If you have decided to take the plunge and undergo hair transplant surgery, you have probably been told what you need to do to prepare for the surgery itself. But are you prepared for what will happen after surgery, and what you can do to improve the results?
On the night of your surgery and for the next few nights, you will be asked to sleep with your head raised, on several pillows. You will be given medication for pain if needed, to help you sleep and to reduce any swelling – although some patients do still experience swelling for the first few days.
You should avoid alcohol for the first three days after your operation and resist smoking or exposure to the sun for two weeks (if you do go outside during this time, you must wear a hat. After two weeks a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+ should be sufficient).
The morning after your hair transplant surgery, you should shower and shampoo your scalp three times. You may also be asked to go back to the clinic so they can check on your progress.
Days three to seven
You should shower twice a day, shampooing the scalp each time. You need to gently massage the transplant area with a special shampoo, following the instructions given to you by the clinic.
Day ten onwards
At this point, you should be able to resume brushing and styling your hair as usual, and to carry on daily life, including contact sports or anything that might involve direct contact with your scalp.
At this point the transplanted hair will begin to shed. Don’t panic! This is the hair follicles settling into their new home, and the renewed hair loss will be only temporary.
Week ten post op
By ten weeks post surgery, most people can start to see some hair growth in the transplant area. It will be quite fine at first, but will thicken as it grows.
One year after the hair transplant
At this point the end result of your hair transplant surgery can begin to be seen. You will have already seen your surgeon for a check-up, and if s/he is happy that you don’t need repeat surgery, chances are you now have something approaching a full head of hair. The hair itself will continue to grow and thicken over the next year.