Canadian Hair Transplant Centre Appearance The first 10 days Immediately after the hair transplant, you will have a red/brown scab over each graft and will see only very short stubble in the recipient area. If you had FUT, you will be wearing a gauze headband around the donor area. Most people wear a baseball cap to hide the crusts but bandanas or soft hats are not good. By the day after the transplant, the scabs will all be brown but the dots may blend into each other. After you take the headband off for good on this day, you can look pretty much normal when wearing a hat. Swelling may start in the transplanted area then settle into the face due to gravity. It usually peaks between the third and fifth day and is gone by the seventh day. We can reduce swelling but can’t totally prevent it. Most people can wear a hat and be seen but 10% of patients wish to remain completely out of the public eye in the first 7 days. By the fifth day after a hair transplant you can wash your whole head and gently style your hair but you can’t actively try to get rid of the crusts. Some people with enough existing hair are comfortable to be seen without a hat by the fifth day but others are not comfortable until all the crusts come off. By the morning of the 10th day you can actively rub the scalps to get the crusts to come off and you should be crust free by the morning of the 11th day. A lot of the transplanted stubble will also fall out in the first 10 days. The transplanted area is usually pink at first but this commonly fades in the first 10 to 14 days. From 11 days to the fourth month During this time, the transplanted follicles go into a resting (Telogen) phase. Most people look the same as they did before hair transplantation. This can be the most difficult time after a hair transplant because there is no evidence of improvement yet and there can be nuisance cosmetic side effects. A few patients may have some persistent redness in the recipient area. Some may stop using Minoxidil and/or use saltwater soaks and find that it resolves. For most it is mild and doesn’t require any special treatment. A few may need to contact us for advice on how to conceal or camouflage the redness. Most patients will get from 2 to 6 ingrown hairs or pimples at a time in the recipient area from the first to the fourth month after hair transplantation. They should either be left alone or punctured with a sterile needle but they should never be squeezed. Rarely, patients will get excessive pimples in this time period that requires treatment such as stopping Minoxidil, using saltwater soaks, or using prescription acne treatment. It is important to contact us early if this occurs for you. Please do not suffer in silence. Some patients may see some shock loss or shedding of some of their existing hair in this time period. The shock of having hair transplanted nearby can cause some existing follicles to go into a resting phase for 2-4 months before the follicle produces a new hair. This can be reduced by using Minoxidil before and after your hair transplant and by using Finasteride but it can’t be totally prevented. Nobody goes completely bald but the more existing hair there is in an area the greater the chance that there will be enough shock loss that your hair would look thinner for a while before it looks better. This can be camouflaged if needed by changing hairstyle, colour, or even using hair or scalp make-up. From the fourth to the eight month The nuisance side effects almost always resolve by the fourth month. The transplanted hair will not grow back all at once and the early hair shafts are very fine and nearly invisible but the hair will gradually fill in during this time period. People will not notice a sudden change and the people who see you on a day-to-day basis will likely not notice your hair filling in. People who haven’t seen you for a year and who remember you as being bald may be able to tell but often patients tell us that they were told they looked younger or thinner or better without their friends realizing that it was their hair that was better. Because you see yourself every day we sometimes have to pull out the old photos to show you that your hair is getting better. From the eighth to the twelfth month By 8 months, your hair may be anywhere from 75 to 90% filled in. The rest usually gradually fills in by the twelfth month. We usually judge the final result at twelve months but if there is delayed growth, such as caused by previous scarring, there can be improvement for up to 18 months after the transplant.