If you've clicked on this article, you've probably been staring at the mirror for days, maybe even weeks. Wondering, 'when the hell is my hair transplant gonna grow.' Unfortunately, hair follicles are independent. You can't will them into growing. Taking hundreds of pictures a day of your hairline isn't going to make your hair appear any faster. So how long does it take for hair to grow? Keep reading.
Hair Follicle Growth Cycles
Hair follicles cycles through three phases:
1. Anagen (growth phase)
2. Catagen (transitional phase)
3. Telogen (shedding phase)
Technically, there is a fourth cycle that no one ever mentions. That phase is called the exogen phase. The exogen phase processes the hair to be released. It's just like the shipping department of Amazon notifying the warehouse to mail your shipment. Unfortunately, they are not as fast. Each hair follicle is independent. Imagine you've ordered 2,500 hair follicles from Amazon, but they all ship separately. You're going to receive them at different times, some faster than others. This is the reason why it takes several months to notice new hair growth.
Initial Hair Transplant Growth
Unfortunately, I can't tell you how long it's going to take your hair to grow. Everyone is different. For some, it might take as little as two months. For others, it might take six months. Generally speaking, transplanted hair should begin to sprout around the third month. The majority of patients see hair growth by the third month. However, if you aren't seeing growth by three months, do not be alarmed. It is perfectly normal for the hair to take longer to grow.
Uneven Hair Growth
Another common issue that is normal is seeing uneven hair growth. For example, if you just had your hairline transplanted. It's normal to see one side grow faster than the other side. Eventually, the hair will even out. If you want to learn about the process, see hair transplants from start to finish, and compare notes with other hair transplant patients, click here.
Hair Transplants Take 12 Months
Now, some of you may be reading this article 6-months post-op thinking to yourself, 'my hair has grown but not enough, is this it?' I can answer that for you, NO. It takes six months for all transplanted hair to grow, but most importantly, to mature. As the new hairs grow, they will be thin and colorless, almost like baby hair. As the month's progress, the hair shaft diameter gets thicker.
Below is an illustration of the difference an additional six months can make. The top picture is at six months post-op. The bottom view is at twelve months post-op. Both images are outside facing the sun, so there are no camera tricks at play. The difference from month six to twelve is additional growth and, most importantly- hair maturation. In the top picture, the hairs are thin, growing, but not developed yet. In the bottom photo, the hair has fully matured, and even in direct sunlight, the follicles are thick enough to cover the scalp from light.
You have to be mentally prepared after getting a hair transplant. It's a marathon, not a race. Easier said than done. The hardest part isn't having the surgery. It's waiting for your results to grow. That's why it's crucial to speak with other hair transplant patients who have been there and done that. There are hair loss forums with thousands of real reviews posted by actual patients. If you're struggling with patience or obsessing over your growth, go on our popular hair loss forum to get help and support.