The appearance of hair transplant "growth" and results are actually based on two different factors: "popping" and maturation. Popping refers to new, transplanted hairs penetrating or "popping" through the scalp; maturation refers to these hairs thickening, darkening, and naturalizing. When all hairs have "popped" through the scalp and each hair has fully matured by thickening, darkening, and normalizing in texture, a hair transplant has reached its final growth state.
Hair transplant results timeline starts with hair follicles entering a natural resting phase after being transplanted. The small hairs in the follicles are shed within 2-4 weeks of the procedure, and no new hair growth is seen until the follicles awaken in month three. At month 3, the new follicles awaken and begin to grow hairs; changes are visible up to the 12th month and, in some cases, up to the 18th month after surgery. This means that the full growth and appearance of a transplant will take at least a year, if not a year and a half.
Maturation is the darkening, thickening, and normalization of transplanted hairs. Hairs are very fine, transparent, short, and wispy when they first penetrate the scalp between the third and fifth month. This is known as having an "immature" appearance. By the sixth month, the outcome is considered to be 40-50 percent "matured." At this point, most patients are satisfied and begin to notice a significant cosmetic benefit. They are cutting, styling, and blending their new transplanted hair with their natural hair. The hair, on the other hand, is still quite immature at this point.
The hairs are still thinner than the native scalp hairs and appear "wiry" or "kinky" – a temporary texture change that will normalize. While most patients are overjoyed by 6 months, they must remember that this is only the "halfway point" in terms of overall results. Only about 70% of the hairs have penetrated the scalp, and those that have are thinner and more "fizzy" than the rest of the native hair. Throughout the eighth month, the hairs continue to appear "wiry" and thin. The hairs then begin their final maturation between the 9th and 12th month. Almost all new hairs have "popped" through the scalp at this point, and the hairs have fully darkened, thickened (each shaft becomes "fatter"), and the texture normalizes or "smooths out" to match the rest of the hair.
Hair transplant progress timeline continues with its 12th month as many patients' hair transplants are fully "grown." All hair comes out of the scalp and has completely darkened, thickened, and normalized. It's important to remember, though, that this timeline is only an estimate. Many patients grow quickly, while others grow slowly. The fact that you are ahead or behind the curve does not imply that your outcome will be better or worse. It simply means that it may take less or more time to reach its conclusion. Because each patient has a unique physiology, each patient will develop differently. This is why many hair transplant surgeons wait until 18 months after the procedure to make a final assessment of the results. Many patients see changes up to and even through the 18th month, so don't be disheartened if your doctor believes you are still "immature" and have room to grow beyond the 12-month mark. This is especially true for patients undergoing mid-scalp or crown (back) transplants. These areas mature and grow at a slower rate than those in the front, and most doctors believe it will take at least 18 months to see the hair transplant final results in these areas. It may be beneficial to review as your results emerge, but it is not a guarantee, and you should not compare your progress to it religiously. All patients grow differently, and with hair transplants, the destination is more important than the journey.
The health of our patients is our top priority at Asmed. We strive to provide our patients with the highest level of medical care in order to ensure their safety and comfort. We provide detailed information about the process to each patient based on their specific requirements and needs.
Book hair restoration consultation with our expert medical team to learn more about hair transplant procedures and steps.