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Patient Information: Hair Restoration

Discover a surgery guide for patients on Hair Restoration - restores natural hair to areas of hair loss.

Also called hair transplant surgery, hair restoration surgery involves surgically removing hair follicles from one area (usually the back of the head) and transferring them to bald or thinning areas of the head or eyebrows. Because hair grows in groups of one to three follicles, it can be transplanted in these small increments and placed close together for natural-looking results. Follicular unit extraction (FUE) devices are typically used to perform this process. A strip graft is another surgical method. Because the patient’s own hair is used, the grafts are not rejected by the body. People with available donor areas on the back and sides of their heads are good candidates for this procedure. An individual with very little hair might not benefit from hair transplant surgery. Preparation may include a detailed history of medical issues such as hypertension, blood clotting problems, and abnormal scar tendencies, followed by medication history and physical examination.

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Useful Information

Ensure you consider all aspects of a procedure. You can speak to your surgeon about these areas of the surgery in more detail during a consultation.


This depends on the amount of hair being transferred.


Usually local anesthesia, with or without light sedation, although general anesthesia may also be provided.


This is most often an outpatient procedure.

Additional Information

Several conditions may apply after the procedure:

  • Temporary swelling and bruising
  • Temporary pain
  • Temporary numbness in several areas of the donor

  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Noticeable scars
  • Dead follicles
  • Unnatural look due to natural hair loss in surrounding areas
  • Reoperation

A postoperative pressure dressing may be applied for one night over the scalp. The scalp should be soaked and gently shampooed after bandage removal in 48 hours after surgery. The transplanted area can be showered 5-7 days after surgery. Ointment gel is applied to the donor and recipient area 2 times a day. Swelling on the head will peak in 3-5 days after surgery, ice on the temple and sides of the forehead can be applied. The patient can return to work within a few days but should avoid strenuous activity for approximately five to ten days. Sutures will be removed about 8-14 days after surgery. Small scabs will form around the grafted follicles and will fall off within a week. Hair in the grafted follicles will shed in approximately two to four weeks and will begin to grow back within approximately three months.

Final results are typically achieved in eight to ten months. Hair in the restored areas is permanent and will grow like the original hair in terms of colour and texture. When performed by a skilled surgeon this procedure is typically rewarding and improves self-confidence.  Several transplant sessions are typically required but will depend on patient needs and the surgeon’s preference.