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How Long Do Hair Transplants Last?

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how long does a hair transplant typically last for

If you’re considering hair transplant surgery to treat your hair loss, then you’ve probably thought about this question a lot! How long will the result of my hair transplant last? On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about hair transplant results, hair transplant aftercare, and what you can do to prolong the result of your hair transplant.

Overview

A hair transplant surgery not only looks to reverse hair loss symptoms but encourages new hair growth for years to come. The “typical” life cycle of a hair transplant is around 10 years. However, with an exceptional aftercare routine, there is no reason why your hair transplant result can’t last longer!

How long does a hair transplant last?

One of the first questions many patients ask when they’re considering having a hair transplant is how the result is going to look and how long it is going to last. Every day, we answer your enquiries, emails, and calls about these questions, or similar!

The truth is, there’s no easy answer to any of these questions and there is no “general rule of thumb” or “blanket response” when it comes to talking about how long the result of your hair transplant surgery is going to look or last.

If you google “how long does a hair transplant last”, you will be met with a series of responses that generally say “a hair transplant procedure may last for 10 years” or “a hair transplant result can last a lifetime”.

It’s important to take notice of the language used here. Words often used such as “may”, “can”, and/or “might” may at first seem unconvincing to those considering a hair transplant surgery. That being said, what language like this uncovers is that no two patients are ever the same, these procedures do come with risks, and there are benefits and drawbacks to having a hair transplant procedure.

What are the Positives and Disadvantages of Having a Hair Transplant?

The obvious positive of having a hair transplant is that it enables a patient to reverse signs of hair loss and achieve natural-looking results. Moreover, a hair transplant procedure offers the longest term solution when compared to other hair loss treatments such as (medical treatments, PRP therapy etc). This helps to improve a patient’s self-confidence and body image.

At the same time, one potential downside of a hair transplant is that an aftercare routine is required if a patient is looking to prevent further hair loss. Although a hair transplant aftercare routine is very simple and cheap to use, it is a vital part of the process that must be taken into account if you are considering a hair transplant.

But consider this! If you’re looking to invest your hard-earned money into a treatment like a hair transplant, then you must consider the cost of your aftercare routine at the same time as the procedure itself.

The reality is that a hair transplant is an investment into reversing your signs of hair loss and further treatments, like finasteride or minoxidil, are an investment into preventing further hair loss from occurring.

Does Hair Transplant Method Affect How Long My Result Will Last?

No, the hair transplant method you choose will not have any bearing on how long your result will last. The only factors that may be affected is when it comes to recovery time in the first year after your hair transplant.

Methods such as DHI and the FUE hair transplant work by taking donor hair follicles, one by one, from the back and sides of the head and implanting them into the affected area. The benefit of extracting individual hair follicles is that it leaves no long-term scar after a surgery.

Patients who opt for DHI (Direct Hair Implantation) and FUE hair transplants (follicular unit extraction) usually see initial scarring heal within 14 days give or take and their final result comes to fruition by months 12 to 18.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) looks to excise a linear strip of skin from the back of the head, extract hair follicles from the strip and implant them into the desired area. While transplanted hair follicles will look the same as with DHI or FUE hair transplants, FUT patients will be left with a life-long linear strip scar in their donor area.

So, differences in hair transplant methods will not affect how long transplanted follicles are likely to last in the recipient area. The main difference between hair transplant methodology will be whether a patient is left with a donor area scar, or not.

Extraneous Factors That Can Affect Hair Transplant Results

While a hair transplant is the most effective way to reduce signs of hair loss and improve the appearance of your hairline and/or crown, there are some extraneous factors which may affect the rate at which a patient’s hair loss after surgery.

Clinic and Surgeon Choice

Without a doubt, the quality of the clinic you choose to have a hair transplant surgery with will determine the quality of your hair transplant. Surgical procedures require time and expertise. So, you must opt for a hair transplant clinic that performs its surgeries in a CQC-registered clinic, that surgeons have GMC (and ideally ISHRS) accreditation, and that the majority of your hair transplant surgery is performed by the doctor.

By choosing a reputable clinic, you are opting for experienced hair transplant surgeons who have performed thousands of procedures, you are leaving very little to chance when it comes to your surgery result.

If you choose a qualified and experienced surgeon, you’re investing in the following elements:

  1. You are ensuring that your transplanted hair follicles are properly positioned. This means you’re attaining natural-looking results to your transplanted hair follicles. This negates the need for a corrective hair transplant surgery in the future.
  2. You will be provided with a better aftercare package. Choosing a reputable clinic will guarantee that your chosen clinic cares about you! Hair transplantation surgery often comes with many questions and queries. At Harley Street Hair Transplant Clinics, we recognise that! That’s why we arrange 4 post-surgery consultations in the year after your surgery. This helps to ensure you are following aftercare instructions and that we can answer any questions you may have about your surgery.
  3. You will be provided with reliable aftercare information. A clinic focusing on a great result will provide you with all the information you need to be looking great for years! Transplanted hairs need a bit of TLC in the first year after your surgery, so being informed and recommended hair growth medications (like finasteride or dutasteride) and being told about hair growth therapies (such as PRP, LLLT, and Micro-needling), will only improve your results in the years to come!

Patient Age

One factor that may affect the chances of suffering from hair loss after a hair transplant is the patient’s age. Younger patients may be susceptible to further hair loss after a hair transplant.

This is not related to the hair transplant itself. Rather, it is merely a symptom of age and genetic medical conditions such as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia).

To negate the need for a second hair transplant in later years, younger patients are often offered DHT-blocking medication (finasteride or dutasteride). This helps to prevent hair loss after a hair transplant and negates the need for a follow-up surgery 10 to 15 years after an initial hair transplant procedure.

Patient Hairstyle

After a hair transplant, something to consider is a hairstyle that will not likely lead to further hair loss. Allowing your hair to grow naturally and will reduce the chances of a condition called traction alopecia.

Traction alopecia occurs when the hair follicles are pulled from the dermic layer (skin) through uncomfortable hair styling processes. Hairstyles such as dreadlocks, tight ponytails, and plats all increase your risk of traction alopecia and can lead to TA cases with visible bald areas on the scalp.

Making sure you choose a hairstyle that will not upset your transplanted hair follicles will mean that hair restoration surgery is a permanent solution to your hair loss.

How Can I Prevent Future Hair Loss After a Hair Transplant?

To prevent hair loss in subsequent years after surgery, it is down to the patient to take responsibility for their aftercare routine. Preventing future hair loss is as important as the hair transplant surgery itself.

Making sure you take preventative medications (finasteride, dutasteride, or minoxidil) or continue with further treatments such as PRP therapy or micro-needling treatments is paramount to a long-lasting result.

As well as taking hair loss medication or having hair growth treatments, having a responsible daily hair care routine is also wise. Keeping your transplanted hair in tip-top shape is key to longevity. Invest in a high-quality shampoo (ideally free of harsh chemicals), avoid bleaching/over-styling, avoid “tight” or “scraped” hairstyles such as ponytails or dreadlocks, and be sure to maintain a healthy diet.

Ensuring that a patient is engaging in the right routines and practices is vital. Before you go ahead with any hair transplant company, be sure to ask your consultant how many aftercare consultations you have with them. Strong communication and aftercare support can prevent so many problems from occurring in the future.

DHT Blocking Medication

After hair transplants, male patients are often recommended hair loss medications such as finasteride or dutasteride. These medications are called “DHT-blockers”, they are available on prescription, and help to keep a hair transplant permanent.

DHT-blockers prevent some hormonal changes from occurring in the body, thus preventing hair loss. A hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is produced by the body and binds to your hair follicles, thus causing them to fall out.

DHT-blocking medications prevent DHT from binding to your hair follicles, ensuring your hair follicles stay alive and growing on your scalp. In turn, this helps make your hair transplant last longer.

A great benefit of DHT-blockers is that they are cheap to purchase for the patient, they are easy to order on a repeat subscription, and they come with few side-effects. They are also more effective than minoxidil and/or PRP therapies. This is why these medications are often recommended after hair transplants.

Minoxidil

Hair loss treatments such as Minoxidil are a fantastic option for those who may be ineligible to take DHT blocking medication. They’re a great option for female patients and those worried about the potential side effects of finasteride or dutasteride.

Minoxidil is often referred to as a “mechanical treatment” for hair loss. What we mean by this is that it is a topical treatment (foam or serum) that is massaged into the scalp area. This treatment is a vasodilating foam which widens your blood vessels, thus increasing the blood flow in the scalp area.

In doing so, minoxidil encourages more blood flow to the hair follicles on your scalp, meaning they are provided with all the nutrients they need to survive. This helps to keep your hair follicles in the “growth” phase or the hair growth cycle rather than “shedding” or “resting”.

Minoxidil comes with many benefits. Namely, it is slightly cheaper than finasteride and can be bought over the counter from your supermarket or local Boots. It can also be used in conjunction with finasteride. So, if you’re looking for a permanent solution to post-hair transplant hair loss, why not try both?

PRP Therapies

As part of the healing process, some hair transplant clinics may recommend a treatment called PRP therapy after a hair transplant. Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) works similarly to some of the other mechanical treatments such as minoxidil.

PRP looks to increase the blood flow around the scalp and provide the hair follicles with platelets from a patient’s bloodstream. The process works by extracting a small amount of blood from a patient’s arm, spinning this blood in a centrifuge which splits the composite elements of blood, and injecting plasma into the scalp using a small needle.

While PRP may be beneficial to patients who are looking to speed up the result of their hair transplant, it can be an incredibly expensive treatment to persist with in the years after hair transplant recovery. A single treatment can cost somewhere in the region of £300 to £400, or upwards of £900 to £1000 for a package.

Concluding Remarks

“How long will my hair transplant last?” is, without doubt, the most common question we are asked at Harley Street Hair Transplant Clinics. The truth is, that hair transplants can last a lifetime but it is heavily reliant upon the patient taking appropriate aftercare precautions to manage future hair loss.

New growth occurs in the initial year after hair transplantation and from there, patients are usually recommended DHT-blocking medication (finasteride, dutasteride) after an FUE hair transplant. It’s also important you opt for an experienced hair transplant surgeon as they can help guide you through the process and provide you with all the information you need to keep your hair density many years after your surgery.

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