Skip to content

A Guide To Hair Transplants And Donor Area Recovery

    Make an enquiry online using this form and one of our team will be in touch. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by our team.

    Your donor area is the region at the back and sides of your head that are used to "donate" hair to your recipient area in an FUE hair transplant. Your surgeon will make small incisions around each follicle and take them out one by one. These incisions heal quickly. On average, it takes 5-7 days for your donor area to heal after your FUE hair transplant as you will see in the pictures below:

    donor area healing after hair transplant

    The above picture shows a gentleman after he has had 2200 grafts extracted on the day of his surgery (D1), the day after his surgery (D2) and on day 7 following his surgery (D7). His donor area has healed fully and his remaining hair has grown to conceal the area that has been operated on.

    In this guide, we will give you some examples of how our patient's donor area heals after hair transplant surgery and what you need to be aware of.

    What Is The Donor Area?

    The donor area is typically the area on the back and sides of the head where a hair transplant surgeon harvests follicles from. This involves taking hairs from one by one (FUE hair transplant surgery) or as a strip (FUT hair transplant surgery) from the donor area and relocating these hairs to an area of balding or thinning (recipient area).

    FUE Hair Transplant Surgery Diagram
    The donor area in the above diagram are the hairs at the back and sides not affected by the balding process, stages 1 and 2 of surgery involve operating on the donor area

    The hairs taken from a donor area are normally hairs resistant to the balding process. When they are relocated to an area of balding or thinning, they retain this resistance and grow normally.

    hair grafts hair transplant surgery
    Hair follicles extracted from the donor area

    Donor Area Healing After A Hair Transplant

    The healing process following a hair transplant starts immediately. The small incisions will initially scab over. On the day of your surgery you will be given a bandage for the back of your head. You can remove this the next day where you will find the back of your head has small scabs where follicles have been taken.

    These scabs begin to fade away immediately after surgery when you wash the back of your head. Underneath the scab your body will begin to repair and cover the small incisions with small scar tissue. This scar tissue should be between 0.7mm-1mm in size spread out throughout your donor area. As each small dot is very small, once your hair grows to a length 1 or 2, they should be unnoticeable.

    Before-and-After Hair Transplant recovery
    1 week after hair transplant surgery- you can see the small dot scars are no longer visible as hairs have grown to conceal them

    Waiting For Your Donor Area To Heal Before Going Back To Work

    You can see in the picture above by 7 days following surgery the donor area has completely healed and you can return to work should you wish to do so.

    Cutting Your Hair After Your Donor Area Has Healed

    You can cut your hair as normal after you have passed day 14 following your hair transplant. Your donor area should have healed fully following surgery by this point, provided you have followed our FUE aftercare and recovery guidelines.

    Redness In Your Donor Area After A Hair Transplant

    After your hair transplant your donor area may look a little red. This is in keeping with the normal healing process and becomes unnoticeable once your hair grows to a certain length.

    If this redness persists for more than 4 weeks then you should contact your Surgeon to have the area evaluated.

    Donor Area Scars After A Hair Transplant

    After your donor area has recovered and healed following surgery, you'll be left with small "dot-like" scars spread across the back and sides of your scalp where hairs have been taken out. These are concealed when your hair grows. By keeping your hair a minimum length of 1-2 these scars should not be visible. Take a look at the video below which takes you through a some examples of our patients after surgery.

    Are you looking to have a hair transplant?

    To gain a better understanding of the amazing results our hair surgeons have provided over the years, visit our FUE hair transplant before and after page. Alternatively, if you're interested in understanding how much a hair transplant will cost, take a look at our hair transplant cost page for more information. Our hair graft calculator will also give you an indication as to how many grafts you will need.

    Get in touch if you are looking to have a hair transplant and you are still wondering about when you can go back to work. Our Surgeons would be happy to go through your treatment options and explain when would be the best time for you to go back to work. Enquire today to find out more.

    Authored by

    Hair Transplant Surgeon Dr Roshan Vara

    Dr Roshan Vara

    Full Medical Member of the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery

    GMC Registered - 7458409

    Reviewed by

    Hair Transplant Surgeon Dr Dilan Fernando

    Dr Dilan Fernando

    Royal College of Surgeons

    Executive Committee Member & Treasurer of the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery

    GMC Registered - 7458157


    Latest News

    Medication blister pack with pink pills

    An In-depth Guide To Finasteride For Hair Loss

    April 10, 2024

    It is normal to lose around 50 to 100 hairs per day. However, when that number increases,…

    Read More
    Scalp Psoriasis what you need to know

    Scalp Psoriasis – What You Need To Know

    April 9, 2024

    Quick Summary: Understanding Scalp Psoriasis About Scalp Psoriasis: A common autoimmune disorder marked by red, scaly patches…

    Read More
    Hair brushing and hair growth

    Can Hair Brushing Stimulate Hair Growth?

    April 3, 2024

    Quick Summary: Hair Brushing and Hair Growth Brushing’s Real Benefits: While brushing doesn’t directly stimulate hair growth,…

    Read More

    Book A Consultation

      Make an enquiry online using this form and one of our team will be in touch. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by our team.

      020 8706 0076 Enquire