Will I Have to Shave My Entire Head for a Hair Transplant?

If you think a hair transplant isn’t for you because you’re not willing to have your head shaved, you can rest easy: Hair restoration with Follicular Unit Extraction (using the NeoGraft technology) can be done without having your entire head shaved. However, you will need a partial shave. Please read on to learn more about how we perform hair transplants at The Hair Doctor in Nashville, Memphis, and Louisville.

Your Hair Transplant Procedure Step by Step


Here is how the day of your NeoGraft procedure will look: First, we will thoroughly review and discuss your restoration plan and draw on you the areas of treatment for your approval. Once agreed on, we will take several photos to document the plan. Next, the donor area at the back and sides of your head will be shaved.

The question always asked is, “Will I have to shave my entire head?”. The answer is no. Shaving your entire head makes the process a bit easier but it’s not necessary to achieve a successful hair transplant. You may fade the shaved sides up to an inch of length on top to still allow you to keep a hair style. If you prefer that all the hair blends in well while growing back in, you might prefer to fully shave your head. But again, it’s not required. If a provider tells you it is, you should get a second opinion.

Sedation & Extraction

At this point, if you have a driver, you will be given valium which helps you to relax, and then injections with a local anesthetic for numbing to avoid discomfort. (If you do not have a driver, we cannot administer valium, but you can opt for our PRO-NOX pain management system for a small upcharge.) You will get started by lying on your abdomen, face down like on a massage bed while our Master Technician carefully extracts each of your grafts under powerful lighting and magnification. This process will take several hours depending on the increment of grafts being extracted. Most patients are so relaxed that they are able to cat nap off and on, making the morning hours fly by.

Placement of Grafts

We will then provide a complimentary lunch. Our team will offer you breaks as often as needed to use the restroom or just to stretch.

After lunch, you’ll be sitting upright for the placement of grafts into the recipient areas. You may use your phone during this time too, listen to music, or talk to our wonderful team. It’s a long day but we make you feel very comfortable both physically and personably.

Once your procedure is complete, we will place a gauze bandage just on the back portion where extracted, and a loose fitted mesh cap to help protect and hide the appearance on your commute home.

Post-Op Care

We will take a few more photos, review your after care instructions once more, and then you’re ready to go.

You’ll hear from us the next day as we check in to see how you’re doing. Making sure you are informed about all instructions and tips along the way is important to us. We will contact you on day 1, day 7, day 14, 6 months and 12 months.

For more information about post-operative care after a hair transplant, also see Everything You Need to Know To Make Your Hair Transplant Recovery a Success and Tips on How to Sleep After a Hair Transplant.

Recovery and Growth

Beyond the first week of following our post-op instructions to make sure you don’t accidentally damage the newly-implanted follicles, there is nothing really left for you but wait. This may be the hardest part yet because it requires patience!

In our experience, it is much easier to exercise patience when knowing what lays ahead. If you have a timeline, you don’t get anxious when nothing happens at first. This is true for about the first 3 months. Overall, you can expect 12-14 months of hair growth, with many patients seeing excellent results after 6 months. Also see The Stages of Hair Growth After NeoGraft and How Fast Does Hair Grow After a Hair Transplant.

We are honored that you would choose us to be the provider of your hair restoration, and we will make every effort to give you the best experience and results!

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