How Long Do Hair Transplants Take?
For many, hair loss is a sensitive topic that causes poor self-image and stress. While many types of hair loss treatments exist, not every person will benefit from these treatments.
How long do hair transplants take?
If you’ve tried other hair loss treatments without success, you might be considering a hair transplant and wondering how long they take — wondering with they could be as much hassle as your current treatments.
Hair transplants are surgical approaches to help target balding or thinning areas on a person’s scalp or jawline (for beard transplants). In general, hair transplants have a high success rate, providing hope for people with long-term hair loss conditions. Below, we’ll explore the topic of hair transplants for hair loss and answer common questions you may have, such as how long do hair transplants take?
What is a hair transplant, and how does it work?
A hair transplant is a specific treatment for various types of hair loss that are common in men and women. When other treatments for hair loss have failed, a hair transplant is often considered. Sometimes a hair transplant is also called hair replacement or hair restoration. This type of procedure is usually performed by hair loss specialists, such as dermatologists.
A hair transplant can be used as a treatment for a variety of different types of hair loss, which might include alopecia areata, androgenic alopecia, burns or traumatic injuries, or other rarer forms of alopecia.
A hair transplant surgery involves targeting areas of balding or thinning hair by using grafts from other parts of the body. Using other parts of the body that contain healthy hair, your doctor will take small pieces of skin and move them to your scalp. Usually, the grafts are taken from the back of the scalp, but they can vary depending on your hair loss situation.
Who can benefit from a hair transplant procedure?
If long-term hair loss is affecting your image and mental health, you might consider a hair transplant. Hair transplants are usually reserved as a second or third-line approach to the treatment of hair loss. Other methods, such as topical or oral medications or laser therapies, may be tried as first-line approaches to the treatment of hair loss. Most of the time, such solutions must be maintained indefinitely, if they even work. The benefit of hair transplant surgery is that it can be done once or only a handful of times over many years, and the grafts are permanent.
Both men and women can benefit from hair transplants, but the specific eligibility will depend on your doctor’s recommendation. Patients with certain types of hair loss which cause widespread hair loss may not benefit from hair transplants.
Types of hair transplants and how long they take
There are two common methods used during a hair transplant. During your assessment, your doctor will help you determine which method will be more effective to treat your hair loss.
One method, known as the follicular unit transplant or FUT, involves using a strip of skin, with hair follicles that can be separated and prepared for transplantation to another area on your scalp.
This method involves a lengthy surgery, which generally takes a few hours. The length of the surgery will depend on how many areas are being grafted and their placement. The strip that is grafted from the back of your head will be split into 500 to 2,000 follicular grafts, each of which has one or more hair strands. Using tiny punch incisions, the hair loss surgeon then transplants these follicular grafts to areas where you have bald spots or thinning areas.
While this method has been around for years, a newer method has become more popular, known as FUE.
Another method used for hair transplants is known as FUE hair transplant or follicular unit extraction. This hair transplant method is a newer approach, which involves harvesting hair follicles from a site and moving them to the hairline. This method differs from the FUT method in that a strip of tissue does not need to be removed. It also differs from the FUT method because there are no stitches required.
Instead, hair follicles can be extracted from the scalp. This method takes longer compared to the FUT method. However, there is less post-operative recovery time and discomfort for patients. In addition, there is less risk for scarring, so many surgeons opt to use this newer approach to hair transplants.
DHI (direct hair implantation) is very similar to FUE except that the latter requires the surgeon to cut channels within which to implant the harvested hair follicles, whereas in DHI a Choi pen is used to cut and implant the hair in a single motion.
You might be wondering if the entire procedure is done in one session. In FUE hair transplants, the entire procedure is often done over several days if the hair loss is moderate to substantial. FUT is quicker, but there are definite trade-offs for that speed.
Your doctor will let you know how many sessions you’ll need. Usually, each session lasts 2 to 4 hours, and most procedures will require several sessions.
More about hair transplants
The exact process used for your hair transplant will depend on which method and approach your hair loss surgeon takes. Before your hair loss procedure, the surgeon will identify a donor area, which is another area on your scalp from which the follicles will be taken.
For many, a hair transplant offers a lifetime treatment approach to help ongoing hair loss. Because healthy hair follicles are moved to balding or thinning areas, these follicles remain permanent. Unlike other hair loss treatments, which may be more temporary, hair transplants can offer a long-term solution for men or women struggling with hair loss. However, in some cases, hair loss can continue based on certain lifestyle factors and the cause of the hair loss.
How long does it take for a hair transplant to grow?
After receiving a hair transplant, patients must be patient as it can take quite some time for hair to regrow. Within the first 6 weeks of a hair transplant, your hair may fall out in that region. This is a normal occurrence, and hair will begin to regrow after that stage. You’ll usually see noticeable improvements by about the 6-month mark, however, it may take up to 12-18 months to see the final result of the procedure.
Can transplanted hair grow immediately?
Some hairs on your scalp can start the growth process immediately after a hair loss transplant. However, hair growth is a slow process and takes time and patience. Most patients will notice results within 6 months of a hair transplant procedure.
Got more questions?
Get in touch with our friendly and informative team, and they'll be happy to answer any further questions you might have. And when you're ready, ask them to book you in for an obligation-free consultation, so you can discuss whether hair transplant surgery is the best choice for your individual needs.
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