Hair Transplant Aftercare
Hair transplant surgery offers a permanent solution for individuals experiencing hair loss or thinning hair. Following the correct hair transplant aftercare steps is crucial to successful healing, graft survival, and ensuring new hair growth. By adhering to your surgeon’s recommendations, you can prevent the risk of complications and enjoy natural-looking, long-lasting results.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a popular hair transplant technique that has helped many people regain their confidence and restore their hair. FUE hair transplant is a minimally invasive method that involves extracting individual hair follicles from the donor area and transplanting them into the recipient area where hair is thinning or has been lost. While FUE hair transplant surgery has a faster recovery time, it is still important to follow the correct aftercare steps for successful healing.
Here are five important FUE hair transplant aftercare steps to follow:
1. Keep the Scalp Clean
Proper scalp hygiene is a crucial part of your hair transplant aftercare. Keeping your scalp clean helps prevent infection and promotes healing, ensuring the best results from the procedure.
We have outlined the steps to follow to keep your scalp clean after an FUE hair transplant:
Wait 48 Hours
You will need to avoid washing your hair for the first 48 hours after the procedure. This allows the grafts to settle and helps prevent them from being dislodged during the washing process.
Use a Mild Shampoo
After the first 48 hours, you can gently wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Using shampoos with harsh chemicals or strong fragrances can irritate the scalp and damage the newly transplanted hair follicles.
When washing your hair, it is important to not rub or scrub the scalp as this can dislodge the grafts or cause irritation. Instead, use gentle, circular motions with your fingertips to distribute the shampoo and clean the scalp.
Use lukewarm water to thoroughly rinse your hair and remove any shampoo residue. You should avoid using hot water as the high temperature can increase swelling and damage the grafts.
Use a clean, soft towel to gently pat dry your scalp. Rubbing the scalp will potentially dislodge the hair grafts and affect the healing process. You should also avoid the use of hair dryers as the heat can damage the newly transplanted hair follicles.
2. Avoid Strenuous Activity
Strenuous activity can harm the healing process after a hair transplant. Engaging in vigorous physical activities, such as running or heavy lifting, will increase blood flow to the scalp. This can lead to increased swelling and pressure in the scalp, potentially dislodging grafts or causing bleeding.
High-intensity activities also often result in sweating, which can increase the risk of infection in the hair transplant area. Sweat can also cause irritation and itching, making it difficult to not scratch or touch your healing scalp. This will delay your healing and put your hair transplant results at risk.
It is important to avoid any strenuous activities for at least two weeks after your hair transplant surgery to prevent any risks that can delay your healing process. You should consult with your surgeon before you start reintroducing lightweight activities into your routine. By taking these precautions and closely following your surgeon’s recommendations, you can help ensure a successful recovery and optimise the results of your FUE hair transplant.
3. Take Any Prescribed Medications
Your surgeon may prescribe medications to help manage any discomfort, swelling, and the risk of infection after your FUE hair transplant. It is crucial to follow their instructions and take these medications as directed to ensure proper healing and minimise complications.
Some common medications prescribed after a hair transplant include:
Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage mild to moderate pain after a hair transplant. You must avoid taking aspirin or other blood-thinning pain medications, as they can increase the risk of bleeding at the hair follicle transplant site.
Your surgeon may prescribe oral antibiotics to prevent infection after the procedure. It is essential to take the full course of antibiotics as directed to ensure any infection is prevented. Skipping doses or stopping early can lead to antibiotic resistance and make future infections harder to treat.
Your surgeon may provide you with topical ointments or creams to apply to the donor and recipient sites. These ointments may contain antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents, or ingredients that promote healing and minimise scarring. Be sure to apply the ointment as directed, typically in a thin layer, and avoid touching or picking at the treated areas to prevent contamination and irritation.
4. Avoid Exposure to Direct Sunlight
Proper hair transplant aftercare involves avoiding direct sunlight or tanning beds for at least two weeks after your procedure. Exposing your scalp to direct sunlight can result in sunburn and skin damage. This can damage your newly transplanted hair follicles, cause infection, and increase the risk of scarring on your scalp.
If you are required to go outside a few weeks after your hair transplant, you will need to wear a hat or head covering made from breathable material to protect your scalp. You will also need to gently apply a high-SPF sunscreen to protect the skin on your scalp. It is important to wait until your surgeon advises you to use sunscreen or a hat to ensure there are no impacts on your healing process.
5. Follow up with Your Surgeon
Maintaining regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon is essential for monitoring your progress and addressing any concerns or complications that may arise during the healing process. These appointments provide an opportunity for your surgeon to assess your recovery, track your results, and offer guidance on how to care for your scalp and hair moving forward. Your surgeon will also provide personalised aftercare advice to optimise the results of your hair transplant.
Risks of Improper Hair Transplant Aftercare
Proper aftercare is the key to a successful hair transplant that results in a fuller head of hair. Failing to follow the aftercare steps and your surgeon’s post-surgery advice can lead to potential risks and complications.
We have highlighted the risks of improper hair transplant aftercare:
Inadequate aftercare, such as not cleaning the scalp correctly or engaging in strenuous activities that lead to sweating, can increase the risk of infection. Infections at the transplant site can damage the new hair follicles and slow down the healing process. If you notice any signs of infection, such as increased pain or discharge, you need to contact your surgeon immediately.
Poor Graft Survival
Poor aftercare can impact your graft survival and impact the results of your hair transplant surgery. Using harsh shampoo to wash your hair, scratching the scalp, or engaging in strenuous activities can all affect the survival rate of your newly transplanted hair follicles. To ensure a successful hair transplant, it is essential to keep your grafts protected from being dislodged or infected.
The FUE hair transplant method results in less scarring than other hair transplant methods, but improper aftercare can increase the risk of scarring. This includes picking or scratching at scabs, which can cause additional damage and prolong the healing process. To minimise scarring, allow scabs to fall off naturally, avoid direct sunlight on the scalp, and follow your surgeon’s instructions for topical treatments and scar management.
Swelling is to be expected for generally a week after an FUE hair transplant, but improper aftercare can lead to prolonged swelling that can delay the healing process. Swelling can cause discomfort and may impede graft survival if not properly managed. To reduce swelling, it is important to follow all aftercare steps as well as your surgeon’s recommendations.
Transform your thinning or balding areas into a fuller head of natural hair with Pulse Light Clinic’s FUE hair transplants.
As the leading provider of FUE hair transplants in London, we offer an effective solution to hair loss or thinning. We offer ARTAS robotic FUE hair transplants practised by our experienced surgeons to provide you with precise and efficient hair transplant surgery.
We are dedicated to ensuring optimal, natural-looking results after our hair transplant treatment. Our surgeon will ensure you are fully equipped with the correct aftercare steps to ensure a successful healing process. Our regular follow-up sessions will ensure that you are recovering correctly with personalised aftercare advice.
If you are interested in a hair transplant, book a consultation with Pulse Light Clinic.
What should I expect during the hair transplant recovery process?
During the first week, it is normal to experience mild discomfort, swelling, and redness in the recipient area. After a few weeks, you can expect the transplanted hair to fall out. This is also normal, as the hair follicles enter a resting phase before new growth begins. You can expect to see new hair growth within three to four months, with full results after about a year.
Are there any specific aftercare instructions that I need to follow after a hair transplant?
There are hair transplant aftercare steps you will need to follow to ensure a successful healing process. These include gently washing your scalp, avoiding strenuous activities, avoiding direct sunlight, taking prescribed medications, and attending regular follow-up sessions with your surgeon. Your surgeon may provide additional aftercare steps to ensure a successful recovery.
How long should I avoid physical activities and exercise after a hair transplant?
You should avoid strenuous activities and exercise for a minimum of two weeks after a hair transplant. This includes heavy lifting, vigorous exercise, and contact sports. You can gradually reintroduce lightweight physical activities once your surgeon has recommended them.
When can I start washing my hair after a hair transplant?
You can start washing your hair 48 hours after the hair transplant procedure. When washing your hair, it is important to use mild shampoo and lukewarm water. You should avoid rubbing or scrubbing the scalp as this can cause irritation or dislodge the new hair follicles.
What kind of hair products should I use or avoid after a hair transplant?
It is important to use a mild shampoo that is devoid of harsh chemicals or fragrances after a hair transplant as these can irritate or damage the scalp and new hair follicles. You should also avoid any hair dyes or other chemical treatments after a hair transplant to avoid damaging the newly transplanted hair follicles.