Hair transplant surgery is a very precise and delicate process that also requires patience for you to achieve your desired results. The post-surgical phase is the final stretch that calls on every patient to be extra careful and mindful of the surgeon’s instructions. Here are 10 of the common questions that some of you have asked us, and we will tackle each of them here.
What happens after a hair transplant?
After the surgery, it is the protocol that you will be advised a personalized program which involves a course of antibiotics to prevent infection. As an option, you may also be instructed to take medications that can prevent post-operative swelling.
How does a hair growth timeline after a hair transplant look like?
It is true that your patience can be tested after the procedure is done. You may constantly look in the mirror carefully checking out the changes as they come. Hair transplant growth has several phases, and you just have to give it some time and patience. The phases include the following:
- Dormant phase
This is within 0-4 months after surgery. This is a point where one experiences shedding or shock loss. Typically, there is still no hair growth seen yet at this stage.
- Emergent phase
This falls within 4-8 months after surgery, and it is when new hairs eventually appear. Around 80% of the hairs emerge for most patients at the 8-month mark, and hair growth will be characteristically fine. It is also expected that the grafts on the crown area have the slowest growth.
- Maturation phase
This is within 8-12 months after surgery. The new hairs eventually thicken, and those who naturally have frizzy hair will notice it to be frizzier for a few months. Due to the erratic pattern of hair growth, surgeons would tell people to expect that results would take a full year to realize.
How long after hair transplant surgery can a person comfortably go out in public?
This will depend on the approach that was used. If you had an FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) hair transplant done, then you most likely had the back and sides of your head shaved. The tiny holes or incisions in the donor areas heal remarkably fast within 24-48 hours. However, your hair does not grow that fast, so, you have to sport the shaved look. You may feel comfortable being seen in public after 2 days or so.
If you had the FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) or strip method, the donor site will be completely hidden with your existing hair above it. This means that the site is completely hidden immediately after the surgery because it is still possible to keep your hair long. However, you will have tiny crusts in the recipient areas which you may or may not be able to hide depending on the amount of existing hair that you can style over it. If it is not possible to conceal this area, then y expect it to be visible for a week or two after the procedure.
Will people know I had a hair transplant?
In most practices, the surgeon would prefer to shave off the area for them to perform the procedure better. You may need a minimum of three weeks of downtime due to the healing process. The surgical area will be red and scabbed. After the procedure, the hair growth occurs slowly. As more growth occurs people may notice ‘something’ different about you, but won’t be able to pinpoint the exact physical change in you, especially if you had minimal work done.
How long does hair transplant last?
Hair transplantation is a permanent solution for hair loss. The transplanted hairs generally retain the characteristics of the donor hair in terms of color and texture. If your hair loss is progressive, a combination of laser treatments and medications are recommended to help solidify the transplanted hair follicles and aid in slowing hair loss from untreated areas that are prone to it.
What are the side effects associated with a hair transplant?
Generally, hair transplants are safe procedures with few side effects. The most common ones include swelling, minor discomfort, numbness, itching, and local inflammation. However, they are not severe and they are temporary. The patient may also experience shock loss, but this is temporary since the hair will grow back around 3-6 months.
Unnatural results or a bad hairline design is also a risk factor but this can easily be avoided by choosing an experienced surgeon and by establishing good communication. Scarring is also a risk, especially with strip procedures or FUT. Meanwhile, FUE procedures can create hypopigmentation once the scabs have healed. Cysts may also form due to a graft placement that is too deep or the partial removal of hair transplant grafts. In some cases, numbness may also be experienced, especially in strip procedures.
When can I start working out again after hair transplant surgery?
This may vary depending on the surgeon. However, in most cases, one may already be allowed to exercise if it has been 1 month after the hair transplant. For those who have undergone FUT, it is best to avoid strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting because it might cause stretching on the incision line and result in scar widening.
Patience is the key to any surgery while waiting for results. It is best to wait for longer periods, but one can already start with light exercises after 2 weeks and strenuous one after 4 weeks at the least.
How will I groom my hair after a hair transplant?
The instructions will vary for each surgeon. Some doctors allow patients to resume normal hair care after two weeks. However, remember that new grafts will not start growing hair for three to four months, so in such cases, proper wound care would be the main focus.
The basic rule of thumb for grooming in this situation is that there should be no chemicals for 5-6 weeks. From the 2nd to 10th day, a gentle baby shampoo that has the least amount of additives is advised so that the delicate hair transplant sites aren’t irritated. Combing, brushing, or blow drying should also be avoided until the small scabs and flakes have healed.
Will wearing a hat after hair transplant affect growth?
Wearing a hat after surgery does not affect transplanted hairs. Some surgeons allow their patients to wear hats after surgery, while others suggest waiting at least a week before doing so. It is also specified that should you wear one, at least make sure that it is not so tight that it rubs on your scalp causing traction and irritation.
Is it possible to have more than one hair transplant session?
Yes, there are cases when the needed coverage will need more than one session. There are instances where the surgeon wants to assess the growth of the first session first before he decides to proceed with another session or not.
The post-surgical stage can be very delicate, and it is one where the patient is now the biggest role player. If you think you have other questions in relation to this phase in the hair transplant process, feel free to send them to us and we will be more than happy to address them.
For more information, book your consultation at sydneyhairtransplant.com.au today.