Protecting the skin from severe sunburn is a concern for just about every beach goer in the summer time. But whether or not the sun can harm a new head of hair fresh out from surgical hair restoration is a question many hair transplant patients ask on our popular hair restoration forum.
A healthy amount of sun is actually good for the skin. But too much sun can cause severe sunburn and even skin cancer. Thus, it goes without saying that too much sun and severe sunburn isn't good for a hair transplant. But how much is "too much sun"?
Hair transplant surgeons typically advise keeping a new hair transplant covered for the first couple of months, the first 2 weeks of which are the most crucial. During the first 2 weeks, the freshly transplanted hair (called grafts) are still settling, attaching themselves and healing. Thus, too much sun exposure could actually damage the grafts and cause them not to properly attach, negatively impacting growth. The next month and a half however, the scalp is still healing despite the fact that the newly transplanted hairs are secured. The skin therefore, is even more sensitive to the sun and thus, it's far better to keep the healing scalp from seeing the sun too much.
Though severe sunburn could potentially be detrimental to the grafts the first few days after the hair transplant procedure, limited sun exposure won't inhibit growth of your new follicles. What long term sun exposure might do however, is cause elongated scalp discoloration in the transplanted area, especially if this occurs during the first couple months healing period.
Don't worry though, walking to and from your car or being out in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes here and there isn't going to hurt your hair transplant. But hair restoration physicians do advise keepnig the scalp covered if you are going to spend an extended amount of time in the sun catchhing rays.
Bill - Managing Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
To share ideas with other hair loss sufferers visit our Hair Restoration Discussion Forum.