If you’re deciding to get a hair transplant, you might’ve wondered, “How long do hair transplants last?” Since the surgery is going to be quite significant, it’s only natural that you’d end up thinking if hair transplants are permanent.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), hair transplants give permanent, natural-looking results. However, you also would have come across some patient stories where they got the surgery more than once after a few years. So, what’s really the answer to this question?
Hair transplants involve removing hair follicles from the donor site either individually through follicular unit extraction (FUE) or via a strip of skin from the back of the head. In both cases, the follicles will then be transplanted back into the bald areas on the scalp. As the scalp heals, the follicles will sprout normal, healthy hair strands.
While hair transplants are permanent in most cases, meaning that they’d last your lifetime, there are some cases in which this may not happen.
How Long Do Hair Transplants Last?
Fortunately, you’re not living in an era where hair transplants are glaringly obvious because of their pluggy appearance. Those surgeries were not that successful. Moreover, they left the person with a very unnatural appearance. It left a lot of people wanting to undergo another surgery for better results.
However, that’s not the case anymore. The way hair transplants of today work, they’re meant to give you long-lasting, even permanent results. Since the hair follicles that are placed in the balding regions are not sensitive to the male sex hormones, there’s no chance of them falling off after their implantation.
This doesn’t mean that not a single hair on your head will ever fall again, but that you won’t lose hair in the form of a “pattern” anymore, as happens in androgenetic alopecia.
Here, keep in mind that you might suddenly lose a lot of your hair in a few weeks following hair transplant surgery. This is just shock loss, and it is temporary.
That means that you shouldn’t think that transplanted follicles fall off before they even begin growing any hair. The roots stay intact; it’s just the hair that’s falling off because of the surgery.
The transplanted hair follicles will grow just the way they did in the donor regions on the back and sides of the scalp. Within a matter of 3-4 months, you will even start noticing mere inches of hair growth.
With time, the hair will grow and blend in naturally with your existing hair. Thereon, each follicle will produce hair that grows naturally alongside the surrounding hairs and will behave in the same way as the rest of your hair. And in 12-18 months, you’ll have grown permanent hair.
Which Factors Affect How Long Hair Transplants Last?
Hair transplants can indeed give permanent results, but there are a few factors that affect how long they last. These are as follows:
Whether or not your hair transplant is going to last a lifetime depends on the surgeon that you choose. This isn’t always the case.
However, it can play a significant role in those cases where patients are not yet ready for a hair transplant but are advised to undergo one anyway.
Young male patients who have androgenetic alopecia may want to get restoration surgery as soon as possible.
However, it’s not recommended that they get one until they’re at least 25 because their “pattern” hasn’t been set. The surgeon cannot say for sure at that point how far down the male sex hormones will affect the hair follicles.
In this case, if you ask “How long do hair transplants last” the answer would be not for much longer.
Since chemotherapy affects both healthy cells and cancerous cells, you can lose your hair follicles when you’re undergoing this treatment. This can affect the transplanted hair just as much as your existing hair since they’re both the same.
Although hair loss due to chemotherapy is reversible, in some cases, it is permanent. That means that you will lose the results of your hair transplant and will have to get another one for regrowth.
Hormonal imbalance can affect a person at any point in their life due to one reason or another. If the hormones involved are androgens, the hair loss can be permanent. It can affect both men and women.
For instance, menopausal women experience a drop in the levels of estrogen, which has been linked to pattern baldness. If you had a hair transplant before (maybe because of traction alopecia) that used DHT-sensitive hair, you might lose your hair again.
In this case, too, if you’re wondering “How long do hair transplants last” it’s not going to be permanent because the changes in hormones will either affect a part of your scalp or the entirety of it.
Trauma to the scalp due to any physical injury, chemical burns, heat damage, or tight hairstyles can make you lose your hair permanently, no matter whether it’s the transplanted hair or your existing hair.
Depending on the severity of the burns and scars, it may be possible for you to get another surgery.
If you had one before, you’ll most likely lose the hair because of the damage to the skin and the hair follicles in it. Here, too, the answer to “How long do hair transplants last” is that it won’t be permanent.
What’s Causes Hair Fall After A Hair Transplant?
Hair fall after a hair transplant can occur due to other factors like poor lifestyle, stress, nutritional deficiencies, health issues, medications, etc. Not all of these might cause permanent alopecia, but you must get yourself checked by a medical professional.
Even if there’s no problem, however, hair fall can occur due to the natural process of ageing. This type of hair loss is called involutional alopecia. So, this can also thin your hair out with time.
In cases where your hair may be beginning to shed or where you may be prone to shedding post-procedure, your surgeon may be able to suggest medication or supplements that promote and enhance hair growth.
When Do You Need To Get Another Hair Transplant?
Even though a hair transplant gives permanent results, some people choose to get a second hair transplant to improve their hair density or get coverage in the areas where hair loss has progressed further. I’m
This is often solved by further treatment to transplant healthy hairs into the areas where new loss has taken place. The transplanted hairs will remain there for your lifetime if good care is taken of them. Here, the answer to “How long do hair transplants last” is still the same.
Your hair transplant surgeon might inform you in advance whether you’ll need a second hair transplant in the future depending on the pattern of your hair loss, your age, the speed with which you’re losing hair, etc.
So, how long do hair transplants last? The transplanted hair follicles will stay for a lifetime. Because they’re not sensitive to male sex hormones, they’re going to stay there permanently.
Hair shedding can occur temporarily after a transplant due to shock loss, but it’s normal. The Aftercare team will keep an eye on your progress to determine whether this is normal or not. As long as you follow the aftercare instructions, you should see the results of the surgery.
However, if you experience any unfortunate events because of which you end up losing your hair, then the answer to “how long do hair transplants last” won’t be a lifetime. In this case, you’d have to get another surgery or discuss other hair loss treatment options with your doctor.
Reviewed and Approved by Trichologist Yaprak Yazan