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Does Smoking after Hair Transplant Surgery Affect Hair Growth?

3/22/2012 5:09:52 AM

Question:

I had a hair transplant about a month ago and, so far, I am able to feel a slight peach fuzz everywhere hairs were placed. However, there was a small area (about the size of quarter) that had a black scab.  At this time it has reduced to a very small size. After the procedure, I admit I had several cigarettes and I'm getting mixed signals as to whether the transplant will now not work. Is this true? I no longer smoke at all, nor shall I, and for the most part I’m following all your tips. What is a reasonable expectation?

Answer:

It’s normal to worry about hair growth in the weeks following hair restoration surgery. While smoking is definitely not advisable, I highly doubt that you have done any permanent damage at this point.

Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict and can reduce blood supply to the follicular unit grafts but you are not the only hair transplant patient to have smoked after surgery. The good thing is that you have now quit. It’s best, not only for your grafts, but for your general health as well.

Scabbing is normal after hair transplant surgery. However, if the scab you described seemed out of the ordinary, it’s always best to consult with your hair loss doctor.

At one month post-op, don’t look for growth. Your newly transplanted hairs will not appear until the third or fourth month. Hang in there and try to relax. Take your mind off of your grafts and let nature take its course. I’m sure things will work out just fine.

David (TakingThePlunge)

Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
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