How Long Does a Hair Transplant Last?
Of all the hair restoration methods available, transplantation is by far the most effective. The potential is transformative, with a relatively brief procedure, and typically takes 6-12 months to see results.
But even with high rates of client satisfaction and increasing metrics of success, patients still want to know just how long a hair transplant will last once completed. Considering the time and cash investment for the procedure, it’s a reasonable question and key to setting realistic expectations.
Let’s figure out how long a hair transplant is meant to last, what the data shows us, and what factors determine the duration of a procedure long-term.
Is a Hair Transplant Meant To Last Forever?
As with all cosmetic procedures, the best surgeons work hard to maximize patient results. When it comes to hair transplantation, the goal is to restore hair to the target area using real, healthy hair from the donor region.
Hair transplants may not last forever. Several factors are at play that determine the life of a transplant. Choosing an experienced, professional surgeon like Jae Pak, M.D. can best guide you to the right option for you. Age, hair type, the level of hair loss, and even your lifestyle can affect your hair transplant.
Here’s what we know about how long transplants last and what may happen in the years that follow a procedure.
How Long the Average Hair Transplant Lasts
Final growth after a transplant can take anywhere from six to nine months to a entireyear. Of course, the best hair transplants begin with a visit to a good surgeon.
Hair transplantation technology may have begun in the 1950s, but it’s come a long way since those early “hair plug” days. Even today, with an assortment of procedures available, not all treatments achieve long-term perfection.
Even after a hair transplant, natural hair loss can continue and an additional procedure is sometimes needed. However, transplanted hair can last a lifetime as it is your own hair and behaves as such.
Keep in mind that transplants just a decade ago were done with cruder technology and with fewer medicinal advancements to work with. Every year, the average time horizon lengthens with improved combinations of technology, techniques, and treatments.
What Happens to Transplants Over Time?
Newly transplanted follicles grow just like real hair, and patients treat them as such for years on end. Washing, combing, trimming, and other forms of friction can cause wear and tear over time. These actions can cause even the best transplants to show signs of age.
The restored hairline may diminish slightly around the edges in the typical Norwood pattern or a youthful hairline may start to look more “mature” in shape. This doesn’t necessarily look unnatural. At least today’s clients don’t have to worry about a “plug” appearance.
Hair transplants can look great year after year. As patient’s age, it often becomes less important to maintain a crisp, youthful hairline.
How Common Are Repeat Procedures?
In the rare case that a hair transplant does visibly decline in quality within a few years, patients have more options now than in the past. Smaller, additional procedures can be done in shorter time frames to “patch-in” depleted areas and return hairlines to form.
This is the advantage of new and improved FUE transplants that utilize lower quantities of donor hair to target low-coverage regions with greater precision.
Repeat transplants are therefore more common than ever, and many patients choose to opt for several “mini procedures” via FUE rather than a single, high-volume FUT surgery. Adding a few hundred grafts every five years or so may yield better results than a 2000-graft “megasession” that’s meant to last forever.
That’s the approach many celebrities now take, especially with FUE’s shorter recovery time and lack of lesser scarring on the donor region. As a leader in the hair transplant field for years, Dr. Jae Pak knows the intricacies of each treatment and can help you reach your goals with the right procedures and timing.
Hair Transplant Permanence: 5 Key Factors
Today’s hair transplants look better than ever, last longer, and offer more options in terms of ongoing care and upkeep. Still, five main factors will dictate how long a hair transplant holds up over time, ensuring that you get your money’s worth and maximize satisfaction.
Here are those factors and how they impact your transplant results in the long run.
1. Genetics, Condition, Environment
Just like the hair that naturally grows on your head, genetic traits and environmental factors will play into how transplants are received and how long they will survive in the future.
Those who suffer severe androgenetic alopecia, for example, are more likely to encounter issues maintaining a transplant for longer durations, since high concentrations of DHT may counteract follicle life cycles.
Of course, a well-done transplant can potentially overcome these genetic limitations and keep hair going strong for years to come, especially if all other factors are aligned, as outlined here.
2. Scope and Type of Procedure
Depending on the type of hair transplant you choose, it may affect how long your new hair will hold strong. This is based on factors like transection rate (how many follicles are damaged during transplantation) and other techniques the surgeon employs.
It used to be that FUT strip surgery was considered the more resilient of the two main procedure types, since clinics could yield greater volumes and preserve follicles for longer.
Now that FUE has caught up in capacity and function, patients can enjoy all the benefits of that surgery and attain their desired results. FUE, however, does typically have less lifetime yield than FUT.
3. Surgeon and Clinic
Choosing the right surgeon and clinic to perform your hair transplant is by far the most consequential decision in maximizing your results, including permanence, durability, and overall satisfaction.
This is due to the wide spectrum of surgeon expertise in the hair restoration field. Not all surgeons are equal. Look to the level of service and guidance provided by a clinic during your consultation.
A surgeon’s skill is their greatest asset, even surpassing access to technology and medicine. The finest hair transplant surgeons have years of experience. They have seen it all regarding patient hair types, conditions, limitations, and objectives.
Time researching and comparing surgeons and clinics is always well spent, especially knowing the outsized impact of this choice. Browse not only reviews and testimonials, but also before & after galleries to see how doctors stack up in terms of real results.
4. Medicines and Treatments
To give your newly grafted hair the best chance at long-term survival, doctors recommend taking full advantage of all that modern medicine has to offer. This includes FDA-approved drugs like Finasteride in tablet form.
Your surgeon will share with you the recommended follow-up course of treatment. Ask your questions and make sure you understand what you will have to do to help give your new hair a great beginning.
Don’t overlook additional treatments like low-level infrared light therapy or microchanneling, which have both grown in popularity with great effects for both skin and hair. As always, working closely alongside your trusted hair restoration doctor will help you better maintain the life of your hair.
5. Recovery Protocols and Aftercare
As soon as your procedure concludes, taking care of your hair transplant post-op is vital in the coming weeks and months. Patients that fail to adhere to the recommended care protocols may limit their results and end up less than satisfied long-term.
Top clinics will leave nothing to chance when giving you the instructions you need, from keeping the area protected and clean and knowing when to resume certain activities and administer medicines.
Recovery from a hair transplant isn’t rocket science, but it does take commitment and some willpower to get through the first one or two weeks. Patients need to confront some minor discomfort in the short term to enjoy the best possible results in the long run.
Make the Most of Your Hair Transplant
The hair transplants that look the best and last the longest aren’t coincidental. You have a hand in how to best maximize results and preserve your new hair for the longest possible duration. Here are a few tips to make it happen:
Choose a Surgeon Wisely
We’ve mentioned the importance of a great hair transplant surgeon. This point can’t be overstated. The best hair transplant procedure can fall flat if you choose an inexperienced surgeon and an incompetent clinic. Look for a hair transplant clinic that fits your needs.
Followup, Aftercare, and Treatment
Go into your hair transplant with a better understanding of what will be expected of you for recovery and aftercare. This will prepare you mentally for what’s to come and potentially reinforce the idea that your results depend on how closely you follow protocols (so you won’t be tempted to cut corners later).
When it’s time to take care of your new grafts in those pivotal first few days, nothing will be a surprise. You’ll know what to expect and how to proceed.
Consider a Secondary Procedure
FUE transplants are better than ever. Many patients are now opting for several low-volume procedures spaced out over time.
Talk with your hair doctor and see if this approach is right for you or if a one-time FUT surgery is a better route. As an innovator and inventor in the hair transplant field, Dr. Jae Pak has the hands-on expertise required to help you achieve the best possible results.
Your Long-Term Hair Restoration Plan
Today’s choices will determine the future of your hair transplant’s survival and success. Take matters into your own hands and work with the best in the business.
Dr. Jae Pak and his team are ready to discuss your hair transplant goals. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.
Find out if Hair Restoration is right for you.
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