It’s important to closely follow the proper aftercare routine to ensure the best success rate for your transplanted hair. General guidelines will guarantee the newly implanted hair follicles are protected and help prevent infections whilst promoting successful regrowth.
Hair Transplant Recovery
For 7-10 days post-op, the punctures in both the donor and recipient areas of the scalp scab over and heal. This is a very sensitive time for the hair grafts, so we recommend avoiding any agitation to the area (including contact, other than by the doctor) or increasing the blood flow to the area since it can increase the risk of swelling.
Swelling & Medication
For the first 4-5 days, your scalp may feel itchy, but that’s because it’s healing. You’ll also experience swelling and pain on days two and three, which is normal, but it will subside. You may reduce the pain with anti-inflammatories and ice packs placed on your forehead, not the graft site.
Many people need prescribed painkillers after the procedure for the first two nights. In addition, you may need to take Paracetamol (or Co-dydramol) every 6 hours and/or Ibuprofen every 8 hours for the first 24-48 hours. Take your first dose of antibiotics with your evening meal. These medications soothe and control your pain; however, you should avoid aspirin. Your doctor can prescribe additional pain medication.
If your hair begins to fall out about 2-3 weeks after surgery, don’t be worried. There’s no need to be concerned because that’s just your new hair growing and pushing out the grafts.
These are some essential aftercare tips:
- After three to four days, you can give your hair a gentle wash with mild shampoo and low-pressure water.
- For at least the first month, avoid bathing or submerging your head underwater, and only use a towel to dry after that.
- Avoid direct sunlight, excessive heat, or cold for three weeks. As a result, it is preferable to remain indoors for a few days.
- Avoid alcohol for the first week as this “thins the blood” and may cause minor bleeding.
- You can use a standard sterile saline solution or a special gel such as aloe vera to relieve itching or inflammation in the donor region.
After Hair Transplant FAQ
Following hair transplant surgery, there is a healing process that you must follow in order for the restoration to be successful. It is crucial to avoid any damage to grafts and that you don’t rush into anything that may affect your recovery. These are some of the common concerns patients have following the surgery.
How can I sleep after a hair transplant?
Since your scalp is sensitive and your hair grafts are delicate, the place you sleep in for the first 7-10 days after your hair transplantation is critical. That’s also the time it takes for your transplanted hair to settle and for the incisions to heal. This also determines how much swelling you will experience. Although sleeping can be challenging for a couple of days after a hair transplant, bear in mind that any discomfort won’t last long.
During the first few days, you should avoid doing something that will prevent the new grafts from firmly setting in your scalp, such as tossing and turning or rubbing your new hairline against a pillow. It would be best if you slept upright on your back—in a raised position at about a 45-degree angle. You can also use a travel pillow for your neck, as it will support your head and protect the hair grafts.
Can I wear a hat after a hair transplant?
Ideally, it would be best if you left the scalp exposed during the first two or three days. Still, patients may feel conscious about their appearance after a hair transplant, with many keen to conceal their scalp immediately following their surgery. You may wear a baseball cap to go home in but not a tight-fitting or woolly hat. However, this must be worn with extreme caution and removed with great care.
To avoid harming the delicate new hair grafts, we recommend patients not wear any head covering until six days after their hair transplant. In addition, certain headwear such as motorcycle helmets are sure to rub the grafts and shouldn’t be worn for the first 2-3 weeks.
If you need to conceal your scalp before the sixth day, you should choose it wisely. It may be possible to wear an adjustable, loose-fitting hat or light hood, providing it does not come into contact with the grafts. A bucket hat offers the best protection, but you can also cover it loosely with a bandana.
You should avoid cotton due to its tendency to stick to the hair follicles and interfere with the healing process.
When can I shave my head after FUE?
Natural hair growth usually is noticeable four months after a hair transplant, with most patients experiencing growth between five and twelve months. After an FUE hair transplant, you may shave your head, but we suggest waiting 8-10 days before doing so. The grafts should be secure at this stage, and you should be able to get a haircut without harming them or jeopardising your recovery.
Still, there are some key points to consider before making that first post-op trip to the barber or hair salon. After treatment, the operated areas should not be wet shaved for at least three months. In addition, when getting your first haircut, you must pay attention not to use sharp shaving tools but rather scissors.
Patients who have had an FUE hair transplant can typically cut their hair short, such as a number 1 or 2-grade cut. This is because FUE surgery only leaves some tiny dot scars on the scalp when done by a skilled and trustworthy surgeon. These scars are usually less than a millimeter in length and are hard to see with the naked eye.
Can I go to the gym after a hair transplant?
Exercising too soon after a hair transplant may have a negative impact on the outcome. Sweating, straining, and hitting the head are also potential risks of intense activity. Sweating will make the grafts prone to become a cause of infection. When you strain while exercising, the pressure in your scalp increases, making it more likely for the transplanted grafts to pop out.
As mentioned, after around two weeks, the newly implanted grafts are fully rooted in, meaning you can begin exercising after 14 days. Still, you need to be cautious and ease yourself back into it gently.
How long after a hair transplant do you see results?
It will begin generally growing within 6-9 months and up to a year after the procedure. From this stage, it can 2-3 months before your new follicles fully take and begin to grow new hair naturally.