Will a hair transplant last forever or will the transplanted hair fall out? These are common and understandable concerns that may be on your mind if you’re thinking about getting a hair transplant.
To cut a long story short, a hair transplant is permanent. However, it’s important to know that you can still get further hair loss in other areas of the scalp than where your transplant took place.
Here are the most common questions regarding the possibility of further hair loss post-transplant and how prescription treatment can help maintain your hair.
Hair transplants and further hair loss – what you need to know
How does genetic hair loss happen?
Hair goes through a continuous cycle of growth and shedding. The hair growth cycle consists of three phases – anagen, catagen and telogen. A varying number of hairs can be at any of these stages at any given time.
1. The anagen phase, or the active growth phase of the cycle, lasts for 2-6 years. In the anagen phase, the hair grows about 1cm a month.
2. The catagen phase, or the transition phase, lasts 2-3 weeks.
3. The telogen phase, or the resting phase, lasts for around 100 days. It’s when shedding occurs.
Hereditary hair loss happens when a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) attacks the hair follicles, moving them into the telogen phase sooner and shortening the hair growth cycle.
Eventually, the hair follicles miniaturise and become unable to support hair growth. For men, genetic hair loss manifests in distinct patterns, mainly affecting the front of the hairline, the temples and the crown.
How do FUE hair transplants re-grow hair?
In an FUE microsurgery hair transplant, hair follicles are extracted from the back and sides of the head – this is known as the donor area.
Ever noticed how people with extensive hair loss tend to keep a circle of hair on the back and sides of the head, even with a shiny dome or a receded hairline? The hair follicles in the back and on the sides of the head are genetically wired differently to the hair on the top of the head, making it resistant to balding.
When these follicles are transplanted to the crown or the hairline, they retain this resistance and continue to grow new hair for life – or at least until very old age. The texture might become finer as a part of the natural aging process, but the follicles remain immune to the effects of male pattern hair loss.
Can you still lose hair after a hair transplant?
Thanks to the incredible ability of the donor hairs to keep growing, you won’t lose your transplanted hairs.
In the first few weeks post-transplant, it’s normal to go through the ‘shedding phase’, where the newly transplanted hairs fall out suddenly. This type of shedding is temporary and due to shock caused by the transplantation process. When the next growth cycle kicks in, the hair will grow back and stay.
So, the results of a hair transplant are for life! However, it’s important to clarify that if your hair is genetically prone to balding, it’s possible to experience further hair loss in other areas of the scalp.
Say, for instance, a person has had a hair transplant to lower their hairline in their twenties. It’s still possible the same person may experience thinning in the crown area in their thirties or forties if their hair follicles are genetically prone to that.
However, there are preventative measures that can be taken. Prescription hair loss treatment can keep your hair in place so no further hair transplants are needed.
Do you need to take medication after a hair transplant?
Right after your procedure, you may need to take a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication. One of the perks of Gro’s doctor-led procedures is that the doctor performing the hair transplant can write you a prescription on the day for anything that’s needed to ensure fast healing.
When it comes to prescription hair loss treatment post-hair transplant, you don’t have to take it – but you’ll probably want to. Prescription treatment is a great preventative measure at the early stages of hair loss, but it also helps with maintenance post-transplant. It can help prevent any further hair loss from happening, meaning you likely won’t need any further transplants.
Prescription treatment in conjunction with a hair transplant gives the best results in the treatment of hereditary hair loss.
What medication do you take after a hair transplant?
There are currently two approved prescription treatments on the market. Due to Australian law, we can’t mention their names, so let’s call them treatment A and treatment B.
Treatment A increases blood flow to the scalp, which helps stimulate hair growth by moving them to the growth phase of the hair life cycle and keeping them there longer. This treatment is suitable for men and women.
Treatment B prevents hair loss by blocking DHT, a hormone is responsible for male pattern baldness. It is only suitable for men.
A combination of treatments A and B is the most effective option for men and can be as easy as taking a daily capsule.
Got more questions?
The Gro team is here to offer personalised advice and answer any questions you may have. Book your free consultation with a Hair Growth Specialist to find out more about hair transplants. Alternatively, go to the Gro Online Clinic to book a telehealth consultation with a prescribing doctor to discuss treatment.