At Advanced Hair Studio, we perform hair restoration surgery for clients who are struggling with hair loss for various reasons such as hormonal problems and male pattern baldness. For many people, hair transplant surgery -- also called follicular unit extraction (FUE) -- can restore a full or gain a fuller head of hair. Hair restoration surgery involves transferring hair follicles from one area of the scalp to a balding part where they can continue to grow.
As the FUE procedure continues to grow in popularity, it's important to remember that complying with your surgeon's instructions are crucial to a successful transplant and a faster recovery. Here are some of the most important do's and don'ts to achieve the best possible results.
1. Do Keep Your Scalp Dry
You will need to keep your scalp dry while it heals. Avoid taking showers or swimming for few days. You will have a follow-up appointment the day after your surgery at which point your scalp and hair will be shampooed and blow dried before your scalp is examined. You can usually begin shampooing and blow drying your hair as usual about one week after your surgery.
2. Do Apply the Antibiotic Ointment
Your surgeon will prescribe an antibiotic cream that you must apply to your scalp after your surgery. This cream will help prevent infection and reduce irritation and swelling.
3. Do Take Painkillers After Surgery
You may experience some discomfort after surgery. You can begin taking painkillers about 3 to 4 hours after surgery once your anaesthesia wears off. Always take your medication as prescribed to reduce any discomfort you are feeling.
4. Do Ask Questions
During your consultation and ahead of your procedure, don't be afraid to ask questions. Getting your hair back is a big decision and you want to be sure that FUE is the right choice for you. You will also want to have answers to all of your questions prior to your transplant, especially when it comes to managing your recovery and maximizing your success.
5. Do Have Someone Drive You Home
You will need someone to drive you home after your FUE procedure. This surgery is done under a sedative that helps you relax but it takes hours to wear off. Though most of us are confident on a personal note it isn't safe to drive while the sedative is still in your system.
6. Do Follow Your Customized Post-Op Directions
Your surgeon and the team will provide you with personalized post-op instructions that must be followed. This post-op care plan will also be reviewed with your designated driver prior to surgery.
7. Do Sleep in an Upright Position
Keep your head elevated while you sleep and use two or more pillows if you can or sleep in a recliner chair. This helps reduce swelling on your scalp by allowing blood to flow away from the scalp.
8. Do Apply Light Pressure to the Follicular hair
If you notice mild swelling or bleeding once you wash your hair, apply very light pressure to the area with gauze or a moist, clean cloth for 5-10 minutes. Do not dab the area because this can contribute to scabbing and infection. However, you can expect some scabbing in the beginning of the healing process.
9. Do Keep Your Hair Long
If you are concerned about hair follicles or grafts being visible at first, keep your hair long for the first week or two until scabs heal and your stitches are removed. A very small number of clients experience a so-called "shadow effect" in which follicles are visible. Keeping your hair a bit longer than usual can help hide this effect.
10. Do Be Patient
It's important to go into hair transplant surgery with realistic expectations. You can expect your first new hair to start the growth cycle in 2-4 months after your surgery but remember that hair grows in cycles. This means not all of the new Follicular hair will begin growing at once. By the 8th or 9th month, about 90% of the hair grafts will be growing hair. Once all of the transplanted hair has grown, your results should look very natural, even when examined closely.
11. DON'T Expose Your Scalp to Sunlight
After your hair transplant, it's important to avoid exposing your scalp to direct sunlight for the first few days. This can cause irritation, especially if your scalp is tender and swollen. Wear a hat if you need to go outside.
12. DON'T Scratch Your Scalp
You may experience itchiness of your scalp after your procedure but it's important to leave your scalp alone as it heals. If you scratch or irritate your scalp, you may dislodge your hair follicles before they can grow.
13. DON'T Drink or Smoke
Drinking and smoking can both interfere with the blood supply to your scalp and reduce the success of your hair transplant. Avoid alcohol for at least 5 days after your procedure and do not smoke for at least 3 to 4 weeks.
14. DON'T Play Sports or Engage in Heavy Exercise
Excessive sweating can increase the risk of an infection on your scalp. After your surgery, avoid any activities that may lead to excessive perspiration for about a month. This includes sports and moderate to strenuous exercise.
15. DON'T Be Worried When the New Hair Falls Out
About 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery, the transplanted hair will fall out. This is a normal effect of the procedure and not a cause for concern. You should notice new hair growth within a few months.
You may also notice some loss of original hair at the recipient site. This is called shock loss and it's usually temporary. Most people experience 60% new hair growth after 6-9 months. Your surgeon may prescribe various medicated topical applications to improve hair growth after your procedure.
16. DON'T Chemically Treat Your Hair
You will need to wait at least 30 days before you color or chemically treat your hair in any way. If you undergo any hair treatments, you may want to schedule them for one week before your surgery.
Established in Florida in the 1970s, Advanced Hair Studio has more than 45 years of experience performing a variety of hair restoration and hair retention techniques as one of the world's largest hair restoration companies. If you are considering hair transplant surgery, contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about what you can expect following your procedure.