Anybody who has undergone a hair transplant procedure is familiar with that question going through the patient’s mind — “When will my hair grow back?” After all, it’s the most common question patients have after the surgery.
Before you fret, remember that your hair will grow back. Maybe not immediately, but eventually, it will re-emerge—longer, stronger, and better looking than ever. All you have to do is prepare yourself for the process of hair growth after hair loss.
What To Expect On Your Post-Procedure Hair Growth Journey
The hair growth process can take a relatively long time. At Northwestern Hair, we advise our patients to expect up to 12 months before their hair regrowth process can begin. However, this may vary slightly as this isn’t a hard and fast rule.
Some people may observe results from as early as six months, while others may have to wait until the 12 to 14-month mark instead. During this recovery and regrowth process, your hair will undergo several different phases. Therefore, it’s best to be familiar with these phases so you can know just what’s happening to your hair at any point after your surgery is completed.
The Dormant Phase
As you can imagine, with the hair transfer process involved in your procedure, these hairs become a little stressed, leading them to revert into a dormant phase that can last for about three months after your surgery.
New hair does not grow during this period, but some changes are still happening under the skin surface. Micro follicles start to develop and become active again when they reach their full size (an average of 1 cm), which happens between six months and one year after surgery. In this phase, there is no noticeable difference in appearance, but if you feel that something looks wrong, don’t worry: it’s just part of the recovery process.
Once the dormant phase is over, the growth phase begins. In order to get back into the growth phase, the hair must shed, and you may observe your hair falling out until the fourth month after your procedure. This occurrence is nothing to be alarmed about and simply means your hair is getting back into the growth cycle.
Although the new hair will start to grow the same way as other hair, you may notice that it’s a different color or texture than the rest of your hair. For example, if you have a lot of dense growth, the new hair may be soft and delicate; if you have less dense growth, it may be coarse and curly. However, you should start seeing more noticeable hair growth between 4 to 12 months while your hair begins growing into place.
Finally, with your hair growing out around the 12-month mark, and you notice one or two off things about their quality, this is normal because the oil glands haven’t yet kicked in. The recovery speed of your oil glands will also depend on what procedure type you had during your transplant surgery.
If you had an FUE procedure, some of your oil glands would have kicked in around this time, and you can expect more to follow suit over time. On the other hand, you can expect as many as 80% of your oil glands to have kicked in around this time if you had a PUE procedure, making your hair smooth and shiny at about the 18-month mark.
ConclusionAnd there you have it. We recommend expecting hair growth by 12 months and the final look stages around 18 months. After this time, you should continue to see slow but steady hair growth until you reach your desired head of hair.
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