Tips for Hair Transplant Aftercare & Recovery
After undergoing a hair transplant procedure, following proper aftercare and recovery instructions are crucial to maximizing your results. Especially if you want to maximize your investment in thicker, natural-looking hair.
Read on to see what to expect during the recovery process, how to care for your hair post-transplant, and any recommended follow-up care in the weeks after.
What to Expect After a Hair Transplant Procedure
Common Post-Transplant Surgery Side Effects
- Scalp tenderness
- Swelling and bruising around the forehead
- Shock loss (temporary shedding of transplanted hairs a few weeks post-procedure)
Any side effects from a hair transplant procedure are generally temporary and will resolve within a few days to a few weeks. Complications from hair transplant surgery are rare when performed by an experienced surgeon.
How Long Does Hair Transplant Recovery Take?
Hair transplant surgery recovery often takes 1-2 weeks before you can resume 100% normal activity. This recovery period can depend on the particular patient and the quality of the treatment received.
When Can I Expect to See Results?
Results from a hair transplant procedure will grow slowly over a period of 9-15 months. When done correctly, patients can get a very natural result that occurs over a slow period of time. With this slow progression of growth, people can see something has been done, which is important.
How to Care For Your Hair After a Hair Transplant Day by Day
Day 1: Immediate Post-Transplant Care
- Follow any given post-transplant care instructions: Follow the specific instructions provided by your surgeon after your hair transplant procedure. These instructions may include guidelines on medication, cleaning, and certain activities to avoid.
- Avoid touching or scratching the transplanted area: Resist the urge to touch or scratch the transplanted area. Touching or scratching can disrupt the delicate grafts and potentially hinder their successful integration.
- Protect your scalp from direct sun exposure: Shield your scalp from direct sunlight on the first day after your hair transplant. Avoid prolonged sun exposure as it can lead to discomfort and potential complications. Wear a hat or use an umbrella when possible for the first month. Try to avoid extreme temperatures in the first month as well.
Day 2-14: First Week of Recovery & Forward
- Gently wash your scalp as instructed: Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on how to cleanse your scalp. Stick with the washing frequency and wash your hair gently without rubbing to keep your scalp clean and avoid harming the newly transplanted hair follicles.
- Use recommended shampoo and conditioner: Use only the shampoo and conditioner recommended by your surgeon. Each is specifically formulated to be gentle on your scalp and promote healing. Avoid using any other hair products without consulting your surgeon first.
- Avoid strenuous activities and heavy exercise: It's important to avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and intense exercise during the first week of recovery. These activities can increase blood flow to the scalp and potentially dislodge the grafts. Listen to your body and prioritize rest and relaxation.
- Be cautious when sleeping to protect the transplanted area: Take care when sleeping to protect the transplanted area. Sleep in an elevated position using pillows to minimize any potential pressure on your scalp. Be mindful of your sleeping position and avoid rubbing or pressing the transplanted area against the pillow.
Day 15 & Onward
- Regularly clean and moisturize your scalp: Continuing with a regular cleansing routine is crucial for maintaining a healthy scalp and ensuring optimal hair growth. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner recommended by your surgeon. Gently massage your scalp to stimulate circulation and remove any buildup or debris.
- Be gentle when styling or brushing hair: Handle your transplanted hair with care when styling or brushing. Avoid excessive pulling or tugging, as this could dislodge the grafts. Use a wide-toothed comb or soft brush to gently style your hair from the roots to the ends.
- Avoid excessive heat styling and harsh chemical treatments: Avoid styling tools like curling irons, straighteners, and blow dryers, as they can damage your new hair and hinder growth. Steer clear of harsh chemical treatments like perming, coloring, or relaxing, as they may harm the transplanted hair follicles.
- Attend follow-up appointments with your surgeon: Stay connected with your hair transplant surgeon by attending scheduled follow-up appointments. These appointments allow your surgeon to monitor your progress, assess the growth of the transplanted hair, and address any concerns or questions you may have.
Additional Hair Transplant Aftercare Tips
Medications & Shampoos for Hair Transplant Recovery
Your hair transplant doctor may be able to prescribe certain medications or recommend any shampoos to use after your hair transplant surgery. Be sure to follow any given instructions for use and ask about any potential side effects. Every patient is unique, and your hair transplant doctor will tailor your aftercare regimen to your individual needs.
When Can Normal Activities Be Resumed?
Normal activities such as exercise can be resumed after 1-2 weeks. Activities at home can continue as normal, as you will remain fully functional. Be sure to check with your hair transplant specialist on any specific timelines for when the activities you like to do can be resumed.
The Do’s & Don’ts of Hair Transplant Recovery
Avoid Activities That Can Damage Transplanted Hair
It is critical to avoid activities that can harm the transplanted hair after the treatment, such as excessive exercise, sauna use, or picking at the scalp. Avoid touching the transplanted area and wearing anything that may rub against the scalp.
Post-Hair Transplant Activities to Avoid
- Heavy lifting
- Sweaty exercise
- Swimming or any water activities
- Using hair styling products or hair dryers
- Wearing hats or helmets for a month
Diet & Nutrition to Follow After a Hair Transplant
It is important to consult your hair transplant specialist for recommendations on diet and nutrition post-procedure. Each patient is unique, and your surgeon will provide you with tailored advice to ensure optimal healing and hair growth.
When Should You Contact Your Hair Transplant Surgeon?
While hair transplant surgery is generally safe and well-tolerated, it is important to contact your surgeon if you experience any of the following:
- Increasing pain and discomfort
- Excessive bleeding or swelling
- Signs of infection including redness or pus
- A fever or other symptoms of illness
- If you have any questions about your recovery
Hair Transplant Procedure Follow-Up Care
Attend Follow-Up Appointments as Directed
It is critical to attend any follow-up sessions with your hair transplant doctor. These appointments may be required to monitor the healing of your scalp and ensure the transplanted hair is growing properly. Your specialist may provide additional instructions on how to care for your scalp too.
When Can I Schedule My Next Hair Transplant Procedure?
Talk to your hair transplant doctor if another procedure is recommended. This may depend on the extent of your hair loss and the success of the initial transplant.Back To Blog
Top-Rated ARTAS Hair Transplant Specialist
Dr. Steffes of Dermatology and Cosmetic Physicians is Wisconsin's sole provider of the most effective hair transplant procedure available, ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplants. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Steffes to learn more about this game-changing hair loss restoration treatment.