As with every surgical procedure, the hair transplant patients should adhere to the post-op instructions provided by the surgeon to achieve the optimal effects. In general, follicular unit extraction hair transplant procedure is a delicate one and if in doubt you can always ask your surgeon to explain and review the rules you need to follow to avoid complications after hair transplant and to ensure safe hair transplant.
Table of contents
Post-Operative hair transplant aftercare
What to do immediately after the surgery:
Straight after the surgery you will need to spray the transplanted area and the stitches with the saline water solution every 20 minutes for the first 12 hours. The water should drip down freely from your scalp, so cover your arms and neck with towel, however, on no account you are to touch the transplanted hair. After you are done with this 12 hours cycle, you should get some sleep. You are allowed to eat normally and you should drink plenty of water. During the surgery you will be given local anaesthesia, so it is important that you do not drive afterwards.
The clinic should provide you with the spray bottle and saline solution; you may also store some saline water in the fridge before the procedure though.
Spraying your scalp prevents the scab formation while keeping the grafts hydrated, which is essential for their survival.
Day 1 to day 3
For first three days after the procedure you should spray your scalp with the saline water – for first 12 hours you should do it every 20 minutes. Then you can also apply ice packs on the donor area for 10 minutes every hour for three days – you should use the gauze and then place the ice pack on top. Do not apply the ice packs for the recipient area though, put it rather on the forehead to avoid or relieve swelling.
Do not wash or touch the grafts for a day after hair transplant.
The grafts will start forming scabs within a day or two after the surgery and those should fall off in three to ten days. It is absolutely normal that hair is shed with scabs. Do not scratch or pick the scabs to avoid the infection.
Refrain from consumption of any alcoholic beverages for three days after your surgical procedure, as it thins the blood and may cause bleeding. The same applies to any vitamins, Aspirin, painkillers with Ibuprofen or arthritis medication.
You should avoid any exercises such as running, cycling, or weight lifting, as well as activities such as golf, baseball, soccer, as they may cause bleeding and swelling and graft loss.
To avoid bleeding or excess swelling you should avoid bending over and lifting for at least two first days.
When sleeping keep your head and upper body elevated on several pillows for first three to four days, so your head is above the level of your heart. That will prevent swelling of the forehead.
Day 4 to day 14
A Tea Tree shampoo would be the best for you due to its natural antiseptic features. You should fill a bowl with tepid water and add a little bit of shampoo, mix it to make water soapy, then pour over your scalp and rinse off any remaining foam. You should not massage your scalp, just pat it gently with a clean towel. This should be repeated for next two weeks.
You should refrain from taking shower or using hair products. If you blow your hair with the blow dryer, use cool setting only for first five days after the surgery.
You can continue with spraying your hair with saline solution to relieve itchiness.
Your stitches will be removed between 7th and 10th day after the surgery. If your surgeon used dissolvable sutures, those should dissolve between three to four months after the surgery.
If you use Rogaine to enhance the hair growth, you can continue after 4th day after the procedure.
Day 14 and after
After two weeks you can return to your regular hair-washing regime and wash your hair vigorously to remove scabs. You can also get a haircut, dye your hair and start use your usual hair products.
It is advised to avoid strenuous physical activity for four weeks after the surgery to not to stretch the scar. Afterwards you should start with lighter activities and build up slowly to your usual level of activity.
Next few moths
The transplanted hair will be fully embedded after two weeks and they will start to fall out within two to four weeks after the procedure. Within three to four months you will see first new hair in your recipient area. They will be quite fine and minute. Up to six month 70% of new hair will appear, however it will take them up to eighteen months to grow fully.
Hair transplant risks
- Swelling: there may be some swelling on the forehead within first 48 hours which should cease within three days after the surgery; propping up your head and using cold compresses will help greatly
- Bleeding: can occur directly after the surgery, you should apply light pressure with a clean towel or sterile gauze pad to absorb any blood
- Soreness: to ease the pain / headache you can take Solpadine or Tylenol, you should avoid any medication containing aspirin or Ibuprofen which thin the blood; you can take painkillers every 3 to 6 hours
- Numbness or tingling sensation in the recipient area: those may sometimes occur after the procedure and will resolve on its own within few weeks
- Infection: there is a slight risk of infection and to avoid it you should adhere to the post-op instruction of proper hygiene of the scalp and not scratching scabs
Can I go on holidays after my surgery?
You are of course allowed to go on holidays, however you should avoid direct sunlight due to danger of skin discoloration and possible sun burns. Swimming in the pools with added chlorine or diving are disallowed for two weeks. Swimming in salty water is safe though.
Many patients consider hair transplant abroad, as the money is as important as the surgeon’s experience. Poland seems to be a great place for people looking to have cheap hair transplant done, as surgeons in here are experienced and there are great clinics in every bigger city. Thinking about having your procedure done, you should take into account having your hair transplant in Poland and Beauty Poland will be delighted to organise the procedure for you.