How Long Does a Hair Transplant Last?
Have you had or are you going to have a hair restoration procedure? If so, you may be wondering how long your hair transplant is going to last. Here we take a closer look at the factors that influence the health of hair grafts over the years after the operation and the keys to achieving the best possible result.
- The Importance of the Initial Hair Analysis
- The First 5 Years After the Operation
- Will I need another transplant?
- How Will the Hair Transplant Look After 10 Years?
- Tips to Keep Your Hair Grafts Healthy
The Importance of the Initial Hair Analysis
It is often believed that anyone with alopecia can undergo a hair transplant surgery and regain their lost hair. However not all types of hair loss are the same. Some patients will actually be a good candidate for different types of treatment depending on their lifestyle or underlying conditions.
Having a consultation with a professional prior to your treatment allows you to choose the most appropriate treatment based on your hair circumstances. This also helps to prevent bad results or any disappointment from your procedure in the short, medium or long term.
What is considered during a hair analysis?
- The health of the hair and the progression of the hair loss
- The best technique to cover areas with less hair density
- The patient’s expectations and preferences (eg. drawing of hairline)
- The placement and number of hair grafts
When questioning “how long does a hair transplant last?”, a permanent and natural looking result depends on the pre operative care, the choice of an excellent surgeon and clinic, as well as the after care.
The First 5 Years After the Operation
When looking at the longevity of the hair grafts it is important to keep in mind the phases of aftercare following the procedure as there are many factors that influence the health of your implants. These steps are highly influential in the final outcome of your transplanted hairs:
- Immediately after the operation, you may experience certain side effects that disappear in a few days. These include reddening of the operated area, red spots in the donor area and scabs in the recipient area, or swelling. It’s important to be cautious with the sensitive grafts in order to avoid displacing them at this time.
- After 3 to 5 weeks, a good part of the newly transplanted hair falls out, as well as the hair in the surrounding areas, due to the shock of the operation. This is just another phase of the healing process and is completely normal.
- The grafted individual hairs do not start to grow naturally until after about four months. The new healthy hair will not yet have the expected thickness when they first grow, although they will gradually gain strength and density.
- At 10 to 12 months, you can expect to see the results of the hair transplant and the grafted hairs will behave like the rest of the hair on your head.
After the first year
If the most appropriate hair restoration technique is used and has been performed by a surgeon with the right training and expertise, the hair will continue to grow normally.
If hair transplantation procedures have been performed too early though, or have not been designed correctly (for example, with an excessively low implantation line), the progression of alopecia will end up damaging the appearance of the hair graft.
Will I need another transplant?
When the implanted hair grows alongside other hair that has not settled as part of alopecia, the latter will eventually fall out following the previous pattern of thinning or bald areas. This leaves hair loss behind the new hair grafts and may require a second transplant as the hair continues to thin. In some cases however it is possible that in the first operation an excess of follicular units will be harvested in the donor areas of the scalp. This makes a second graft impossible without causing damage.
To avoid any complications, follow your doctor’s advice and always seek a professional opinion. Ensure you have a thorough discussion with your specialist before the transplant in order to plan for any further interventions and design a long term treatment plan.
Take maximum care of your hair by using the appropriate treatments and products to control the progression of hair loss and cellular ageing. Our range of hair care products can help to maintain hair health with natural and growth promoting ingredients. If you are vigilant over any changes in thinning hair you should be able to keep your hair healthy during the first 5 years after the transplant.
How Will the Hair Transplant Look After 10 Years?
When looking at how to maintain healthy, natural hair during the decade after the transplant, it’s crucial to remember that:
- The new grafted hair will not be affected by alopecia
- You need to take care of non-grafted hair, as it can be affected by alopecia progressively.
If the appropriate technique is used and if you follow the recommendations of your specialist, follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplants will look the same 10 years after the procedure. The hair follicles regenerate after the transplant and align in the hair growth cycle which eventually leads to uniform growth all over your head.
Your hair will progressively age with you, so after a decade, you may begin to see some signs of the passage of time. As with any older person the appearance of grey hair or loss of density in some areas is completely normal. Although it will be gradual and maintain the same shape as after the transplant.
Tips to Keep Your Hair Grafts Healthy
The correct application of the hair graft technique is enough to ensure that the follicles grow normally in the following years. However it is important to try to complement the treatment with other recommendations to prevent the loss of non-transplanted hair. Among them:
- Taking vitamins orally whenever necessary and under medical supervision to prevent nutrient deficiency hair loss.
- Platelet-rich plasma sessions to reinforce hair growth by stimulating the hair follicles.
- Drugs that slow down the loss of non-transplanted hair, such as minoxidil or finasteride on your doctor’s recommendation.
- Lifestyle changes, such as eating a balanced diet, playing sports or quitting smoking.
Remember that, even after the surgical procedure, it is possible to develop other types of hair loss not related to our genetics. For example, hair loss due to stress, poor diet, or hormonal imbalances. If the extent of hair loss is concerning, always consult a specialist.
In most cases, you will not present symptoms of alopecia in the areas around the hair graft for years to come after the intervention. Your hair will adapt normally to the scalp and can last a lifetime but will be subject to ageing like the rest of your hair.
As part of the aftercare we’re on hand to provide the best advice on how to keep a natural appearance. Elithair’s shampoo and serum selection are designed to help you maintain your hair and keep it looking thick and natural as you age. We also have a range of supplements to help combat any deficiencies that can contribute to hair loss.
If you would like more information about the procedure of a hair graft, do not hesitate to contact the Elithair team today. We will answer all your questions, and accompany you from the first step on your journey to a new head of hair.