What is the recovery time for a hair transplant procedure?

Depending on the patient and their circumstances, different hair transplant healing phases follow. Although the average recuperation period following hair transplant surgery is only seven days, this can vary. 

The same amount of time is required to return to work after surgery and to your daily activities. This article attempts to teach you everything you need to know about how long the Hair Transplant Recovery Time is and how to take care of yourself following the treatment.

Recovery timeline table (day by day or week by week)

The recovery timeline for a hair transplant can vary depending on the type of surgery performed. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) generally offers faster recovery times compared to other methods.

Patients who undergo FUE surgery can typically return to work within a week after the procedure. However, it is crucial to exercise extreme care with the transplanted hair during the first two weeks to ensure proper healing and protection. 

Patients should avoid touching the grafts to allow them to securely anchor and promote successful hair growth.

Immediately after the surgery, the transplanted hair will have a similar appearance to the existing hair for about a month. It is a normal part of the healing process, and it takes time for the grafts to settle in. 

It usually takes around three to five months before the transplanted hair begins to grow. Patients need to be patient during this period and provide ample time for the hair follicles to establish themselves and start producing new hair.

Recovery MilestonesDescription
2-5 DaysBandages are removed during this period. It is crucial not to touch the grafts to avoid any potential damage to the newly transplanted hair follicles.
Day 6On the sixth day, patients can start washing their hair gently by hand. Following the provided instructions is important to ensure proper cleansing without disturbing the grafts.
10-14 DaysNon-dissolvable stitches, if used during the procedure, are typically removed after 10 to 14 days. This step promotes further healing and reduces the risk of complications.
Few WeeksAfter a few weeks, it is common for the transplanted hair to fall out. This shedding is a natural part of the hair growth cycle and should not cause alarm. The hair will grow back later in the recovery process.
6 MonthsAround six months after the hair transplant, new hair growth usually begins to appear. This is an encouraging sign, indicating the success of the transplantation procedure.
12-18 MonthsFull results from the hair transplant are typically visible between 12 to 18 months post-surgery. By this time, the transplanted hair has fully grown and blended with the existing hair, providing the desired aesthetic outcome.

Factors influencing recovery

Various factors, such as age, hair transplant procedure, overall health, and follow-up procedures, can significantly impact the recovery process after a hair transplant, influencing the final outcome of the procedure.


Age plays a role in hair transplant recovery. As people age, the hair follicles may stop producing new hairs, leading to thinning or baldness. The natural aging process affects the quality and density of hair.

Hair loss associated with aging is not experienced by everyone, but it is more common for individuals to show signs of baldness by the age of 30. Men, 

in particular, may experience male pattern baldness, which is related to the normal function of the male hormone testosterone. Women can also develop a similar type of baldness known as female pattern baldness.

Hair Transplant Procedure

The choice of hair transplant procedure can affect the recovery process. Two popular techniques are used, such as Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).

FUT involves removing a strip of scalp from the donor area and transplanting it to the recipient area, while FUE involves extracting individual hair follicles and transplanting them. 

The healing and recovery time may vary between these procedures, and your surgeon will provide specific instructions for post-operative care.

Overall Health

The overall health of an individual can impact hair transplant recovery. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disorders may affect the healing process.

Additionally, temporary hair loss can occur due to physical or mental stress. It is important to discuss your medical history with your surgeon to ensure a safe and successful recovery.

Follow-up Procedures

In some cases, a follow-up procedure may be necessary to achieve more natural-looking results. It may involve a surgical “touch-up” procedure or the use of mini-grafts to fill in and blend the hairline.

These follow-up procedures can contribute to the overall outcome of the hair transplant and may affect the recovery process.

Tips for faster recovery

Remember to consult your physician for personalized advice and follow their instructions for optimal recovery after a hair transplant.

Sleep with a slight elevation at a 30-degree angle and an extra pillow behind the head. It helps relieve pressure in the donor area. Protect your scalp from direct sunlight, especially if it is swollen post-surgery.

Use lightly salinated water for compresses to prevent crust formation and aid healing. Apply ointments or gels twice daily to the donor incision and recipient area. 

These promote wound healing, retain moisture, and provide a barrier to infection. Regular options include polysporin, mupirocin, Neosporin, and petrolatum. 

Surgical gels may also be prescribed but can be hard to remove from hair. Topical antibiotics are rarely necessary.

Start hair washing the day after the procedure. Dry off hair gently with a towel and use a cold setting when blow-drying. Avoid scratching, bumping, or rubbing the grafted hair to prevent graft loss.

Shampoo with a mild, hypoallergenic formula after the first 48 hours to soak the scalp, and it helps prevent crust formation.

After three days, you can use products like Toppik and hair fibers. Hair spray can be used after seven days. Spraying a comb with hairspray and then combing the hair may be more effective. You can start using hair color two weeks after surgery.

Gently apply ice on the forehead (avoiding the implanted grafts) for 20 minutes during the first 2-3 days to reduce forehead swelling.

Limit exercising to prevent unnecessary bleeding. Avoid strenuous exercise for at least 14 days after surgery to protect the newly grafted scalp.

Avoid processed and sugary drinks and select a healthy diet to support hair growth and overall well-being.

Hydrate your scalp by drinking at least eight glasses of water daily. Sufficient water intake promotes scalp health and prevents dryness.

Ensure proper nutrition to support the hair transplantation process. The quality of blood affects healing, and vitamins are essential for healthy blood. Stick to a balanced diet and avoid overeating. Nutrition plays a crucial role in reducing hair loss.

Smoking reduces blood flow to the hair roots, which is crucial for hair growth. Alcohol is a diuretic and reduces nutrient absorption. Quit both to support optimal healing and hair growth.

Avoid sexual activity for at least ten days after surgery, as it can increase blood pressure and heart rate.

What to do/avoid during recovery?

During the recovery period after a hair transplant, it is crucial to follow specific instructions to ensure a successful healing process and optimize the results. Here are three mandatory points to keep in mind:

Rest and avoid strenuous activities.

Your physician will recommend rest for the first two days after the procedure. Avoid vigorous exercise, heavy lifting, and bending over at the neck or waist for at least one week.

These activities can increase blood flow to the scalp, which may disrupt the newly transplanted hair follicles. By taking adequate rest and avoiding strenuous activities, you promote proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.

Be gentle with washing and handling the recipient area.

For the first ten days, it is essential not to rub the recipient area. Instead, gently wash the zone using the flat of your fingers and a generous portion of shampoo.

After washing, pat the area dry with a soft towel to prevent unnecessary friction or irritation. It is also recommended to avoid scratching or rubbing the scalp during this period. If itching occurs, warm compresses can be used as a soothing remedy.

Take precautions when sleeping and protecting the scalp.

Sleep with your head elevated at a 30-degree angle by using an extra pillow behind your head or sleeping on a recliner. This position helps reduce swelling and improves blood circulation to the scalp.

Additionally, wearing a clean hat can protect the grafted area when going outdoors. Ensure that the hat is loose-fitting and doesn’t apply excessive pressure on the scalp. 

Furthermore, avoid exposing your head to direct sunlight for the first two weeks to prevent sunburn and potential damage to the scalp.

ALCS Hair Transplant and Cosmetic Clinic, under the leadership of the internationally recognized Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr. Sunil Arora, specializes in hair restoration and cosmetic procedures. With a focus on quality, ALCS Clinic offers a range of Hair Transplantation and Cosmetic Surgery Services under one roof.

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