The first thing we tell our hair transplant patients is always this: Unlike other plastic surgery, hair restoration takes a little bit of patience. You cannot expect the same overnight results you can achieve with, say, a tummy tuck, where results are immediately visible.

If you think about it, this is more a blessing than a curse. Yes, you have to wait a little for your new hairline and your crown to fill in. But relying on the natural growth cycle of hair ensures that the results look, in fact, natural.

In the end, our Nashville Hair Doctor and Memphis Hair Doctor patients are always surprised how fast this waiting time goes by, and how quickly the first results begin to show. The best way for you to get an idea of this timeline is to follow the journey of a hair restoration patient.

The Hair Transplant Patient

David Bernard is a 34-year old internet marketing specialist living in the Nashville area. His dark, coarse, and wavy hair was receding and thinning in the crown. He elected to have a hair transplant at Nashville Hair Doctor in July of 2018. The cause for his hair loss was male pattern baldness, a condition affecting many men of all ages.

Nashville Hair Doctor patient journey

Nashville Hair Doctor patient journey - before picture

A good view of David’s crown before his procedure. You can see the thinning hair.

Prior to his procedure, David had met with Shauna, our medical consultant. Shauna is available to meet in person at our office, but she also conducts virtual consultations. All a patient needs to do is upload his or her picture using a secure feature on our website, and she takes it from there.

The purpose for David’s meeting with Shauna was to evaluate the state of his hair loss and discuss goals for his new look. He was alarmed about his thinning crown that was at risk of turning into a bald spot, and he also wasn’t happy with how far his hairline had retreated. Shauna advised that a 2,800-graft hair transplant would be ideal to fill in both hairline and crown. She also recommended a PRP treatment to boost post-op growth. Then they set a date for early July during a slow week at work, allowing him to work from home.

The Hair Transplant Procedure

The only concern David had before his procedure was having to sit still for up to 8 hours. NeoGraft hair transplants can take a bit of time to complete, since each hair graft has to be transplanted individually. This is a good thing. The alternative is the Strip Method, which removes a strip of hair all at once from your scalp, resulting in a scar. NeoGraft leaves you with an unblemished scalp without scars.

It was easy for David to pass the time during his hair transplant. There was a TV in the procedure room, and he was given the remote. Occasionally he would have to change positions depending on where they worked. He also enjoyed chatting with Jay, the Nashville Hair Doctor NeoGraft technician.

He didn’t feel much of anything throughout the procedure, thanks to the placement of a numbing agent on the affected areas. Occasionally he might feel a little pinch from where they extracted hair, or a sensation of a pinprick where it was inserted. He says it was easy to manage because he controlled the pain level.

The Hair Transplant Recovery

David’s recovery lasted about a week. Not because he was in any pain, but because he wanted to wait that long before showing himself in public. Here is a brief timeline of his week of recovery:

Day 1

Made sure he followed all post-op instructions given by Shauna, like waiting for 3 days before washing his hair and sleeping with head in an elevated position. (Read our complete Tips for Best Results and Dos and Don’ts After a Hair Transplant for more information.)

Nashville Hair Doctor patient journey Day 1 post-opDay 2

Experienced a bit of swelling to the head from not having kept it elevated when sleeping. Would opt for sleeping in a recliner during first week if he did it again.

Day 3

Hung out by the pool, occasionally spraying back of the head when it was itchy.

Nashville Hair Doctor patient journey Day 3 post-opDay 4

Washed hair for the first time as instructed, using a cup to pour soapy water over his head so as not to scrub unnecessarily.

Day 5

Was thrilled with his hair looking almost back to normal, with hardly any scabs showing and tiny hairs growing at the front hairline.

Nashville Hair Doctor patient journey Day 5 post-opDay 6

Got ready to go back to work.

1 Month

Noticed some hair was falling out but was ready for this as per Shauna’s instructions. This is completely normal and part of the growth cycle of hair. The roots of your transplanted hair are still there and will continue to reproduce.

2-3 Months

Started seeing the first results at both hairline and crown. Was happy to wear tighter fitting hats again, which he had avoided entirely during first few months to protect the new grafts.

6 Months

Was delighted to be much further along than anticipated. His hairline had gained almost an inch, and his crown was almost completely covered with full hair. He was told to expect his best results at 14 months, so 6 months seemed like no time at all. David attributes his great results to three things: 1. Opting for a transplant early rather than waiting longer; 2. Following the post-op instructions to a T; and 3. Opting for the PRP treatment.

The Hair Transplant Results

We believe that these pictures speak for themselves. Also watch the video to hear David describe his journey in his own words.

Before and After picture of male NeoGraft hair transplant patient - top view | Nashville Hair Doctor

After picture taken 6 months after hair transplant

If you have any questions about hair restoration at Nashville Hair Doctor or Memphis Hair Doctor, please give us a call. To receive an instant quote, simply upload your picture, and Shauna will be in touch with you!

Nashville Hair Doctor by NuBody Concepts serving patients in Tennessee and beyond

About Hair Doctor

With over 20 years of experience in FUE hair restoration and led by a double-board certified plastic surgeon, we are a leading provider of affordable hair transplants in the Southeast. Visit us at our Nashville Hair Doctor or Memphis Hair Doctor offices, or take advantage of our complimentary travel package for out-of-town patients. Read more>>

If you are dealing with hair loss and have tried various remedies to no avail, it may be time to consider a hair transplant. Medical hair restoration with a transplant is the only proven solution to hair loss. But before you are willing to spend the money on a hair transplant, you rightly want to know if it’s worth it. Do hair transplants really work? What kinds of results can you expect from a hair transplant? What can you do to make sure you get great hair transplant results?

The best way to get such questions answered is to talk with a patient who has just undergone the procedure. David, a 34-year old Nashville Hair Doctor patient, had his NeoGraft hair transplant in July 2018. Just six months later, in January of 2019, he is very happy with his results so far. We wanted to know what his secret was to get such great results relatively early, and whether he had any other tips and tricks for the recovery. You can see his answer to this and other questions in the interview below.

Before and After picture of male NeoGraft hair transplant patient - top view | Nashville Hair Doctor

David 6 months after his NeoGraft hair transplant

Interview with Hair Transplant Patient

Q: What made you want to get a hair transplant?

A: Basically, I started noticing that the crown of my head was showing. It’s not a spot you typically see, so I had no idea that I had this bald spot. I actually always thought I had good hair because of genetics, so it was quite a shock to learn otherwise.

Q: When you decided to have a hair transplant, what were you most concerned about going in?

A: I wasn’t really concerned about the procedure. Maybe the fact that I had to sit there for 8 hours, I was a little wary of that.

Q: Did the procedure last longer or shorter than you expected? How did you pass the time?

A: It was just about as long as I thought. I got to watch TV most of the time, so looking back it doesn’t seem that long at all. I had a remote control and could turn on whatever I wanted. I had to sit in different positions depending on where they worked.

Q: Was it painful, or how would you describe the feeling?

A: They numbed the areas they worked on with lidocaine, so I didn’t feel much of anything. I could sometimes feel a little pinch from where they extracted hair, or a little pinprick where it was inserted. But it was easy to manage because I was in control of the pain level.

Q: What was your recovery like, i.e. did you have any discomfort afterwards, how did you sleep, was there any swelling, etc.?

A: My recovery lasted about a week. I wasn’t in any pain, but I waited about that long before showing myself in public again. I had some swelling that started at the top of the head and came down to the jaw on the 2nd day. I slept with my head elevated, and this is a big deal. When you lay flat is when you swell. One night I slipped off the pillow and slept normal and that is when my face was swollen. It took 1-2 days to disappear again. They recommend sleeping in a recliner for the first 7 days, and if I did it again, that’s what I would do.

Q: Was your head itchy afterwards? How long did you wait before washing your hair?

A: The back of my head was itchy where they extracted the hair. I kept a squirt bottle to spray water on it whenever it felt itchy. I waited 3 days before washing my hair. After that I used a cup to pour soapy water on my head, just like Shauna at the Hair Doctor had instructed me. I got a set of instructions on when I could wear a hat again, how to wash my hair, etc. My tip is to follow those instructions. If anything, I was even more careful. I would say the secret to good hair transplant results is to “baby” your hair that first week and not do anything that might harm those grafts. Whatever they tell you not to do, don’t do it!

Q: Did people notice anything afterwards?

A: For the first week of course it’s very noticeable, your head is covered in red dots. After a week you still have the scabs so people can see, then they turn into itty bitty hairs at the front hairline. I was confident talking about it so this didn’t bother me. It stops when the new hair falls out at around the 1-month mark*. After that nobody notices that you’ve had anything done, you just get compliments!

Q: When did you see the first results, and were they as expected?

A: I would say at about 2-3 months. At 6 months I’m definitely further along than I anticipated. I think it’s because I did everything like instructed. I didn’t wear tight fitting hats at all for the first few months.

Q: How soon after your procedure did you return to work?

A: I went back after 1 week. Physically I could have go sooner but I wanted to give time for swelling and scabs to go away.

David had a hair transplant using the NeoGraft technology, which uses a concept called Follicular Unit Extraction. He had 2,800 grafts transplanted in a one-day procedure that lasted approximately eight hours. Below you can see the timeline, in pictures, of his hair transplant results up until the 6-month mark, with more growth still expected up until around 14 months.

timeline of a hair transplant recovery at the Nashville hair doctor - side viewtimeline of a hair transplant recovery at the Nashville hair doctor - back view


We hope that you were able to learn more about hair transplants and the Dos and Dont’s during hair transplant recovery. If you are interested in learning more, we invite you to upload your picture to receive a free quote.


*Yes, your transplanted hair actually falls out around 3-4 weeks post-op; this is completely normal. The roots (follicles) are still there and will start reproducing your hair.

Nashville Hair Doctor by NuBody Concepts serving patients in Tennessee and beyond

About Hair Doctor

With over 20 years of experience in FUE hair restoration and led by a double-board certified plastic surgeon, we are a leading provider of affordable hair transplants in the Southeast. Visit us at our Nashville Hair Doctor or Memphis Hair Doctor offices, or take advantage of our complimentary travel package for out-of-town patients. Read more>>

As cosmetic surgery goes, hair transplants are known to be fairly easy procedures. No general anesthesia, no surgical instruments, no scars. They are also very easy to recover from. Follicular Unit Extraction, in particular is so well-liked because of how easy it is to recover from, with very little downtime. Nevertheless, there are a few things you should know about hair transplant recovery.

Exercise and Strenuous Activity

Your surgeon will likely advise you to refrain from physical activities for a time after your hair transplant. At the Nashville Hair Doctor, we recommend two weeks of avoiding certain activities that do not help healing. For instance, we recommend that you only bend down using your knees, not your waist. We don’t want you to do anything for an extended period where the blood can rush to your head. Sorry, the monkey bars are off limits for a couple of weeks! (also, no scuba diving for the same reason.) We also prefer you stay away from any exercise that will lead to heavy sweating. If you have certain exercises as a part of your daily routine, it’s best to ask your provider about these exercises specifically.

Washing Your Hair

Many patients worry about washing their hair. When can you safely wash your hair without putting the newly implanted grafts at risk? The answer is, it’ not as risky as you think. You can safely wash your hair after 48 hours, but if you want to give it an extra day, of course that’s fine too. We recommend not applying shampoo directly on your head, but rather putting a small drop in a cup. Then you fill the cup with water to make a bubbly mix to pour over your head, then rinse with more water from the cup. This ensures that you are treating your hair grafts in the gentlest way, yet don’t have to face the world with greasy hair! Don’t let the spray from the shower head come in direct contact with your head for the first week. After that, you can treat your hair as you normally would.

Wearing a Hat

We understand that it’s tempting to cover your newly transplanted scalp with a hat before you go out into the world. But we recommend you wait before doing this at least 3 days. You can wear a loose-fitting hat after 3 days, and a more tightly fitting hat, like a baseball cap, after 5. Basically, after 5 days you are totally fine to wear whatever you want on your head. Just to give you an idea, we would have to surgically remove the grafts from your head after 5 days to have any chance of pulling them out. Basically, there is nothing you can do after more than 5 days post-op that would cause your grafts to fall out. (Please know that some of your hair does actually fall out, anywhere from a few weeks to a few months after your transplant; this is a completely normal part of the hair growth cycle. It doesn’t mean you’ve lost your new grafts. They have just shed their hairs, which happens to your healthy hair all the time).

Itching, Swelling, Sun and Ice

It is normal for your head to have some swelling after the procedure, typically around day 3 and 4. To prevent swelling, we recommend keeping your head elevated for the first 7 days (i.e. sleeping in a recliner instead of your bed – think Netflix binge-watching while there). This is just a precaution, as you may never experience any swelling at all. You may also apply ice just above the eyebrows, but not onto the transplanted area itself. If your scalp feels itchy, refrain from scratching it the first few days. You want to make sure the scabs can form undisturbed. Rubbing in a little conditioner can help against itchiness. Try not to expose your scalp to direct sunlight for 2 weeks. As mentioned before, you’re allowed to put on a hat after 3-5 days, depending how snug it is. Vacationing during your hair transplant recovery is a great idea – just make sure you stay out of the sun.

Alcohol, Hair Dye, and Smoking

While it’s fine to dye your hair right before a transplant, you should refrain from it for 4 weeks afterwards. The harsh chemicals can have a negative impact on the still frail hair graft as they’re taking root. It’s not likely that you would anyway, considering that your area of transplantation will have been shaved to prep for the transplant. For the same amount of time – 4 weeks – you should also refrain from smoking. We’d encourage you to give it up altogether, but if you can’t, make sure you don’t negatively impact your blood flow and hair growth by smoking too early. It’s a little easier with alcohol – we recommend you wait 5 days before consuming it, as it can also interfere with the blood supply to your head.

We hope that the above tips will help you with your hair transplant recovery. At the Nashville Hair Doctor, it’s very important for us that you make the best choice and are happy with your decision. Having a hair transplant is a big step, and we want to make sure that you have all the facts before you start so that you have a successful recovery.

When you go home after your hair transplant surgery, you’ll likely be given a list of instructions. Make sure you read this carefully, and check back with your provider if you have any questions. You can always call the Nasvhille Hair Doctor and we will take time to give you all the answers you are looking for. If you are just in the beginning stages of exploring a hair transplant, use our Online Quote tool to get a FREE and confidential quote.

For more information on hair transplant recovery, also read these articles: DOs and DONTs After a Hair Transplant, and How Soon Can I Wash My Hair After a Hair Transplant?

Nashville Hair Doctor by NuBody Concepts serving patients in Tennessee and beyond

About Hair Doctor

With over 20 years of experience in FUE hair restoration and led by a double-board certified plastic surgeon, we are a leading provider of affordable hair transplants in the Southeast. Visit us at our Nashville Hair Doctor or Memphis Hair Doctor offices, or take advantage of our complimentary travel package for out-of-town patients. Read more>>

If you’ve been considering a hair transplant, it’s probably because you looked in the mirror one morning and saw scalp where there should be hair. The shock of an unexpectedly receding hairline or bald spot can be quite visceral. Nevertheless, you most likely didn’t book a consultation with a hair doctor or clinic right away. Of all the questions you may have about hair restoration, the most pressing one might be: Is now the right time to have a hair transplant?

It’s not an easy question to answer, because everyone is different. There is no ideal age at which you should get a hair transplant, just like there is no ideal age for a tummy tuck or laser hair removal. On the one hand, many patients, once they’ve had a hair transplant and have seen how relatively easy it is, wish they had done it sooner. But on the other hand, you may not want to jump the gun and start too soon.

Here are some broad guidelines for how to choose when to have a hair transplant:

Your Age

Male pattern baldness, which affects up to two thirds of American men by the age of 35, can start showing as early as age 18. However, we don’t advise you have a hair transplant under the age of 25, even if you’re experiencing early hair loss. From 18 -29 your hairline is still forming. What you may think of as a receding hairline may simply be what’s called a mature hairline, which is not quite the same thing as a receding hairline.

By age 35, any hair loss you may experience has typically stabilized. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a hair transplant earlier. But it’s a good idea to wait until any rapid hair loss eases off so that your hair doctor or hair restoration technician can get a good idea of your pattern of hair loss. A hair transplant relies on using donor hair from the back of your head. If you opt for a hair transplant too early, you may distribute the donor hair too heavily in one area, leaving too little for late when it’s needed in another area. This also has to do with the natural density of your hair. In short, you want to plan out carefully where to distribute your hair so as to achieve the best overall effect.

Your Expectations

As mentioned above, your donor hair is in somewhat limited supply. The good news is that the donor hair comes from an area that isn’t prone to hair loss. This means you don’t have to worry that you’ll have a hair transplant now, only for that same hair to later fall out. But what you do have to consider is where to put you donor hair to the best use.

The question you should ask yourself is this: If you only have enough donor hair to fit one area and not several, which area would you be most happy with? Going in with the right expectation is very important for a good outcome of hair restoration.

The Cost

We’re not going to lie and say hair transplants are cheap. They’re not. They require a fairly large financial investment, so the question of when you should have one may very well hinge on the price. Will you be able to afford a hair transplant or do you need more time to save up for one? What type of interest-free payment plans are being offered? Do certain hair transplant providers offer seasonal discounts only applicable at a certain time of year?

When doing your research into hair transplants, it’s a good idea to not just compare prices at different providers, but also their financing plans and special offers. Some clinics also offer travel packages for out-of-town patients. This may well save you money if you come from an area of the country with high hair transplant prices.

Recovery Time

While there are no real limitations on what time of year you can have hair transplant surgery, there are several considerations you should take into account.

How long it takes for a hair transplant to heal varies from procedure to procedure. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is so popular because it requires practically no healing time. There is no surgical incision and therefore no scar, compared to other methods like the “strip method.”

However, even with FUE you are advised to plan for 7-14 days of recovery time. Your head will be covered with tiny red dots from where the hair follicles were extracted and re-inserted, and there may be a small amount of swelling. While you should feel fit enough to go back to work after just 1-2 days post-op, most of our patients choose to take a week or two off to allow their hair to start growing in again, and the tiny punctures to scab over and fall off.

Time of Year

For hair transplant patients at the Nashville Hair Doctor, the Christmas break tends to be the most popular time of year. Some companies tend to shut down their offices altogether over Christmas, in which case you wouldn’t even have to take any time off work.

Also, there are a few rules to observe after hair transplant surgery. While you can go back to most of your regular activities within just days after your procedure, swimming is not advised for a few weeks, and direct sunlight should be avoided. This doesn’t mean you can’t go on a beach vacation, as long as you invest in a hat. But it’s also a great time to explore, say, a new city or visit the mountains. Or perhaps you’d like to stay close to home and make a project of sampling the local restaurant scene.

No matter what time of year you choose for your hair restoration procedure, you’ll need to plan ahead to get it scheduled for your calendar. The holiday season is always a good time to take a look at the coming year and schedule the big events you hope to achieve.

Time to Get Started

No matter how old you are or how much or how little your hair loss has progressed, it’s never the wrong time to get a completely free, no obligation quote. To find out if you are a good candidate and how much a hair transplant tailored to you would cost, simply upload your picture(s) to our online quote form. We will contact you within one day to ask additional questions, if necessary, and map out the perfect hair transplant to best suit your needs. There is no obligation in any of this

It’s always the perfect time to get started and learn more about the many options you have to achieve a younger look and invest in your confidence.

Nashville Hair Doctor by NuBody Concepts serving patients in Tennessee and beyond

About Hair Doctor

With over 20 years of experience in FUE hair restoration and led by a double-board certified plastic surgeon, we are a leading provider of affordable hair transplants in the Southeast. Visit us at our Nashville Hair Doctor or Memphis Hair Doctor offices, or take advantage of our complimentary travel package for out-of-town patients. Read more>>