What Happens After Your Hair Transplant?
After care is just as important as the transplant itself. Here are our basic tips for caring for yourself and your hair after surgery. We’ll also provide specific and comprehensive information in our consultations and before you leave our clinic after surgery.
Bring your cap or light head covering with you. No tight caps can be used here. We’ll help you get it on after the surgery, showing you how to avoid damaging the new grafts. You’ll need to remove this at home very carefully, possibly with the help of someone else.
Painkillers may be necessary for the next two days. You’ll start to feel some pain after the anaesthetic has completely worn off. You’ll feel tight and sore around the donor hair area, and you may feel some discomfort around the grafted area. You may notice some blood from the donor area, which you can apply light pressure to with a clean swab.
You can continue taking paracetamol as per the instructions on the label (usually once every 4 – 6 hours), until the pain subsides. Most pain and discomfort will be gone within two days.
The First Two Days After Surgery
Crusting will start to form around the grafted areas. Do not scratch, rub, or apply any pressure to the itchy areas. You can use a spray bottle with saline solution to reduce itching and provide some moisture. You might still feel some swelling and discomfort at this stage, so you should remain seated in a comfortable chair, or simply prop yourself up on a pillow in bed and take some time to relax.
It’s ok to get your head wet in the shower now. Do not use shampoo, conditioner, or any other products in your hair. Make sure you use a gentle pressure setting on your shower, and make sure the water is only lukewarm. You can allow the water to soak the crusted areas, but don’t rub or otherwise touch your head where the grafted implants are. Most of the swelling will be gone by this stage.
On day four the swelling should be gone, and you can start using shampoo to cleanse your scalp. You still need to avoid rubbing, so work up a lather in your hands and allow it to drip and rest on your head for a minute, and rinsing it without rubbing. Make sure that you’re using a mild and hypoallergenic shampoo.
Days Five to Ten
You’ll still have crusting at this stage, and it’s still not time to directly touch or lather on the grafting or donor areas of your head. Work the lather up on hair away from where the surgery was performed, and gently move the lather onto the treated areas. You can rinse with water, still avoiding any rubbing or pressing. You can dry your hair in areas that weren’t included in the surgery, but don’t apply pressure or make contact in affected areas.
Stitch Removal After 11 Days
We’ll provide dissolvable stitches that don’t need to be removed, however, removal can allow for a more consistent healing and scarring process. Stitches can sometimes be removed at home, so talk to us in the consultation and after surgery about what you need to do. A stitch cannot simply be pulled out by a single thread, but should be cut and then removed loop by loop. If you’re uncomfortable with removing your own stitches or if we have recommended against it, then you may have a follow up visit or a visit to a general practitioner to have stitches checked and removed.
Two Days after Stitch Removal
The area used for follicle donation will now be healing rapidly. Any prior discomfort should disappear shortly after the stitches are removed. You’ll still need to be extremely careful when washing your hair or performing activities outside, and you’ll still need to avoid any tight headwear.
Care for The Following Months
After two weeks (sometimes up to three weeks or a month), you’ll feel comfortable enough that you can wash your hair normally (although carefully) while still using a mild shampoo. You could also have a haircut at this time if areas of your hair are in need of it. Make sure that you don’t have a haircut below a clipper grade #4.
Hair will start to show from the implanted follicles over the next few weeks. It may be within three months, but may sometimes take up to six months. Initial growth may shed, to be followed with a second round of healthier and permanent growth. It may not be until nine months or longer that you notice full and healthy strands of hair, at which stage you’ll be getting ready for your follow-up consultation.
12 Month Review
At Nowigs we want you to be completely satisfied with your surgery and the results that it can provide. After 12 months you’ll return to us for a follow-up consultation where we compare photographs from before and after the surgery, to your hair as it looks after one year. This is also the time to start talking about any continued treatment options for further hair restoration.
We’re available at any time when you have concerns, whether it’s two days after the procedure, or even two months before your one-year review. Contact us at any time to get professional advice from our team.