After your hair transplant procedure, you want to have the fastest recovery possible. Your surgeon will provide postoperative instructions that will guide you through the process of how to care for your own needs and the needs of your scalp.
The following are some tips from the LA Hair Institute to help you after the transplant procedure:
The Few Days after the Transplant
Hair transplant is an outpatient procedure so you will go home immediately after it is finished. You should rest for a day or two after the procedure so healing is facilitated. Do not pick the wound or scratch the area. Avoid doing anything strenuous, such as lifting, bending, or playing sports.
Your healing may not go as well if you are subjected to temperature extremes or sweating. It is best if you remain indoors for a few days. If you have to venture outdoors, wear a hat that does not put pressure on your head or you can avoid covering your head.
Swelling can be reduced by sleeping in a semi-upright position. Try not to put pressure on the site while you sleep. Some things to avoid include washing the transplant site, aspirin, ice cream, and alcohol. Blow your nose gently or it may result in bleeding.
Managing Pain and Swelling
It is not unusual to have swelling in the area where the transplant took place during the first two or three weeks. You can take anti-inflammatories and use ice packs on the forehead to reduce inflammation. Do not use an ice pack on the graft site. Ice packs can be used every two hours for 15 minutes if needed.
For the first three nights, use a neck pillow and avoid sleeping on your back or stomach. Keep your head elevated at a 45° angle, minimum. You may find that sleeping in a comfortable chair helps to avoid pressure on the transplant site. Additional pain medication can be prescribed as needed.
Dealing with Infections
Although it is rare to develop an infection with a hair transplant, it does happen from time to time. For the first two weeks after the transplant, avoid areas with high levels of dust, dirt, or bacteria. Try to avoid sweating if possible. Avoid scratching the area or touching and picking at the transplant site. If you have any redness, pain, or swelling, let your doctor know.
Resuming Normal Activities, Sports, and Work
As long as your job does not involve strenuous activity, you can get back to work in a few days. Avoid working in dusty environments or lifting heavy objects. Do not wear a helmet or hat. There is nothing wrong with taking a break after the procedure. It is low risk and you can begin exploring the outdoors immediately, as long as you take it easy. Avoid excessive sun exposure, steam rooms, saunas, and similar areas for at least a few days after the procedure.
Dealing with Peeling
It is okay to use aloe vera gel or another specialized gel along with a sterile saline solution to relieve any itching you are experiencing. You may experience some peeling or flakes at the implant site for up to 10 days after the procedure. A softening cream can be prescribed by your surgeon for the days or weeks when this may occur.
Washing Your Hair
You can wash your hair a few days after the procedure but you have to use a mild shampoo and be very gentle. Apply the shampoo gently with your fingertips and rinse your hair thoroughly. Dab the area with clean paper towels to dry.
You will have to wait at least a month before you can submerge your head, shower, or take a bath. You also will not be able to use a towel for drying your hair during the first month. A gentle shower with low-pressure water is acceptable after a week or so but do not use a full-pressure shower.