Many patients who’ve had a hair transplant can become very concerned about the newly-transplanted hair. In the months following the procedure, you might start comparing your own hair growth to other people’s pictures posted online, and realize that you are falling behind.
Are these emotions unfounded? Very often they actually are.
When a harvested graft is transplanted into the recipient area, a process begins which takes several months, and it may not be what you’d expect. In the first 3 days post-transplant, the grafts begin working to regain their blood supply1,2. Because of this, the hair shaft is shed, starting from week 1 up until week 6 after the hair transplant surgery has been performed. What comes next is often called the “Ugly Duckling Phase”. Patients will often shed their hair in the weeks following surgery. Earliest hair growth starts generally from month 3.
Before we continue it is important to realize that every patients transplanted hair grows at a different rate. Some might be quicker than others. Every patient is unique and the final result should not be evaluated until 12 months in. Yet, we can give a rough estimation of how long it takes for the hair to start growing back, following a hair transplant.
Hair Regrowth After a Hair Transplant
First of all we need to differentiate between two important phases: The penetration of the new hair graft into the skin’s surface, versus the “maturation” of the new hair shaft. When a hair shaft has just has penetrated the skin it will still undergo many changes in overall appearance that will contribute to the end result. For a period of time it will remain very fine, weak and very light in color. This will gradually improve as time passes, until it is indistinguishable from your original hair."