It takes approximately 14 days for newly implanted grafts to become secure after a hair transplant. This is important to know as it affects your recovery, aftercare, your return to work and a normal lifestyle. This blog will help explain more.
What is a hair transplant?
A hair transplant involves relocating hairs from one part of the scalp or body (donor area) to a new area (recipient area). This typically involves taking hairs from the back and sides of the scalp and placing them into the crown, mid-scalp or frontal hairline to treat areas of balding.
The hairs that are relocated should grow for life. Hair transplantation is therefore seen as a permanent solution to balding.
What are hair grafts?
Each new hair that is relocated is called a graft, hair follicle or hair root. For simplicity, we will call them grafts. Each graft can grow any number of hairs. Typically one graft sprouts 2-3 hairs. For example, if you look at your hair on your scalp, arm or body you will often seen groups of hairs coming out of one graft in the skin.
What happens with hair grafts during hair transplant surgery?
Hair grafts are usually extracted from the back of the scalp. They are then placed in a solution keeping them hydrated. Once enough hair grafts have been extracted, they are relocated into an area of balding. This can be the front of the scalp, mid-scalp or the crown. The grafts are placed into small <1mm holes in the scalp to recreate hair where there was none previously.
How long does it take for the grafts to become secure?
Like repotting a plant, each new graft is quite fragile in its new location. It can take a while for the graft to fully “root- in”. This is typically 14 days and it involves the scalp healing itself after surgery and securing each graft in its new location.
What does this mean?
This means that for the first 14 days following your hair transplant you SHOULD NOT:
- Wear beanie hats
- Touch your implanted grafts heavily when showering or grooming yourself
- Take extra care not to hit your head on anything
- Protect your grafts from direct sunlight by wearing a cap
- Keep your grafts moist especially in the first 4-5 days after surgery by spraying them with salt- water solution
After 2 weeks have passed your grafts should be secure in your scalp. Contact sport is the only exercise you will need to wait a little longer for. If you are a Rugby or Football player you should avoid playing these sports or play a non-contact form for 4 weeks.
How long will it take for my grafts to grow?
It will take approximately 8-12 months for your grafts to grow following your transplant. Initially you will see some of your hair shed in the first 2-3 months. After this initial shedding phase your roots will begin to grow your new hair.