Hair transplants are becoming increasingly more sought-after in men’s cosmetics. This blog details the extensive timeline of hair transplant recovery, including what circumstances to expect, the principles you need to implement and what habits to avoid.
Hair Transplant Recovery: Days one to four
Above all, implementing the necessary steps post-hair transplant (provided by your physician) is essential for a successful recovery.
Following the days after your hair restoration surgery, you will still feel some local anaesthetic effects. Despite this, it is commonplace to visit the clinic for your first post-hair transplant checkup.
Many patients arrange transportation beforehand, but depending on the hair clinic, you may have an internal option to schedule a valet included as part of your package.
On days one to four, you will likely have a lot of swelling around your head and face, and your recipient area will feel itchy quite regularly.
Do’s and don’ts:
Your chosen clinic should provide you with a solution known as saline. Saline helps speed up the healing process of your hair follicles, protect against infection and reduce scabbing. Later down the line, you will also be applying saline before you wash your hair for the same reasons.
Although you can return to a non-labour intensive occupation just days after your hair implant surgery, you should rest as much as possible. Doctors typically recommend taking five to seven days off of work.
In addition, for the first few days into your hair transplant recovery, your physician will suggest that you sleep with your head elevated 45 degrees above your shoulders, ensuring your transplanted hair remains healthy and in place.
Similarly, you must refrain from any exercise after hairline surgery, including heavy lifting, swimming or general high-intensity training. It would be best if you also avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, exposure to sunlight, and using shampoo, conditioner, blow dryers or power showers.
Hair Transplant Recovery: Days five to nine
At this stage, post-hair transplant, the swelling of your face and scalp may worsen. Discomfort and occasional soreness on your head are common. Fortunately, this pain is normal and usually manageable with over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol.
Do’s and don’ts:
From day five, you will be able to gently rinse your hair with warm water. You should not use any shampoo but can remove dried scabs from your head.
Exercise remains impermissible on day nine as you are still at risk of impacting your transplanted hair’s health, altering the outcome of your hairline transplant.
Hair Transplant Recovery: Days nine to fourteen
From here, your scalp tends to appear pink and scabbed. Fortunately, much of your swelling and any potential discomfort should now have faded.
Furthermore, your transplanted hair follicles have become dormant again, meaning your new hair will fall out. Consequently, you will temporarily return to how you looked pre-hair transplant operation, but do not be alarmed; shedding is a standard part of the hair replacement procedure. Eventually, your new transplanted follicles will sprout new rich and healthy hairs.
Do’s and don’ts:
By this time, you will be able to wash your hair as long as you use a PH neutral shampoo like baby shampoo.
To wash your hair, first fill in a clean bowl with tepid water, add some baby shampoo and mix well with the water until soapy. Next, use a jug to pour the solution over your head carefully.
Following this, delicately use your hands to clean your hair in a circular motion before gently patting down your washed hair with a clean towel and drying it naturally.
Thankfully, you can now begin to exercise. However, you should discuss your exercise plan with your doctor to get feedback before doing so.
Hair Transplant Recovery: Three to six months
Over the next three months, regular follow-up consultations are customary to record your hair transplant progression.
About half or more of your new hairs should be visible at this stage. However, these new hairs will range in length and depth, and many will feel thin like the hair of a newborn.
You may begin to notice pimples forming on your scalp, which is entirely normal and is treatable using a warm compress.
Results: Ten months to twelve months
By this point, most patients have achieved their total hair growth. However, it may take twelve months or longer for some, so you do not necessarily need to be concerned if your hair growth takes longer than the average hair transplant patient.
At the twelve-month mark, you will go to your final appointment to assess the results of your hair transplant. Your doctor may discuss further hair growth tips or treatments if they need to be done and usually ask for feedback.
Though hair transplants can seem daunting, medical advancements have made post-op recovery digestible for many. Likewise, it is ever more crucial for hair transplant enthusiasts to be diligent in their research before choosing a clinic, ensuring they secure the highest quality of care (even if they have to bear a more substantial hair transplant cost).