Hair Transplant Frequently Asked Questions
At the Wimpole Clinic, we aim to make sure you have all the information you need to make the right hair restoration decision.
These hair transplants FAQs will answer any questions you have about hair transplant eligibility, surgery, aftercare, and more.
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General Transplant Questions
A hair transplant is a type of cosmetic surgery. It involves extracting hair follicles from an area on your head that produces healthy hair growth and transplanting them in thinning or balding areas.
Yes — hair transplants are designed to give you permanent results. However, this can depend on the surgeon’s expertise, and how well you care for your transplanted hair.
To ensure you get lifelong results from your transplant, visit a reputable clinic with an experienced surgeon. After the surgery, make sure to follow the immediate and long-term aftercare instructions from your surgeon and hair loss consultancy team.
Yes. When performed by a skilled, experienced surgeon at a reputable clinic, hair transplants are often more than 90% effective. The Wimpole Clinic’s hair transplant success rate is 97-100%.
Hair transplants work by taking healthy hair follicles from somewhere else on your body (usually the back of the head, but less commonly the chest or beard) and implanting them in areas affected by permanent hair loss.
Yes. The FUT and FUE techniques can be used to give you fuller facial hair. Find out more about beard transplants.
Yes. Thinning eyebrows can be restored using hair transplant techniques. Learn more about getting an eyebrow transplant.
Before you opt for hair transplant surgery it’s important to ensure you’re a good candidate for a hair transplant. Hair transplants aren’t a good option for people who have lost hair due to certain conditions (such as chemotherapy or some autoimmune conditions).
You should also ensure you’re working with an experienced, reputable clinic with a track record of good results. Find out all the hallmarks of a good hair transplant clinic.
The cost of a hair transplant depends on many factors. These include how much hair you’ve lost, where your clinic is based, and whether you need to pay for a consultation. Read our 2022 hair transplant cost analysis to find out how much you should be paying. You can also see Wimpole Clinic’s hair transplant pricing.
If your hair transplant is completed by an experienced surgeon at a good clinic, it’s rare for the procedure to fail. The Wimpole Clinic’s success rate is between 97% and 100%.
The surgery takes place under local anaesthetic, so you won’t feel anything during the procedure. Afterwards you may experience some soreness and swelling across the scalp, but otherwise hair transplants are usually painless.
Your donor area is the area on your body from which the hair for your hair transplant is taken. It’s usually your head, but can also be your beard or chest.
Donor area management is the process of planning for potential future hair transplants. It involves minimising the number of grafts taken from your donor area to make sure you have a plentiful supply of hair for future procedures. Find out more about the risks of overharvesting donor hair.
Yes. If your donor area is well-managed, you can have multiple hair transplants until you get the results you want.
Yes. People with afro hair can have a hair transplant, though the hair follicles are sometimes harder to extract from the head. Despite this, the time, cost and success rate is the same as for those with straight hair.
Age is less of a factor than your rate of hair loss when it comes to hair transplant eligibility. Find out more about choosing the right time for a hair transplant.
If you’ve started losing your hair in your late teens or 20s, you might want to address your hair loss sooner rather than later. But it may be too soon for you to get a hair transplant. Ask a hair restoration specialist about non-surgical hair loss treatments. Find out more about losing your hair in your teens and 20s.
Yes — provided you have enough hair in your donor area. Learn more about how many hair transplants you can have.
Hair transplant eligibility depends on how much hair is available in your donor area, and if there are enough grafts to cover the balding area. Candidates at Norwood stage 6/7 may have lost too much hair for a transplant to be successful. However each person is different, so you should book a consultation to see if you are eligible.
At your initial consultation, you’ll undergo an examination to determine if you’re a good candidate for hair restoration treatment. This will include being asked about your lifestyle, your medical history, and having a physical exam of your hair and scalp. You’ll also discuss what results you’d like to see, and how this can be achieved. The clinician will walk you through the procedure and tell you about potential risks.
For more information, take a look at a detailed breakdown of what happens during your first consultation.
It’s very important that you disclose an accurate medical history to your surgeon so they can provide you with safe treatment. This is especially important if you have any history of abnormal bleeding, haemophilia, heart attacks, epilepsy, allergic reaction to drugs or any drugs being taken to thin the blood.
Like all surgeries, there are potential complications when you have a hair transplant. This includes infection and ongoing scalp soreness. There’s also a risk that your hair transplant may fail, though this is unlikely with an experienced clinic. Here’s what you need to do if your hair transplant goes wrong.
The key things you need to do in the days before your surgery are:
- Avoid aspirin at least 7 days before your procedure
- Avoid alcohol and exercise at least 48 hours before your procedure
- Avoid smoking at least 24 hours before your procedure
- Wash your hair the morning of or night before your surgery
- Massage your scalp to encourage blood flow.
You should stop smoking 24 hours before your hair transplant. Smoking can interfere with the healing process, so it’s essential to follow this guidance to give your grafts the best chance of successful growth.
You should stop drinking alcohol 48 hours before your hair transplant. Alcohol impacts your blood pressure, and can also thin the blood, making it more difficult for your wounds to heal.
You shouldn’t exercise 48 hours before your hair transplant appointment.
No. While you may want to cut your hair just before your hair transplant so it regrows at one length, this can make it difficult for your surgeon to see the direction and thickness of your hairs. It’s better to have a haircut a few weeks after your hair transplant, when the grafts have healed. Find out when you can have a haircut after your hair transplant.
If you’re worried about your hair transplant being obvious, you can ask your surgeon to shave your head in a way that hides your new grafts as much as possible.
Your hair and scalp should be clean before your procedure. We recommend washing it the night before or the morning of your surgery. Don’t use thickening shampoos or other harsh products.
Yes. While the use of needles is unavoidable for administering local anaesthetic, we can place needles and syringes out of view to make you as comfortable as possible throughout your procedure. This is a common request, so don’t hesitate to let us know if you’re worried about needles or injections.
Day of Surgery
Yes. We recommend that you eat a light breakfast before your surgery, even if you feel nervous. If your appointment is in the afternoon, you should have a light lunch beforehand. Try to avoid caffeine in the hours before your procedure if you can.
Tops with narrow necks can dislodge your grafts when you take them off, so we recommend you wear a wide-necked t-shirt or a button-down shirt to make it easy for you to get changed after your procedure.
Most surgeries take 4-5 hours, although it can take longer if you need a high number of grafts. Your surgeon will tell you if your procedure is likely to take longer than this.
You’ll also need to spend at least 1 additional hour resting at the clinic. This is so we can monitor you and make sure your grafts are settling immediately after your surgery. We can’t guarantee how long your surgery will take overall, so don’t make any other plans on the day of your hair transplant!
Trypophobia is a concern for some hair transplant patients. Older hair transplant techniques often left holes that may have triggered this phobia, but modern techniques leave only slight scabs that don’t usually have this effect. Find out more about hair transplant trypophobia and how to deal with it.
You’ll be asked to arrive at the clinic at around 7.30am. Your surgical team will then draw your desired hairline onto your scalp so you know how your hairline will look.
You’ll be given some mild sedatives to reduce any discomfort throughout the procedure. Local anaesthetic will also be injected into your scalp. When your scalp is numb, your surgeon will start the procedure. This differs slightly depending on whether you’ve chosen FUE or FUT.
Some patients choose to watch a film while the procedure takes place. We’ll stop for lunch, and take shorter toilet breaks throughout the day.
When the procedure is finished, your surgeon will dress your wounds and talk you through the aftercare process to help your hair transplant heal. It’s important to follow these recommendations closely to give your hair transplant the best chance of success.
Most patients are given a mild sedative before their procedure. If you take a sedative, you’ll be unable to drive afterwards. Our team can book a taxi to get you home or back to your hotel after your appointment.
If you have to travel by public transport, you should ask a friend or relative to pick you up from the surgery and travel home with you.
You’ll be given paracetamol (for pain management) and prednisolone (for reducing swelling). Don’t take any medicines containing ibuprofen for up to 4 days after your surgery.
You’ll also need to spray your transplanted area with saline solution. This keeps the area infection-free and promotes healing. Spray at least 3 times a day. The more you spray, the faster you’ll heal.
Your clinic will provide you with an inco sheet to place on your pillow. This protects your pillow from any oozing or bleeding from your donor area while you sleep.
Your hair transplant is very fragile for the first few days and weeks after your surgery. So you’ll need to make some lifestyle changes throughout your initial recovery period, especially if you’re an active person. This includes avoiding:
- Alcohol — 4 days after surgery
- Sex — 6 days after surgery
- Exercise — 2 weeks after surgery
- Swimming — 4 weeks after surgery
- Sun exposure — 2 months after surgery.
You should also wear button-down or wide-necked tops for the first week or so to avoid dislodging your grafts when you dress and undress.
You can wash your hair from 3 days after your procedure. But you’ll need to be extremely careful and use specialist techniques for the first 2 weeks post-procedure. Learn how to wash your hair after a hair transplant.
If you have an FUT procedure, your stitches won’t need to be removed by a surgeon. We use dissolvable stitches that will eventually fall out on their own. However, you can have them taken out 10-14 days after your procedure if you prefer.
If you have an FUE procedure, you won’t have any stitches. Instead, your surgeon will wrap your head in a gauze dressing to protect your wounds. You can change this by dampening the gauze (avoiding the transplanted area) and peeling it off.
For the first 4-5 nights you should sleep with your head in an elevated position. Use a rolled up towel or extra pillows to prop your head up while you sleep.
We recommend taking at least a week off work to recover from hair transplant surgery. FUE surgery usually heals faster than FUT, so you may need longer to recover if you have undergone FUT surgery. Scabbing will also be visible for a couple of weeks after surgery, so you may want to take time off for cosmetic reasons. Learn more about dealing with hair transplant scabbing.
In most cases you can go home the same day as your surgery. You can usually get back to work and your regular exercise routine a week or so after your transplant, but it’s best to check with your surgeon if you’re in any doubt. See more about your hair transplant recovery timeline.
Most people see the final results from their hair transplant around 12 months after surgery. However, not everyone has the same recovery timeframe, so it can take up to 18 months. Learn more about the stages of hair growth after FUE surgery.
It takes around 2 weeks for the swelling and scabbing on your scalp to settle down, and after around 4 weeks the hair transplant should no longer be noticeable. At around 3-6 months you should start to see sustained hair growth in the transplanted areas. View the hair transplant growth chart to learn more.
Shedding hair is a normal part of the hair transplant recovery process. A few weeks after implantation, your new follicles may go into shock, causing your new hair to start falling out. Don’t worry — after a few weeks or months, you should start to see new hair growth in those areas.
You should wait at least 4 weeks after surgery to colour your hair. Your scalp and follicles may be extra sensitive to dyes and heat treatments before this point, so being too eager to dye or treat your hair can damage your transplant. You should always perform a patch test after a hair transplant, even if you have used hair dye before.
Most people can get their hair cut without restrictions around 3 weeks after transplant surgery. Find out more about getting a haircut after a hair transplant.
While both methods of hair transplantation carry a risk of scarring, FUE is much less likely to cause significant scarring than FUT. A strip of skin is removed from the back of the head in FUT surgery. This wound is then sutured up by your surgeon, leaving a visible scar that eventually fades. This scar may be visible with short hairstyles.
FUE leaves a series of small dot-shaped scars. However, these scars stem from tiny cuts that heal on their own, eventually fading and becoming unnoticeable.
It’s common for people with pattern baldness to see continued hair loss even after a hair transplant if they don’t take steps to prevent it. Your consultant should discuss hair loss treatment options like Minoxidil and Finasteride with you.
If these medications don’t stop your hair loss, we recommend you book another appointment with your consultant. They can examine your continuing hair loss and recommend further treatment.
You should avoid working out or swimming for at least a month after your hair transplant.
You should wait at least 7 days before drinking alcohol.
You should avoid putting your hair transplant in direct sunlight for at least 14 days after your procedure. We don’t recommend using suncream to cover your hair transplant during this time as it can cause infection. You might also dislodge your hair grafts when applying suncream.
Instead, if you have to go out in the sun, wear a loose-fitting cap or hat to protect your hair transplant.
You should wait at least 10 days before wearing a hat or helmet after your hair transplant. If your transplant is still healing, it may be a good idea to wait a few extra days to avoid dislodging your hair grafts.
Recovery With Reassurance
Our patient advisors are on hand 24/7 to answer any of your questions so you can kick back and relax for optimal recovery and results.
Don’t take our word for it. See what patients have to say about our post-op aftercare and post-surgical customer service.
Looking for answers?
If you still have questions, please contact our team. They’re always on hand to help address your needs or concerns.