Hair Transplant Expectations: The Do’s and Don’ts
Taking the decision to have a hair transplant is not easy if you’re experiencing hair loss. The impact can be long-lasting. Not only are the bonuses of the procedure important, but the know-how in caring for your new hair is also relevant too.
You should bear in mind that a functional and fully recovered hair transplant is no different from natural hair. This implies zero self-consciousness in private and public places. The most important thing is healing. Your scalp should be properly cared for so that the outcome will be worth it.
How does a hair transplant heal? What should and shouldn’t you do after the treatment? Let’s find out.
Hair transplant recovery duration
Having a successful transplant is one thing; recovering is another. Your critical time for recovery is the first few weeks after the transplant. But healing and hair growth will go on for about 12 or more months.
It’s important you rest, keep a hydrated scalp and stick to post-care guidelines from your surgeon when it’s recovery time. The next headings entail the recovery timeline and possible expectations.
About 4 weeks into recovery
Discomfort. Slight pain will typically be felt in the donor area. Sleeping difficulty during the initial days following the surgery may be experienced. This side effect can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medication.
Swelling. This is uncommon but may happen if the hairline surgery is very serious. Under such conditions, the forehead and area around the eyes may get swollen for 3 to 5 days. Swelling can be reduced with alleviated with medication.
- Itching. For 7 to 14 days, patients may experience itching, which signifies the start of the healing in the scalp.
- Sleep. Less contact with the treated scalp is advised. So, when you sleep, do so with a travel or neck pillow to keep the scalp untouched and prevent swelling.
- Recovery. After 24 hours or more, you’ll start feeling better, though your scalp may feel sore and numb. Expect obvious red scabs beneath the transplanted hairs. This can last for about 10 days. Past this period, you’ll regain normalcy. Recovery for patients differs according to age, lifestyle choices, nutrition, and climate.
About 3 months into recovery
There will be hair growth in the treated area within the first month following your hair transplant. Newly growing hair won’t be smooth as complete growth is typically completed in about 10 months. Recovery is not the same for all patients, so should yours take more time, it may not signify a fruitless procedure; you just have to be a little more patient to see the growth.
All that your surgeon has recommended as post-care following your hair transplant should be practised in this first month. Spray your scalp always for faster healing, and keep follicles and incisions safe so that scabbing won’t occur.
Also, within this period, your hair will start shedding, but don’t be alarmed; it’s part of the natural cycle for regrowth of newly reimplanted hair follicles which begins between 2 to 3 months and beyond.
Of course, your surgeon will be checking on the growth progress of your hair via periodic appointments. Don’t fail to attend your appointments. This is where you can discuss any concerns you have about the procedure, post care, or treatment outcome.
The outcome of a hair transplant
Between 5 to 8 months, a majority of the follicles will erupt into hairs. When it gets to 10 months, most patients will see so much robust hair. In the 12th month, you and your surgeon will meet so they can inspect your scalp and run a hair growth analysis to supervise the final outcome.
The guidelines for successful hair transplant recovery
Even if the hair transplant was professionally done, there won’t be excellent results without the right recovery. What you know about recovering properly will guide you to achieve the best possible outcome.
The important care rules are as discussed below
What you should do after a hair transplant
Follow the guidelines of your surgeon. Before letting you go, the surgeon will give you a postcard guideline for effective recovery. Please stick to it. To help keep you free from being infected or uncomfortable, the surgeon may prescribe some meds: antibiotics and pain relief. Take them accordingly.
Keep your body upright. Bending, somersaulting, and any pose that requires keeping your head down is not encouraged. Blood can quickly fill your head and make you bleed out profusely such that can bring about irritation or dislodge the hair follicles.
What you shouldn’t do after a hair transplant
Go to the gym. Physical activity should be a cutback on after a hair transplant; if not, it will increase blood pressure, trigger abnormal bleeding or make the reimplanted hair come loose.
To keep your new hair intact, don’t engage in vigorous exercise for a minimum of 2 weeks. Yoga and other less stressful exercises can start a week post hair transplant treatment. But don’t engage your head or scalp in any of these activities to protect your transplanted hair.
- Following what they know about your situation, the surgeon asks that you avoid exercise for longer periods to not endanger the scalp, which is still tender.
- Sweat too much: The transplanted area can contract an infection if you sweat too much by engaging in strenuous physical activity or exposing yourself to hot temperatures.
Should you work in a hot environment, or your job is a strenuous type, let your doctor know to have more rest time or make special arrangements to help you bounce back the right way.
- Allow direct sunlight to reach your scalp: Particularly when it is swollen. Because of how very sensitive the scalp is, direct sunlight exposure can hurt tender hair follicles. In your first month of recovery, do all you can to avoid the sun.
- Resume work immediately: Rest also aids recovery, and you may not get enough of it if you resume work quite earlier than you should. Wait for the doctor to tell you when it’s right to resume work before you do. Even when you start working again, don’t push yourself too hard; work slowly and gradually increase your pace as you get better.
- Smoke: Blood will not flow to your head and supply nutrients to the newly implanted follicles if you start smoking after the transplant. There won’t be regrowth of new hair when this happens, and recovery becomes harder. So, lay off it for a minimum of 30 days.
Is there a need for medication post hair transplant
For the purpose of fighting infections and tenderness, after the transplant, your surgeon will give prescriptions antibiotics and pain meds. If necessary, the surgeon will prescribe meds to help your new hair growth and not allow hair loss later on.
Will I lose hair after the transplant
Male pattern baldness will not cause hair loss after transplant surgery. But some conditions can make your hair coils fall off. These include chemotherapy, a mishap, or alopecia.
After the FUE hair transplant, how should I wash my hair
Carefully follow your surgeon’s guidelines on how to do this, so you don’t accidentally pull out new hair follicles. Hair washing will lower the chances of being infected and take out crusts or blood from your scalp.
When can I get a haircut after the transplant
Under the condition that all scabbing is gone, you can have a hair cut in a short period of 2 weeks after transplant.
Are there foods I shouldn’t eat after a hair transplant
The right food will nourish your new hair follicles, make them grow well, and improve recovery. But avoid:
- Food filled with fats and salt as they will raise your blood pressure
- Foods rich in spices like ginger, garlic etc. as their content can cause thinning spots and hair graft breakdown
- Alcohol and aspirin, which are capable of blood thinning