Your hair transplant journey: how it works

Written by
The Manual Team
Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
12th October 2021

Most men never consider getting a hair transplant, and then their mid-thirties hit and the changes begin. Your crown starts to thin, your hairline recession accelerates and patches start to form. 

Some things in life are just the reality of ageing, and we can do little about them. But with hair loss, there are now an abundance of options with proven success rates that can make you feel confident and happy about your hair again.

One of the most life-changing options available is a hair transplant. Thanks to advances in technology and the rise of premium specialist clinics, you can not only reverse the balding process, but grow back a thick and natural looking head of hair.

But despite the growing popularity of hair transplants globally, the process itself is still shrouded in mystery and confusion. So, we have created a step-by-step guide on exactly what to expect in your hair transplant journey.


To lots of men, a hair transplant seems like a huge decision. And in many ways it is. But if you’re losing hair and you’re not happy about it, then the sooner you act the better. The truth is a combination of both medication and surgery is the most fruitful way to restore your hair to its full potential. The best part is, you don’t have to make the decision alone. Dedicated hair experts – like us, at Manual – can help answer any questions that have left you scratching your head.


Finding a great clinic is half the battle when it comes to hair transplant surgery – which explains why we’ve written an entire article on how to choose one! In essence, a good clinic should have: highly qualified and experienced medical professionals, a wealth of before and after photos from previous surgeries, and plenty of positive testimonials. If you decide to go through the process with Manual, then we’ve done all that research work for you. We’ve partnered with the best clinics and offer discounts to those who book through our service.


Before you commit to having a hair transplant with a particular clinic, it’s important to have a consultation with them. Every hair transplant procedure differs from patient to patient, and the specialists will be able to guide you through the process and explain the results you can expect from it. They will also estimate the amount of grafts required for your surgery, which will in turn determine the cost. This is also your opportunity to ask your own questions, such as: What is the success rate? How long will it take to see results? What aftercare do you offer? In fact, some clinics can even put you in touch with former customers to discuss their experience.


When you arrive on the day of your procedure the specialist team will most likely shave your head and then draw the new hairline (although this sometimes happens in a previous onsite appointment). You will then receive a local anesthetic to numb the top of your head, and then they will begin the extraction of follicles from the donor site (which can vary in method depending on whether you’ve gone with FUE or FUT). This can be a strange sensation, but it is usually painless.


After extraction is complete, the extracted follicles are examined ahead of their repositioning on your head. Then the implantation process begins. This is the most time-intensive section of the procedure and will most likely take the rest of the day, with a pause for lunch. Many patients doze in and out of the procedure, watch television or even listen to music. It is very rare for hair transplant surgery to take more than one day, and you’ll know ahead of time if this is likely to be the case. Thirty minutes after it’s over, you can usually go home.


In the first week after your procedure, you may feel a little sore and clinics often recommend that you take a few days off work, but a combination of painkillers, antibiotics and steroids issued by the clinic usually results in very little discomfort.  


During this time you will be washing the area with specialised shampoos and lotions, and protecting it from direct sunlight, hot water and excessive touching, so that it can successfully heal. You’ll also notice hair loss: this is normal and known as ‘shock loss’. This hair needs to fall so that the new hair can come through.


The clinic’s aftercare team will stay in close contact with you for the first six months after surgery. During months three and four, you are likely to see the first sproutings of new growth. You might experience itchiness and redness around the scalp, but this is to be expected and the clinic can advise on creams to soothe this. By month six you should see a thin layer of hair coming through.


At this point, your hair should have grown in at your new hairline and you should be seeing a real thickness and density in the quality of new growth. These are your results, and with the right hair care and medication, things will only keep improving. If you choose to do this through Manual, you will be assigned a personal concierge who can guide you through aftercare, recommend products and techniques, and help you ensure a long-lasting and confidence-boosting hair transplant success.

No two hair transplant journeys are the same, but we’re here to make sure yours works for you. If you still got some unanswered questions, why not check out our comprehensive guide to all things transplant here. Or, if you’re still undecided, check out the variety of other ways Manual can help you tackle hair loss.

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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