After the Hair Transplant Operation
Here we present our recommendations and give you valuable tips for the optimal care of the scalp after the hair transplant.
What Can I Expect Following A Hair Transplant Operation?
Following the hair transplant, the transplantation area will be covered in a surgical dressing to prevent infection. Additionally, an anti-swelling band is placed on the patient’s forehead to prevent facial swelling. The medical dressing will be removed the next day during the follow-up appointment and the anti-swelling band may be removed after three days.
Following any hair transplant procedure, you will notice several small scabs in the recipient area, as well as small red holes in the donor area. These will heal on their own over the next 10 to 15 days.
Do Hair Transplants Have Side Effects?
Hair transplant procedures are minimally-invasive, outpatient procedures. However, certain minor side effects may appear in the days and weeks following the operation. These are typically minor, short-lived, and easily treated. The most common side effects are:
Some patients may experience swelling of the face and eyes in the days following their hair transplant. This should subside over the next 3-5 days. If the swelling is bothersome, apply a cold compress; no medication is required or recommended.
A mild to moderate itching at the transplant site is a normal part of the healing process. This itching may continue for up to 7 days post-operation. DO NOT pick or scratch at the transplant site.
A burning sensation is common in the donor area for up to 5 days post-op. It is advised that you use a moisturising lotion on the donor area no more than 3 or 4 times a day.
What Should Be Avoided After A Hair Transplant?
In the days and weeks following any hair transplant procedure, several things must be avoided. Most importantly, do not touch the transplant area under any circumstance. The implanted grafts are still quite loose immediately following the procedure. Touching or rubbing the area runs the risk of causing the grafts to fall out.
Any strenuous activity is to be avoided for 15 days immediately following the transplant. Activities such as sport, sexual intercourse, hard work, or even vigorously blowing your nose could cause the grafts to loosen. It is also advised that you keep your head elevated as much as possible during this time.
Lastly, it is key to avoid direct sunlight, seawater, or pool water during the healing process. Showering is acceptable, but avoid direct water pressure on your scalp.
How Quickly Will I See Results From A Hair Transplant?
On the day following your hair transplant, you will need to return to the clinic for a follow-up. During this appointment, the medical dressing will be removed from the transplantation site, the results will be evaluated, and the site will be fully cleaned. You will also be given a laser therapy to help stimulate faster, fuller results
After three days you will be able to begin washing your hair. This is a special procedure that will be gone over in greater detail during your follow-up appointment. You will receive a special shampoo and lotion that are to be used over the next 15 days to promote healing.
The newly implanted hair grafts will begin to fully embed themselves into the scalp. The site may begin to itch, but you mustn’t scratch it. The hairs will begin to fall out after 5-7 days and this will continue over the next 2-3 months. This is known as “shock hair loss” and is a normal and expected part of the hair transplantation procedure.
The newly implanted hair will continue to be shed and you will return to a pre-operative look after no more than 4 weeks. No visible signs of the operation will remain.
After falling out, the hair will begin to regrow on its own. After three months, new hair will begin to become visible and by the fourth month, the rate of growth will begin to accelerate. By the sixth month, hair coverage will be nearly complete, but will still be short.
How Do I Care For My Hair Following A Hair Transplant?
Proper care must be taken of newly transplanted hair during the healing process. During your follow-up, the doctor will provide you with shampoo and lotion to be used in the following months and go over the complete process with you.
First And Second Week
Your first wash should be 72 hours following your hair transplant.
Apply the lotion to both the donor and recipient areas; this will serve to moisturise the skin and soften scabs. Use 7-8 drops and gently tap the transplant site with your hand. Allow the lotion to absorb into the skin over the next hour before washing out. Apply the lotion in the same direction as the grafts to prevent causing any damage. Note that more lotion may be used on the donor area to prevent itching or burning. Do not overmedicate the recipient site.
One hour after applying the lotion, it is time to wash the transplant area. Rub the medicated shampoo between your hands to create a foam and gently place the foam over the transplant area without any rubbing motions. Allow the shampoo to sit for 2-3 minutes before carefully rinsing it off.
Do not rinse your head with hot or pressurised water. Fill a bowl with warm water and very gently pour it over your head. It is important to fully rinse away all shampoo.
Do not use a towel to dry your head. The safest method is to use a hairdryer on a cool setting from a moderate distance.
If scabs are still present, increase the lotion used to 12-15 drops and allow it to sit for 2 hours before gently washing it out. Gently massage the scalp to assist with the removal of scabs.
After one month, you should be fully healed. At this point, it is possible to return to your normal hair-care routine.
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