The success of your hair transplant depends on several factors. The skill, precision, and technique of the surgeon performing your procedure are obviously of the utmost importance. But once your surgeon does his or her work, what happens next can also play a significant role in determining whether your transplant gives you the results you want. What happens next is the recovery stage of your hair transplant journey, and the things you do – and don’t do – during this critical time can make all the difference.
As with any surgery, a hair transplant requires recovery time during which you will need to adhere to certain limitations on activity, lifestyle, and diet for a while to allow your body to heal.
Here is what you can expect from the recovery stage of your hair transplant surgery:
Rest and Return
We perform hair transplants on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home when the procedure is over. However, because we use a mild sedative during the surgery, you’ll need someone else to drive you home. Once there, you will want to take it easy and rest for the remainder of the day.
Most of our patients can return to work the day after surgery and resume most regular activities within a week to 10 days. We will also want you to return to our offices the day after your procedure to check and shampoo the transplanted areas.
In the first few days after your surgery, your body needs to spend its energy healing, not on exercise. Don’t run, cycle, or lift weights within three days after your surgery, and avoid vigorous exercise or heavy lifting for at least one week.
That said, make sure to also follow your surgeon’s specific post-operative instructions in terms of limitations on your activities.
Care For Your Skin
One of the greatest benefits of the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique we use at the Miami Hair & Skin Institute is the lack of a visible linear scar associated with older transplant methods. Instead, minimal scarring after an FUE transplant occurs in a dot-like pattern and is virtually undetectable after healing and regrowth.
Nevertheless, you still want those scars to heal as quickly as possible and minimize any risk of infection. So follow these general guidelines during your recovery period unless otherwise advised by your physician:
- Avoid alcohol for at least three days after your procedure as it can act as a blood-thinner which inhibits and slows down the healing process.
- Stay away from spicy foods for at least a week as your body’s reaction to such heat diverts energy and resources which would otherwise be going to healing and repairs.
Your transplanted follicles will grow just fine so long as they have time to settle in. Accordingly, you will want to be as gentle as possible with your hair and scalp and:
- Wait for at least 24 hours after your surgery before washing your hair.
- When showering, wash your scalp gently under cool water.
- Avoid brushing your hair for as long as possible.
- Stay away from hot styling tools for at least a week.
- Don’t wear tight bands or clips.
- Instead of rubbing your hair to dry it, apply light pressure.
Don’t Panic and Be Patient
If you notice hair in your brush or drain in after your transplant, don’t panic. It is perfectly normal for transplanted hairs to “fall out” in the first few weeks after surgery. After your surgery, the transplanted follicles go into a dormant period causing your hair to fall out. The follicles, however, don’t go anywhere and will soon begin growing new hair.
Since hair grows slowly – only about one centimeter per month – you may not see your new, improved head of hair until three to four months after your surgery. Your hair will continue to get stronger and thicker, and while initial growth may be patchy in some spots, it will even out soon. By eight to 10 months, your hair follicles will reach maturity, and by a year or so after your surgery, you will have the results that you so patiently waited for (though it may be closer to 18 months for some folks).
Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today
If you have questions about hair transplant surgery and hair restoration options, schedule an appointment today at the Miami Hair Institute. Contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.