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How long after a transplant does it take to return to baseline?

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I see much talk about the dreaded ugly duckling phase, and how you shouldn't expect to see results until 4-8 months depending on the patient, but how long does it take to return to baseline?

As far as ugly duckling phase goes, doesn't that only affect the transplanted hairs? So after say 3 months, wouldn't your non-transplanted hair have grown to a decent length again where you can rock a normal hair style, and cover up the transplanted area if need be?

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Wondering about the shock loss myself and trying to plan out the cosmetics for the next few months. I got FUT, so I’m looking at a big difference in length between sides/back and top/recipient. I’m more curious how short I’ll be able to cut it. Looking like George Costanza over here.

Edited by Taken4Granted

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not...”

- John Lennon

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It's a very subjective question on a number of criteria.

Regarding shock loss, 

No. of grafts extracted/implanted, 
Size of recipient zone
Size of donor extraction zone
Volume of hair in or around recipient zone, 
Quality of native hair (miniaturising or not)
Patient physiology 
Surgeon skill level 
Arguably type of HT (FUT v FUE)

the list goes on. 

Regarding 'Back to baseline' - thats largely dependant on the patients natural speed of hair growth. There is evidence that certain vitamins, PRP, LLT and minoxidil can help speed up growth and 'bring in results earlier' - however there are a few threads on here that I have seen where patients haven't shed, or shed very little without the use of any of these, and then patients who have been using the aforementioned products, who have grown at a more average rate. 

Have a look around cases that are similar to yours to get a rough idea - however IMO shock loss is very rare amongst quality surgeons, although it can happen. 

I would advise to just go with the flow during the ugly duckling phase and just accept that it is part of the process - trying to make good of a bad situation with things like toppik etc will likely impede growth and results, which is kind of defeating the purpose of under going surgery in the first instance. 

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I agree it varies. If you’re getting just a little touch up around the hairline - it seems like baseline is like 2-3 weeks

if you’re a Norwood 6, baseline can be faster too because as long as redness fades and you keep a few transplanted hair, you might look better in a month.

I think it’s the Norwood 3s who have their whole frontal third transplanted that have the longest timeline to get back to baseline.  That’s the situation I’m in.  I had thinning in the frontal third, and therefore some shock loss in the first few months.

I’m exactly at week 13, and I would say I’m close to baseline.  My guess is by week 16 I’ll be firmly past baseline as my hair grows back/out.



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I am not sure on the exact science behind it - logic would suggest they could impede growth by clogging pours/restricting blood and oxygen flow. 

You have to remember that these  newly implanted grafts are young and precious in their infancy, they’ve just moved home and are starting their growth cycle all over again, the last thing they need is to have a load of sticky chemicals poured on top of them whilst they are trying to peak out and become like their former selves! 

A lot of clinics and reps on here advise against it , so hopefully one of them will see this and be able to advise you with more integrity than my offer of reasoning 😀

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