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Can You Have A Hair Transplant With Long Hair?

    Are you considering a hair transplant but have long hair? Traditionally, hair transplants such as follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT) involve extracting hair follicles from the donor area (normally at the back or sides of the head) and implanting them into the balding part of the head. This usually involves the surgeon shaving your head, as it’s easier to extract and implant shorter shaved hairs?

    It is possible to extract hair without shaving and our hair transplant clinic now has the capability to perform these surgeries. This can enable patients to go back to work or social commitments quicker after their transplant without having to disguise a short hair cut. The full process can be seen in the video below.

    Long hair FUE hair transplant surgery

    In this article, we’ll confirm whether a hair transplant is possible with long hair, before covering how the procedure works, its advantages and drawbacks, its recovery process and what The Treatment Rooms London can offer for your long-hair hair transplant.  

    Can you have a hair transplant with long hair?

    If you have long hair, the good news is that you can have a hair transplant which doesn’t involve shaving the entirety of the head, this is called an unshaven hair transplant or minimally shaven hair transplant. There are factors at play that make it more difficult and time-consuming for a surgical team to carry out the procedure. However, the highly skilled surgeons on our team at The Treatment Rooms London can perform this procedure.

    Example of hair grafts that have been extracted without shaving the hair- hence why each graft shown above is growing long hair

    Usually, all scalp hair will be shaved during a hair transplant, as it’s easier to extract and implant the hair follicles when they are shorter. However, our leading surgeons have developed techniques that allow them to keep the hair long on top and minimally shave areas so that you can conceal the fact you have had surgery easier. This makes it possible for men and women to have hair transplants that don’t involve drastic shaving. In the next section, we’ll come on to how a hair transplant with long hair is carried out. 

    hair transplant with long hair
    This patient kept his hair long during his hair transplant and chose to have a minimally shaven hair transplant. The pictures taken are before surgery (left), immediately after surgery (middle) and 10 days after surgery (right)

    How does a hair transplant work with long hair?

    Keeping your hair long during a hair transplant requires specific surgical equipment to ensure the hair doesn’t get tangled or broken during the process of extraction. Most patients are required to shave the hair on the back and sides of the scalp to enable surgery. However, some patients requiring small areas for surgery don’t need to shave the hair on the back and sides and keep the hair long- hence the term long-hair hair transplant surgery. Below you will see some an example of hair grafts extracted without the need for shaving the scalp.

    long hair fue transplant london
    Each graft in the above photo is being stored in a cooled petri dish. The patient did not require their donor area or hair on the back and sides of their scalp to be shaved hence the long-hair in the picture above

    Unshaven FUE (UFUE)

    During an unshaven FUE hair transplant, the long hair in the donor area can be kept at a good length and a smaller area is shaved. Hair is collected as individual follicles using tiny punches, before being implanted in the recipient area (the part of the scalp where there is hair loss). 

    unshaven FUE hair transplant
    Unshaven, UFUE hair transplant carried out to the hairline

    Implanting long hair during a hair transplant

    When implanting long hair back into the scalp during a hair transplant we use implanter pens to minimise the trauma to each delicate graft. This is shown in the picture below.

    Loading a long hair graft onto an implanter pen

    Each long hair graft is loaded onto a device that allows us to control the direction, angulation and density of the implanted long hair.

    long hair fue hair transplant
    15 long hair grafts implanted into this patient’s temples. You can immediate see the potential result and hair direction with long hair

    Advantages and disadvantages of a long hair transplant

    There are many benefits of a long hair transplant, and some aspects people may consider to be a disadvantage:


    • You can return to normal activities quickly, as your original hairstyle will largely be maintained
    • Transplanting with long hair means it will be easier to cover up post-operative scars or redness
    • With unshaven FUE hair transplant, fewer grafts are generally transplanted, so your recovery time is shorter


    • Because a lower number of hair follicles are transplanted in a hair transplant for long hair, it can take make sessions  to achieve the hair density required in the recipient area 
    • The long hair will still shed after your transplant, so you will only get a “preview” of your result for a few weeks before the long hair will shed
    • The procedure is more complex and time-consuming and therefore may take two sessions to complete
    • An unshaven hair transplant will be more expensive than a standard minimally shaven or shaven hair transplant

    Long hair transplant recovery and aftercare

    If you are familiar with the traditional hair transplant process, you may be reassured to know that long-hair and shaven hair transplant recovery and aftercare are the same. As the healing process takes place following your long hair transplant, you may see some redness and swelling – this should subside after a few days. 

    You should follow the aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon. Bear the following tips in mind:

    • Don’t wash your hair for at least 4 days
    • Wear a hat for at least 2 weeks  when outside 
    • Avoid any intense physical activity for the first 2 weeks
    • Don’t dye your hair for as long as possible

    Long hair transplant at The Treatment Rooms London

    At The Treatment Rooms London, we offer an unshaven, minimally shaven and shaven hair transplant using the FUE technique. With an unshaven hair transplant,  you can resume your everyday activities quicker.

    With our renowned surgeons, unparalleled service and cutting-edge technology; your hair transplant is in experienced hands at The Treatment Rooms London. Book a long hair transplant consultation today – call 020 8706 0076 or get in touch via our website.

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