A hair transplant is not a decision that needs to be taken lightly – you need to spend some time reading up about the different options on hand and you also need to spend time talking to experienced doctors and surgeons, who will tell you the ins and outs of each type of procedure.
These days, there are two main types of hair transplant procedures – the follicular unit transplantation (FUT) or strip surgery and follicular unit extraction (FUE). It is important to understand that while both of these are hair transplant procedures, they are both different and not everyone is an ideal candidate for both. As a matter of fact, there are only a few people who prove to be ideal candidates for the FUE procedure.
No matter which procedure you are undergoing, there are some pointers that you need to keep in mind. There will be a list of do’s and don’ts that you will be given, by the doctor or the staff at the clinic where you are getting your procedure done.
It is imperative that you follow the list of instructions to the T, because skipping out on even one could lead to massive repercussions at a later stage, including the completely failure of the transplant.
Here some of the most important things that you must do, after a hair transplant surgery:
- Listen and carefully jot down all the post op care after hair transplant that you are told. All the good clinics will give you a printed copy of the same, which you will be able to take home.
- Make sure that you have someone to take you back home, because even though the surgical procedure is not strenuous, you will be under the effects of the sedation or anaesthesia. It is best that you not drive home on your own – either opt for a taxi or have someone come and take you home.
- Share the contact details of your doctor and clinic with your immediate family, because just in case something does go wrong, they should be able to contact them, on your behalf.
- One of the instructions that will be given to you will be to keep the transplanted area completely dry for at least 24 hours. This is to ensure that the area is able to heal properly and the skin does not develop any infections.
- The area around the scalp needs to be kept clean, and for this you will be given the necessary guidelines, which would include washing it gently and drying just as gently. You need to make sure that you do not rub the area vigorously with the towel.
- You will have to take really good care of your scar, because there will be itching and swelling. However, you need to make sure that you do not scratch the transplanted area – you can apply the antibiotic cream that would have been prescribed to reduce the itching as well as help the area heal.
- If the swelling is too much, you can also use an ice pack – but you need to place the ice pack only on the area around the grafts.
- You will also be prescribed painkillers, which you should take to help reduce the pain and discomfort.
- You will be asked to sleep in a slightly upright position because you will need to keep your head elevated. You can use a few extra pillows for the first few nights, after which you will be able to sleep in your normal position.
- Visit the doctor to have the bandages removed and start washing your hair only after that. You might even want to confirm all your hair washing instructions yet again.
- When you do start washing your hair, make sure that you do not stand directly under the shower – hand wash your hair, because the chances of the grafts getting displaced are extremely high.
- For the first few days post the procedure, if you are stepping out, make sure that you cover the grafts, because they will be extremely delicate. Wear a bandana or a loose fitting cap to provide protection to the grafts.
- While you might really like your regular shampoo, you will be prescribed a special shampoo and you need to make sure that you use only that to wash your hair in the day following the transplant.
- Constantly press the forehead skin from the middle of the forehead, outwards – this will ensure that the swelling does not move to the eyes.
Now, let’s move onto the things that you most certainly should not do, post a hair transplant surgery:
- The very first thing that you need to remember post a hair transplant surgery is that you are not supposed to touch or tug at the grafts, because they are extremely delicate.
- Itching and a little swelling are normal, but not matter how much it itches, do not give into the temptation.
- No matter how much the area itches or pains, do not place the ice pack directly on the area.
- Try not to step out into the sun too much, because direct sunlight can harm the delicate grafts.
- Do not consume any alcohol for at least five days after the procedure and try to avoid it for about a week more, if possible. Once alcohol enters the bloodstream, it can interfere with the supply to the head.
- Smoking does the same thing – it can interfere with the blood supply to the head, which is why you need to avoid smoking for an entire month. As a matter of fact, if you really want to see a full head of hair, then you should give up smoking completely.
- Rigorous exercise and sports need to be avoided for a week post-surgery, and sports that tend to get extremely rough need to be avoided for about a month.
- As a matter of fact, you need to avoid any activities, which can lead to excessive sweating for a week, because the perspiration can cause infections.
- Do not bend over or lean forward, constantly, because this will affect the newly implanted grafts.
- Don’t blow your nose too hard, because the sudden movement of the head could damage the grafts.
- Do not sleep flat for the first three days.
- Do not use a hair dryer or any of your normal hair care products, without consulting with your doctor first.
- Do not dry or comb your hair vigorously – both these activities need to be done extremely gently.
- Do not wear a turban or helmet till the same has been cleared by the surgeon.
- Do not get a haircut or get your hair coloured, permed, straightened or curled for atleast 6 weeks after the procedure.
- Do not swim in a pool or natural water bodies for at least 3 weeks post procedure.