Top 3 Hair Transplant Tips For Prospective Patients

Undergoing a hair transplant can be stressful, the days, weeks, months and even years it takes to select the right surgeon can leave a patient feeling anxious, because even after selecting the right surgeon there are so many questions and concerns. In this article, we will go over some hair transplant tips that every patient should be aware of prior to having a procedure.

Tip #1 Clean The Recipient Area

In a study conducted by Coalition Hair Transplant Surgeon Dr. Robert Bernstein, the study concluded that for the first two days, pulling on a hair always resulted in a lost graft, but the chance of the graft being dislodged decreased by the third day. By the sixth day pulling on a hair would no longer result in a lost graft. However, pulling on an adherent scabs always resulted in a lost graft through day five, with the dislodging of a graft decreasing up until day eight. By nine days post-op, grafts were no longer at risk of being dislodged. It is important to keep the recipient area clean, because scabs and crust prolong the period of recovery and can cause a graft to become dislodged for a longer period of time.

There are differnet methods employed by patients to clean the recipient area after a hair transplant. Some patients let their scalp (recipient site) soak in water and baby shampoo until the scabs become loose and then gently massage the recipient area until the scabs are removed. While some patients prefer to let a non-harsh conditioner soak on their scalp and then gently rinse their head with luke warm water and massage their scalp until the scabs are removed. In most cases, hair transplant surgeons leave detailed instructions on how to keep the recipient area clean.

Tip #2 Hair Growth Supplementation

Hair restoration is a standalone procedure that does not require any creams, treatments or pills for the transplanted hair to grow. However, there are a few products that can "potentially" prolong the anagen (growth) phase and reduce the telogen (resting) phase, which could "potentially" allow a patient to enjoy their results sooner. The first product that is recommended is Rogaine (minoxidil), this medication is FDA approved to treat androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss). While the exact mechanism of how the treatment works is still somewhat unknown, many believe that the medication prolongs the anagen (growth) phase and reduces the telogen (resting) phase, which means there are more terminal hairs on a patients head at any given time while using the product. Rogaine (minoxidil) can speed up hair growth following a hair transplant.

The next two products are inexpensive and while not FDA approved do have some anecdotal evidence online that suggest it may be useful to take after a hair transplant procedure. The products are Biotin and Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Biotin is a water soluble B-vitamin that helps maintain the health of hair, skin and nails. MSM is a sulfur chemical compound that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, MSM can help with the formation of keratin in the nails, skin and hair. Both of these products can be purchased for exceptionally low prices from most supplement stores and both products have some anecdotal evidence online that suggest it may help with hair growth.

Tip #3 Avoid Sun Exposure After a Hair Transplant

Sun exposure may inhibit the healing process of the hair transplant for several different reasons. Most hair transplant surgeons recommend that patients wear hats and use sunscreen when exposing themselves to powerful ultra violet (UV) rays for the first three months. It is critical patients limit how often they expose their scalp (recipient site) to the sun. This is because strong UV ray exposure can penetrate the epidermis (skin surface layer) and damage hair follicles that have not yet healed. For the first 4 months patients should wear hats or use sunscreen of SPF 30 and above. Additionally, for the first 7-10 days patients should wear loose fitting hats, so that the hat does not tug or scrape the grafts when it is removed. Patients are not advised to put any sunscreen on their scalp (recipient site) until all of the grafts have shed and the skin has fully healed.