Don’t Pull Your Hair Out: Hair Transplant Post-Op Info
When men decide to get hair transplants, they tend to act tough. Some don’t want anyone to know they’re getting surgery to restore their hairline. Whether trying not to be nervous or you’re trying to keep your hair transplant a secret, knowing what to expect post-op will make it easier. Read through these hair restoration basics and be sure to talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.
The recovery process from hair restoration surgery will depend on which type of procedure you have. The Follicular Unit Transplantation method (FUT) or the strip method takes a larger strip of hair and relocates it. This technique is generally more painful, leaves more scarring and has a longer recovery time.
FUE and NeoGraft
NeoGraft is an automated hair transplant system that uses the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique. Since it’s automated, Neograft is faster and more accurate. The NeoGraft hair transplant method takes your healthy hair follicles and relocates them to fill in the bald spots on your head. Once healed, the relocated follicles will grow naturally. The recovery time for NeoGraft and other FUE methods is faster and less painful than FUT procedures.
What to Expect Post-Op
Patients may notice bruising or swelling after a hair transplant surgery. Discomfort and soreness are normal in both the donor areas and the area that received new hair follicles. Itching can also be part of the healing process following a hair transplant. Generally, over the counter medications are recommended to treat these side effects.
Avoid pulling on your hair while it heals. This includes brushing and styling your hair. The hair follicles will be sensitive and can easily fall out. If this happens, there will likely be some bleeding. Do not dye your hair and avoid using styling products. Your doctor will give you specific advice about washing your hair after a transplant. Sleep in an upright position for the first couple nights to help with swelling. Avoid smoking and drinking. Smoking slows the healing process and alcohol can think your blood, causing bleeding. Vitamins, aspirin, ibuprofen and certain medications can also thin your blood, so make sure to tell your doctor what medications you’re taking.
After a NeoGraft hair transplant procedure, the wounds on a patient’s scalp are typically healed in three to four days following the surgery. This means that the hair follicles are incorporated under the scalp like normal hair and there is a low risk for infections. After a couple days, patients report pain levels to be minimum or nonexistent. They can begin to resume regular activity. Three days after a procedure patients will start feeling back to normal, but they still might have scabs.
A full recovery with no visible signs of hair transplant surgery will take closer to ten days for most patients. Scabs from where the grafts were placed and from the donor sites will be seen around your scalp. It’s important to let these scabs heal naturally and leave them alone. If you scratch or pick at them the grafts can become dislodged. Ingrown hairs or pimples may appear in the transplant area but you should leave them alone. The surgeon will shave the hairs in the donor site so that he or she can see them better. Whatever hairs don’t get harvested will grow back quickly after surgery and cover the gaps left from the transplant.
It’s normal to loose some of the transplanted grafts in the first few weeks. Over time, the follicles will become more secure. It could take up to nine months for the final results of your hair transplant to become noticeable. By this time, you will have a thicker, fuller head of hair that looks and feels natural.