Starting the path to regaining your confidence through a hair transplant is a big step. However, it’s not just about the surgery itself, but also what comes after – your hair transplant recovery.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the do’s and don’ts from those days after the surgery to the ongoing care needed to make sure your hair restoration stays successful.
So, let’s dive in and make sure you’re well-prepared for the exciting journey ahead!
How long does a hair transplant take to heal?
After a hair transplant, the initial healing phase lasts about 7 to 10 days. Patients might notice some redness, swelling, and scabbing during this time in the treated area. However, take note that full recovery evolves over a year or longer for the treated area.
FUE hair transplant recovery timeline
Understanding the hair transplant healing process is important for anyone considering FUE treatment. The FUE recovery timeline encompasses not only the restoration of the transplanted hair but also the crucial aspect of hair transplant donor area recovery.
While there’s no exact hair transplant growth timeline, a typical recovery process can look like this…
Right after hair transplant
The first 3 days after your hair transplant are crucial for initial recovery. During this period, you may experience some discomfort, mild pain, or tightness in the donor and recipient areas.
Swelling and redness are also common, and you’ll need to follow post-operative instructions carefully.
At this stage, we recommend you avoid strenuous activities and take some rest to allow your body to begin the healing process.
7–10 days post hair transplant
During this time, you’ll likely notice a reduction in swelling and redness, with scabbing beginning to naturally fall off, aiding in removing scabs after hair transplant.
It’s still a must to continue following your aftercare instructions diligently, and while you may start resuming light activities, avoid anything strenuous that could affect the transplanted hair or donor area.
Proper care at this stage contributes significantly to the success of your hair transplant.
2–3 weeks post hair transplant
At 2–3 weeks, the healing process continues, and most scabs will have disappeared. Swelling should be gone and redness should start to reduce.
You can gradually return to your regular routine, including gentle hair washing.
While your hair may still appear thin at this stage, it’s important to remain patient as the transplanted follicles gradually establish themselves.
1–2 months post hair transplant
At this time, you may notice that the transplanted hair temporarily sheds. This is a normal part of the process, and it paves for new, stronger hair growth.
In addition, some patients may start to experience early signs of regrowth, but the full results will become more evident in the coming months.
3–4 months post hair transplant
Between 3 and 4 months, you’ll start to see more pronounced hair growth. New hairs begin to sprout, and the overall thickness of your hair increases but will still appear thin.
In this phase, you’ll start to witness the transformation you’ve been eagerly anticipating. But while this is an exciting stage, it’s imperative that you continue to follow your post-op care guidelines.
5–9 months post hair transplant
In the 5 to 9-month period post hair transplant, your hair continues to grow and thicken. Most patients experience a noticeable improvement in hair coverage, and the results become increasingly gratifying.
By now, you can enjoy a fuller hair that blends seamlessly with your natural locks.
12 months post hair transplant
Reaching the 12 months post hair transplant milestone is a significant achievement.
At this point, you should have a comprehensive view of your final results. Your hair will have matured, thickened, and become a permanent part of your appearance.
Supplementary treatment and medication after hair transplant surgery
At Solve Clinics, we prioritize the well-being of your hair transplant after surgery, which is thanks to using the best African-American hair transplant surgeons. In our commitment to your post-FUE care, we provide our patients with a specialized POST-FUE care kit.
This kit includes sprays for both day and night use, tailored to enhance the healing and growth of your newly transplanted hair.
Unlike traditional lotions, our patient-exclusive care kit offers a targeted and effective solution for your post-hair transplant journey.
In the following sections, we’ll guide you through the specifics of different supplementary treatments and medication regimens, ensuring you achieve the best possible from your hair transplant surgery.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a renowned procedure that involves drawing a small sample of blood, which is then processed to concentrate the platelets.
PRP is often recommended to enhance hair transplant results. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed immediately after your hair transplant surgery or in subsequent sessions to boost hair density and encourage a faster recovery.
Discover the advantages of PRP in Chicago for your hair transplant journey!
Exosome therapy is an innovative addition to hair transplant recovery. Exosomes are small vesicles secreted by stem cells, containing growth factors and signaling molecules.
When applied to the scalp, exosomes can stimulate hair follicles, promote tissue repairs, and support hair growth.
Finasteride is an FDA-approved medication for treating hair loss in men and works by inhibiting the hormone responsible for hair loss.
We recommend waiting 2 weeks before using topical finasteride, but we allow immediate use of the oral form.
This can be a valuable addition to your hair transplant aftercare regimen, helping to maintain the health of your existing hair and slow down further hair loss.
While antibiotics are commonly prescribed after surgical procedures, we do not typically recommend them as part of post-hair transplant care except in very rare cases.
This is because hair transplant surgery is minimally invasive, and the risk of infection is generally low.
Minoxidil is an over-the-counter topical solution and oral medication used to stimulate hair growth. We recommend the following, depending on the application method:
- Topical: Wait 2 weeks post surgery
- Oral: Can be used immediately
Minoxidil can complement your hair transplant results by promoting the growth of existing hair and enhancing overall hair density.
Biotin is a B-vitamin known for promoting healthy hair, skin, and nails and is often included in post-hair transplant care regimens to support the overall health of your hair and scalp.
Using biotin after hair transplant can help strengthen hair follicles and promote the growth of thicker, more resilient hair.
Using a saline spray for a hair transplant offers a gentle solution to keep the recipient area clean and prevent infection and is typically recommended during the early stages of recovery.
As to how long to use saline spray after hair transplant, we recommend using it for just 1 week post-procedure.
Prednisone helps reduce swelling and inflammation, contributing to a smoother and more comfortable recovery after your hair transplant.
We recommend utilizing an alternative injection to prednisone, as studies suggest it may be more effective than oral steroids post-procedure.
Dermarollers, also known as micro-needling devices, can be a valuable addition to your hair transplant aftercare routine. However, we recommended you wait 1 month before using them post-surgery.
Microneedles can stimulate blood flow to the scalp, enhance the absorption of topical treatments, and support the healing process for optimal hair growth.
Things to avoid after hair transplant surgery
After undergoing a hair transplant surgery, there are crucial steps to ensure a successful recovery and optimal results. Equally important are the things that you should avoid.
Avoiding certain activities and behaviors can contribute to a smooth and complication-free healing process.
Washing your hair
After a hair transplant, you should avoid your usual hair washing routine for the first 48 hours. More specifically, don’t shampoo at all on day 1 post-op, but you can pour water with your hands on your hair from day 2 onwards—just avoid using a showerhead. From day 7, you can begin to shampoo your hair again.
The reasoning for this is that the initial period post-op allows the newly transplanted grafts to firmly anchor themselves in the scalp. Disturbing them prematurely could lead to graft displacement, potentially affecting the final results.
Swimming, whether in pools, oceans, or any bodies of water, should be avoided for at least 2 weeks after your hair transplant. Prolonged exposure to water can soften the scabs that form in the recipient area during the initial healing phase.
Alcohol consumption should be limited or avoided for at least 3 days following your hair transplant surgery. Alcohol can dilate blood vessels and increase the risk of bleeding or bruising at the surgical sites.
Minimizing alcohol intake during this initial recovery period can support a smoother healing process and reduce the likelihood of complications.
While we do not provide specific recommendations regarding smoking, it’s important to note that smoking is a vasoconstrictor, which can narrow blood vessels, potentially affecting your hair transplant before and after the procedure.
While some patients who smoke have had positive outcomes, it’s generally advisable to minimize or quit smoking to optimize healing and hair growth after a hair transplant.
In the early stages of recovery, it’s advisable to avoid strenuous exercise. However, you can soon return to exercise:
- Within the 1st week: No exercise
- After 1 week: Limit yourself to light cardio activities to prevent an increase in blood pressure that could disrupt the grafts.
- After 2 weeks: Gradually return back to normal exercise and more intense workouts, including weightlifting or heavier cardio.
Download our hair transplant post operative instructions
Maximize your hair transplant’s success with our expert Chicago Hair Transplant post-op guide. Discover essential tips for caring for your new hair, soothing discomfort, and maintaining scalp health.
Click below to download our Post-Op Guide for a renewed confidence and natural-looking hair.
Hair transplant aftercare & procedure FAQs
When can I wash my hair normally after hair transplant surgery?
You can resume your usual hair-washing routine 1 week after your hair transplant surgery. Following the initial recovery period, it’s important to adhere to your surgeon’s instructions for gentle and careful hair washing to ensure the best possible results in your hair transplant journey.
When can I rub my head after hair transplant?
You can begin gentle head rubbing approximately 1 week post-hair transplant. However, exercise caution and avoid vigorous rubbing or scratching to protect the newly transplanted grafts from potential damage. Gentle care during this time promotes a successful recovery and optimal results.
Is male and female hair transplant recovery time the same?
Yes, the recovery period for both male and female hair transplant procedures is the same. Both genders can anticipate comparable timelines for healing and hair regrowth as long as they adhere to the post-operative instructions given by their surgeon. This consistency ensures optimal results for all patients.
How to reduce pain after hair transplant surgery?
To alleviate your donor area pain after hair transplant surgery, you can consider taking over-the-counter pain relievers, like Advil, as recommended by your surgeon. Additionally, adding ice packs to the areas outside the donor and surgery sites (forehead and neck) can help reduce discomfort.
If pain persists or worsens, it’s advisable for any hair transplant candidate to contact your healthcare provider for further guidance on managing post-operative pain effectively.