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Best post-hair transplant care: how to care for the grafts?

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Many patients wonder about post-hair transplant care. What is normal? What to do? What about medicine, alcohol, sudden hair loss, and more?

Here is everything to know about post-hair transplant care.

post-hair transplant care

Hair transplant is the most popular baldness treatment: the only one offering long-lasting, natural-looking results. However, a hair transplant is a surgical procedure, and patients must know what to do after the surgery. Here are the post-hair transplant care pro tips!

Core rules of post-surgery care

Some rules apply to all post-surgery periods, regardless of the type of surgery.

  • Carefully listening and following the medical team guidelines

After the surgery, the medical team explains what to do or not. Better listening carefully and taking notes to ensure not doing something dangerous for health or the procedure’s outcomes.

  • Asking questions on unclear points

Following the previous point, if the patient doubts or feels some explanations are unclear, he must ask questions.

  • Taking the medication as prescribed

After surgery, the doctor prescribes medicine to the patients. It is a combination of painkillers and antibiotics to avoid infection. The patients must carefully follow this prescription and take the recommended dose when the doctor says.

Infection

Infection after a hair transplant is rare. However, it may occur, especially with an FUE hair transplant.

The signs of infection are fever, persistent pain, bleeding, unusual discharge, and swelling. A patient noticing any of those symptoms better seek medical attention. An infection is cured with antibiotics.

Here are the post-hair transplant care tips to avoid to prevent infection:

  • Touching the healing area
  • Sweating

Post-hair transplant care: helping the grafts to set into the scalp

Many post-hair transplant recommandations concern blood pressure because a sudden change in blood pressure may prevent the grafts from setting well into the scalp and ruining the surgeon’s work. 

Here are the substance or activities that may mess with the patient’s blood pressure:

  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Sport
  • Sex
  • Spicy food

Sunlight

Direct sunlight is also harmful to the grafts. The patient may wear a large and comfortable hat when he needs to go out to avoid direct sunlight exposure on the grafts. However, it is better to stay inside for the first three days because wearing a hat could rub on the grafts and damage them.

How to sleep after a hair transplant?

The few first nights after a hair transplant may be harsh, as the patient should not sleep lying down but in a half-sitting position. Lying in bed would cause the grafts to rub on the bedding and potentially pull them out. A half-sitting position protects the grafts against rubbing.

The patient may use several pillows to set himself comfortably in his bed, ensuring the back and head are not touching any bedding item.

Post-hair transplant care: head washing

One of the essential part of post-hair transplant care is hair washing. Patients should not wash their hair on the day of the transplant (it is also advised not to shower to avoid wetting the healing areas). From the second day, patients have to wash their hair daily using the shampoo given by the clinic. Hair washing after a hair transplant surgery prevents infection and then helps remove the scabs when the skin has healed.

The medical team shows the patient how to proceed. Hair washing must be gentle not to damage the grafts. Better use a bowl to gently pour water on the transplanted area rather than using the showerhead as water pressure may damage the grafts. The patient uses a disposable paper towel to dry his head and gently pat dry the area. Rubbing would damage the grafts.

Activities to avoid

A patient should avoid sport after a hair transplant because of blood pressure issues and sweating. Doing sport also involves the risk of falling or hitting the grafted area. It is better to wait 4 to 6 months to resume gentle physical activities. The patient may do intense sport 2 to 3 months after the surgery.

For aquatic activities, in a pool or the ocean, better to wait for at least three months after the hair transplant. After three months, the patient should use a swimming cap to protect the scalp. Chlorine or salt may dry the skin, slow hair growth, or irritate the scalp.

Hair loss after a hair transplant

Many patients worry because the grafts fell about three weeks after the hair transplant. They wrongly believe the surgery failed. The hair falls because the follicles enter the anagen phase, a regular rest step of the hair life cycle.
The hair grows back about three months after the surgery, even if it is not visible at first. It is thin and fragile, then it thickens and finally melts to the rest of the hair.

A graft may be pulled out (from trauma or spontaneously); in that case, bleeding occurs. The patient should press gauze on the affected area for ten minutes. If bleeding remains, better seek medical attention.

Diet

Diet is crucial for health overall. Deficiencies may cause various issues, including hair loss and poor hair growth. After a hair transplant, a patient should ensure he eats a healthy diet with a proper nutrient intake. The B-vitamin family is essential for healthy hair growth. In addition to a diverse and healthy diet, the patient may take supplements such as nutritional yeast or hair health pills. Eating healthy is also an important part of post-hair transplant care.