How Transplanted Hair Grows
Scalp hair does not all grow at the same time. At any given moment hairs my be growing, resting, or shedding. They cycle on their own schedule. Transplanted hairs cycle in this same random fashion.
The process of removing, dissecting, and transplanting donor hair generally “shocks” the follicles into the resting phase. For this reason, most patients will shed all or most of the hairs in the grafts at about 6-8 weeks post-op. It has been observed that in some cases, post-op use of Minoxidil may decrease this shedding.
Beginning 2-3 months post-op, the transplanted hairs begin to “germinate” below the skin. In-grown hairs may happen on occasion. They present as a red, raised, pimple-like bumps in the grafted area. In-grown hairs will resolve on their own time. Warm compresses can also be applied to the affected area.
Transplanted hairs start to visibly regrow between months 4-6. At month 6, a patient may expect to see growth from 40-60% of the transplants. Again, due to the random cycle of hair growth, not all grafts will start growing at the same time. Initially, the hair my be thinner and finer. It will gain length and density as it matures.
Full growth from the transplants is usually achieved at 12 months. In some cases, this can take up to 18 months. This is especially common in female patients. The transplanted hairs will continue to gain length over time.