No matter how minor the medical procedure, there are pre and post-operative instructions to follow. These instructions are guidelines for the patient to abide, to avoid any complications, and to have a smooth healing process.
The post-operative instructions for hair transplants are quite straightforward. They are universal too, however, it is best to listen to your doctor as every hair loss is different. We can divide the post-operative instructions and the healing process into five categories: Everyday life and activities, the sleep position, hair wash after the procedure, recovery, and regrowth of the hair. They can be divided into short-term, mid-term, and long-term instructions.
Let’s look at these one by one:
Daily Life and Activities:
- Follow the guidelines given to you prior your procedure.
- During the procedure, you will be given local anesthesia.
- Overall, you can resume your everyday life and return to work very soon after your operation.
- The first three days (immediate short-term) are very important. It is a good idea to avoid work for the first three days after your hair transplant. This is mostly for you get a good rest, and avoid any physical activities, lowering your head while looking at the computer.
- Applying icepack on your head, and take the medications (mostly painkillers) prescribed by your doctor.
- Try to keep your head still and do not touch your grafts or scratch your scalp during the 5-7 days post-surgery.
- It is natural to feel numbness, and observe some redness and swelling in the beginning.
- The first week to 10 days are also very important – this is a phase where some parts of your life will entirely return to normal but you will have to pay attention to a few details: Avoid any strenuous exercise during this period. To be on the safe side, gradually increase your exercise after the 10th day to the first month.
- Avoid swimming – both in the pool or in the sea – for first 10 days.
- Avoid sexual activities in the first week.
- You can generally use a bandana to cover your head but do not cover your head until the 15th day post-surgery. Avoid visiting your hairdresser for hairdressing,do not smoke, and avoid dusty areas during the first 15 days.
- Do not dye your hair up to two months.
- Avoid any physical hits to your head for a few months. Avoid sun exposure for 6 months, and going to the solarium for 3 months.
The Sleep Position
You need to pay attention to your sleeping position in the first few days. For the first 3-10 days, it is recommended to sleep with a neck pillow, and keep your head in an upright position while you are sleeping.
Post-operative Hair Wash
It is very important to wash your hair with the shampoo provided to you by your doctor for the first ten days, and pay attention to the special washing instructions. Do not shower your hair, and do not use hair blow during this period. You will have scabs on the recipient area for the first ten days. Do not scratch or touch them. Do not use hair spray or hair gel for the first 15 days.
The Healing Process
Your doctor will prescribe some medications and sprays. Use them according to the instructions. After the third month, you can either visit your surgeon for a follow-up examination or send a photo.
Your hair in the donor area will be shaved during the procedure to extract the hair follicles. The hair in this area will grow back after the 10th day. On the other hand, your transplanted hair on the recipient area will fall temporarily. After the third month, your transplanted hair will start growing back, and you will start observing a difference. The most noticeable and effective results will be seen after the first year where your transplanted hair will fulfill its growth cycle, and up to two years, you will see a dense, full-looking head.