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.
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. 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:
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.)
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.
Hung out by the pool, occasionally spraying back of the head when it was itchy.
Washed hair for the first time as instructed, using a cup to pour soapy water over his head so as not to scrub unnecessarily.
Was thrilled with his hair looking almost back to normal, with hardly any scabs showing and tiny hairs growing at the front hairline.
Got ready to go back to work.
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.
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.
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 two strategies: 1. Opting for a transplant early rather than waiting longer; and 2. Following the post-op instructions to a T.
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.