You’ve worked with your hair restoration specialist and learned that a hair transplant could be a good option for you. The highly trained staff has provided you with a good understanding of the upcoming process. Now what can you expect after the surgery? Great question.
- Prior to the procedure, your specialist will have provided you with post-operative care instructions. These instructions will include a variety of directives, from scalp care and activity level monitoring to the use of cold compresses and recommended pillow position. Review them well and follow them carefully.
- The scalp may feel tight and achy immediately following the surgery, but this can be controlled by basic medications, and pain killers, if used, are rarely required for more than a day or two.
- Swelling, often in the forehead, should be expected for the first week. Scabbing too is common during the first week, but this crust begins falling away within days.
- Any dressings that your surgeon used will be in place only for a day or two. If stitches were used, they are removed or dissolved after 10 days.
- Your specialist will provide you with specific shampooing instructions, which begin within days of the surgery, as regular washing plays an important role in keeping the area clear of dirt, blood, oil, and crusts which are often inadvertently removed with gentle cleansing.
- The area will itch, especially the first few days after the surgery. This is normal, but it can be harmful to the transplanted follicles to scratch or rub them vigorously. Keeping the area moist can help decrease this itch, and your specialist will have a recommendation for how to best do this for your scalp.
- Expect to stay away from alcohol and certain medications during your recovery as they can cause blood thinning or react poorly with other prescribed post-operative medications. Also expect to refrain from physical activity for a few days, easing back into heavy activity slowly during the first week.
- Attend post-operative appointments as set by your hair restoration specialist.
- By the six week mark, most of the newly transplanted hair will have fallen out. This is a completely normal part of the process. Some original hair may be lost as well as a result of the trauma of surgery. A surgeon’s methods can minimize this loss in some patients, but it is not uncommon for original hairs to thin out for a few weeks too.
- Some scalp acne may have begun to occur. This will continue for a couple of months.
- Six months after your surgery, new hair growth will have begun at the transplant sites.
- Original hair that may have shed in the weeks after the surgery will have begun to grow again.
- If a decision has not yet been made, an evaluation for an additional procedure will be made.
- 90% of the hair that will be growing into the transplant areas will be present. It may not be the final texture, fullness, or length, but it will be present.
- Full growth is usually reached within 18-24 months of the procedure.
- Any necessary touch-ups or secondary procedures occur.
- Additional fullness develops during this time.
- Any changes in the texture of transplanted hair since the procedure will likely revert back to normal during the second year.