Hair Transplant AfterCare
American actress and icon Mae West was once quoted as saying that a man can be short and getting bald, but if he has fire then women will like him. While this rings true, and the real measure of genuine interest should always be one’s personality over external features, in today’s world, baldness is at times a hindrance to a man’s success.
Most people believe bald men are confident, but while that is also true, there are also bald men who do not prefer to be bald and would rather have a full head of hair. Unfortunately, hair loss comes with age and is therefore a major possibility for a majority of men once they reach a certain age. The good news is there are now many ways to address a receding hairline and accelerated baldness, one of which is the hair transplant surgery.
Hair transplant or surgical hair restoration is a procedure in which hair follicles from a part of the body, referred to as the ‘donor site’, is transferred to a bald or balding part of the body called the ‘recipient site’. The procedure has become popular for a lot of men, with 71% of all those who underwent the procedure in 2013 being male.
Given this rise, it is essential that those interested in getting a hair transplant know what to do after the procedure, especially since compliance with instructions are critical to a successful hair transplant and faster return to daily routines. Here are a few important tips to follow from the moment the operation is done until a couple of weeks later in your quest to redeem your crowning glory.
- DO have someone drive you home after the procedure. The anesthetic sedative administered to relieve pain and help you relax during the procedure takes time to wear off, and it probably has not worn off yet by the time the surgery is done. So driving yourself home while the sedative is still kicking is not advisable at it might pose a danger to both you and to others.
- DO remember all the instructions given by your surgeon for postoperative hair transplant care. While there are general guides for most hair transplants, it is best to adhere to the instructions given by the person who administered your hair transplant, as that person knows what post-surgery care is best for your case.
- DO have the clinic’s contact number saved in your phone and taped to your fridge so that you or a family member may reach your surgeon in case of adverse side effects or emergencies.
- DO keep your scalp dry especially on the first day to allow for the skin to heal.
- DO keep the area around your scalp clean throughout recovery. While there may be soreness and numbness in the grafted area, refrain from putting anything on your scalp, which has not been approved by your surgeon as it may only bring negative side effects.
- DO take care of your scar. As with any surgery, there will be a certain amount of scarring and itchiness when you get a hair transplant. You can apply the antibiotic topical cream your surgeon have given you to prevent infection and reduce scalp irritation and swelling. Otherwise, call the surgeon for any medication you can use.
- DO take painkillers if you experience pain and discomfort 3 to 4 hours post-surgery. This is roughly the time it takes for the anesthesia to wear off and you may experience minor soreness or swelling.
- DO sleep in a semi-upright position and use two or more pillows to elevate your head on the first night home after the procedure. Do the same for next two nights post-surgery. This position is important to avoid any excess swelling on your scalp. Try sleeping on a reclining chair if you can to keep your head elevated. If the grafts were implanted in the lower crown, or if there is a strip scar, you should sleep on the side on the first two nights so as not to disrupt hair growth or cause the grafts to fall off when it gets rubbed against the pillow.
- DO try to take time off work to rest adequately and allow the bruising around the hairline to subside.
- DO return to your surgeon’s clinic two days after the procedure to have the clinic remove any bandages and for them to wash your hair.
- DO wash and shampoo your hair a day after the initial wash at the clinic to remove any more dead skin and to clean the scabs around the grafted hairs. Cleaning the scabs will prevent them from damaging the hair follicles and thwarting hair growth.
- DO ask your surgeon for advice on the shampoo that is best for you. Apply this on the donor hair, as well as on the grafted parts of the scalp on the next day.
- DO hand wash your hair during the first couple of days after surgery instead of putting your head directly below the showerhead. You can take a low-pressure shower around 4 days after the procedure. This will help the scabs to peel off, accelerate the healing process and lessen any signs of the operation.
- DO use an ice pack to reduce any bleeding or swelling on the first week. However, refrain from placing the ice pack directly onto the grafted area. Place it only on your forehead or on the back part of the head.
- DON’T expose yourself to direct sunlight immediately after and even a few days after the procedure, especially if the scalp is still swollen. If going outdoors in daytime is unavoidable, wear a hat.
- DON’T touch or fidget with the newly-grafted scalp. A little itching and some soreness are normal side effects, so picking at or rubbing the sore scalp might result to the new grafts falling out before they can have a chance to grow.
- DON’T drink alcohol for the first five days after the procedure as it interferes with the blood supply to the head.
- DON’T smoke for an entire month after the surgery as doing so can interrupt blood flow to your hair follicles. Blood flow is crucial for the growth of new hair, as such, refraining from, or even better, completely giving up smoking can hasten the growth of your hair. To prevent yourself from going cold turkey, start reducing your cigarette daily count a few months before your scheduled hair transplant.
- DON’T play sports or perform exercise until a week after the surgery. Exercises with minimal exertion may be resumed around 10 days after the procedure. Sports with body contact, such as basketball or soccer, is prohibited until about a month.
- DON’T engage in activities that would cause excessive sweating. Perspiration increases the risk of getting an infection to a great extent. It would also be wise to reschedule that steam bath or sauna appointment until the next month or so for the same reason.
- DON’T regularly bend over, lean forward or blow your nose violently on the first week.
At the end of the day, each surgeon has his own set of postoperative instructions and it is best to strictly follow that of your surgeon. Moreover, optimum patient recovery time depends ultimately upon you, so take all the time you need to fully heal. Remember also that new hair takes about 3 to 4 months to grow, though in some cases, it might take up to 6 months. So rather than anxiously waiting for that first strand of hair, keep yourself busy with work or take up a new hobby. And when your hair is ready for the big reveal, you can live your life more confidently, and more comfortably.
To learn more about the essentials about getting a hair transplant surgery in Australia, you can trust that Dr. Daood of the Sydney Hair Transplant Clinic will give you in-depth information before, during and after your surgical hair restoration procedure.
Call us now for a consultation or simply fill-out our inquiry form today!
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If you are considering FUE or FUT Hair Transplant surgery please contact us for further information on pricing and procedural information. To book a private consultation today with Dr. Daood call 1300 656 236.