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What should I do after Transplant?

HAIR WASH

Hair wash is one of the most important things that can influence the final result of the hair transplant, therefore, every patient is taught how to wash the hair correctly at the clinic.

The hair wash procedure involves 3 main steps:

  1. The transplanted area is covered with lotion/oil/any other suitable moisturizer and left in this state for 15-30 minutes. This causes a softening effect on scabs around the transplanted grafts and donor area. This softening phase helps to remove traces of dried blood and heal faster. After 15-30 minutes, the scalp should be washed with warm water. The donor and transplanted area are washed with special medical shampoo. To do this, lather a little quantity of shampoo between your hands and very carefully apply it to the entire scalp. Do not rub. All washing stages should be performed softly using palms, with no pressure.
  2. After washing, dry your hair with a clean towel. Do not rub – just pat it very gently. The moisturizer should be used until the scabs fall off or until the scalp feels dry. It is also possible to use the moisturizer in between the hair washes if the sensation of dryness is persistent.
  3. Shampooing should be done daily to remove the scabs. After about 7-10 days there should be no more traces of dried blood or scabs on your scalp. You may start washing your hair the normal way no sooner than 14 days after the transplant. If needed one can also wash the hair more than once a day after the operation. Continue using the special shampoo until the bottle is empty.

If for some reason a patient is purchasing his own hair products, please make sure that they do not contain silicone, perfume, and dyes.

 

PAIN AFTER A HAIR TRANSPLANT

Mild pain can be present for a couple of days after the hair transplant procedure. Some people report difficulty sleeping the first days post-op. It is common to have more pain in the donor area than in the recipient area after the operation. Post-op hair transplant pain can be relieved with over-the-counter pain killers. You will get a pack of those at the clinic.

SWELLING

It occurs more often for larger hair transplant operations and transplants where a lot of work was done to the hairline. Swelling can affect the forehead and the area around the eyes and may last two to five days, being maximal on the fourth day. A drug called Dexamethasone may be given to reduce these symptoms.

ITCHING FOLLOWING HAIR RESTORATION

Itching is a very common feeling after a hair transplant. It may occur all over the scalp 7-14 days after the operation. The itchiness in most cases indicates that the tissue is recovering. In cases when it becomes very strong, an antihistamine pill can be used.

CORRECT SLEEPING POSITION

It is important to touch the recipient areas as little as possible during the first week after the operation. We ask that patients sleep on their back, with the head elevated on a few pillows. By raising your head during the night, the pillows decrease any swelling that can occur after the hair transplant. Patients are also advised to use the special pillow that they get at the clinic for the first 7-10 days.

HEALING AND RECOVERY TIMES

Most patients feel fine within a day or two following surgery, although some numbness and mild soreness in the scalp can be expected for several days following surgery. There will be punctate red scabs at the bottom of the transplanted hair shafts on the recipient site and donor sites, which will be visible for about 7-10 days. Usually, the patient gains his/her normal appearance within 10-15 days post-op. Only slight redness might be visible after this period. Patients who have a very light complexion might experience redness for prolonged periods after the treatment, whereas those who have darker hair and skin, tend to recover faster. All in all, recovery after a hair transplant is a very individual process that also depends on the patient’s age, lifestyle, diet, and even climate.

IF BEARD WAS USED AS DONOR AREA

At our clinic, we use the beard (throat area) as a donor site sometimes. In such cases, the beard donor site can be shaven a week after the operation as long as there are no more scabs.

SHAVING AFTER HAIR TRANSPLANTATION

The recipient area can be shaven 1 month after the transplant. Donor areas can be shaven already 1-week post-op as long as the scabs in the donor site have cleared out.

SHOCK LOSS AND REGROWTH OF TRANSPLANTED HAIR

Usually, shock loss starts within the first 3-4 weeks after the transplant. After 3rd to 5th month, the lost grafts slowly start to re-grow. At the end of the 5th month, the re-growth rate should be around 30% and within 7th-month re-growth rate should be around 60%. The end results of the operation should be evaluated 12 months post-op.

WEARING A HAT AFTER A HAIR TRANSPLANT

You will get a medical cap at the clinic which you should be using whenever outside or during your trip home. The hat will protect your scalp from dust, sun, and other environmental factors. Please wear this hat for 5 days post-op, after that you can wear any other hat of your choice. While choosing a headwear for the post-operational period it is important to pick a hat that will not sit too tight on the recipient areas nor will pull on the newly transplanted grafts. Please wear headwear for up to 2 weeks when outside or as long as the scabs are not present anymore.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Immediately after hair transplantation, you can start to go for a short walk or do physical exercises that do not make you sweat too much. You can already start actively exercising 10 days post-op. It is recommended to take a shower shortly after the workouts in order to minimize any risk of infections.

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION

Consuming alcohol will increase the healing time of wounds after the hair transplant. It will be better to wait for 2 weeks post-op.

SUN EXPOSURE

It is important to stay away from direct sunlight the first 2 weeks after the operation. For the first 6 months after the transplant, we recommend wearing headwear when in the sun.

MEDICATION AND HAIR PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS

SHAMPOO AND LOTION FOR HAIR WASH

Needed to all patients after the operation. Lotion should be applied to the recipient and donor areas by gently tapping. One should wait for around 15-30 minutes to wash it off with lukewarm water and shampoo. Please avoid scratching the recipient area and be very careful with the towel. Hair wash should be performed every day until all scabs fall off. If the donor area feels dry in between the washes, one can apply a thin layer of the lotion to calm it down. No washing is needed in this case.

SCAREX OR CONTRACTUBEX CREAMS

It is used for diminishing the scarring in the donor area. It can only be applied to the donor area(s) where the grafts were extracted from. It should be used 2 times a day. Can already be used 14 days post-op.

ANTIBIOTICS USE AFTER HAIR TRANSPLANTATION

Antibiotics are usually prescribed right after the surgery for the duration of 3-5 days. It is used for preventing possible infections and ensuring smooth healing progress. Our patients get antibiotics at the clinic.

Antibiotic cream (Mupirocin or Bacitracin) might be needed sometime during the recovery progress. When pimples or bumps are noticed in the recipient or donor areas, this cream should be applied directly to the inflamed areas.

DUTASTERIDE

Will be prescribed if necessary. It is used to make weak hairs stronger and to minimize future hair loss. Also, used for minimizing shock loss after the operation. Patients rarely might notice a decrease in libido. This rare side effect is temporary and goes away after quitting the pill.

 

MINOXIDIL (5% OR 2%) – SPRAY OR FOAM

Will be prescribed if necessary. Male patients should use 5%, whereas female clients should choose the 2% version. Used for minimizing hair loss of native hairs and speeding up the regrowth of transplanted grafts.

Minoxidil can be used 1 month after the transplant operation when the recipient and donor areas are completely healed.

BIOTIN (FOOD SUPPLEMENT)

Biotin is often recommended as a dietary supplement for strengthening hair and nails. Should be used for at least 6 months after the transplant. No prescription is needed for Biotin, it can be freely purchased at any pharmacy.