Hair transplant surgery at our Louisville plastic surgery center is a popular procedure for both men and women who are unhappy with hair loss or hair thinning. We use the NeoGraft® hair restoration procedure, which only takes a few hours. However, after the procedure, you can take a number of steps to enhance recovery and achieve your best results.
Post-Op Care Tips: Handling Side Effects
Following are a few basic tips about how to handle the minor side effects of your NeoGraft treatment:
- NeoGraft patients typically report little to no discomfort during recovery. However, any pain can be managed with over-the-counter medication.
- If the grafts dry prematurely, they can sometimes cause itching. To prevent itchiness, I recommend you fill a clean spray bottle with sterile water and spray the grafts 3 to 4 times a day to keep them hydrated.
- The graft sites will form scabs about 24 to 72 hours after surgery, and these scabs will fall off within 3 to 10 days. Sometimes, as the scabs fall off, hair sheds with them, and this is normal. Do not pick the scabs because this can cause infection and affect the results of your procedure.
After treatment, your scalp will be sensitive. It is important to use caution when styling your hair during recovery.
- Do not wash your hair for at least 24 hours after surgery. After the first 24 hours, you can wash your hair gently by lathering shampoo in your hand and lightly applying it to the grafted area. Rinse the shampoo out using cool water and light water pressure. Continue washing your hair like this for the first 5 days after your procedure.
- During recovery, it is best to air dry your hair. If you are using a blow dryer, use the “cool” setting for at least the first 5 days after your procedure. Your touch and temperature sensation may be numb for awhile after your procedure, so use your blow dryer with caution. The same goes for other hot tools like a flat iron, curling wand, and hair rollers.
- After your scabs have fallen off, you can begin using your normal styling products, such as hairspray, gel, or dry shampoo. If you start using them too soon, the chemicals from these products could irritate the grafts.
- Wait a few days to brush or comb your hair. When you do begin brushing again, be very gentle. You may need to change the style of your hair to accommodate the new growth.
- Hair dye is made from harsh chemicals, and your transplanted hair follicles will be sensitive at first. If you dye your hair, get it done before your procedure and wait until at least 3 weeks after to dye it again to avoid any bad reaction.
- Do not wear a hat for the first few days. After that, it is important to wear a hat out in public if you intend to be outside for more than 30 minutes in direct sunlight. However, do not wear a hat that touches the scalp, especially where the grafts are located.
Hair transplant surgery requires minimal downtime, but it is important to listen to your body and let yourself recover.
- Do not bend over or lift anything over 10 pounds for at least 48 hours after surgery to avoid bleeding or increased swelling.
- Sleep with your head and upper body elevated using pillows or a reclining chair for the first few days. This will help minimize any swelling on the forehead that may occur.
- It is safe to return to work as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. Typically, patients go back after 1 to 2 days.
- You can begin light exercise 1 to 2 days after your procedure, but you should avoid any strenuous activity for 1 week. Returning to intense physical activity too soon can result in bleeding and loss of grafts.
- Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools for at least 7 days after surgery.
For more information, read our blog post on hair transplant treatment and view our gallery of before-and-after photos to see what type of results you can expect. Women interested in a hair transplant procedure can read our earlier blog to determine if the treatment might be right for them.