Of all the questions those undergoing hair transplant surgery ask, there’s one that everyone wants to know time and time again, and that’s how long it’s going to last.If this is something you’ve been wondering yourself, then you’ll be glad to know you’ve found yourself in the right place, as we have the answer right here for you.

But first, a little bit about the procedure itself.

How do Hair Transplants Work?

Hair transplant surgery can be broken down into three main steps. First, we have the extraction—this is where a donor site on the back of the head will be selected, and from which the hair from the transplant will be removed. Next, the treatment area to receive the transplanted hair will have to be designed, before finally, it’s implanted. Most patients undergoing hair transplant procedures will be sedated throughout, although this isn’t always necessary.

There are two main types of hair transplant surgery, so let’s take a look at each in more detail:

Follicular Unit Transplantation

Also known as the strip method, a surgeon will perform follicular unit transplantation (FUT) by first removing a small strip of scalp from a donor site, usually on the back of the head, before splitting it up into individual grafts to be transplanted into the balding treatment area on the scalp.

Follicular Unit Excision

Follicular unit excision (FUE) is similar for the most part, at least when it comes to the overall principles of the treatment. Where it differs from FUT treatment however is how the grafts are collected. While FUT treatment takes a strip of the scalp and removes the hair follicles from this, FUE treatment takes each hair individually, and places them into the scalp one by one. This ultimately gives much more control over how the grafts are placed, and won’t result in a small, but still significant, scar on the back of the head.

After the follicles have been transplanted it can typically take 3 to 4 months for the new hairs to grow, and after about 9 months to a year you should be appreciating the full results of your hair transplant.

What Types of Hair Loss can be Treated with a Hair Transplant?

There are numerous reasons why someone may choose to undergo hair transplant surgery, thanks in part to the numerous reasons in which we can experience hair loss. Typically though hair loss can be separated into two distinct camps: patterned and non-patterned alopecia, with non-patterned alopecia being further broken down into scarring and non-scarring alopecias.

A hair transplant can be an incredibly effective method of treating scarring alopecias, which typically occur as a result of burns, scarring, or after surgery. There are a few dermatological conditions that can also cause it too, however these would need to be treated themselves before any treatment for the hair could go ahead.

Non-scarring alopecias can be treated with hair transplants too, although most would recommend against using it as a treatment for alopecia areata. Male and female patterned hair loss are the most typical examples of patterned alopecia, and perfectly suited to treatment with a hair transplant.

So Do Hair Transplants Last Forever?

As we stated at the outset, one of the main things most people undergoing hair transplant surgery will be keen to know is whether or not it’s going to last them for the rest of their lives.

In most cases, this answer should be a resounding yes. The follicles moved to the new location have come from a healthy patch of scalp, which means two things: firstly, it’s infinitely more likely that your own hairs are going to be accepted by your scalp than donor hairs from someone else or even an animal (it happens), and secondly, the follicles will still continue to produce healthy hairs, even after being moved to their new spot.

There is a risk that anyone suffering with male pattern hair loss could see continued hair loss if follicles that were destined to die off were used in the procedure, however this can be corrected easily enough with further treatment. A major factor in hair loss is a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and as long as healthy hairs that aren’t going to be vulnerable to it are used for the transplant, then they’ll be there for good.

That being said, any good surgeon should be able to look at your family history and reasons for your own hair loss and determine which areas of your scalp may or may not see continued hair loss in the future. There shouldn’t therefore be much of an issue, and your hair transplant should last you forever.

Experiencing Shock Loss and What to do if Your Hair Starts Falling Out

It’s possible that you may experience some hair loss over the weeks that follow your hair transplant surgery—in fact, it’s highly likely. This is known as shock loss, and isn’t anything to worry about. Your hair will have been through a lot during the procedure, and it’ll likely start to shed as a response.

Any hair loss that you experience because of shock loss will only be temporary, and it’s a natural part of the hair regrowth cycle. After a short while the new hairs will start to grow in, and after a couple of months you should start to see some the positive results of your hair transplant surgery.

While incredibly rare, it is possible that permanent shock loss could occur. This will only usually happen though when the follicles used for the transplant have already been affected by hair loss, and your surgeon should be able to investigate the issue and keep an eye on it and provide solutions to any issues.

Anyone still going through hair loss at the time of their procedure may be wise to wait before going ahead with it, depending on the type of hair loss that’s occurring. Anyone experiencing hair loss as a result of an illness, active alopecia, or a scalp related disease should probably hold off until that can be sorted first, so as to avoid the risk of any more hair loss after the procedure.