You’re not alone! Let us guide you through post-hair-transplant care
SPOILER ALERT: What you’re about to read is a sneak peek of what you may experience after getting a hair transplant. Do not worry—this is not a life or death situation—, but if you’re dying to know what happens to your hair after the procedure, keep reading.
How does a hair transplant work?
We have already talked about how FUE-technique hair transplants are performed. If you haven’t read that article yet, you should definitely check it out. Either way, this is a quick summary in four steps.
The transplant is performed under local anesthesia. The estimated duration depends on the size of the transplant site, but it usually takes six to eight hours. This procedure is a relatively simple outpatient intervention, but it does require a level of skill that only a professional medical team, qualified surgeons, specialized technicians, and auxiliary nurses can provide.
The first 24 hours
First things first: Let’s talk about what you should do on the day of your hair transplant before you arrive at the clinic.
- Avoid eating irritating foods.
- Wear a button-down shirt.
- Follow the clinic’s safety protocols.
- There is no need to cut or shave your head; the clinic’s staff will give you the haircut necessary for your procedure.
The only thing left to do afterwards is to relax and let the team do their job. Once the procedure is over, the doctor in charge will provide a few indications that we have listed in this article. Basically, all you have to do is follow these instructions.
- Do not touch the transplant site.
- Take the prescribed medications.
- Rest for the rest of the day.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco consumption on the following days.
You will probably feel some discomfort in the donor area during the first night; symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and swelling, especially on the hairline, are normal. This is a typical reaction, since the anesthesia tends to make its way down from the top of the head due to gravity. But do not worry: The swelling will go down in two days without having to do anything except to wait.
How to sleep on the first night after the procedure
Is it true that you’re supposed to sleep sitting up? It depends on which area was treated. The idea is that it shouldn’t touch or rub against anything, so if you got a crown transplant, you should probably sleep sitting up, but if you got a hairline transplant, you have a little more freedom of movement. Whatever the case, the best thing to do is to follow your doctor’s recommendations.
Now, because incisions were made in the donor site (the back of your head), you’ll feel tingling and some changes in sensitivity, but this is temporary. You’ll feel the usual sensitivity in a matter of days. However, because of the puncture wounds where the follicles were extracted, you will probably experience very light bleeding and might see a stain or two on your pillow, but really, don’t worry: you will not bleed out overnight; it’s only a small stain or two.
Over the first few days, it is important that you refrain from performing any kind of intense physical activity, so forget about extreme workout sessions at the park or the gym, and yes, no intense encounters in the bedroom either (just for a few days).
The next ten days
From this point forward, you’ll start to notice how your scalp turns red and the transplant site becomes covered in tiny scabs.
But there is no need to panic: This is a normal reaction after any intervention, since transplants require multiple punctures in order to cover the entire area.
The scabs are simply evidence that each graft is scarring. In other words, they are proof that your transplant is progressing exactly as it should.
You will feel some itching, and you might also feel an urge to pick at the scabs—who doesn’t want to pick them off whenever we get a scratch on the arm or the leg? Remember the first indication: Don’t touch them! Just keep them hydrated with glacier or thermal water. Sprinkle some water on the scabs every 30 minutes. This will help relieve the itching sensation as well.
How to wash your head after a hair transplant
This is one of patients’ most frequently-asked questions as they leave the clinic. Hygiene is fundamental in order to avoid any risk of infection. But how can you wash the area without touching it? You can watch a tutorial about this on our YouTube channel to get more clarity on the subject. In general, washing should be gentle and dripping-focused:
- Mix water and a few drops of shampoo, and shake well.
- Pour the mixture gently on your head from top to bottom.
- Rinse with clean water.
- Air dry (no towels, pat-drying, or rubbing)
Ten days after your procedure, it is important that you go to the clinic, so that the medical team can remove the scabs in a safe manner. At this appointment, you will receive new indications pertaining to washing during the following month.
General care during the first month
Are you thinking of going to the beach as part of this new chapter in your life? Yes, #newlook #newyou. A change of scenery would work wonders and help you unwind, but hold on. Keep these precautions in mind: you can’t go swimming at the beach or a pool; and no steam rooms, saunas, or tanning cabins, at least for the first 90 days.
Also, remember that you must avoid direct sun exposure for more than 15 minutes during the first month. If, for some inevitable reason, you were obliged to be in the sun for a longer amount of time, make sure to wear a hat or cap that protects you from the sun’s rays. Also make sure that your hat is merely resting on your head, not putting any sort of pressure or pulling at the procedure area. Remember the most important indication? No touching! And no scratching or rubbing. Use a mirror or your phone’s camera to see how your transplant is progressing, but avoid touching the area at all costs.
Once the first month is over, it is time to return to the clinic, so that your doctor can see how your transplant is doing and can address any questions or concerns you may have at this point.
Three months after your procedure: Shock loss
Shock is an understatement for what many patients feel when they see their transplanted hair falling out. “How normal is this really? What if it falls out whole, with the follicle and everything? What if it doesn’t grow back? I look worse than before!” Take a deep breath and repeat: “I am not worried because I know that my transplanted hair is growing.” Feel better? Now, put some time aside to read this article about your hair’s growth cycle.
You will learn that all hair has a growth phase (that can last for up to five or six years), a shedding phase (one or two weeks of the hair falling out), and a resting phase (three to six months, where you can start seeing new hair growth).
- Telogen [⬅️ You are here]
- Back to the anagen phase
In other words, be patient, let time take care of things, and let your scalp do its work. Just make sure you eat healthy foods, keep stress at bay, and follow a hair care routine with the products recommended by our specialists: an anti-hair loss shampoo, an oil-control shampoo, and a fortifying lotion.
When will I see the first results?
After the storm comes the rainbow. Your new hair will come in after the shock loss phase. And remember how long we said it took for hair to rest and start growing back? That’s right, three to six months. Therefore, you should start seeing new baby hairs growing after the third-month mark.
Your hair’s density will increase slowly but surely, and the first results will appear after about six months. Generally speaking, the transplanted hair on the hairline will have grown by about 50%, while the transplanted hair on the crown will be at 30%. Final results will only be visible after the one-year mark.
The silver lining of the changes being so gradual is that nobody will be able to tell that you underwent a hair transplant procedure. The transplanted hair will grow at a normal rate, and you will be able to cut and style it along with the rest of your hair.
At Kaloni, we strive to clear up any concerns you may have about post-procedure hair care. Remember: you are not alone. If any questions or concerns arise, talk to our specialists, who will provide the answers you need as well as personalized information.
If you are already more than convinced to make this great change in your life, schedule your evaluation appointment today and restore your hair with a simple, effective, and natural solution.