Directly after the procedure, the linear scar that is created will be a bit sore but really easy to conceal with hair that is at least ½ inch long. During this time we do not encourage our patient to cut their hair extremely short or the scar may become visible. In general, we encourage patients, if they are to get a hair cut before the procedure, to mostly focus on cleaning up around their sideburns and the back of their scalp with a good clean look for work without getting their hair in back very short. This allows the hair in the back of the scalp to remain somewhat long, usually concealing the donor site directly after the procedure so that it is not detectable while it is healing. In the long run, once the scar has healed completely, which can take a few weeks to a few months, most of our patients, in fact over 90% of our patients, are able to wear their hair as short as a #3 buzzer or approximately 3/8 inch. In a smaller percentage of cases, it is necessary to wear the hair a bit longer, typically a #4 or #5. The reason for this is mostly genetic in that each and every patient heals a little bit differently so it is hard to predict exactly, but in general a huge majority of patients are able to wear their hair very, very short. Of course, if they choose to shave their hair in the long run or cut their hair extremely short, even shorter than a 1/2 inch or so, the scar may become visible.
Posted by Jeffrey S. Epstein, MD, FACS