If you are considering having a hair transplant, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for your recovery. The procedure is safe and virtually painless when properly performed by a qualified hair restoration surgeon. Dr. Ballon, a Fellow of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery and Georgia’s only hair transplant surgeon certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, has more than a decade of experience and has performed over 3000 hair transplants. At Aesthetics Hair Restoration, you will receive personalized attention and care to make your experience as pleasant as possible. After surgery, it is important to follow the post-operative instructions given to you by the surgeon for optimal results.
Post-operative instructions may vary from surgeon to surgeon, but here are some general hair transplant aftercare tips:
- First night care – Avoid touching the grafts with your fingers. It is recommended that you sleep with your head elevated on an extra pillow for the first three nights following surgery. You will be provided with a spray to use at home.
- Showering – You may used a pH balanced shampoo 24-36 hours after surgery. After wetting your hair using an unbreakable cup (not water directly from the shower head), work up some lather in the palms of you hands and gently pat the lather over the transplanted area(s); regular finger shampooing may be done everywhere else, including the donor area. Do not scrub or pick at the scabs. On the fifth day after surgery (some surgeons recommend waiting longer), you can let the shower water hit your head directly and shampoo gently with your fingers. Dr. Ballon also recommends applying olive oil or baby oil to the transplanted area(s) prior to showering beginning on the fifth day to soften the scabs and make them easier to wash off.
- Physical activity – Avoid strenuous physical activity for a week following surgery.
- Alcohol and smoking – You may not drink alcohol for 24 hours following the surgery. (Alcohol can make it easier to bleed.) Smoking can interfere with all wound healing, so it is recommended that you cut your smoking in half for at least two weeks following your surgery–or, better yet, quit smoking altogether.
- Sun exposure – Avoid exposure to direct sunlight for more than a few minutes. After a month you may begin using sunscreen SPF 30+ and gradually increase your sun exposure. You may wear a hat immediately after the procedure as long as it is carefully placed to avoid dislodging the grafts during the first five days.
- Crusts – During healing, the formation of crusts on the hair grafts is normal and will usually fall off within 7-10 days. It is recommended that you do not pick at the crusts.
The Recovery Process
If you follow the post-operative instructions carefully, your hair transplant should be nearly undetectable after 7-10 days. Generally, patients can return to their normal routine almost immediately after surgery. There should be little or no pain, but medication may be prescribed. In some cases, there may be swelling in the forehead or around the eyes after surgery; if so, this is normal and should resolve after about a week. Patients should immediately report to their physician if they experience any persistent bleeding, fever, drainage, or pain.
Most of the transplanted hairs will fall out after 2-3 weeks, but the “roots” of the follicles remain alive and well beneath the surface of the scalp. It typically takes 3-4 months for the new hair to start to growing, and a full year or longer of full growth to take place. But by 6-8 months, most patients will experience enough growth to make a difference in their appearance.
If you are considering hair transplant surgery, call 678-691-0880 to schedule a consultation with our board-certified hair restoration surgeon in Atlanta.