What happens after the FUE operation, and what can you expect regarding hair growth after the procedure?
When performing the FUE procedure, you cannot promise certain results. Anyone who says otherwise is overselling the procedure or simply lying.
Therefore the below representation of the period following a FUE operation should serve as a general guidance only. Considerable variation can be observed.
Some hair loss patients may experience few of the issues for a very short while others may experience all of them for a longer period. Few may have a rather visible cosmetic change after only 4-5 months, most will have quite visible results by 8-12 months, while the remaining may see growth after a long wait of 10-12 months.
Returning to work and social life
If the recipient-area is not bald but only thinning most patients will be able to take up normal social activities after 10-14 days without drawing any attention.
If the recipient-area is bald or nearly bald 3-5 weeks may be required before the recipient-area becomes un-noticeable.
However, in some cases a light pinkish colour (see below) and irritation may persist even beyond 8 weeks. In most of the cases of FUE HT with punches less than 1 mm, the donor-area will hardly be visible after two weeks.
After FUE treatment
One week after the FUE treatment
The donor- and recipient area might look red, and in a few cases a light pinkish colour and irritation may persist even beyond 8 weeks.
What to expect after FUE
FIRST 2 WEEKS
Few may experience pain from the donor-area. Paracetamol and NSAID such as Ibuprofen and diclofenac are usually sufficient to treat the pain.
FIRST 12 WEEKS
Itching, pimples, pop-ups and dry skin are relatively common. Anti-histamins (used for allergic rash), baby oil or white petroleum (vaseline) may be helpful.
In larger surgeries numbness may occur especially in the recipient-area. The transplanted hair may shed but the growth centre is left intact in the skin.
Growth starts. Usually the itching, pimples, pop-ups and dry skin is gone. Numbness in recipient-area may persist.
Cosmetic change starts appearing. Numbness is gone in nearly all patients.
1-1.5 YEARS AND EVEN UP TO 2 YEARS
Final results visible in all patients.
Important facts about FUE
Taking care of your hair transplantation
It is essential that patients comply with the following instructions to ensure a successful result of the HT and a fast return to daily routines:
- The patient is encouraged to take a low-pressure shower 2-5 times following the last day of the procedure. This helps the scabs go away and speeds up the process of making the operation unnoticeable.
- The patient should sleep using two pillows for the first two nights. In case of grafts implanted into the lower crown or a strip-scar the patient should sleep on the side for the first two nights. We’ll guide how you need to sleep.
- Avoid aspirin, smoking, bending over or exertion for first 72 hour following FUE.
- Mild training (jogging, bicycling and mild weight lifting) may be resumed after 4 days. If doing weights, you can go to 30% of your normal maximum weights.
- After 10 days you can increase weights to 60% of your normal maximum weights. No violent activity (hockey, soccer) or contact sports for first two weeks.
- After two weeks you can resume full activity and shower/shampoo your head completely as normal. If scabs are still present you can gently remove them with your finger-tips (not nails) during or after showers. Only precaution that remains in place for the first 8 weeks is protection against direct sunlight. In some Caucasians and patients with red hair the sunlight should be avoided for longer. A sunblock or hat can be used
Rare side effects to FUE
Some patients may develop swelling of the forehead and face and in some cases it can be severe. It’s not a sign of an infection and it will usually wear off in 3-5 days and is not painful.
Severe swelling is very rare, though. Most patients will have no pain while some may need paracetamol for pain. Only rarely will the pain be more pronounced.