Undergoing hair transplant surgery is a rare opportunity to show off the confidence you gain from your new look. However, there are some post hair transplant tips that experts recommend patients follow after the procedure to ensure the best results.
Failure to follow a post hair transplant procedure with the proper care can result in damage to hair and even further loss. The clinic where you have your procedure performed will provide you with tips for grooming, like not washing your hair for 24 to 48 hours after your hair transplantation.
Hair transplant procedures are not overnight successes. Oftentimes, the healing process can be long and arduous, and much to the patients’ dismay, the results are not immediate. It can takes months for a hair graft to fully heal and start producing hair, but there are certainly a few essential post hair-transplant surgery tips that patients should adhere to in order to facilitate the healing process and prevent infections from occurring.
Basic Considerations Following Hair Transplant Surgery
You should avoid direct sunlight for two weeks following your procedure, as well as any strenuous exercise. There will be some scabbing as part of post hair transplant recovery. Despite the temptation, it’s best not to pick scabs and leave your hair to heal on its own.
You may experience some itching, which is to be expected after a Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) hair transplant. But whatever you do, do not scratch. You can apply a saline solution to keep the area moist and reduce irritation.
Usually hair transplant surgeons or physicians will request a hair transplant post-operative follow-up appointment the day after the surgery to assess the affected areas and provide ample information on how to care for the grafts during the healing period. They may also want to schedule a few more follow-up appointments in the coming months to ascertain that the grafts are healing correctly. The following are important tips to aid in, and ease the process of, post hair-transplant recovery.
9 Top Tips for Post Hair Transplant Recovery
Sleep in an Upright Position
One of the top post hair transplant surgery tips is to sleep with your head elevated. Use two or more pillows, or when possible, sleep in an elevated position in a recliner chair. This will reduce swelling because blood has a chance to flow away from the scalp.
The first week is after a follicular unit transplantation (FUT) hair transplant surgery is arguably the most crucial period during the healing process because the post surgery wounds are still fresh and the newly placed hair follicles are still very vulnerable. As uncomfortable as this may sound, the patient should refrain from bending over or putting their head down. Patients should sleep in an upright position and use pillows to prop themselves up or sleep on a recliner if possible. This will help to prevent irritation, swelling, and excessive bleeding.
Do Not Wash or Disrupt the Grafts Right Away
Patients should wait a minimum of 48 hours before washing their hair unless otherwise advised by their physician. After that, they can slowly start washing their hair with shampoo and warm water, using lukewarm water to rinse. This method should be followed during the first 14 days after the procedure to prevent excessive scabbing. After that, with the advisory of their physician, the patient should be able to resume normal hair washing habits but with caution. Grooming after hair transplantation should be done very cautiously and carefully.
Lightly Apply Pressure to the Grafts
If the patient experiences bleeding or slight swelling after washing their hair, they can very lightly apply pressure to the affected area using a clean moist cloth or gauze for about five to 10 minutes. The patient should refrain from dabbing the area because this can increase the chances of infection and scabbing. Some scabbing in the beginning is a perfectly natural part of the healing process, but the patient should refrain from picking at the scabs so that they can heal seamlessly and efficiently. Applying light pressure to the graft implants after having a shower will absorb any blood that may appear and decrease the chance of unnecessary swelling.
Take Prescribed Medications Exactly as Directed
Some scarring may occur following the procedure. That is why it is important to take any medications that are prescribed. These will also help to reduce any irritation. One of the tips that doctors give is to not touch your scalp until the healing process is complete, as difficult as that may prove to be.
Follow Any Post Hair Transplant Tips Your Doctor Recommends
The doctor who performs the transplant will give you a list of post-care procedures to follow. Read it several times. If you have any questions about grooming after hair transplantation, make a note of them and ask before you undergo the procedure. Since questions about aftercare will be the last thing on your mind, be sure to ask them beforehand.
Keep Hair Long to Conceal Potentially Visible Follicles
Approximately one to two weeks following the hair transplant procedure, the stitches will be taken out and the scabs should be healed. A small minority of patients may suffer from the “shadow effect” where follicles become visible. To conceal that you have had surgery, one of the top post hair transplant tips is to keep your hair long enough that you can cover it simply with the direction you let it fall in. Some patients may experience some thinning after the procedure. This happens very rarely; your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent any loss. After three to four months, you should start to see visible growth. At six to nine months, you will see the final results.
Avoid Strenuous Activity
Patients should avoid all forms of physical or strenuous activities that will make their heart rate rise above a resting position for approximately the first week of recovery. This can include anything from running, bike riding, and playing tennis to yoga and heavy lifting. Patients should also be careful when getting in and out of vehicles so that they do not hit or graze the top of their heads. The hair follicles can very easily move or become dislodged during the first few days.
Make Appropriate Dietary Changes to Promote Healing
Part of the post hair transplant recovery process also includes changes to your diet. If you enjoy spicy food, you’ll have to give it up while you’re healing. The same goes for alcohol, since it acts as a blood thinner, thus increasing susceptibility to bleeding.
The most important thing someone who is enduring hair transplant recovery can do is to simply be patient. It takes at least three to six months for the hair just to start growing. Before that time, the grafts are simply healing. The good news is that within nine months, the grafts should finish producing hair, and from that point on the hair will grow normally and there will be very minimal evidence that a hair transplant procedure even took place. Even upon close inspection, no one will be able to tell without prior knowledge of it.
The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists has been in business for over 20 years and our specialists have extensive experience with hair transplants, replacements, and postpartum hair loss treatments. For a free consultation, please call us at (905) 272-0190 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3836.