When you’ve had hair transplant surgery, it’s natural to be eager to see results. Hair transplant recovery and hair regrowth is a slow process, so you’ll need to be patient — sustained growth can take anywhere from 6 months to more than a year . But when your surgery is complete and your grafts have settled in, you’ll soon notice some changes around your new hairline.
Find out how long it takes to see hair growth after a hair transplant in our hair transplant growth chart. Learn how to speed up the hair growth process and ensure great results.
The hair growth cycle
Healthy hair goes through 4 distinct stages. This is known as the hair growth cycle. The stages are:
- Anagen — growth phase (80-90% of hair). The hair has strong, steady blood supply, providing nutrients to stimulate healthy growth.
- Catagen — transition phase (5% of hair). The hair detaches from the blood supply.
- Telogen — resting phase (10-15% of hair). Lack of nourishment causes the hair to stop growing as the follicle rests.
- Exogen — shedding phase (up to 100 hairs per day). Hair is dislodged through everyday activity (e.g. washing and brushing). New hairs begin to grow in preparation for the new anagen stage.
Each cycle usually takes around 3-7 years to complete, with your hairs in the anagen phase for most of this time. The transition phase lasts around 10 days, and telogen/exogen typically lasts around 3-5 months .
When you have a hair transplant, healthy follicles that are still part of the growth cycle are used to replace follicles that no longer produce hair. Learn more about how hair transplants work.
Why does transplanted hair grow?
Donor hair grows after being transplanted because of donor site dominance. Hair at the back and sides of the scalp — which are usually used as donor follicles — retain the original texture, growth rate, and period of anagen throughout your life . Donor hair isn’t susceptible to the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), so these follicles won’t be affected by androgenetic alopecia in the same way as follicles at the temples or on the crown of the head.
Post-transplant hair growth chart and timeline
This hair transplant growth chart shows how much growth you can expect to see at each stage of your post-hair transplant recovery. Be aware that everyone’s hair grows at different rates. While the hair transplant timeline given here is typical, you may see faster or slower hair growth after your own hair transplant.
|Time after surgery||Post-transplant hair growth||Other recovery information|
|Immediately||Transplanted grafts show the shape of your new hairline||Slight scabbing as the hair grafts heal — infection management may be necessary|
|5-10 days||No changes||Caring for your transplant is critical in the first week — follow your doctor’s advice for the best chance of good results|
|2-3 weeks||Hair grafts begin to shed — your hair may look like it did before your transplant (this is expected!)||–|
|4-8 weeks||Some hair growth expected (up to 0.5cm)||You can get your first haircut after your hair transplant (if all wounds have healed)|
|4-6 months||Final results start to be visible||–|
|12-18 months||Final results — transplanted hair is full, thick, and natural-looking|
Post-transplant hair growth in pictures
In addition to the hair transplant growth chart above, these images will help you know what to expect in the days, weeks and months after your hair transplant.
Hair transplant progress: 0-8 months
Image credit: We Grow Hair Indy; Nashville Hair Doctor
- Pre-transplant: these pre-transplant hairlines are typical for someone experiencing male pattern baldness. Hair is receding at the temples. A natural new hairline has been outlined.
- 12 days post-transplant: the new hairline is still faintly visible, but some of the grafts have shed. This is normal around 2-3 weeks after a hair transplant.
- 2 months post-transplant: slightly thicker hair is visible across the temples.
- 3 months post-transplant: the new hairline is clearer, though the patient can still see some patchiness in the transplanted areas.
- 4 months post-transplant: hair is thicker and fuller around the temples and on top of the head.
- 5 months post-transplant: hair is clearly thicker across the transplanted areas, with some growth still to come through.
- 8 months post-transplant: final results are starting to become visible, with full hair and a natural-looking hairline that blends well with the rest of the hair.
Grafts immediately after transplant
You will see some scabbing along your new hairline in the first few days after your hair transplant. Learn more about how to deal with hair transplant scabs.
It’s essential to take care of your new grafts at this time to give them the best chance of taking root. That means taking any medications as prescribed and avoiding vigorous exercise. Find out when you can work out after a hair transplant.
Hair graft shedding is a normal part of the post-transplant hair regrowth process. You may notice individual grafts (pictured below) or small clumps coming away in the shower or on your pillow.
Shedding is part of the hair growth cycle. Many people with healthy hair lose up to 100 hairs per day — so while it can be alarming to see your grafts fall out, this is nothing to worry about. Find out more about what to expect after a hair transplant and prepare yourself for the next few months.
Preoperative hair vs results at 9 months
This patient has sustained, natural-looking growth across the temples 9 months after his hair transplant procedure.
Image credit: Med J Armed Forces India
Final results (12 months+)
Between 6 and 12 months after your transplant, your hair is still settling and growing. But after a year, you should have a good idea of what your final results will look like.
Here are some of the results we’ve achieved at the Wimpole Clinic approximately one year after the FUE procedure.
How to stimulate post-transplant hair growth
To maximise the chances of achieving great results (and potentially speeding up the transplant recovery process), there are certain precautions and recommendations you should follow.
Follow your surgeon’s aftercare advice
The first few days are the most important for giving your new grafts the best chance of survival. You’ll be encouraged to take a few days off work to recover from surgery, and minimise the risk of dislodging your grafts. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to prevent hair transplant infection and pain medication to manage any discomfort.
Take Finasteride to improve hair growth
Finasteride is a hair loss prevention drug that is often prescribed to men before or after a hair transplant. It can help prevent you losing more hair, and stimulate growth in both transplanted and non-transplanted hair. Research shows that Finasteride can visibly enhance hair growth after a hair transplant in a huge 94% of patients .
Use Minoxidil to minimise graft shedding
Minoxidil is another popular hair loss treatment — but it’s also been shown to encourage post-transplant hair growth while minimising graft shedding . That means your transplanted hair may appear thicker, even in the early days and weeks after your transplant. Using topical minoxidil after an FUT or FUE hair transplant can also increase hair density and accelerate regrowth .
Factors that impact hair growth results
The best way to ensure good, speedy results is to work with a reputable hair transplant clinic. Follicle overharvesting, unskilled surgeons, aggressive hairline design, poor patient selection and inadequate graft storage are among the most common reasons that hair transplants fail . You can avoid these by choosing a clinic with a qualified, experienced surgeon and an excellent track record of providing quality hair transplants.
What to do if your hair is growing more slowly than expected after a hair transplant
If you’re worried that your hair isn’t growing as quickly as it should be, talk to your hair transplant consultant. They’ll be able to examine your current rate of growth and determine if you need additional treatment. If you’re not taking Finasteride or Minoxidil, they may be able to prescribe this to stimulate hair growth.
They can also check you’re not being affected by other types of sudden or temporary hair loss, such as telogen effluvium.
Essential information about post-transplant hair growth
- Everyone’s hair grows at different rates, so your transplanted hair may grow more quickly or slowly than other people’s.
- Supplementary treatments like Minoxidil and Finasteride can promote hair growth and slow continuing hair loss if necessary.
- If you’re young and/or still losing hair, your consultant should recommend methods to manage continuing hair loss.
- Following your aftercare regime as closely as possible can give you a better chance of seeing faster, more sustained hair growth.
- Hair transplants give you long-lasting results — find out how long a hair transplant lasts.
- Be wary of clinics that make promises that seem too good to be true — they may damage your donor area in an attempt to meet your expectations.
More before & after hair transplant results from the Wimpole Clinic
Image of James Walton, patient advisor at Wimpole Clinic
Image of Benjamin Lewitt, former Rugby Union Player
Bath Rugby centre Jonathan Joseph’s hair transplant
Restore your hair with a hair transplant from the Wimpole Clinic. See how we’ve helped our patients achieve a hairline that makes them look and feel confident.
- Hair transplantation by follicular unit extraction for male androgenetic alopecia: A retrospective observational study from two centers
- What Are the Four Stages of Hair Growth?
- Donor Site Dominance in Action
- Effects of finasteride (1 mg) on hair transplant
- Topical minoxidil used before and after hair transplantation
- The potential role of minoxidil in the hair transplantation setting
- Review of Factors Affecting the Growth and Survival of Follicular Grafts
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