It is impossible to predict precisely how many hairs will appear in any given graft. At least 90%, and often 100%, survive hair transplanting. Not uncommonly, more hairs grow than were planted because some were in an invisible ‘resting phase’ when they were originally counted. After over 25,000 hair transplant sessions, we have never encountered a patient who failed to grow hair.
Within a few weeks, the colour and skin surface of the grafts has usually blended in perfectly with the surrounding scalp. In some patients, however, the grafts may be a shade lighter in colour until they are aged by sun exposure. The grafts are usually level with the surrounding scalp, but a few may be slightly elevated in less than 1% of patients. Such grafts can be flattened with an electric needle without interfering with hair growth.
The final appearance is usually that of early thinning to ‘very early thinning’, which is not meant to imply ‘thin’ hair, but rather to convey the idea that you cannot expect to look like you did when you were a teenager.
As one ages, the rim hair from which the grafts were taken also gradually becomes less dense. Thus transplanted areas will also thin somewhat. However, they will never go bald again. In addition, as the hair goes grey with aging, it will look thicker, so any decreased density may or may not be noticeable. Because of this gradual thinning effect, you may want to transplant the area a little thicker to begin with. Or, alternatively, you may want to conserve some grafts for use in 15 to 20 years.
While most hair transplants are extremely successful, you cannot get guaranteed results, no matter how bad you want them. But stay positive and and hope for the best.