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Are Hair Transplants Permanent? (Explained by a Dermatologist)

are hair transplants permanent?

The before-after transformations of hair transplant surgeries look fantastic.

They do.

As someone that has seen up close (and caused) many of these transformations, I can say they look even better in real life.

But as someone who’s considering getting a hair transplant, I’m sure you have your doubts; one of them being the common question:

What happens 10 years after the surgery?

And you have every right to ask that. According to hair loss statistics, as most patients get hair transplants between the ages of 25-35, they naturally wonder if the transplanted hair will stay in their late-30s/early-40s.

TL;DR

The hair transplanted during a hair transplant surgery is from the part of your scalp called the “safe donor area”, which is practically immune to male pattern baldness and DHT.

▶ Because of this, the transplanted hair will last for long years on the recipient area, safe from balding related to androgenetic alopecia.

▶ But, this doesn’t mean that these hairs will not fall out when there are other causes for hair loss.

▶ After a hair transplant, you can keep your entire head of hair for a long time if you adopt a healthy lifestyle and avoid activities harmful to your overall health.

In this article, I’m going to address your doubts and answer the famous question in-depth.

Do Hair Transplants Last Forever?

Yes, transplanted hair should last forever unless you give it a reason to fall out other than male pattern baldness. For almost every patient, a hair transplant is a permanent solution to androgenetic alopecia.

Your newly transplanted grafts are immune to pattern baldness, which is the cause of 85% of all baldness in men.

However, we, as hair transplant surgeons, don’t apply a magical medication to your scalp during a hair transplant to provide this quality to your transplanted hair.

To explain this immunity, we need to understand where the transplanted hair comes from:

Where Do They Get the Hair for a Hair Transplant?

Certain parts of your scalp will never be affected by DHT (the hormone that causes pattern baldness) and will stay in your scalp forever. 

The hair that’s transplanted into your bald spots is usually from the back of your scalp to the front of the earlobes (the picture below). This area is called the “safe donor area”, and it yields the best donor hair for a hair transplant.

We call this area “safe” because it is safe from any pattern of baldness and androgenetic alopecia.

As unfair as this might sound, it gives you a chance to redistribute your safe hair to the recipient areas of your scalp.

The safe donor area shown from the side (a) and back (b) of the head (Source)

But wait, how does that work?

Is the donor area called “safe” because of the “area”, or because of the “hair”?

What is Donor Dominance?

The hair follicles located in the safe donor area are the ones that are immune to AGA, not the site itself. And when these hair follicles are placed into the bald spots, they protect their immunity and stay on this part of the scalp for as long as they can.

This concept in hair transplantation is called “donor dominance”, where the donor organ or tissue protects its characteristics wherever it is placed.

The Invention of the Modern Hair Transplantation 💡

Dr. Norman Orentreich

Norman Orentreich was the pioneer of modern hair transplant surgeries.

While studying at NYU’s Dermatology Department in the late 1940s, Orentreich focused his work towards balding, male pattern baldness to be specific.

After small experimentations, Orentreich discovered the concept of recipient and donor dominance and realized that a hair transplant where the hair from the safe donor area was distributed towards the bald areas was possible.

He coined the term “donor dominance” during these years, referring to an individual hair taken from an area immune to the effects of DHT still being resistant to DHT after being implanted into a place that was highly sensitive to DHT.

Orentreich performed his first hair transplant operation in 1952 on a male patient with AGA, which was followed by hundreds and then thousands of patients with the same condition.

Today, millions of patients annually undergo FUE and FUT surgeries, types of new hair transplant techniques derived from Orentreich’s work.

And that’s why you don’t have to worry about hair loss with your newly transplanted hair; it’ll be there for a long time.

How to Make Sure Your Hair Transplant Doesn’t Fail

If you’ve just had one and you’re at the post hair transplant recovery phase or planning to get one soon, I know you’ve had some of your doubts go away by the previous answer.

But not all of them, right?

Yes, your newly transplanted healthy hair follicles will be immune to AGA, but there are still dozens of reasons for you to go bald. 

Although AGA accounts for a significant portion of all balding, you still need to take care of your hair if you want to keep them for a long time.

1 – Get Your Hair Transplant Done Right

If you want to keep your full head of natural hair, you need to first make sure everything goes according to the books during the surgical procedure.

There isn’t as much that could go wrong during surgery as things could go wrong after the hair transplant surgery, but still, there are some elements you need to watch out for.

First off, you need to make sure you’re working with the right physician/surgeon who is going to operate on you. They need to be a medical doctor working in dermatology (the field that focuses on skin and hair) and is an experienced hair transplant surgeon with plenty of satisfied patients. 

If you have any doubts, directly ask your surgeon. And if they can answer all of your questions and soothe you while having a good record, you’re in good hands.

Secondly, you need to make sure you’re getting your surgery in the right clinic/hospital. As someone who has seen many instances of both, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how to distinguish an “unhealthy-looking” clinic from your above-average quality clinic.

The operating room and the whole clinic should look sterile, equipment should be up to date, and the rooms of the clinic should be the same as the images you were provided; if they mislead you on one topic, they are likely to do it on another one so watch out.

And lastly, make sure you’re getting all the information you need to make the necessary changes before and after a hair transplant.

At UnitedCare, we’ve adopted a holistic approach to hair transplantation. We first fix any underlying issues about your hair loss, use up-to-date methods and equipment during the surgery, and assist you with the resources and assistance you need after the hair transplant procedure.

If you want to be a part of this holistic experience and restore your natural look, schedule a free consultation:

A Hair Transplant that will last a lifetime:

UnitedCare and its expert dermatologist doctors provide you with a holistic approach to FUE surgeries.

2 – Stick with the Post-Surgery Recovery Guidelines

Up to 1 year after the operation is the period that your transplanted hair is the most fragile.

They’ve just been extracted from the back of your scalp and implanted into the bald spots, and it was not a handful of them; it was at least a few thousand tiny hair follicles. They go through a stressful process that can wear them out, prohibit their growth for a while, even cause some of them to fall out.

So, you need to make sure you’re doing everything right to help these hair grafts survive, which is the main factor determining the success of a hair transplant.

Our in-depth After Hair Transplant Recovery guide or the Care Assistant tool provides you with everything you need to follow during this process, so make sure you play by the book.

3 – Avoid Any Cause of Further Hair Loss

So you’ve got through the operation successfully; you’ve even gone an entire year or two and now have your natural hairline and hair back.

But you’re not fully saved.

You need to make sure you’re not causing further hair loss to make your hair transplant fall out. Remember, transplanted hair is only immune to AGA.

I’m not saying you have to protect your hair 24/7 actively; the changes are nothing more than a few modifications and adjustments to your daily routine.

These small changes include:

✅ Reduce/Stop(if possible) Smoking

✅ Reduce Alcohol Consumption

✅ Regularly Exercise or Do Yoga

✅ Adopt a Healthy and Balanced Diet

✅ Be Gentle and Careful When Styling Your Hair

✅ Avoid/Cope with Stress and Anxiety

Check out my guide to Causes of Hair Loss to see all the significant causes of balding and how they’re causing hair loss.

10 Years After a Hair Transplant – what to expect

So, you don’t have to worry about losing your new hairline after a hair transplant surgery and the recovery period.

If you go through each of the steps I’ve mentioned just now, you’ll have a full head of hair through your elderly ages. 

I’ve seen many hair restoration patients that had their natural look many years after the surgery, even better than most would anticipate.

For example, this photo displays a patient before a hair transplant and 10 years after it; showing that even years after the transplanted hair remains strong and thick:

Post-op 10 years result (Source Image Source)

It’s not hard to have a successful hair transplant that will last you a lifetime if you take the right steps; starting with the first step of all:

A Hair Transplant that will last you a Lifetime:

UnitedCare and its expert dermatologist doctors provide you with a holistic approach to FUE surgeries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Will Hair Transplant last forever?

Yes, a hair transplant lasts forever unless you develop a balding condition other than AGA, which is highly unlikely, statistically speaking. You can enjoy complete hair growth for a lifetime.


How long does the hair last after a transplant?

After a hair restoration surgery, the transplanted hair lasts for years; most patients even go through their elderly years with a full head of hair.


Can transplanted hair fall out again?

The transplanted hair will not fall out again due to AGA. But if you have any other condition that causes hair loss which is very unlikely,  you might experience balding again.

Utkan Kızıltaç, MD

Chief Physician and Dermatologist Hair Transplant Surgeon of UnitedCare, a dermatology clinic helping patients become the best version of themselves.

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