In this blog, you will be finding a short version of our post-operative advice for patients of Advanced Hair Clinic but not only. Do note that these are only general guidelines and certain points might differ from those given to you by your doctor during the post-operational consultation. Your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions, as well as a set of individual hair care products, headwear, and a tailor-made pillow throughout your stay with us, all inclusive of the price of your package.
What are the steps to follow after a hair transplant?
1st to 8th day
The day following a hair transplant surgery consists of the last appointment with the hair clinic and allows the surgeon to check the bulbs while also giving the caregiver permission to apply antiseptic which is usually red betadine. During this meeting, bandage removal and a first shampoo are also done to teach the patient the correct steps to follow for the hair wash. This is how skilled hair transplant clinics in Albania, such as Advanced Hair Clinic, proceed. Take an entire day to yourself and get rid of the anesthetics administered.
If your job is rather sedentary give yourself two or three days of rest. In case your professional activity is slightly more physical, a short week of rest is advised. Alcohol is forbidden for the next ten days, particularly if the doctor has prescribed antibiotics. Smoking is also forbidden for at least two to three weeks following the surgery. Refrain from consuming spicy and salty foods.
Thoroughly follow the medication prescriptions and after-care instructions provided by the clinic, while at the same time avoiding aspirin, which affects the blood by thinning it and can hamper proper healing. By the end of the first day after the operation, bandages should be removed. If bleeding is still ongoing, carefully tap the site with a sterile gauze pad.
After two days can commence the cleaning of the skull, strictly following the guidelines given by the surgeon. The product provided by the doctor should be gently applied to the scalp, seeing as it both relieves itching and cleanses the skull. Rinsing with clear lukewarm water also helps, you can always use a cup in which you dip your fingers. The scabs should not be touched. The implanted area can be sprayed several times a day with a mister, typically an Evian-type mister. After four to five days, you can put your head under a warm shower using moderate pressure and special shampoo to clean the transplanted site, always being very gentle and careful. After one week, you should take a shower focusing on the grafted area for about twenty minutes. The scabs will then start falling off. Avoid scratching them.
Refrain from touching the grafts with any other material. To sleep, embrace the semi-sitting position for the first two to three nights and use a special pillow as advised by the surgeon, to support the neck. This will keep swelling away from occurring and will also keep a safe distance between the recipient site and the sheets. The recipient site will be in contact with the pillow, but it is advised to put an absorbent disposable diaper over it, one that can absorb the sebum oozing from the scars.
To impede swelling of the epidermis from happening above the eyebrows, which is generally a sign of the third to fourth day after the surgery, a washcloth filled with ice cubes should be applied to the forehead region. You are also advised to wear a foam headband on the forehead that will prevent the swelling from going down into the eyes.
Sexual activity is prohibited throughout the first 10 to 15 days in order to refrain from an increase in the cranial epidermis’ temperature, which is damaging to the proper growth of the grafts.
Day 8 to 30
Once going back to your normal life, the scabs will start to disappear through daily showers. Throughout the first month, it is forbidden at any cost to expose yourself to the sun, as well as to the rain. During this period you might feel itchy. Aloe vera, and/or calendula oil, both anti-irritation products used for babies’ skin, are permitted to be applied to the site. They help with hydration and healing of the implanted site, stopping the skin of the scalp from becoming too dry.
Any pushy or bellicose hair products such as wax, gel, coloring, or lacquer are forbidden, alongside the use of combs and brushes. The success of a hair transplant is ultimately determined by the strict maintenance followed after the operation. Coconut, sesame, and argan oil can assist in nourishing the scalp, and mild shampoos made from natural components are highly favored. Furthermore, a very healthy diet that contains tons of minerals and vitamins and is low in fats and sugar also helps provide the hair implants with an oxygenated and nutritious blood supply. In the event that you are lacking minerals or vitamins, you can always ask the pharmacists for special support for good hair growth, with a natural mixture of minerals, vitamins, and probiotics.
1st to 3rd month
After one month, following the operation, the transplanted follicles, similar to tiny fluff, begin to fall out. All normal. They will start regrowing, and the new permanent hair will look quite visible after approximately three months. Throughout this period, you may notice the appearance of small white spots before the hair's arrival. This is a normal response to hair growth, with nothing to do with infectious pimples. They will then turn red and open up on their own, leaving space for the new hair. In certain instances, a numbing feeling might take over the operated site. No need to fret, this feeling will go away at the end of the second month.
Your head should be breathing in any circumstance, but it should in no way be exposed to the sun’s rays, which are lethal for the baby's hair follicles and very damaging for the healing of the hair transplant. Hats, motorcycles, firemen’s helmets, or any type of head covering should be avoided for the early months to not permit any damage to the grafts and compromise their appropriate regrowth. Sporting activities should not be resumed before three months, including swimming in the pool or sea.
The real outcomes of a hair transplant are fully transparent or noticeable after eight to twelve months.
The fact of the matter is that hair wash is among the most crucial things that can affect the outcomes of a hair transplant. Thus, every patient is trained and taught how to correctly wash their hair at the clinic.
Three are the main steps involved in the hair wash procedure:
- The transplanted site is coated with oil, lotion, or any other favorable moisturizer and left untouched for 15 to 30 minutes. This will affect the scabs by softening them, both in the transplanted grafts and the donor site. It also aids in the removal of the traces left from dried blood and healing faster. Once the 15 to 30 minutes are done, the scalp should be rinsed with lukewarm water. Both areas are washed using a special medical shampoo. To do so, lather a bit of shampoo in between your hands and start gently applying it to the entire scalp. Refrain from rubbing. Throughout all the washing stages, there should be no pressure applied, only softly using palms.
- After the washing is over, dry your hair using a paper towel. Again, refrain from rubbing. Rather, pat it quite gently. The moisturizer should be applied until the scabs fall completely off or until the scalp starts feeling dry. There is also the possibility of using moisturizer between hair washes in the event that the feeling of dryness is consistent.
- Shampooing is a step that should be done day-to-day for scab removal. After one to two weeks there should be no traces of dried blood or scabs left on your scalp. You might go back to the normal way of washing your hair no sooner or later than 14 days after the transplant. If necessary, you can also wash the hair more than once a day after the surgery. The special shampoo should be used until the bottle is fully empty.
If for any reason at all you are the one personally purchasing your hair products, please ensure that they do not contain any silicone, dyes, or perfume.
Pain After A Hair Transplant
Light or moderate pain can be manifested for a few days following the hair transplant operation. In our clinical experience, we have had patients telling us that they have had difficulty sleeping the first few days post-operation. Pain is more present in the donor site than in the recipient site. However, the discomfort and pain can be relieved with the use of over-the-counter painkillers.
Swelling is rare, especially when talking about hair transplants that are performed with the employment of Choi Implanter Pen. Occurring more frequently for bigger hair transplant surgeries and transplants where the hairline has undergone a lot of work, swelling influences the forehead and the area surrounding the eyes and might take up to five days, reaching its maximum on day four. Dexamethasone is the drug used to diminish such symptoms and signs.
Itching Following Hair Restoration
Occurring all over the scalp one to two weeks after the operation, itching is very usual after a hair transplant surgery. In most, if not all, cases, itching is an indication that the tissue is healing. If and when it becomes very strong, you can always use antihistamine pills.
Correct Sleeping Position
It is of utmost importance to refrain from touching the recipient sites throughout the first week following the surgery. Our doctors recommend that patients sleep on their backs, with their heads elevated on a few pillows. The pillows can decrease any possible swelling by raising the head during the night. It is also advisable to use a special pillow that can be taken at the clinic, at least for the first 7 to 10 days.
Healing And Recovery Times
Following any hair transplantation conducted with the use of Choi Implanter Pens the recovery is quick. Though some numbness and mild soreness might be felt in the scalp for a few days after the surgery, most patients will feel fine within a day or two. There will be dotted red scabs visible at the very bottom of the transplanted hair shafts on both the recipient and donor areas, present for approximately 7 to 10 days. Normally, the normal appearance of an individual is gained back within 10 to 15 days post-operation. After this period, only slight redness may be noticeable. There is a difference between patients with a very light complexion and those who tend to have darker hair and skin. The first group experiences redness for prolonged periods after the treatment, while the second one recovers much faster. All things considered, a hair transplant is a distinct and peculiar process that varies depending on the patient’s lifestyle, age, diet, and sometimes even climate.
Medication And Hair Product Recommendations
Shampoo And Lotion For Hair Wash
Handed to all patients following a hair transplant operation. The lotion should be gently tapped into the recipient and donor sites. Afterward, you should wait for up to 30 minutes to wash it off using lukewarm water and shampoo. Abstaining from scratching the recipient site and being careful with the towel is extremely crucial. Until all scabs fall off, hair washing should become part of the daily routine. In case the donor site feels dry in between the washes, you can easily apply a thin layer of the lotion to “sugar-coat it”. In such cases, washing is not necessary.
Scarex Or Contractubex Creams
Utilized for minimizing the scarring in the donor site, Scarex or Contractubex creams can be applied to the donor site(s) only, the area where the grafts were pulled out from. Be mindful to use it twice a day and keep also in mind that it can already be used 14 days post-operation.
Antibiotics Use After Hair Transplantation
Antibiotics are generally prescribed hard on the heels of the surgery for approximately 3 to 5 days. Taken at the clinic, antibiotics are utilized to prevent probable infections and ensure a smooth healing process.
Sometimes during the rehabilitation process, antibiotic creams such as fusidin or bacitracin are needed. Whenever bumps or pimples are visible in the recipient or donor sites, the cream should be directly applied to the inflamed regions.
Finasteride (Propecia 1 Mg Or Proscar 5mg)
If needed it will be prescribed. Employed to diminish future hair loss and grow weak hairs stronger. Moreover, it is utilized to reduce shock loss after the surgery. A decrease in libido might also be noticeable. Though it should be noted that this is a very rare side effect and it is temporary, meaning it goes away right after quitting the pill.
- Proscar 5 mg - consumed ¼ pill day-to-day.
- Propecia 1 mg - consumed 1 pill day-to-day, if possible at the same time each day.
Minoxidil (5% Or 2%) - Spray Or Foam
Similar to finasteride it will be prescribed if necessary. There exist two versions, one of 5% and another one of 2%, the first version should be used by men and the other one by women. It is employed for the sole purpose of diminishing hair loss of native hairs and accelerating the regrowth of transplanted grafts.
Minoxidil can be put to use a month following the hair transplant surgery, the time when the donor and recipient sites are fully healed.
Biotin (Food Supplement)
Oftentimes advised as a food supplement to strengthen hair and nails, biotin should only be used for about 6 months after the hair transplant. Biotin is not a dietary supplement however that needs a prescription, it can be obtained freely at any pharmacy.
If necessary it will be prescribed. The tool is utilized to massage the scalp and improve blood circulation. It can only be used for 45 days post-operation, 2 to 3 times per week, tops.
I have scabs after my hair transplant, is this normal?
Absolutely, this is normal. From the very first day, blood and crusts of skin clump together on the transplanted grafts. Abstain from touching them. The crust can easily be softened by applying foam and shampoo on a daily basis from the very day after the transplant and for 8 days on going, as well as a warm shower. You will get rid of the scabs within 8 to 10 days.
Can I wear a cap, hat, or helmet after a hair transplant?
The rule of thumb is to let your head breathe as much as possible following a hair transplant. Most clinics do recommend wearing and they actually provide a headband in order to prevent swelling down to the eyes, for at least four to five days after the operation. A wide-tongued cap or a wide bob can be worn after seven days. A woolen cap is only permitted after at least one month, alongside construction, motorcycle, or fireman’s helmet.
Can I apply castor oil to my grafts?
Applying anything at all to the grafted region throughout the first six months is not recommended. Does not matter whether it is a gel, hair spray, hair dye, or castor oil. The only hair cleaning products or natural creams (sesame, coconut oil, or calendula based) allowed to be applied are the ones prescribed by the clinic.
Is there a particular diet or food supplement recommended after a hair transplant?
Adding further to the drinking of water continuously, it is advisable to create a new healthy diet that is solely focused on meat, vegetables, salads, and low sugars and fat. Vitamins such as biotin, finasteride, CDE multivitamins, and mineral packs such as those containing zinc, iron, phosphorus, selenium, calcium, potassium, or magnesium, for the following six months, can aid in ensuring good hair growth, to give it back its vitality and tone.
How long before resuming sports after a hair transplant?
Toned down activity such as yoga, running, or even cycling, can be resumed one month following the hair transplant, but more strenuous activities that necessitate excessive physical efforts, such as squash, weight training, or team sports, should not be resumed before three months, since they exert high blood pressure on the body, especially the head.
Can I shave my hair after a transplant?
The implanted grafts can be shaved after six months of regrowth. Prior to this time, it is only allowed to trim the new hair using scissors. Au contraire, the donor site can be trimmed after one month, so the harmonizing of the level of regrowth on the entire head can be possible. It is not advisable to shave your head throughout the first year. Then again, what really is the point of spending money on a hair transplant, if it is for it to be shorn?
Will the implanted grafts fall back?
In between the second and the eighth weeks, the implanted grafts will fall back little by little. This is part of the normal process, considering that the early fluff makes space for the newly rooted grafts, which grow back from the third or fourth month.
Nevertheless, it is possible that several patients, those considered lucky, can notice their grafts not falling back and their hair regrowing directly. This is only probable in five percent of instances.