How Long Does a Hair Transplant Last?

With all the excitement that hair transplants and their success make, an important question remains: How long does a hair transplant last? One of the most frequent questions patients ask when deciding to undergo this procedure is regarding the permanency of hair transplants. The answer varies from patient to patient but when the procedure is performed by a highly skilled hair restoration specialist, a hair transplant can last a lifetime.

Hair transplants are still the most effective way to overcome the problem of hair loss. But first, it is important to see a specialist to evaluate the type of alopecia and study the quality of the donor area from where the grafts will be extracted. This will not only help the surgeon to determine if the patient is a good candidate for a hair transplant, but also to choose the technique that best suits the patient needs in order to guarantee the best result after the intervention.

Are hair transplants permanent?

The success rate is positive and high for men suffering from androgenic alopecia since there is no possibility of implant rejection, which means that hair transplants are permanent. However, patients must consider that a hair implant is not the kind of intervention that offers immediate results. It is a process that requires plenty of patience, considering that final results are visible after 12 months around.

The transplanted hair follicles will follow the hair growth cycle, adopting the same genetics of the area where the hair was extracted. That is, transplanted hair saves its natural characteristics as color, texture, and stability of the growth speed. For a better understanding of the hair transplant growth, one must first learn about the stages of hair growth and shedding.

receding-hairline

Hair growth cycle

Every day, between 50 and 150 hairs are lost and replaced by new hair, with an average lifespan of 2 to 8 years. Each hair follicle produces new hair that grows in successive cycles before falling out. The hair growth cycle is divided into three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen.

The Anagen Phase: This is the period of growth. The length of the anagen phase can vary between people due to genetics, age, health, and many other factors. Some specialists consider that this phase lasts from 3 to 4 or 5 years, however it is still under debate.

The Catagen Phase: This period is also called the transitional phase. Here the hair stops growing and remains in this phase for 2 or 3 weeks before moving to the telogen phase.

The Telogen Phase: This phase is also known as the resting phase or shedding phase. The hair no longer grows but remains attached to the follicle for approximately 3 months. After this period, the hair base will break free from the root and the hair will shed.

hair growth cycle

After a hair transplant, the hair follicles will go through the resting phase (telogen phase), and the small hairs in the follicles will shed within 2-4 weeks post-procedure. This phenomenon is called shock hair loss and despite the name, this should cause no alarm! Hair shedding after a hair transplant is completely normal and is expected, so there’s nothing to worry about. New hair will start to grow back when the follicles awake within the first 3 months.

Like we said, patience is required, a hair transplant for men provides life-long results if the procedure is made by a high-quality and experienced specialist and if the patient follows the surgeon's post-surgical recommendations. There’s some normal shedding but that does not mean that the procedure has failed nor that the follicles are being rejected.

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