Hair transplants take time and patience. At Nashville Hair Doctor, we make sure to educate you about the growth timeline so that you know what to expect when. This is important to get you through the 3-month blues. Nothing seems to have happened by then. In fact, you will have shed hair rather than grown more! Even if you know and expect this, it’s frustrating.
To help our patients through this process, we check in with them periodically. We also ask them to take progress pictures along the way. Then we look at the 6-month results – always a happy occasion – and then again at 12 months when a hair transplant is essentially complete.
In most cases, our patients are happy with their recovery and later, once growth has set in, with their growth. Unfortunately this often means that they also forget to take progress pictures. When you’re happy with something, you don’t typically linger and obsess over it.
But occasionally we get an unexpected gift from a patient. Meet John (not his real name to protect the patient’s privacy). He recently completed his hair transplant recovery and sent us his 12-month results, which were fantastic, even though he’d already been very happy with his 6-month results. Not only that, he shared a wealth of additional progress pictures he had taken and labeled throughout his journey, including the notes he had taken to describe his experience.
If you are unsure about a hair transplant because you are worried about what you might look like along the way, read John’s report below – you will be able to see and contemplate what happens every step of the way!
NeoGraft Patient John’s Journey in Pictures
From Pre-Op August 2021 to 12 Months Post-Op August 2022
I am sure you hear this a lot but, if I had known how good this procedure was going to turn out, I would have done it a long time ago.
Dear [Nashville Hair Doctor NeoGraft Consultant] Shauna,
Thanks for all of your support and information while I was trying to make my decision. I know I had a lot of questions as to what to expect, especially during the first few weeks post-op.
During my research it was relatively easy to find descriptions of the growth phases, but I couldn’t find sequential photos showing what this looked like across one person’s journey. We all have appointments, family gatherings, holidays etc. on our calendars and my struggle was trying to picture how my hair would look over time and at different events.
I therefore thought that a series of photos of my own journey (if the results were good) could be beneficial to you to help someone else visually understand the timeline. This is why I documented my progress from day one, and I am now happy to send you the results!
I have assembled the following milestone photos that show my progress over time.
- Day 1
- Day 3
- Day 5
- Day 7 – 1 Week
- Week 2
- Week 3
- Week 4 – 1 Month
- Month 2
- Month 6
- Month 12 – 1 Year
Each row contains the same stage of when the photo was taken across four different views – Front, side, top, and back (we decided to omit the right side view for more clarity as it is very similar to the left side view).
Each column contains the timeline of the same view from pre-op until 12 months.
[Note by the Nashville Hair Doctor team: You will note that the biggest change in John’s progress seems to have occurred between months 3 and 6. This is very much in keeping with what we tell all our patients. The growth cycles really kick in between months 3 and 4. You may also note that there isn’t a big difference between months 6 and 12. This is due to slightly more growth but mainly the hair follicles themselves thickening and maturing. You might notice the volume improvement when looking at the top view.]
And now I’d like to talk a little bit about the hairline.
Through my research, I found that there is a very specific geometry to hairlines and their relationship to other facial features.
The only other part of the process that worried me more than going around with a shaved head was getting my hairline correct. Good or bad, I would have to live with this forever. Through my research, I found that there is a very specific geometry to hairlines and their relationship to other facial features, and that there are some very specific geometric rules not to break. I did a ton of research on this and actually mapped out how I thought my reconstructed hairline should look given my age and natural hairline.
I had met with [Nashville Hair Doctor NeoGraft Master Tech] Daryl in July of 2021, a month before the procedure, and asked her to show me how she would locate my hairline. The black dotted line on the photo below was her preliminary suggestion.
I added the red line to the photo that follows my existing hairline at the time, and then drew in the blue line where I thought my hairline should be. On the day of the procedure, Daryl had marked a similar line on my head and we adjusted it several times until it matched more closely to what I thought. Nothing against Daryl, she was amazing. I just think this is an area where most patients would struggle and be apprehensive.
Fortunately, I like doing research and also had pictures of my dad, my brothers and myself when we were all a lot younger so I knew that my natural hairline always had a deep “M” receding shape.
I would encourage anyone considering this procedure to find old photos of themselves and their immediate family members to understand their natural hairline and to also share with their technician so they can map out the most natural hairline possible.
All in all, I am extremely pleased with the outcome and you and your team were fantastic!
We would like to thank John for the incredible work he did in documenting his journey with an entire year’s worth of professional-grade pictures to help other prospective patients with their decision about a hair transplant.