Hair Transplant Post-Op Aftercare: Steps You Should Take

posted on:
January 12th, 2023
posted by:
Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Each Treatment Type Requires Different Aftercare

There are four main treatments offered by Dr. Bell and his team at the Toronto Plastic Surgeons clinic, and each method requires different aftercare steps that you should follow closely. When you are first discharged after your procedure, you will be given aftercare instructions and supplies that you may need, including saline or a spray bottle to heal wounds and scabs.

With every treatment type, it is important to remember that you need to rest as much as possible, and avoid swimming, alcohol, smoking, and heavy exercise for the first few days.

FUE Hair Transplant Aftercare

Following your FUE hair transplant, Dr. Bell will recommend a post-transplant program consisting of light therapy, nutrient serums, and medical shampoo. This regimen is designed to help nourish the grafts and promote the growth of natural hair. Patients should also keep in mind that the final results of their hair transplant won’t be apparent until after a year.

Two days after your FUE hair transplant, you can return to low-impact activities like work. After a week, pain should subside, and after two weeks, your hair growth will cover the donor area. One month post-op, you can return to all activities, including exercise.

During this time, it is highly important to follow aftercare instructions provided by Dr. Bell pertaining to:

  • Washing your hair and scalp (with silicone, dye, and perfume-free products).
  • Over-the-counter painkillers you can take.
  • How to manage swelling in the forehead and around the eyes.
  • Itching, which can be resolved with an antihistamine.
  • Keeping your head elevated for the first 7-10 days while sleeping post-op.
  • When you can shave donor areas (1 week post-op dependent on scabs) and recipient areas (typically 1 month post-op).
  • When you can begin to be physically active again.
  • When you can wear a hat again after your treatment.
  • Recommendations for hair products and medications.
  • Alcohol consumption, which can typically be resumed 2 weeks following your procedure.
  • Sun exposure, which should be avoided until 2 weeks after your operation.

NeoGraft Hair Transplant Aftercare

As you will be administered an anesthetic before your procedure, you will need to have someone to drive you home post-op. The follicles will take between seven and ten days to settle into the scalp, and there will be minimal bleeding, discomfort, and swelling following the procedure. Avoid picking any scabs on the scalp – they will flake off naturally.

You may return to work a couple of days following your procedure, but this is dependent on Dr. Bell’s specific aftercare instructions. The grafted hair will stay in place for up to three weeks following your treatment, and then will begin to shed. This is part of the new hair growth process and should not be cause for concern. Three to four months post-op, your hair will continue to grow normally.

Artas Hair Transplant Aftercare

Following your procedure, Dr. Bell and their team in Toronto will recommend a comprehensive postoperative care regime. This regime will include instructions about the importance of avoiding strenuous physical activity and minimizing direct exposure to the sun on your scalp.

Please note that it can take up to a year for your hair growth to occur after your FUE transplantation. Your results will depend on how many follicles were grafted during the surgery. During the first few days post-op, your head wrap garment will be removed and you will be allowed to gently wash your head. After one week, you can return to work.

Ten days post-op, scabbing should disappear in the transplant area, and after one month your hair growth will begin for a large amount of the transplanted hair grafts. After a few months, hair density will improve significantly, and after one year your final results will be visible.

Female Hair Transplant Aftercare

As hair transplantation for women is typically done via the FUE method, patients experience less pain and a faster recovery time. There will be no visible scars and no special maintenance required. There will be tiny slits in the target area, but they do not require stitches and only small scars will be left behind.

All pain will subside 2-3 days after your female hair transplant, and you can resume normal activities like work. Your swelling will peak around days 3 and 4 post-op, and after two weeks your hair growth will cover the donor area. You should avoid exercise for one month following your treatment, and your final results will be visible after one year.

Things to Avoid After Your Procedure

Some activities you should avoid following your hair transplant include:

  • Sleeping on your back or stomach. Sleeping flat can increase your swelling, so elevate your head for the first week post-op while you sleep.
  • Ignoring medication labels. Make sure you are taking medication that doesn’t put you at risk. For example, over the counter pain medication like Ibuprofen can thin the blood, resulting in bruising.
  • Scrubbing your hair/scalp. You should not wash your hair for the first 48 hours following your procedure, and you should wash your hair gently on the third day. Do not be too aggressive and use a cup to rinse shampoo out of your hair.
  • Being dehydrated. Drinking water is extremely important after your procedure as it speeds up the recovery process and is always good for the body.
  • Wearing hats. You should not wear a hat for 3 days following your procedure, as you need to let any scabs settle and flake off naturally before having any materials touch the treatment site.
  • Being exposed to direct sunlight. Avoid exposing your scalp to direct sunlight for the first two weeks following your hair transplant, especially during the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, as that is when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. Sunburns can highly affect your healing process and cause permanent scarring.
  • Drinking and smoking. Alcohol can dehydrate you severely and elevate your blood pressure, so it is good to avoid it for the first five days following your procedure. Additionally, quitting smoking for months before and after your hair transplantation will help your healing process extensively. Smoking elevates your blood pressure and blood flow is essential for hair growth. You can return to smoking if you must a month after your treatment.
  • Having sexual intercourse. It is best to abstain from all heavy exercise, including sexual intercourse, for your first week post-op. Sweating can affect the treatment site and raising your blood pressure can hinder healing.

Questions to Ask Dr. Bell

Dr. Bell is always available to answer any questions you may have during your consultation, as well as during and after your procedure. Some common questions you may have include:

  • Are scabs normal after a hair transplant? Yes, and you should avoid touching them completely. Scabs will flake away naturally after 8-10 days.
  • Can I wear a hat or helmet after my hair transplant? You should let your head breathe as much as possible, and can only wear a hat after the one week mark. Tighter hats and helmets can be worn after one month of healing.
  • Can I exercise after my hair transplant? You can partake in light activity like sexual intercourse or work a week post-op. You can resume moderate sports after one month of healing, but should wait three months after your hair transplant to partake in intense physical excursion.
  • Can I swim and be in the sun after my hair transplant? You should wait one month post-op to swim, and you should avoid the sun as much as possible – especially during the first few weeks.
  • Can I shave my hair post-op? You can shave the implanted grafts after 6 months of regrowth, but before this time you should trim your new hair with scissors. The donor area can be trimmed after one month. Try to avoid shaving your head entirely during the first year, especially so you can enjoy full results once you’ve healed!

Why Choose The Toronto Plastic Surgeons?

Dr. Bell has dedicated his 25 years of practice to cosmetic plastic surgery of the face and body. He prides his excellence on the harmonious balance of vision, aesthetic appearance, and patient care. He and his team are known for their skill and personalized, respectful approach to patients. Contact Dr. Bell and his team today for a consultation!

Posted by:

Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Dr. Thomas Bell has been one of Canada’s most renowned cosmetic surgeons for 35 years. He prides his excellence on the harmonious balance of vision, aesthetic appearance, and patient care.

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