10 Ways To Tell If A Hair Transplant Worked


Hair loss is a common issue that both men and women grapple with. While genetics, stress, and medical conditions are often the culprits, certain hairstyles and hair products can also cause tension in the hair, leading to thinning and breakage.

Regardless of the reason for hair loss, it’s important to remember that this is an experience shared by millions across the globe. The causes of hair loss may not always be in our control but here in Singapore, all manner of treatments are available, including hair transplantation.

If you’ve tried numerous hair growth products without success, a hair transplant may be the answer you’ve been searching for. Note that before proceeding with any kind of medical procedure, a comprehensive consultation with a medical professional is a must. But how would you know if the procedure was successful?

This blog will cover everything you need to know to determine whether your hair transplant worked. We’ll walk you through what to expect after the procedure and provide various methods to assess whether the transplant succeeded. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to evaluate your results confidently.

What is hair transplantation?

Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure to restore hair growth to bald or thinning areas of the scalp. During the procedure, a surgeon removes hair follicles from one area of the scalp, usually the back and sides, and transplants them to the bald or thinning area.

The follicles are typically removed using a punch tool that extracts tiny tissue grafts containing individual hair follicles. These grafts are then implanted into the recipient area, where they grow and produce hair. Hair transplantation is proven to treat male and female pattern baldness and other hair loss caused by injury or scarring. In addition, the procedure results are typically long-lasting and can help restore a fuller, more youthful-looking head of hair.

It’s no secret that hair loss is a common concern for many Singaporeans, with a whopping 44.38 percent reporting it as their primary hair issue in 2022. Luckily, hair transplantation has become a go-to solution for restoring confidence and achieving a full head of hair. There were a staggering 3.4 million hair transplant procedures worldwide in 2021, with follicular unit extraction (FUE) being the most popular.

FUE is quickly gaining popularity in Singapore as the preferred long-term solution for hair loss. Its minimally invasive technique sets it apart, leaving little to no scarring compared to traditional methods. In addition, by extracting individual hair follicles from the donor area of the scalp instead of a strip of skin, FUE is much less traumatic for the scalp and results in a faster recovery time.

Not only that, but FUE also provides a natural-looking outcome by accurately placing individual hair follicles. This ensures that the new hair growth blends seamlessly with your existing hair, giving you a more natural appearance overall.

Ways to Assess the Outcome of Your Hair Transplant

Let’s see if your hair transplantation was a success.

1. New hair growth

One of the most obvious ways to determine the success of your hair transplant is to look for new hair growth in the transplanted area. This shows that the transplanted hair follicles have taken root in their new location and are producing new hair shafts.

Typically, you can expect new hair growth in the transplanted area within three to four months after the procedure. Nonetheless, hair growth can vary from person to person and may take longer for some individuals.

2. Hair Density

After a hair transplant, the density of the transplanted hair is expected to increase over time, resulting in a fuller and more natural looking head of hair. This is because the transplanted hair follicles undergo a natural growth cycle, which includes a dormant phase followed by a growth phase. During growth, the hair follicles produce new hair, gradually becoming longer and thicker. However, if the density of the transplanted hair does not increase, it may be a sign that the transplant was unsuccessful.

3.Hairline Texture

After a hair transplant, the texture of the transplanted hair should be like your existing hair. For example, the transplanted hair should have the same texture if your existing hair is curly, straight, or wavy. If the transplanted hair has a different texture, it may indicate that it is not growing properly or that the grafts were not placed correctly. This can result in an unnatural appearance and may require corrective procedures.

4. Hairline Design

A natural-looking hairline is crucial in a hair transplant. A skilled surgeon will consider factors such as your forehead shape, natural hair growth angle, and age to design a hairline that complements your face and looks natural. The hairline should not be too low or too high, and the transition from transplanted hair to existing hair should be gradual for a seamless appearance.

During the healing process, some swelling and redness are common, which may cause the hairline to appear slightly different than expected. Nevertheless, the hairline should settle and look more natural within a few weeks to a few months. If the hairline does not look balanced or natural, it may indicate an unsuccessful transplant.

5. Scarring

To achieve a successful hair transplant, it is crucial to minimise scarring. FUE hair transplant is a method that is recognized for leaving fewer visible scars when compared to other techniques. This can lead to a more natural-looking outcome. FUE’s technique involves minimal invasion, which results in less trauma to the scalp, and therefore, minimal scarring.

The small incisions made during the FUE procedure heal rapidly and generally do not leave visible scars. In rare cases, there may be tiny, dot-like scars in the donor area, but they are usually unnoticeable and can be concealed by the surrounding hair.

6. Evenness

For a natural and full look, the transplanted area must have even coverage of new hair growth with no visible patches or thin areas. The uniformity of the transplanted area can be influenced by factors such as hair transplant density, surgeon skill, and donor hair quality. A skilled surgeon takes these factors into account to ensure that the transplanted hair is uniformly distributed, resulting in a natural appearance.

7. Hair colour

The colour of your hair plays a crucial role in the success of a hair transplant. To ensure a successful transplant, new hair growth should match the colour of your existing hair, which is determined by the amount and type of pigment or melanin present in the hair follicles. During the transplant procedure, the surgeon must carefully select hair grafts that match both the colour and texture of your existing hair. Failure to choose appropriate grafts may result in transplanted hair that looks noticeably different.

8. No Pain and Discomfort

It is common to experience some discomfort or pain after undergoing a hair transplant procedure. This can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications and typically subsides within a week. However, if you are experiencing severe or prolonged pain that does not improve with medication or lasts longer than expected, it may be a sign of complications such as infection, excessive bleeding, or nerve damage. In such cases, it is advisable to contact your surgeon immediately for proper evaluation and treatment.

9. Good Results at Follow-Up Appointments

It is important to schedule regular follow-up appointments with your hair transplant specialist to evaluate the success of the transplant. These appointments also provide an opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about the healing process or transplant results. Additionally, your surgeon may provide instructions on how to properly care for your hair and scalp after the transplant, including recommendations for shampoos, hair products, and styling techniques.

10. Patient Satisfaction

Although there are various physical signs that indicate a successful hair transplant, the most crucial factor to consider is your satisfaction with the outcome. Your contentment with the results should take into account elements such as the natural look of the transplanted hair, its density, the uniformity of the coverage, and how well it matches your existing hair colour and texture.

Hit or miss? The bottom line

Undergoing a hair transplant can transform your life, but it’s crucial to determine if the procedure was effective. You need to assess multiple factors such as hair growth, symmetry, and hairlines that appear natural. Additionally, it’s important to maintain communication with your surgeon and report any doubts or questions. Ultimately, the success of the hair transplant depends on how content you are with the outcome. If you’re delighted with your new hair, then it’s undoubtedly a success.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about hair transplants, book a consultation with us today. We would happily answer any questions and help you prepare for your hair loss treatment journey. So contact our team by ringing us up at +65 6235 0010.

About Dr Tyng Tan

Dr. Tan Tyng Yuan, MBBS completed her graduate and medical education in the United Kingdom over a span of 10 years.

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