You've researched surgeons/clinics, and now you feel like you've narrowed it down, and you're ready to pull the trigger. It's easy to find out what steps you should follow after having a hair transplant, but there's not a lot of information surrounding the things you shouldn't do, and what you should avoid immediately after having your procedure. In this article, we will be going over the top 5 things you should avoid after surgery.
#1 Sun Exposure
Right after your hair transplant, you should avoid prolonged sun exposure for quite some time. UV rays can damage the freshly transplanted grafts, which can hinder the overall growth and yield of the procedure. You should always wear a hat when you go outside, at least for the first three months. If you buzz your head, you should be applying SPF sunscreen to limit the damage done by the harmful UV rays.
#2 Lifting Weights
If you're a gym rat like me, it will be difficult to abstain from any form of strenuous exercise for a while. However, you must take a minimum of two weeks off from heavy weight lifting. In the first seven days, the grafts are fragile, and any strain can cause the grafts to pop and bleed. If you pop out a graft, it will not grow. Furthermore, any pressure on the neck or head can cause scars to bleed, and if you undergo a strip surgery, it can cause the scar to stretch. Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) or strip requires more time off from the gym because the scar can stretch.
#3 Washing Your Hair
You want to avoid washing your hair directly under the showerhead for a while. While the grafts are healing and securing into your scalp, you want to avoid any activity that could damage the grafts or dislodge them from your scalp- this includes showering. Now, this doesn't mean you should walk around for a week, smelling like you haven't bathed. You can still wash your body and hair, but it needs to be under controlled circumstances with a bowl of warm water and baby shampoo.
#4 Drinking and Smoking
Drinking alcohol thins out your blood, and this could cause you to excessively bleed, which will prolong your recovery period. Smoking cigarettes can affect blood circulation, and if the grafts do not have enough blood supply, they will die—no blood supply; no hair. You don't have to quit drinking or smoking forever, just for the first few months, as the grafts anchor and begin to sprout.
#5 Hair Pieces/Systems, Tight Caps, or Extensions
If you wear a hair system/ piece and you're undergoing a hair transplant, you must stop wearing the system for the first few months. As dreadful as that sounds, it is necessary. The hair systems adhesive and glue will easily dislodge the grafts and damage them, and in the end, the grafts will not grow. Do not wear any tight wave caps for the first few months after surgery. The wave caps can tug and dislodge the grafts. The same goes for hair extensions. The only thing that you could wear after surgery is a loosely fitted hat.
Hair transplant grafts are living organisms, and just like any transplant, you need to give them time to survive and become a part of your body. Avoid anything that could tug, rub, irritate, or damage the delicate grafts. You can resume regular activity once the grafts have begun to grow, which on average, is around the third to the fourth month after surgery.