In the UK, up to 50% of men and up to 40% of women will suffer from hair loss in their lifetime, with the most common form being male or female pattern baldness, also known as Androgenetic Alopecia. This is a hereditary condition that is passed down through family genetics and can begin as early as late teens, 20s and 30s, but it is most prominent in individuals over 50 years old.
Naturally, there are other cases of hair loss that can be caused by different factors, such as poor diet and stress, but these are often not permanent hair loss conditions therefore treatment through hair transplants may not be appropriate.
However, for those who do suffer from pattern baldness, a very viable and effective solution to managing hair loss is through Follicular Unit Transplants (FUT) or Follicular Unit Excision (FUE). In this instance, we’re looking at FUE, which involves extracting individual healthy hair follicles from the head and repositioning them into areas affected by hair loss. For many undergoing this treatment, they want and expect instant results with hair growth; however this isn’t always the case.
The initial effects from FUE
The great thing about the FUE procedure is that it offers a relatively quick recovery time of just 3-7 days, and in most cases patients will be left with no visible scarring as the hair follicles are individually implanted into the scalp. However, the quick recovery time isn’t necessarily indicative of quick results in hair growth. The hair follicles require time to recover and begin new hair growth in their new location and some may not take at all.
During the initial period after FUE treatment the scalp will show signs of redness and some scabs may form, but using the specialist shampoo and appropriate aftercare provided by your hair transplant clinic should help the healing process. After a week to ten days the hair transplants will be firmly in place, which means you can resume your usual hair care routines with brushing, washing and combing, but you still won’t see much in terms of hair growth.
When will new hair growth begin?
Unfortunately, the hair growth process is a gradual one, particularly after the trauma imposed on the scalp from FUE treatment. Therefore you shouldn’t expect or be worried if you don’t see any real signs of hair growth for some time.
Often with FUE treatment, patients don’t begin to see visible hair growth until at least 10 weeks, but it can take six to twelve months to show real signs of success. It’s also worth noting that in some instances with FUE, in the first few months the existing hair in the FUE’s may begin to fall out or shed. This isn’t anything to panic about though, as they leave behind their roots and should eventually grow new hair.
The success rate for hair re-growth through FUE is high, around 90%, but naturally if you have any concerns regarding slow or no growth, it is probably a good idea to consult your FUE surgeon or hair transplant clinic to ensure the hair follicles have taken.