When you are planning for your hair transplant, it helps to know what to expect on the day of the procedure as well as afterwards for your recovery and hair growth. The Nashville Hair Doctor team has put together this step-by-step guide to help understand the timeline of your hair restoration.
Before Your Procedure
NeoGraft is a one-day, outpatient procedure that can take anywhere from 4-8 hours, depending on the number of grafts outlined in your restoration plan. Before your procedure, you will have picked up several prescription medications at your local pharmacy which you’ll begin taking and/or bring in on procedure day. If you opt for any other pain management than PRO-NOX, you will also need to have a driver for afterwards. This person will be asked to sign a document when dropping you off so that our doctors can safely release you into their care before leaving the premises.
A NeoGraft hair transplant uses the minimally-invasive Follicular Unit Extraction method, which requires only local anesthesia. Most patients experience very little or no discomfort during and after their surgery. Your scalp will be treated with a local anesthetic, and if you didn’t already get the previously discussed haircut, the hair in your donor area will be shaved before we begin (we allow a fade with up to an inch on top if you do not wish to have your recipient site shaved). Our patients rest comfortably, watch TV or nap during their procedure.
Step 1. Extraction of Donor Hair
The extraction procedure is simple but may take some time. Using a wand powered by pneumatic pressure, our NeoGraft Master Technician removes donor hair from the back of your head. If your hair loss is caused by male pattern baldness, this is the area where your hair follicles resist falling out. For females, the hair is typically extracted from other areas where it can safely be harvested. We typically extract grafts that are the same size in length and diameter because this will increase the success rate.
This part of the procedure can be a bit tedious as you have to lay on your stomach so that the donor hair can be easily extracted. We offer breaks during this phase, allowing you to get up, drink water, and move around as needed.
Step 2. Recipient Sites
Your hair technician, together with his or her assistants, will create recipient sites in the proper orientation, angle, and direction according to your hair transplantation plan. This is the plan that will be created specifically for you during your consultation. Below you can see possible hair transplantation sites laid out in a diagram used for this purpose. the technician will draw those sites onto your scalp with a sharpie, allowing for you to have one final look and possible minor adjustments before the procedure begins.
Step 3. Hair Graft Placement
The follicular units aka grafts are carefully separated by size before we transplant them into balding or thinning areas of your scalp. They are typically counted into 1-follicle, 2-follicle, 3-follicle, and 4-follicle groupings, depending on which area they will later go into. Each extracted graft is meticulously harvested and individually implanted to ensure the best results.
Implanting the hair grafts is similar to the extraction process, only in reverse. The NeoGraft device is now used to create tiny punctures into which the graft is inserted with reversed pneumatic pressure. As you can imagine, this can take a good amount of time, even though our technicians are very experienced and can perform these transplantations at a fast pace.
Step 4. Recovery
By the time you get home after a long day, you will have received detailed post-op instructions to make sure you don’t damage the newly implanted grafts. This recovery phase takes about 7-10 days until the puncture marks from extraction and transplantation have scabbed over and fallen off. Your instructions will cover when and how to wash your hair, how to sleep to prevent swelling, when exercise can safely be resumed, how long to wait before sun exposure, and how soon you can wear a hat again. Also read Everything You Need to Know to Make Your Hair Transplant Recovery a Success.
The timeline below shows you the healing process and donor area regrowth during the first 7 days.
Step 5. You Wait
It’s that easy. After your procedure is finished and you have cleared your first week, all that needs to happen is for your hair to grow. Your hair restoration technician will prepare you to expect your hair to actually fall out before it begins to grow again. This is very normal and part of the hair growth cycle. This doesn’t mean the transplanted follicles didn’t take. It simply means they have taken root and are now following your regular hair growth pattern.
At around 3 months, your growth cycles will begin to kick in, and by 6 months you will see substantial growth. Full results are going to be achieved by 12 months. The timeline below shows a Nashville Hair Doctor patient’s growth cycles. We will be in touch at regular intervals to check on your growth and to let you know what to expect next.
Get Started by Requesting Your FREE Quote
NeoGraft is a popular treatment for anyone who has experienced hair loss and aims for the full restoration of lost hair. There are many advantages to Follicular Unit Extraction over other hair transplant methods. It’s simple, the recovery time is short, and there will be no linear scar on the back of your head.
Contact us today to request your quote. We’ll simply need a few hair/scalp selfies and a little information about yourself so that we can prepare your restoration plan.