Root Hair Institute


According to some market research, about 1 in 13 men have had hair transplant surgery.

Having this type of procedure can really help men who are struggling with hair loss, but many people wonder what do the recovery process and expected time line look like?

Keep reading to discover more.

The Healing Timeline

When you get out of your hair transplant surgery, you may experience some symptoms afterward including but not limited to the following:

  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Numbness
  • Minor pain
  • Tenderness

However, most patients report that they only experience minor symptoms, and these symptoms don’t last long.

Most patients can manage their symptoms by using medications like over the counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen. In some cases prescription pain medications may be required.

It is important that you follow all instructions from your surgeon before, during, and after your procedure to improve both healing and your outcomes.

Here’s a rough idea of what you can expect while you’re healing. However, hair transplants also can vary in terms of the graft count and type of procedure, so it is important to always discuss the specifics of your individual case with your performing surgeon. If you have had a procedure and are wondering if something is wrong, always consult with your surgeon.

First Few Days After Surgery

The day after your surgery, your doctor may request that you see them again for a post-op check-in. Our doctors at Root Hair Institute for example often recommend this and like our team to perform a hair wash in the clinic at this point. This offers another opportunity for the team to check that everything is healing appropriately.

In some cases, you may be cleared to go back to work as early as the day after your procedure. However this depends on the specifics of your surgery and what type of work you do. Even if you are cleared to go back to work, many individuals choose to take the day after their procedure off as they are often tired.

The grafts are extremely delicate during this period, and it is important to follow any post-operative instructions including avoiding activities, sun exposure, and exercise carefully. Additionally you should follow any isntructions from your surgeon on how to care for the area including using any recommended spays, ointments, or creams.

In the first few days after your procedure, you may notice some minor swelling. The swelling will occur likely around your forehead or temples, and then may begin to work its way down your face such as into the eyelids and lower face as it moves down. It can take a few days or weeks for the swelling to work its way down and resolve. Make sure to follow your surgeons instructions on how to manage this. Your doctor can give you tips on how to manage the swelling, like applying ice and heat, as well as taking medications to decrease inflammation.

First Few Weeks After Surgery

After one week the transplanted grafts are typically much less delicate and have healed in. You may start to notice that there is scaling or dead skin in the transplanted area. Make sure to discuss with your surgeon how to remove the scale and when you can return to normal showers. You may also notice redness in the transplanted area that can last weeks to months after the procedure depending on your skin type.

Often times patients are allowed to resume some activities such as certain forms of exercise a week after their procedure. However, always check with your surgeon to see what forms of exercise you can resume and when based on your individual case.

By two weeks after the procedure, patients are typically pain free and all of the swelling has typically resolved.

It is common during this period to start noticing that the transplanted hairs are beginning to shed. Don’t panic! This is a typical part of the recovery period after a hair transplant. The transplanted hair typically will start growing in months to a year after the procedure (see below).

One Month After Surgery

One month after your hair restoration surgery, you might start noticing shock loss. This is when you lose the non-transplanted hair around or in the area where you either had hair transplanted or removed for the transplant. However, this hair loss is usually only temporary lasting weeks to months. If you notice it make sure to check with your surgeon if any treatment is recommended.

This is also the time when you can typically return to your regular exercise routine and even go swimming at the pool! However always check with your surgeon before resuming any activities to know the specifics for your individual case.

Three to Four Months After Surgery

At this point, you might notice hair just starting to grow in. As this happens it can be normal to have some bumps develop in the transplanted area.

If you have any pain associated with the bumps, you can try using a warm compress or heating pad. If you have the bumps also make sure to tell your surgeon, as they may recommend starting treatments to help the bumps go away faster. Not every patient will notice these, and if you don’t, that doesn’t mean that your hair isn’t growing.

Five to Nine Months After Surgery

Between the fifth and ninth months, much of the transplanted hair will typically grow in during this period. However, there still might be some hairs that are just right above the surface or not grown in yet.  The hair growing in may continue to thicken and change in texture in the coming months.

Twelve to Fifteen Months After Surgery

After fifteen months, your hair should have fully grown in. You will typically have a follow up with your doctor during this period to discuss your results and the need for a second procedure if applicable.

Over 15 Months After Surgery

The transplanted hair is usually long lasting. However, it is also important to discuss ways to support and avoid loss of the non-transplanted hair. Make sure to discuss non-surgical options to help maintain your non-transplanted hair with your hair restoration surgeon as well. This can include things like medications, red light therapy, and growth factor injections.

What Else to Consider

It is important to find a surgeon and team that you are comfortable with. Make sure to have a consultation with your surgeon and ask any questions that you have regarding the recovery of the procedure, risks, benefits, and alternatives. Make sure you are comfortable with the different roles of the team members and understand who will be performing what portions of the procedure. You also want to consider how comfortable you understand the communication style of the team and your surgeon.

Our surgeons at Root Hair Institute are committed to the latest techniques and having open communication with our patients to help them achieve the best results possible in their case.

General Recovery Rules

If you ever have any concerns regarding your recovery, make sure to reach out to your hair restoration surgeon.

Always follow all pre and post operative instructions from your surgical team.

Limit smoking and make sure that any other medical conditions that you have such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, nutritional deficiencies, etc are well controlled before and after having your procedure. Make sure to inform your surgeon of any medical conditions or other symptoms that you have during your consultation.

Learn More About Hair Transplant Recovery

If you’re ready to start the hair transplant process and don’t mind traveling to the Greater Seattle area for your procedure, then the Root Hair Institute is here to help you decide if this option is right for you.

To learn more about our process, book a consultation today!