In this article, we are going to tell you all about hair transplant recovery; we will talk with you about the post-surgical recovery process as well as about the long-term recovery and the final results of the hair transplant. So stay with us.
Perhaps no other cosmetic surgery as much as a hair transplant will make you count the days to see the final result. After years of baldness, you have taken a major step to restore lost hair and increase your self-esteem, you will surely want to see the result of your hair transplant sooner.
Although hours of lying down or sitting in the operating room and being immobilized for hair transplantation are certainly frustrating, they all happen in one day. The more important step is the hair transplant recovery period after hair transplantation and the start of new hair growth on your head.
Be patient – recovery after hair transplantation and growing new hair take time. You may lose all of your transplanted hair within a few weeks, but don’t worry, new hair will grow in place soon.
The first week after hair transplant care is very effective in the final result. Patients are generally advised to ignore their heads for the first few days and do not touch transplanted sites. Playing with transplanted follicles can destroy the grafts and may lead to infection in the surgical area.
Also, in the first 2-3 days after the hair transplant, you should lie down on your side or your back and elevate your head to prevent swelling. You can create a 45-degree head-to-body angle with the help of a few pillows or sleeping on reclining chairs.
In the first week, there may be mild pain and discomfort controlled by painkillers. Swelling is normal after hair transplantation. Mild scabbing is also normal and usually disappears in the second week after surgery.
Avoid alcohol and any aspirin-containing medication for 3-5 days after surgery, as it reduces the speed of hair transplant recovery and increases the risk of bleeding.
Depending on whether your hair transplant is FUE or FUT, what happens on the first day is different. If you have FUE hair transplants, the back and sides of your head (donor areas) are probably shaved and there are small incisions that heal in less than 48 hours. If you have a hair transplant using the FUT method, a linear incision is made in the donor area that is closed with sutures.
You will be discharged from the clinic with bandages wrapped around your head. Your doctor may order you to remove them at home or ask you to come to the clinic the next day to remove the bandage. The clinic will provide post-operative care tips and guidelines in a booklet.
It is recommended that you rest well and refrain from any activity as soon as you return home after hair transplant surgery. Since you are given painkillers, you should not drive after the surgery, so be sure to have a companion to take you home after you leave the clinic.
There will be small crusts at the transplant site, which will turn pink on day 4. On days 2-3, the swelling begins to rise and reaches its peak on day 4.
To reduce swelling caused by hair transplantation, use cold compresses in the aftercare package and be sure to contact your doctor if you feel extreme pain. Keep your head elevated while you sleep and avoid alcohol and aspirin.
On the 2nd or 3rd day after surgery, you may need to wash your hair as your doctor recommends. To wash your hair, use a baby shampoo or shampoo that your doctor has prescribed. Be careful not to scratch the grafted area when washing. Instead, gently tap with your hands and use low-pressure water to wash your scalp. Gently dry your head using a soft towel, do not rub the scalp as the grafted follicles may dislodge.
The grafted parts are adapted to the scalp and are no longer easily removed. Skin tightness in the donor area (in FUT cases) improves, but sutures are still present. The wound may still be there and you may have mild itching that may be a sign of hair transplant recovery. In FUE cases, the incision in the donor area has improved until this time.
You can usually resume most of your normal activities at this time, but it is advisable to stay away from intense activity for 4 weeks.
If you do not like to be out in the community with a shaved and crusty head, you can wear a loose-fitting hat, but be sure to consult your doctor before doing so.
In the second week after hair transplantation, the scabbing and crusting disappear and the scalp becomes pink. From week 2 to week 8, the transplanted follicles enter the “resting phase” (Telogen) and the hair begins to fall out (shock hair loss). This is completely normal and does not mean that the hair transplant fails. After the transplanted hair (and some other thin hair) has fallen off, new and healthy hair grows in place.
In the second week, the surgical incision site in FUT patients is completely closed and sutures are removed. If there are still some scars on the scalp, do not manipulate them. Continue with regular hair care as directed by your doctor so that they can eventually come away on their own.
Some patients may experience pimples in the donor or transplant area. These pimples are caused by a condition called folliculitis, which is inflammation of the follicles. Contact your doctor if you experience this problem.
The first symptoms of final hair growth usually appear at this stage; however, they may occur sooner or later in some patients. At first, the hair may be fine, but gradually the hair becomes thicker and longer. Also, in the case of FUT, the scar in the donor area will have its final form by this time.
Although the full thickness of the hair is not achieved at this time, you can start to groom your hair.
At this point, your hair will become thicker and longer and you have more options for the hairstyle. The donor site has completely healed at this time.
If your healing process goes as planned, you can even dye your hair at this time. At this point, only 60% of your transplanted hair grows; however, you can still feel the difference.
By this time 90% of the transplanted hair has grown and you can now judge the outcome of hair transplant.
The final result of both FUE and FUT hair transplantation is about 12-18 months after surgery. The process of hair transplant recovery for each patient is different, which is why you should see your doctor regularly after your hair transplant to make sure that everything is going well. Even if you were not able to see your doctor in person, you can still receive your doctor’s advice by sending a picture at every step.