Hair Transplant Healing Process and Important Details

Your hair may have started to fall out and you may be considering a hair transplant. No matter what stage you are at right now, you may wonder many questions about the healing process after hair transplantation. Remember, getting information about the healing process from specialist physicians will also make it as easy as possible. You may be wondering whether there is pain, ache, crusting, itching, redness in the healing process after hair transplantation, and whether the stages of shock loss or the healing process after hair transplantation vary from person to person. In this article, I will give you information about the healing process after hair transplantation.

The process known as hair transplantation is the transplantation of healthy hair follicles to the areas where the hair is thinned with minor surgical operations. In the first week of the operation, there may be slight redness in the area where the hair transplantation is performed, if there is swelling, it disappears within 2 days, although the pain is not frequent, a slight pain may be felt for the first few days. Post-operative crusting is considered a part of healing and will be completely gone on the 10th day. Some of the transplanted hair may fall out in the 3rd week. Don’t worry, this is normal and not a sign that something is wrong. Let’s take a look at this process together!

When applied under the right conditions, hair transplantation will be a natural and permanent solution to the problem of thinning or baldness. In the application performed with microsurgical methods in the areas where the hair follicle is not active, the healthy hair follicles of the patient are added to the spilled area. Only healthy hair taken from the patient himself is added to the spilled area. Hair transplantation should be planned and applied completely personally. The procedure must be performed in a fully equipped operating room by a surgeon trained in surgery. The main purpose of hair transplantation is to give the patient a permanent hairy appearance in a natural way that will not be obvious to the head area and will not tire anyone’s eyes.

After a successful hair transplant, a permanent appearance can be obtained as if the person’s own hair has never been shed. People who want to have hair transplantation can regain their natural hair appearance comfortably only with specialist physicians and modern medical practices. Otherwise, the result may be disappointing. A correct hair transplant operation should be performed in a fully equipped and sterile environment, in fully equipped and sterile environment, with a trained and experienced healthcare team, and institutions approved by the Ministry of Health. This micro-surgical operation is performed under local anesthesia. The general way to follow in hair transplantation is as follows:

  • Scalp and hair analysis is performed by specialist physicians.
  • Depending on the situation, blood and hormone tests may be requested from the patient who comes with a hair transplant request.
  • On the day of hair transplantation, blood is taken from the patient and the necessary analysis is performed.
  • The patient’s hair is shaved or, if desired, unshaven hair transplantation methods can be applied.
  • The patient is transferred to a fully equipped sterile room.
  • The planned amount of hair follicles is extracted from the donor area.
  • The grafts collected by the FUE method from the spill-resistant area between the two ears of the patient are taken into a special solution and made ready for transplantation.
  • Hair is transported to the bald area one by one as roots.
  • The transported roots are placed in gently opened channels.
  • If there is no complication, the patient is discharged after a maximum of 6-8 hours.

If you are performing the procedure in a fully equipped institution approved by the Ministry of Health, certified by international societies, and having the necessary hygiene conditions, the institution will give you a booklet or a timetable about the recovery process after hair transplantation. This information will be enough for you to complete the recovery process after hair transplantation almost perfectly.

Healing Symptoms After Hair Transplantation

Although the healing process after hair transplantation varies from person to person, it is a process that starts on the day of transplantation and passes through the stages of crusting, itching, redness, and shock shedding within 1-2 weeks. Since the FUE method, which has been used since 2005, does not create wounds and incisions in transplantation operations, recovery after hair transplantation is completed quickly. Approximately 3 days after transplantation, the transplant area scabs, the scabs fall off within 10 days and leaves a red appearance.

When the hair grows and overcomes the shock shedding process, the hair begins to grow. The final result is completed in 1 year for hair that has a visible growth by 6 months. The effectiveness of the healing process is also related to how well the post-operative instructions given by the transplant doctor are followed. For this reason, attention should be paid to many points, from nutrition to daily activities, from alcohol-cigarette use to sexual life. During the healing process after hair transplantation, the person reaches the final result by going through certain stages. Various reactions are observed in hair transplantation operations performed by removing the roots and transplanting them to the balding area, depending on the interventions made in the scalp.

These reactions observed after transplantation worry many people. However, it should not be forgotten that these reactions are a part of healing, as many tiny holes are made in the scalp for transplantation. The healing process after hair transplantation follows similar stages, just as it falls off and our knee bleeds, then scabs, and those scabs fall off and leave their place to a red tissue. These symptoms seen in anyone who had transplantation without exception; it may take earlier in some, later in some, shorter in some, and longer in others.

  • Crusting

While the hair follicles are collected and the channels where the follicles will be transplanted are opened, small holes are opened in the scalp. These holes, which bleed during the operation, are tried to be healed by the tissue after the operation. Thus, the body forms a clot where the wound is located to heal the wound. This movement of the body to repair the wound, namely crusts; is part of the healing process after transplantation.

  • Itching

Part of the healing process after hair transplantation is the itching sensation that occurs after crusting. Scabs caused by the tissue trying to heal itself; Since it leaves the scalp without moisture, it causes itching in the transplantation area. Itching that occurs after transplantation can also be caused by the doctor’s misplacing the hair follicle, infection of the transplantation area, allergy to shampoo, and care products. If the itching in question is thought to be caused by a different reason than the healing, the transplant doctor must be informed.

  • Rash

Redness that occurs when the scabs are cleaned from the scalp and gets rid of it is also one of the signs of recovery after hair transplantation. After the transplantation area is washed and cleansed from the crusts, a slight redness appears in the transplantation area. Over time, the rash leaves itself to a slight pinkness and then returns to its own skin color. Redness means that there is no obstacle for hair follicles to grow. After this process, the transplanted hair follicles begin to grow obviously.

  • Shock Shedding

Hair that grows in parallel with the scaling and shedding of the hair follicles experience a shock shedding process after transplantation. It occurs due to the decrease in blood flow during the operation. Shock shedding, which is one of the signs of recovery after transplantation, is the shedding of hair follicles defending themselves against their newly planted nests. It is a temporary process, after the shock shedding process is over, the hair will grow healthier and more vibrant.

  • Acne

After hair transplantation, hair follicles are not completely removed from the donor area, the transplanted area is not kept clean, the channels are deeply opened and the skin produces excess sebum, as well as due to the healing process after the hair transplantation, as a result of the newly emerged hair follicles. These bubbles, also called acne, are mostly observed aftershock spill.

Healing of the Donor Area After Hair Transplantation – 1-Year Recovery Process

Since the FUE method is used in hair transplant operations, recovery in the donor area takes a shorter period. In FUE, where the grafts are removed one by one with the help of micro-motor instead of large pieces, the healing of the donor area takes place within 10 days. Since no incision is made in the donor area, there is also no scar after transplantation. After the transplantation, mild pain may be felt in the donor area, in order to prevent these networks, painkillers should be taken regularly without delaying the onset of pain. It takes about 1 year for the transplanted hair follicles to reach the desired result. It completes the process at the end of 1 year by going through various stages.

First 3 Days

When the hair transplant is completed and the person is sent home, the healing process actually begins. Slight swelling and pain may be experienced, this is completely normal. Since the transplant wounds are crusted within 3 days, the scabs formed are removed from the hair by washing at the end of the 3rd day so that the healing process takes place faster. It is also recommended to do the washing process with very gentle movements in order to get through the process healthy.

Risks that may occur are prevented by regularly using the antibiotic given by the doctor so that the area is infected and does not delay recovery. In the first three days, itching may occur in the transplantation area due to crusting. One should be patient until the washing process, as a wrong action may cause the area to become infected and bleed, which may disrupt the healing process after hair transplantation.

Between 3 – 15 Days

Since the scabs formed in the transplantation area cannot be removed immediately with the first washing process, the hair is washed every day for 15 days so that the scabs do not damage the newly transplanted hair. Since the shells prevent the hair follicles from breathing and slows the growth of new hair, the washing process has special importance in the healing process. Thanks to regular washing processes, the hair is completely free of scabs at the end of 15 days and leaves its place to a reddened appearance.

Between 15 Days – 3 Months

Redness occurs in the planting area by removing the skin. The rash in the transplant area leaves its place to pink after 15 days. The rash seen in everyone after the transplant operation without exception is an indication that the wounds in the transplantation area have healed completely. With the shedding of the scabs, the growth of the transplanted hair is also seen more clearly, while the person experiences shock shedding, another symptom of the healing process after hair transplantation. Shock hair loss, which occurs between 3 weeks and 3 months after transplantation, lasts for about 1 month. This process, also referred to as rapid shedding, is a harbinger of healthier hair growth.

Between 3-6 Months

With the end of shock shedding, active growth in hair continues where it left off. As part of the healing process after hair transplantation, small pimple-like blisters occur with the tip of the hair follicles. These bubbles, which are observed as the hair grows, can start after shock loss and continue for up to 6 months. As the hair follicles grow, they may cause mild itching. Folliculitis, a bacterial skin infection, may also occur where hair follicles are transplanted. These bubbles should not be confused with the bubbles caused by the newly growing hair.

Between 6-9 Months

Almost 50 percent of the transplanted hair follicles have grown and the transplantation area has completely healed. In fact, if desired, the hair can be easily hit with a razor. Treatments such as PRP and mesotherapy to nourish the hair follicles can be easily applied to the transplantation area.

Between 9-12 Months

Almost all of the hair has grown, it has reached the desired thickness and vitality. After this process, the person can do whatever he wants to his hair. The hair can be given the desired shape and care can be done without the person noticing that he has had a transplant.

Recovery time and results after hair transplantation may vary from person to person. However, certain recommendations to be considered may contribute to the healing process after hair transplantation.

  • The instructions given by the doctor must be followed exactly.
  • You should lie in a slightly upright position for 3 days.
  • You should not stand too much to prevent edema.
  • Conditions such as swelling, bruising, bleeding after transplantation should not be ignored and the transplant doctor should be informed immediately.
  • Intensive exercise and sports activities should be avoided for 3-4 weeks, as it may cause an increase in blood flow rate and cause bleeding in the hair follicles and root loss.
  • Hair should also be protected from sunlight, which will delay the healing process after hair transplantation, for 3 weeks.
  • The transplantation area should not be scratched hard and the scabs should not be removed.
  • You should stay away from the sea, pool, and sauna for 3 weeks.
  • The person who had the transplant should not drink alcohol for 1 week and smoke for at least 2 weeks.
  • If possible, it should be rested for 1 week.

In order not to interrupt the healing process after hair transplantation, the person who has hair transplantation should be informed in detail about the problem and the things to be followed before and after the treatment. The person who has hair transplantation should follow all the instructions given by the doctor, pay attention to their care and nutrition.

When Is the Hair Transplant Healing Process Completed?

After the person undergoing hair transplant treatment is discharged home, the first 7-day process, one of the most important processes, has started. In the first three days, visible differences begin to appear in the areas where hair transplantation is performed, and at the end of three days, you can contact with water and take a bath. After the operation is completed in the clinic or hospital, the person discharged begins to have a comfortable rest and recovery process in a comfortable and safe environment of his home. There are two very important points to be considered within the first seven days after hair transplantation:

  • Avoid contact with water for the first three days after the procedure.
  • Do not pull out any scabs that may begin to occur the next day after hair transplantation.
  • When these two issues are considered, the person has the opportunity to spend a comfortable week.

At the same time, this process of the first 7 – 10 days following the hair transplant operation is considered critical by the experts. The reason is that the new tissues, which are defined as grafts applied to the transplanted area, have the opportunity to get used to their new position and hold on during this time. For this reason, it is important to inform the doctor and make the necessary controls in case of any adverse situation that may be seen in the first 7 days. The grafts that succeed in holding in their place within the first 7 days, now get used to their new places, and then rupture problems do not occur.

The scab phase seen in the healing process after hair transplantation is a normal and positive response of the body as a signal of having new hair. It is the recovery process of the donor area and the healing of the wounds after the transplantation of your new hair to the problematic area. Scabbing means a positive improvement and the treatment works, it is definitely not a cause for concern.

Especially in the first week, scabbing brings itching along with itching, it is very important not to break the scabs due to itching, so you should definitely not scratch the area. After the softening of the shell tissues and the first few days of healing, the problem of crusting ends in the first 7-10 days. The crusting will disappear without leaving any traces behind. Bathing is the only solution that speeds up the healing process of the scab condition.

How Long Does Hair Transplant Heal?

The event called shock hair loss is unquestionably seen following the hair transplantation. This is the temporary loss of hair strands on the hair follicles transplanted to the treated area. This process is an extremely normal process that is experienced after every hair transplant, but the unpreparedness of people who have experienced hair loss before this event may make the patient experience that the treatment was ineffective as well as make him/her feel nervous and disillusioned.

Despite the fact that there is no unequivocal time period regarding the shock loss, it for the most part takes 1-3 months after the operation. Although this shock spill varies from person to person, it is usually completed within 2 weeks. The loss of hair experienced after hair transplantation is a typical and solid condition, as well as being totally temporary. Shock hair loss following the operation is a one-time thing. Apart from shock hair loss, there will not be any problems about the transferred hair follicles.

The perpetual and clear outcome in hair transplantation is generally seen in a time between twelve and eighteen months. In the transplantation process that is carried out by a completely prepared, proficient, and capable team, the individual is given point by point data about the outcome and the healing cycle previously, during, and following the transplantation. The photographs show the normal outcomes to the individual. Along these lines, the individual enters the procedure with no question marks.

As with every surgical procedure, results that will cause discomfort for a short time may develop as a result of hair transplantation, but each of these is normal and expected situations.

Things to Watch Out for During the Hair Transplantation Healing Process

Hair grafts transplanted after hair transplantation will go through several stages before the desired results are reached. Hair development can take around 1 year or somewhat more than a year prior to the ideal outcomes are accomplished. Below is a timeline for the healing process after hair transplantation. With this diagram, you can have data about what’s in store after the transplantation.

  • 1 – 15 Days After Hair Transplantation

In the first few days after the operation, mild swelling, itching, and pain may be felt in both the harvesting and transplantation area. These symptoms usually resolve completely within 1 week. Rashes and scabbing experienced after the transplantation normally vanishes toward the finish of the fifteenth day.

  • 15-30 Days After Hair Transplantation

Around three weeks after the operation, there may be hair loss in the new hair. This is completely normal and expected. This occurs due to the temporary sleep phase in which all hair grafts go through after any hair restoration procedure.

  • 1-2 Months After Hair Transplantation

For several months after the operation, the patient can expect to see several new hair follicles coming from the surface of the scalp. This new growth period varies from patient to patient but is seen after an average of three months. New hair does not need to grow evenly, but eventually, all will grow. The new hair will be slim however will thicken over the long haul.

  • 3-6 Months After Hair Transplantation

The patient can expect new hair growth until the fifth to sixth months after the procedure. At the same time, it will be seen that the newly growing hair starts to thicken.

  • 6-10 Months After Hair Transplantation

Somewhere in the range of six and eighteen months, you will see the greatest difference since the operation. The hair will be longer and thicker, and a greater density will be observed than a few months ago in terms of general appearance.

  • 1 Year After Hair Transplantation

When a full year has passed since the procedure, the patient sees the desired result, but improvement may continue to be seen for more than a year, especially in the transplantation performed in the crown area.

In order to obtain an efficient result from transplantation, it is important that the patient follows the necessary instructions and has realistic expectations as well as the success of the operation. Thus, in spite of the fact that it is disclosed what to wait for, the person ought to be followed up by the center after the transplantation.

Post-Hair Transplant Care

Asepsis-antisepsis rules applied for all kinds of microsurgical procedures are also valid for hair transplantation. If the hair transplant operation is performed in a sterile manner and under suitable conditions, the risk of infection will be very low. Despite the fact that the recuperating cycle after hair transplantation differs between people, it covers a time of roughly 1 year. The initial three days after the activity are significant. There might be some agony at the first, yet since you use the prescriptions written by your physician, you can have a comfortable night.

In the first days after transplantation, you must lie on your back however much as could be expected and not make contact with the transplanted area. The day after the hair transplant, they will call you to the clinic to remove the bandage and dressing on your neck. Subsequently, it will be sufficient to use the anti-edema medications prescribed by your physician for the first three days. During the initial 3 days, there might be bleeding in the region where the relocated hair follicles are taken, and in the region where the transplantation is made, this is typical.

Since the antibiotics will straightforwardly enter your bloodstream, using alcohol may cause negative outcomes by interfacing with the medications you use. Since smoking will likewise truly influence the mending cycle, it is fitting to suggest not smoking for several weeks after the transplantation. Toward the finish of the initial three days, the principal washing measure begins. You ought to play out the washing cycle as educated to you with the special products suggested by your PCP for 15 days from the third day.

The increase in heart rate can cause bleeding in the micro canals where the transplanted hair follicles are located, causing damage. We do not recommend that you stay away from activities that will make you tired and sweaty for at least a week. However, 4-5 days after the operation, you can take light-paced walks that will not make you tired and sweaty. After the hair transplant procedure, you should protect the transplanted area from sunlight for about 2 weeks. When you go out, you can wear a hat that will not bother you. By the first month after hair transplantation, you will have left an important process behind.

At this stage, it would be appropriate to talk about “shock spill”. Your transplanted hair will fall out within a few weeks following the transplant. Since 90% of the patients go through this stage, you do not need to worry. This is due to the fact that the grafts switch to the sleep phase (telogen) by activating the defense mechanism due to the trauma experienced during the extraction of hair follicles in hair transplantation. Your transplanted hair will enter a new growth cycle from the 2nd to 4th month and begin to grow in a healthy way.

We recommend you to be patient during this process. After the fourth month, your hair will grow further and begin to form its structure. From the 8th month, you will see that your transplanted hair becomes thicker and thicker. Approximately 1 year after the operation, your transplanted hair will become thicker and will take a natural look like your existing hair.

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Savaş Ateş

I'm a hair loss expert. The picture was taken 10 years ago :) I have been losing my hair. So I started to learn everything about hair loss and hair transplants. I contacted a lot of hair transplant doctors. We shared our experiences. I'm writing blog posts for people who have the potential of losing their hair. I give some tips about hair transplants and medical issues too.

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