Typically a hair transplant procedure can be done in a day. Larger procedures may take two days, one for extraction and one for implanting. Healing is fast, just a few weeks. But it can take up to 12 months for you to see the full effect of the transplant.
This is what it looked like for me…
Immediately After. You have just undergone surgery, so obviously you are sore, swollen and a little bloody. It takes a day or two for scabs to form. You cannot wash your scalp for the first week and you have to be very careful during this time. Your new hairs are not fully grafted and you can pull them out if you do not follow the aftercare instructions. The new hairs are safely grafted at 7 days.
First 2 Weeks. After a week you can shower and most of your scabbing will come off. You will be red and a little bruised but pretty much healed. The redness and any bruising will start to be less noticeable as the next few weeks progress. At around 2 weeks the newly transplanted hairs will start to shed. I lost about 80% of the new hairs between weeks 2 – 4. The transplanted follicles then go into a resting phase. You may not see your new hair starting to grown until between 3 – 6 months post-op.
Ugly Duckling Phase. From around 3 or 4 weeks you enter into the ugly duckling phase. Your transplanted follicles are resting and you just have to be patient. You will look at your hair every day, but you won’t see much progress. Between 3 – 6 months after the surgery the hair will then enter into the growth phase. For me at 3 months post-op I did not look great. Your original hair is growing but your new hair isn’t, so it looks slightly uneven. At 4 months post-op it was a completely different story!
Growth Phase. By month 4 post-op a good amount of my transplanted hair follicles had come back to life and started growing hairs. Progress really picks up at this point. I went from about 20% thickness in month 3, to about 60% thickness in month 4, then to about 90% by month 6.
Final Result. The time line is slightly different for everyone. You are advised it can take up to 12 months to see the final result. For me I was at about 90% of the final result by month 6. Progress was rapid between 4 and 6 months. It then slowed slightly. I would say I reached my final result around 10 months post-op.