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Life After Hair Transplant: What Can and Can’t I Do?

Man touching his hair

Portrait of a man touching his hair

So you’ve had a hair transplant? Awesome! You’re likely enjoying some of the benefits of having a fuller head of hair, both physical and psychological.

And with up to 70% of men experiencing hair loss at some point in their lives, you’re in good company.

Once you’ve had a hair transplant, you may wonder what you can and can’t do. You definitely won’t want to mess up your new ‘do, and risk infection or sabotaging its look. So how do you ensure you don’t do this?

Your doctor will likely go over a list of things you specifically shouldn’t do after you’ve had a hair transplant. There may be some things that are unique to your situation. However, in this article, we’ll generally go over some of the dos and don’t of post-transplant activities.

Read on for more about what you can and can’t do following a hair transplant. Caring for your hair post-transplant is the best way to ensure that the surgery itself is successful.

After the Hair Transplant

After the hair transplant, your scalp may be sore and you may need to take medication, this can include pain medication, antibiotics to reduce infection and anti-inflammatory medications to keep swelling down. In most cases people can return to work a couple of days after the surgery. If you have noticed that your hair is falling out, this can be from two to three weeks after the surgery, there’s no need to worry, this will make way for new hair growth. The majority of patients tend to see new hair growth over 8 to 12 months after the procedure. Some surgeons may prescribe hair growth medication, this is to improve the hair regrowth, these medications will also help stop or slow down hair growth.

Pain

Mild pain may present for a few days after the hair transplant procedure, some people may find it difficult to sleep for the first few days after the operation, it’s common to experience more pain in the donor area than the transplant area after the operation. Post operative hair transplant pains can be medicated with over the counter medication that you can get from the clinic or a pharmacy.

Swelling

Swelling tends to be quite rare with most hair transplant procedures, however it does occur for those more extensive and larger hair transplant operations, especially procedures where a lot of work has been done to the hairline. Swelling can affect the forehead as well as around the eyes, it may last from two to five days and medication can be provided to reduce the symptoms.

Itching

Itching tends to be a common feeling after having a hair transplant, it may happen over 7 to 14 days after the procedure, the itchiness in the majority of cases can indicate that tissue is starting to heal and recover.

Sleeping

When it comes to sleeping after a hair transplant, it’s important that you touch the recipient area as little as possible during the next week after the procedure, we advise that patients sleep on their back with their head elevated on a pillow. Raising your head during the night will help to reduce swelling.

Healing and Recovery

After your hair transplant procedure, you will feel fine in a day or so following the surgery, you are expected to feel numbness and soreness in your scalp for a couple of days after. There may be red scabs at the bottom of the transplanted hair on the recipient and donor area, these will be clearly visible for around 10 days. From 10 days onwards, your normal appearance will start to show. The recovery after a hair transplant procedure is based on the individual and will vary depending on the type of procedure that they have as well as their age, diet, lifestyle and climate.

Hair Transplant After 1 Month

After your hair transplant, there will be some areas that you will need to consider, this includes the healing period after the transplant, recovery and rest time after the procedure and starting your haircare routine. Your new hair growth may be rough and uneven to start with and full natural growth will usually take around 10 months, however every patient’s recovery time will be different. Should your hair regrowth be taking longer, this doesn’t mean that it hasn’t worked or won’t be as effective, it just means it will take a bit more time to come through. In the first month after your hair transplant, it’s important to follow the aftercare steps that will be provided by your surgeon, from spraying your scalp which will help to speed up the healing process as well as protect the follicles and any incisions and help to prevent scabbing.

Right after your hair transplant it’s important that you rest as much as possible, this is because resting will help to speed up the recovery process and the procedure will have tired you out. In the first month after the transplant it’s also important that you avoid drinking alcohol and smoking as well as swimming and any high impact exercise. You should also keep your scalp well hydrated and if you do need to comb your hair, do it while it’s soaking wet, this will help to avoid bleeding and irritation.

Hair Transplant After 2 – 3 Months

It’s also essential that you go to check up appointments, after our incisions have healed, you can let nature take its course and your hair will start to grow back naturally. From this period you may get shedding and ‘shock hair loss’, this is natural and helps to trigger regrowth of the transplanted follicles. The hair growth will start to become more regular and people would never know that you had just had a hair transplant operation, after the falling out process, hair will start re growing and reappearing from month 2-3 onwards. Your surgeon will have you come in for check up appointments, this is to check how everything is going and take photos of your progress. It is vital that you go to your check up appointments as everyone will heal differently and go through a different healing process, the appointments are a chance to go over any questions or queries that you may have about your hair transplant, the aftercare or the procedure results.

Results After the Hair Transplant

From 1 to 6 months after the hair transplant procedure, your hair will start to grow and become thicker, the first natural hair growth will start over 2 to 3 months after your procedure, it may be patchy and uneven but this will be due to the follicles working at different times. Over the next 5 to 8 months, most of the follicles will be growing hairs again, at around the 10 month mark the majority of hair transplant patients will have a full head of natural healthy hair. You can also start having haircuts at this point. 12 months after the procedure you will have an appointment with your surgeon, this will involve checking your hairline and providing a growth assessment to oversee the overall end result.

When it comes to the hair transplant procedure, people who have just undergone the surgery will grow their hair in the transplanted areas of their scalp. The new hair may be more or less dense and this will all depend on your scalp laxity as well as how loose your scalp skin is, the density of the follicles in the transplanted areas, the quality of hair and if your hair has a curl.

Hair Transplant: Dos and Don’ts

Don’t Expose Your Scalp to Sunlight After a Hair Transplant Procedure

Avoiding the sun is a must after you’ve had a hair transplant. This is a huge issue if your scalp is still swollen. For some, this may be unavoidable, especially if you work outside. If this is the case, protect your head with a hat.

Don’t Smoke for 30 Days After the Surgery

You may wonder what smoking has to do with having a hair transplant, but there is actually a good reason why you shouldn’t engage in it for a month following your procedure. Smoking can slow the blood flow to your hair follicles, which will make healing more difficult. It can also interrupt the growth of new hair, which is the ultimate goal of the procedure. While you should give up smoking for at least 30 days, giving it up altogether is even better. Smoking has serious health consequences, including lung cancer, which is worse for you than just going or staying bald.

Don’t Exercise at All for a Week After the Procedure

As with any surgery, exercise should be limited after your procedure. Excessive physical exercise will raise your blood pressure, which can cause bleeding or the hair transplant to come out.

Sit out of Strenuous Exercise for at Least 10 Days

Don’t engage in strenuous exercise for at least 10 days after the procedure. This is to ensure, again, that you don’t dislodge the transplant or accidentally cause it trauma. More strenuous exercise makes this more likely. You can begin light exercise, like yoga or walking, four days after you’ve had your procedure. However, you should be mindful that this may increase your blood pressure, and if you notice this, you should refrain until the 10th day. These activities should also be restricted if you notice any bleeding coming from your scalp. Some doctors may ask you not to exercise for an even longer period of time due to personal circumstances. However long your doctor tells you to wait before exercising is exactly how long you should wait. Do not begin doing so before then because someone else did or an Internet article says so. You should always follow the advice of your physician, as he or she knows your personal case much better than anyone else.

Don’t Return to Work Too Soon

There are people that may think that a hair transplant is an easy procedure. And while that may be true in comparison to other procedures, you should still stay off work for several days. Your doctor will give you the all clear to return to work after a certain number of days, and when it is time, you should still take it easy and not do anything too strenuous at first.

Listen to Your Doctor’s Instructions

Your doctor will give you instructions for post-transplant care. You should follow this to a T. Your doctor may also give you medication, such as painkillers or antibiotics, to take after you’ve had your transplant. You should take these as often as prescribed to ensure you do not suffer from an infection or that your transplant does not take for some reason.

Don’t Do Anything That Can Cause Excessive Sweating

Exercise can cause excessive sweating, but so can going into a sauna or staying outdoors on an extremely hot day. You should avoid excessive sweating, as this can lead to infection in your hair transplant site. If it is very hot in your area, stay inside as much as possible for the first month following your transplant.

You should also avoid any physical activity that can cause you to sweat, especially profusely. Talk to your doctor if your profession involves physical activity, especially if you sweat during it. You may need to take even more time off of work or have special provisions made for you as you recover from your transplant.

Stay Upright

While it may sound silly, you should avoid bending over, leaning over or doing too many activities that cause the blood to rush to your head. This is because it can cause excessive bleeding, which can lead to irritation or the transplant not working. Stay upright as much as possible.

You can begin to do yoga and other light exercises as early as a week after your hair transplant. However, you should be aware that standing on your head or a pose where your had is dangling is not good for your post-transplant scalp. Instead, you should sit out on those poses, and rejoin the flow when they have finished.

What Other Precautions Should I Take After My Transplant?

After you’ve had a transplant, it is of paramount importance that you take care of your head. It is likely to be scabby and painful, and your doctor will, as mentioned previously, give you a list of instructions to follow to ensure that you don’t cause further injury to yourself. Following his or her instructions will ensure that you have a successful hair transplant and are happy with the results.

For more information on hair transplants, visit our blog.

FAQ

Can you exercise after hair transplant?

On the day after your hair transplant surgery, it’s important that you avoid any physical activity, this includes no exercise, no work and no unnecessary walking. The first week after the procedure you can do light activity however we advise no exercise and strenuous activity, this includes lifting and leaning over. On the third day after your procedure you are able to walk, but it’s important that you don’t overexert yourself.

Do you have to take medication after hair transplant?

After your hair transplant your surgeon may advise taking antibiotics and antibacterial cream, this can be applied on the wound for the first few days. For more information on the medications that you may need to take after your hair transplant procedure, contact the team at FUE Clinics today.

Can you still lose hair after hair transplant?

Yes, but there’s no need to worry as this is normal, the transplanted hair may fall out around two to three weeks after your surgery, most people will see new hair growth around 8 to 12 months after the procedure.

How to wash hair after a FUE hair transplant?

After your hair transplant, when it comes to washing your hair it’s important that you don’t pull out any transplanted hair or cause yourself any bleeding or pain. We recommend that you wash your hair after transplants, this is to reduce the risk of infection as well as remove any blood, scabs or crusts from your scalp.

What foods not to eat after hair transplant?

When it comes to eating after your procedure, it’s important to note that diets lacking in essential fatty acids and other important nutrients may cause hair follicles to malfunction and can result in thinning spots or bald areas. Having a nutrient rich diet can help you to recover and can also provide assistance with new hair growth.

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