patient’s past experiences have been like. If you are worried about the appearance of your transplants in the first few weeks following surgery we can talk through your concerns. We’ll help you come up with a post-op plan that leaves you feeling confident. Not just before but during every stage of your hair restoration journey.
At Best Hair Transplant, we’re proud of our results and happy to provide hair restoration services. Additionally, we’re proud to make hair transplants affordable and help you save money on a variety of hair transplants. To ensure your ease of mind, you can view our customer recommendations HERE. Furthermore, you can also see our Google reviews and Yelp reviews. We can’t wait to help you start restoring your lost hair.