Taking Care After Hair Transplant Surgery

post-op checklist

Following your hair transplant procedure, it is important that proper care be taken to ensure lasting results. Our staff will provide you with full details on how to properly care for your scalp and hair. Many of these “doctor’s orders” can be found in our Post-Op Checklist.

The most sensitive day for transplants is the first day following the hair restoration procedure. For the first several days, the hair follicles are adapting to the placement, and must be cleaned carefully. After about five days following the hair restoration, it is safe to clean your entire head with your normal shampoo.

It is important that scabbing be cleared away during shampooing, so as not to inhibit the new hair growth. However, if scabs are removed before five days have passed, damage to the transplanted hair follicles may occur.

Following a hair restoration surgery, it is possible to experience some general complications such as swelling, redness, or discomfort around the transplanted area. These are normal reactions and usually subside quickly. Typically there is no need for antibiotics following hair restoration surgery, due to abundant blood supply to the scalp and minimal risk of infection.

Our office will contact you for a six month and one-year follow-up appointment after your procedure. It is important to call our office at 1-800-900-GROW (4769) with any unusual or persistent side effects after your hair transplant surgery between visits.

How Transplanted Hair Grows

Scalp hair does not all grow at the same time. At any given moment hairs my be growing, resting, or shedding. They cycle on their own schedule. Transplanted hairs cycle in this same random fashion.

The process of removing, dissecting, and transplanting donor hair generally “shocks” the follicles into the resting phase. For this reason, most patients will shed all or most of the hairs in the grafts at about 6-8 weeks post-op. It has been observed that in some cases, post-op use of Minoxidil may decrease this shedding.

Beginning 2-3 months post-op, the transplanted hairs begin to “germinate” below the skin. In-grown hairs may happen on occasion. They present as a red, raised, pimple-like bumps in the grafted area. In-grown hairs will resolve on their own time. Warm compresses can also be applied to the affected area.

Transplanted hairs start to visibly regrow between months 4-6. At month 6, a patient may expect to see growth from 40-60% of the transplants. Again, due to the random cycle of hair growth, not all grafts will start growing at the same time. Initially, the hair my be thinner and finer. It will gain length and density as it matures.

Full growth from the transplants is usually achieved at 12 months. In some cases, this can take up to 18 months. This is especially common in female patients. The transplanted hairs will continue to gain length over time.

Post-Transplant Expectations & Concerns:

Waiting for hair regrowth can be an anxious experience. Following the transplantation of hair follicles, hair regrowth occurs in about two to three months. However, new hair may not be visible above the scalp for an additional several months. Further delaying the visibility of results is the fact that only a portion of the transplants demonstrate regrowth initially.

While waiting for hair regrowth, remember that initial results may not indicate the success of the surgery. Continuous improvement should be seen for up to a year and a half following the procedure.

Hair regrowth will occur at different rates, from individual to individual. It is also normal for some patients to see what appears to be an imbalance in the areas of regrowth. For example, hair may appear fuller on one side of the head than the other. As regrowth continues, the distribution of the hair will soon appear more even.

During the early stages of the transplantation process, it is also important to keep in mind that the transplanted follicles will shed their hair before true hair regrowth occurs. Though this may seem to indicate that transplantation was unsuccessful, this shedding is a normal part of the process.

Wolf Medical has performed thousands of hair transplants, and we schedule post-op visits to help each patient manage their personal regrowth expectations. We are confident that with patience, you will be very satisfied with your new, fuller head of hair.