The ins and outs of hair transplant aftercare
If you are reading this, it’s too late. Just kidding, if you are reading this, then you have probably gone through all the stages of the surgical process. Hopefully, you chose the clinic and surgeon wisely, and your surgery went well. Now that you are over with all the initial phases of the surgical process, it is time for the last and most crucial step: aftercare. The way you handle and follow your hair transplant aftercare routine has a massive impact on the success of the surgery and how the hair will grow. So buckle up, because you are about to learn the ins and outs of hair transplant aftercare.
Right after surgery
Directly after surgery, the nurses at your hospital of choice will apply bandages on the donor site and hold it in place with an elastic headband. Your doctor will prescribe painkillers to take home with you and the hospital will also schedule a clinical scalp washing session for the day after.
The day after
The day after, you will visit the clinic for your washing session appointment. During this appointment, nurses will carefully wash your scalp to remove blood clots and scabs. The shampoos and serums used contain anti-clot materials that help gently rinse off the blood clots without disturbing the transplanted hairs.
A week after surgery
Alcohol and tobacco are notorious for delaying recovery periods, the very thing we desperately need to happen rapidly. With this information, you probably guessed what you should do: quit the consumption of either product. Delaying the healing rate of wounds by consuming either of the two is not merely an inconvenience, it practically translates to higher risks of infections. The entire aim of hair transplant aftercare is to preserve the transplanted follicular units. So, infection is indeed not something you’d want to invite to your scalp.
Another thing you should do is sleep at an inclined angle of 45 degrees; this can reduce the risk of swelling. Moreover, avoid exposing your scalp to heat or direct sunlight like its the plaque. Heat refers to the use of a blow drier and the likes of it.
Showering is probably what is concerning you most. Well, as mentioned previously, the whole point of hair transplant aftercare is to keep the follicular units intact. Particularly in the first few weeks, as the transplanted units are most susceptible to damage during this period. With that being said, keep showering to a minimal. Once a day would suffice.
Moreover, do not directly apply water on the scalp. The pressure from the shower hose can be too extreme on the delicate transplanted hairs. Use a bowl to pour the water on the scalp gently. Aso, avoid using regular shampoos, your doctor will provide you with an aftercare kit that should include shampoos and serums specific for the sensitive hair transplantation scalp. Use the products as your surgeon instructs. Furthermore, abstain from using your fingernails or applying force on your scalp.
Additionally, if your kit does not include a sterile saline spray, request one from your surgeon or doctor, a saline spray reduces the risk of infection. To apply it, you will need a gauze, spray the saline solution on the bandage and dab around the scalp.
the second and fourth weeks after surgery
During this period, you will witness the shedding of your hair, before your anxiety levels peak, it is natural. Do not worry about the falling hair, and remember the root is still intact and able to regenerate new hair. What you can do during this period is continue to protect your scalp from heat.
Four months and onwards
Once you safely pass the four-month mark, you will begin to notice the appearance of acne on your scalp. This is usually a cause for worry to most as they tend to confuse it with an infection. The truth is, the acne is a result of brittle new hair trying to grow through the thick scalp. This phenomenon is medically known by folliculitis. While it may not pose any serious threats, it is not exactly pleasing to deal with. There a few things that you can do, but pooping the pimple is NOT what you should do. Under no circumstances should you play with your scalp.
Instead, run warm water on your scalp and treat your scalp with ointments that contain Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid. The folliculitis should significantly fade within days.
Hair transplantation is a commitment that requires patience. Now that we covered the fifth phase of the hair transplant process: aftercare, next on this series of posts exclusive to hair transplant is: hair growth timeline after hair transplant.