What should I do before and after a hair transplant ?
A hair transplant is a surgical technique aimed at treating baldness in males or females. In this procedure, hair follicles are transfered from one part of the body (donor site) to the other part which is balding (recipient site). Hair surgery is on the rise, and with advancements in procedures, it can reverse hair loss to an extent where you’ll not remember that you were bald. But what to do before and after a hair transplant ? We will discuss it in detail in this article.
Why go for a hair transplant ?
Hair loss is not uncommon. Almost 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women are affected by some type of hair loss in their lifetime. There are many baldness treatment options available according to the type of hair loss.
A hair transplant is a method used in common types of hair loss, including pattern baldness in males and females. The most important one is that it is effective, with a success rate of 95 to 98 percent.
Results are usually permanent, but going for hair surgery is a big decision due to the number of reasons. You must take your time before deciding to go for transplantation as this is an expensive procedure.
The things to consider before making a hair transplant
Doing proper, thorough research before opting for hair transplantation is necessary to know what to do before and after a hair transplant.
You must discuss in detail with your hair transplant surgeon all the concerns you have about the surgery. Few things which you must keep in mind before hair transplant are:
Choosing the right hair transplant surgeon and technique
The experience and expertise of the surgeon are vital for the successful outcomes of hair surgery. You must research the surgeon’s experience and his or her rates of success.
It is a good idea first to have an initial consultation with the surgeon to get a satisfactory answer all your concerns and to discuss the cost, type, and recovery of the procedure.
There are two main types of hair surgery procedures. Making the right choice will have consequences before and after a hair transplant.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE)
It is a very precise procedure involving the extraction of hair follicles one by one from the donor site and transferring them to the recipient site.
Follicular unit transplant (FUT)
A less popular procedure, also known as the “strip method”. It involves the extraction of graft or entire patch of skin from the donor area of the scalp and transplanting it to the bald recipient site.
Realistic Expectations before and after a hair transplant
Although hair transplantation is an effective treatment option for baldness, every individual responds differently.
It takes time from few months to a year to see the results, so be patient and prepare your mind that your results may vary from other individuals.
What should I do before a hair transplant
One week before your hair surgery, you must stop any of these medications (increases the risk of bleeding during the procedure) if you are taking them:
- Anti-inflammatory medications.
- Vitamin B or E.
- Blood thinners.
- Herbal medicines.
It is recommended that if you are taking any other medications, you must tell your surgeon about them. It is also recommended not to smoke and drink alcohol at least one week before the procedure.
These can be a reason for poor healing due to decreasing blood flow to the scalp.
How to prepare the morning of your transplantation
You must prepare yourself before leaving for the procedure. Shower and thoroughly wash your hair. Do not apply any styling products, gel, or sprays.
Put on comfortable clothes, preferably button-down shirt to take on and off easily. Have breakfast, and drink a lot of water to stay calm and relax.
The whole procedure takes almost a full day, and due to sedative medication, you’ll not be able to drive back home. So, arrange for someone to bring you back home after surgery.
What should I do after a hair transplant ?
Once the procedure is complete, recovery varies between individuals and can take from two days up to two weeks. The surgeon will put a bandage on the donor site and a headband around your forehead.
- You have to sleep from the night of procedure till next five nights on two pillows to keep your head elevated at 45 degrees.
- You may feel swelling, itching, and pain for a few days, and the surgeon prescribes medications for these symptoms.
- The next day the surgeon will remove the bandage and will instruct you all the post-op care.
- On the second or third day, you can wash your hair as per demonstration by the surgeon.
- Alcohol must be avoided for three days after surgery and smoking for at least two-week post-surgery.
- You must cover your head for three months if you are out in strong sunlight for more than 30 minutes.
- Limited physical activity is allowed in the first week, but strenuous exercise must be avoided for two weeks after hair surgery.
- Mostly the patients are able to resume their routine activities after 2 to 3 days.
How can I wash my hair after a hair transplant surgery ?
Washing helps in falling off scabs and speeds up healing. Therefore, it is recommended to wash the hair on the second day. The shampoo and lotion will be provided by your medical team and must be used every day until the scabs fall off.
The hair must be washed every day till one month. The lotion provided is applied to the donor area for the whole first week. In the second week, a lotion is applied to the donor and recipient areas.
To do so tap the product gently and leave it for one hour before rinsing. After this dely, you can use the provided medicated shampoo by creating foam and spreading it through donor and recipient areas gently.
Let it apply for 2 to 3 minutes, rinse with warm water. Do not use a towel, instead use cool air from the hairdryer to dry your scalp. This is unquestionably the most important step before and after a hair transplant.
What to expect after a hair restoration ?
- In the first week, patients experience most of the symptoms, including numbness, soreness, and tightness of the scalp.There may be little bleeding from the donor area. Scab forms around the graft and usually fall off on the seventh day.
- Healing is complete after falling of scabs. Patients can have itchiness and pain in the donor area.
- The transplanted hair falls off, and no new hair growth can be seen as the follicles are in the resting phase, which will end soon.
- Redness gradually fades, and fine hair can be seen growing.
- There is a noticeable improvement in hair density, coverage, thickness, length, and appearance in hairline shape.
- The results are seen, and 70 to 90% of hair growth can be seen.
- The transplanted hair finally grows back naturally.
We have discussed everything you must know about before and after a hair transplant. It is one of the safest and effective hair restoration methods for those who want permanent results.
Although every individual responds differently to the procedure, still it has higher success rates for hair regrowth in comparison to other methods. However, it is recommended to discuss everything with your surgeon before the surgery.
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