July 31st, 2020
Dr. Thomas Bell, MD
How Soon Can I Wash My Hair After a FUE Transplant?
The days and weeks after you’ve undergone FUE hair transplant surgery are crucial to the success of your healing process, which means that if you care about quality results, it’s especially important to pay attention to how you treat your hair and scalp during this period of time.
For instance, a gentle hair wash after your hair transplant is key to helping the transplanted hair fully implant itself in your recipient zone–particularly in the first few days post-procedure. An incorrect or careless approach to hair washing at this time can actually damage your hair follicles and adversely affect your outcome. No one wants that. Thankfully, by following a few simple protocols, you’re bound to heal fast and be more than satisfied with your results.
Points to Consider for a Hair Wash After a Hair Transplant
Although it might seem over the top, consider having a friend or family member with you the first time you wash your hair after your hair transplant. The most important concept to keep in mind: be gentle. As with all stages following hair transplant surgery, any strong trauma to the scalp, rubbing, or contact with fingernails should be avoided while washing your hair!
Correct Timing for Washing Your Hair
When you wash your hair after a hair transplant is just as important as how you do it. Although the right timing varies from person to person, the ultimate decision about when to start washing your hair post FUE should be based on the recommendations of your hair transplant surgeon. Typically, patients are cleared to wash their hair for the first time 2 to 4 days after surgery depending on the progress of their individual healing process.
The Use of Shampoo
When washing your hair after a hair transplant, be sure to use shampoos that are paraben-free, and full of naturally rejuvenating ingredients. When shampooing, always touch your grafts gently and slide your fingers along a vertical plane without ever rubbing on them sideways or in a circular motion. No massaging! After day 13 or so, you should be able to gently massage your hair to help shed any leftover crusting from the healing process.
Steps for Washing Your Hair After FUE
Step 1: Spray Panthenol on Your Transplanted Hair
Before washing your hair, spray a thin layer of panthenol (used as a moisturizer and to improve wound healing) onto your transplanted grafts and wait about 40 minutes.
Step 2: Adjust the Temperature and Pressure of the Water
To ensure that your grafts are not exposed to pressurized water or extreme temperature, adjust the water so that it’s warm rather than hot, and low pressure rather than high.
Step 3: Apply Shampoo
Pour some shampoo onto your recipient area, and use your fingertips to gently foam it by vertically touching your grafts for about 15 minutes.
Step 4: Thoroughly Rinse the Donor Area
To prevent infection, patiently rinse off any tissue remnants or blood by very gently rubbing the recipient zone as you rinse off all the shampoo.
Step 5: Dry Your Hair with Paper Towel
After washing your hair, use some paper towel to dry your hair rather than a normal towel, as the latter can actually pull on your grafts.
Step 6: Apply Fucicort on the Donor Area
If washing your hair within the first 5 days post-op, apply the Fucicort antibiotic cream (provided by your FUE surgeon) to the donor area, but not the recipient area.
Bottom line: it may take a bit of patience, but after a couple of weeks of cautious hair washing and attention to detail, it will start paying off, and you’ll be happy you didn’t skip the steps necessary to your proper healing!