It is normal and in fact helpful to be a bit nervous before a hair transplant.
However, if your surgeon is experienced and does the considerable number of cases being a 100% FUE hair transplant surgeon, there is nothing to be anxious about.
The procedure is relatively pain-free, you are mostly awake throughout the procedure and will get multiple breaks in the 6-10 hour span while the procedure is underway.
Hair transplant surgery is permanent. Permanent till the later years f life when all-round hair loss occurs. But that should not deter you since during the entire youthful period of your life, the hair will stay. They will stay if the hair transplant surgeon has not crossed the permanent zone while harvesting the scalp donor.
Hair transplant was not very popular then Dr. Bhatti started his career as a hair transplant surgeon in 2007. Not many thought hair can be plucked and relocated and would grow again! Today, things have changed. Every person seeking out a hair transplant knows that there are numerous success stories all around. He has seen people with good hair transplants in his family, workplace or amongst his friends. With more and more people sharing their journeys of hair restoration, the rush for hair transplants the world over is at an all-time high. Due to this, the stigma of having undergone a cosmetic surgery procedure has become irrelevant. No one bats an eye anymore!
Some are hesitant to go in for the procedure due to some horror stories they may have heard. However, when you choose an experienced surgeon for your hair transplant, you are in safe hands and the procedure is a breeze.
WE have tried to compile some helpful information for you to read before you undergo a procedure and after as well.
The Process of Hair Transplantation
Nowadays, a common hair transplant technique that is more prevalent is the Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE technique. FUE is a highly advanced hair restoration technique that doesn’t leave any significantly visible scars and has the shortest recovery time. In this procedure, the surgeon removes a single follicle or a cluster of 2 or 3 follicles by making a circular incision no more than a millimeter or two in-depth and less than a millimeter wide. These follicles are processed in secure laboratory conditions and transplanted to the graft area. This is why it is a minimally invasive procedure.
Timeline for the Outcomes of Hair Transplant Surgery
Immediately After the Hair Transplant
The first night after the procedure you will have a thick bandage over the donor area only. This will be removed the next morning when you return for your follow up visit.
Soon after the surgery, you undergo the ‘ugly duckling’ phase of recovery and my wish to keep the mirror away for a few days! It may not be a pleasant sight but keep in mind that this is just temporary as your new follicles will start growing soon.
Though there is no pain after the procedure, in the first 2-3 days there will be mild heaviness and a sense of stretching of the skin which usually does not last more than 2-5 days.
As the process of FUE generally consists of harvesting your hair follicles through multiple incisions in 100s, you may feel some swelling in the donor area. You may also experience some numbness, but soreness is minimal. The small pinpoint small holes in the donor area from where the surgeon extracted the follicles are temporary and are usually healed within 7 days. Also the existing hairs gro long enough in a week to cover the scalp donor area. Scalp donor area hence does not need much care.
In One to Four Weeks
The next day after the surgery, the bandage will be removed and the surgeon will provide some medications and ointments for fast recovery. After a week or so, the hair from the transplanted area will start falling. Don’t panic as this is a normal procedure in every hair transplant. This happens since the existing hairs are falling out to make space for the transplanted roots that are growing new hairs. Called the ‘shedding phase’ hair fall will continue for 4-6 weeks after a procedure. This happens in all cases and it is considered normal. All hairs will grow back with a little help from the medications you have already started for hair growth- DHT blockers Minoxidil (Rogaine) and more importantly Finasteride (Propecia).
This is also the period when itching happens and some times it can get intense when Dr. Bhatti will advise you Tab Allegra if it prevents you from sleeping or working normally. Do not scratch the areas. Just pressing down firmly with the palm will give you instant relief from this sweet itch. Another way is to spray ice-cold saline in the area for soothing it. This is all a sign of healing and a welcome phenomenon
A feeling of ‘pins and needles’ type of irritating feeling which some interpret as ‘pain’ may occur in 5% of people around the 5-7th days. This is a sign of healing superficial nerves. If this is a lot, you need to mail Dr. Bhatti and with the prescription he advises, it will be gone in 12 hours time.
Make sure to follow the instructions provided by the surgeon to hasten the growth of the new hair follicles.
Just after 1 or 2 weeks
You may still experience the hair loss in the transplanted area as this may take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to stop. By this time, the new hair roots will become stronger and will start to grow. The hairline and the transplanted section of the hair will start to have tiny hair growth. This may start early but usually is visible in 3-4 months in the timeline. As the hairs grow only about 1cm every month, it can take some time for the new hair growth to be prominently visible.
In Four to Six Months
After 5 months of getting the hair transplant, you may now have a good idea of how your hair will look like after it has completely grown. The hair with start growing at a fast pace and you can see half of the hair growth by the end of the 5th-month mark.
By 6 months in most cases, hair growth is good. Others may need to wait for another 3-6 months but this is a minority and happens in those not taking medicines regularly or those who have thin hair to start with. There are ‘slow growers’ too.
Usually, by this time, all events like numbness, stretching, itching, skin breakdowns due to hair shafts emerging, have subsided.
After Six Months
After six months, the hair follicles will become stronger and you can see long hairs growing out of the transplanted zone. It will take about 12 to 18 months for the hair to completely grow to its maximum. Soon after a year of the hair transplant, your transplanted section will look full and complete.
Precautions to Follow for Successful Hair Transplantation
• Do not apply the ice packs directly on the transplanted zones.
• Do not wash your hair other than the manner that you have been instructed.
• You can wash your hair a day after the surgery. Ensure to use the prescribed shampoos, antibiotic ointments, and salves, and follow Dr. Bhatti’s express instructions on the right method to wash.
• If there is any doubt, read the booklet for care provided in the aftercare kit or call on our number +91-9814531111. If you mail at email@example.com , Dr. Bhatti will reply back in person.
• Avoid any strenuous exercises like running, jogging, cycling, weight lifting and other similar forms of activities at least till a week after the hair transplant. Engaging in such activities may result in blood loss, extreme swelling in the transplanted area and face, and sometimes, even loss of the transplanted grafts.
• Avoid swimming at all costs for a minimum of 3 weeks after the surgery, if possible, even longer.
• Avoid colouring your hair for at least 6 weeks after the surgery. It’s best to consult the surgeon on the do’s and don’ts of getting your hair coloured, permed or chemically treated.
• You can ar a baseball cap made of cotton material after 3-5 days of wearing the bandana supplied by the office.
• Do not go out in the open during the day (even when cloudy) without a cap covering the transplanted area.
• No steam/sauna till 6 weeks are well past post-procedure.
• Make sure to use the prescribed sunscreen on your scalp every time you are stepping out for at least the first six months.
The success of a hair transplant surgery is majorly dependant on the hair transplant surgeon and the facility in which it is performed. Dr. Tejinder Bhatti is India’s leading hair transplant surgeon with more than 20 years of experience in hair transplantation techniques. He has for many years now been rated as amongst the TOP 20 surgeons in the World in the field of Hair Transplant.
Book a consultation appointment with him now at his clinic, Darling Buds, to start the joyous journey of your hair transformation.