How to carry out the postoperative period of a hair transplant is undoubtedly one of the most recurrent questions from patients interested in performing a hair transplant, and although each Doctor has small variations on general care, these are usually common to all patients.
Although it is true that the work of the Doctor when performing a hair transplant is essential to achieve an optimal result, the aftercare to be carried out by the patient, especially in the first 15 days, is essential to maximize growth of the transplanted follicular units and achieve the best possible result.
In this way, it becomes essential to know the different stages that will mark the progress of the hair transplant and follow the instructions given by your Doctor.
The first three days after the transplant
During the first 3 nights after the operation you should sleep on your back and in an inclined position. Ideally, sleep with the upper body and head at an angle of 30-45 degrees from the legs.
Avoid tilting your head forward for the first 10 days to avoid facial oedema: flex your knees instead of your waist when picking up objects or tying your shoes. Pick up your phone, instead of looking down.
Most likely, you will notice some numbness in the donor area and in the implanted areas. This is normal and will begin to resolve in 6 to 8 weeks.
It is extremely important that alcohol is not consumed and not to smoke until the seventh day to avoid changes in blood pressure that may damage the implanted follicles.
On the third day you can resume or start taking Finasteride.
The fall of the scabs on day 10
As we mentioned above, the scabs will fall on day 10. And it is from this day on we can practically live a completely normal life. As FUECAPILAR, we recommend that you continue washing until day 15 without rubbing the receiving area.
For washing, we recommend you to use a shampoo with a neutral PH. But in case you have problem with seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff or other, it will be convenient for you to tell us so that our Doctor can see if the treatment you have with your dermatologist should be interrupted for a few days to ensure that there is no damage to the transplanted follicles.
What do I do after day 15?
In general terms, we can say that you can live a normal life completely. Although there are couple of restrictions in this period. Basically, the recommendation is not to do any heavy sporting activity that causes sweating until day 30. Similarly, you should not wear a concrete helmet (for the motorcycle or bike) until day 30.
If you plan to go swimming you should also wait 30 days to wet your head. If it is in the pool, it is best to wait until 3-4 months since chlorine is not the best friend of a hair transplant.
Likewise, the use of fixing gels, sprays and dyes is also discouraged until you reach 4 months from the completion of the hair transplant.
On the other hand, day 15 is an important day since for patients who are going to resume the use of minoxidil or start using it, they can start using it without any problem.
Finally, with the arrival of the 15th day after the hair transplant, we reach the most feared stage by all patients who undergo a hair transplant, we are talking about the telogen effluvium or dessert phase (shock loss). During this stage, in a percentage that varies tremendously from patient to patient, the implanted hair (and sometimes the hair adjacent to the implanted hair) falls out. This fall is temporary and reversible so the patient should not be alarmed.
Patience is the best tool to fight against shock loss, this stage can occur at any time between week 2 and week 8.
When can I see results?
A hair transplant is a surgery that is carried out in 1 or 2 days but whose final results are achieved 12-18 months after the operation. As we mentioned before, patience is the greatest ally of the hair transplant. But there are other factors that can help us get our results noticed and help our mood and self-esteem rise.
Eat a balanced diet of healthy foods rich in protein, minerals and vitamins to strengthen hair follicles and accelerate hair growth. The lack of proteins in the hair can cause a slow growth.
Sport is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. In addition to preventing health problems, increasing strength and energy, it also helps reduce stress and makes us happier by increasing serotonin and dopamine levels.
Vitamins help our hair to be better nourished. There are several vitamins that you can buy at any pharmacy in Spain. The type of vitamins which when consumed encourages and promotes proper nutrition and growth of our hair are:
- Vitamin A: to prevent hair problems such as dandruff, in addition to helping regulate sebum production.
- Biotin: member of the vitamin B group, is essential for the proper functioning of the hair. Also known as vitamin H.
- Folic acid: member of vitamin group B, is essential for the production of red blood cells.
- Vitamin C: contributes to a normal formation of collagen for normal hair functioning.
- Vitamin E: vital nutrient for skin and hair health. Responsible for blood supply and oxygen absorption by the scalp.
- Zinc: is one of the greatest allies for hair growth, favouring proper growth.
Taking into account all the above factors, it is possible to mark different milestones that you will reach as the days go by.
Month 2 – 4:
- You can start to see some growth.
- Itching in the recipient area or discomfort in the donor area may still be present. But, generally, this should go away in a few months.
- At this stage, some patients may develop small pimples (folliculitis) around the transplanted area as the hair emerges. When this occurs, you must inform your Doctor.
- In some cases, your hair may look a little thinner after transplant. This is more likely to occur when there is pre-existing (native) hair in the transplanted area.
Month 4 – 6:
- During this period, the growth of the implanted hair begins to be observed. You have to be patient, since, at best, the growth at this time represents approximately 30% to 40% of the growth to be achieved.
- In addition, when transplanted hair appears for the first time, it is immature, thin and light in color. As time passes, more transplanted hair will appear, and will become thicker, longer and darker.
Month 6 – 8:
- A significant change usually occurs between the sixth and eighth month. At 8 months, most implanted hairs (80%) should have emerge from the skin, but still only have achieved about 60% of the final visual aesthetic effect. Aesthetically there is a great change as the transplant begins to give an idea of its final result.
Month 8 – 12:
- The visual result continues to improve until the year. Only after this time is the final aesthetic effect achieved in the frontal area.
- You will not get the final result of your transplant until 9 to 12 months after the procedure, since the hair must have this amount of time to grow back in length and thickness.
- The visual result in the crown continues to improve for up to a year and a half. Only after this period is the final aesthetic effect achieved.
A hair transplant is a long process and for which the patient must be prepared, especially psychologically. A hair transplant is not a trivial decision, and although it is true that thanks to modern hair transplant techniques, the procedure has been standardised and has become accessible to the majority of the population. The choice of the Doctor who will perform your hair transplant should not be taken lightly, since the hair transplant is not only about moving hair from one area to another, at the hands of an inexperienced person performing this type of surgery can cause irreversible damage both to the donor area and the recipient area.
So do a good research, do not let yourself be guided by what you want to hear, if not by what you need to hear, plan everything with patience with your Doctor, and before you imagine ,you can see the results of your hair transplant.