Since hair transplantation does not require hospitalization, the patient can go home after the operation. The planting area is not covered by any dressing and left open. Therefore, it should be noted that the area should not contact anywhere and should not be exposed to trauma for at least 1 week. During this time, crowded public transportation such as buses and subways should not be used, but if it is inevitable, care should be taken. During the first week, accessories such as hats, caps, and bonnets should not be used.
For the first 2 days following the hair transplantation, it is necessary to sleep in half sitting position in order to prevent swelling in the face and forehead. Necessary measures should be taken to ensure that the area where the hair is planted does not contact the pillows or sheets during sleep. It should be avoided to lean forward for reasons such as tieing shoelaces for the first 1-2 days. Alcoholic beverages should not be used during the first day following hair transplantation.
Aspirin and other blood-thinning drugs, as well as Omega-3 supplements, should not be taken until 48 hours after surgery. If painkillers, anti-edema medications and antibiotics have been prescribed, they should be used in accordance with the prescription.
First Dressing And First Wash
The graft-donating area, ie the back and sides of the head, are closed by a post-surgical dressing. On the first day following hair transplantation, there may be leaks in this area. This is a completely normal state. The next day of hair transplantation, you will go for control and dressing. The first wash is done within 24 – 48 hours after hair transplantation. This depends on the surgeon’s preference, if the surgeon decides to do the first wash at 48 hours, only the graft-donating area is dressed on the first day without washing. If the first wash to be done after 24 hours, both the first wash and dressing of the graft donor area are done at the same time.
The first washing is done with a foaming antiseptic substance, not with shampoo since the planted area is still very fresh. The doctor explains to the patient how to do the washing. Subsequent washings are carried out by the patient over-day.
From the day after hair transplantation, scabs are formed on the grafts in the hair transplant area. These scabs fall spontaneously around 10 days, with repeated washings. They should fall out spontaneously and should not be scraped off with nails. The area where the grafts are taken will heal around 4 – 5 days.
Most of the planted hair begins to be shed temporarily 7 – 10 days after transplantation. The shedding process can last up to 1 month. This is normal, it is called a shock hair loss. Although all these hairs come out a few months later, this shedding process can be limited by the use of Minoxidil after the operation or by PRP application during hair transplantation, and the regrowth process of the hair may be shortened. It takes a period of 9 to 12 months for all the hair to grow and the final result to be seen.
After Hair Transplantation
When a person decides to plant hair, he begins to prepare himself for the operation, both physically and psychologically. In this process, the person usually tries to find the best hair transplantation center by obtaining more detailed information about hair transplantation. Since the hair transplantation center you choose will directly affect the success of the operation, I recommend you to go into comprehensive research and not to hurry.
As there are three stages of hair transplantation as preliminary preparation, operation, and the post-operation processes, they will have different dynamics and their requirements will be different. There are many factors that affect the success of the treatment from the beginning to the end of the treatment. For this reason, care must be taken in all stages of a hair transplantation procedure. Although a technically successful operation has been performed, it is only possible to get the best results by following hair transplantation rules and with the patient’s attention.
After the operation, the doctor will bandage your head and it will remain 24 hours to protect your scalp from external factors. After 24 hours, you should go to the clinic again for a dressing. Before dressing, the doctor will remove the bandage and clean the wounds.
Do you wonder what you’re going to experience in this process? Let’s look into the process in a general manner. In order to have more detailed information about what to expect and what to care about after hair transplantation, in this article, I will examine the process after hair transplantation under 2 headings as the nutrition and the care.
Nutrition After Hair Transplantation
When applying the instructions and suggestions given by your doctor after the hair transplantation, giving importance to what you eat together will help the healthy growth and strengthening of the new hair follicles. In this process, being prudent in nutrition as well as preferring the food useful to hair, will increase the rate of cell regeneration after transplantation and will help to shorten the recovery time after the operation.
Therefore, every food you consume will have an effect on the newly planted hair follicles. When your nutritional system lacks micro and macronutrients (minerals, vitamins, protein, and fatty acids), cell membrane dysfunctions may occur. This situation may interfere with the normal life cycle of the hair and prevent the hair follicles from growing again, and it can cause hair loss after hair transplantation.
To have healthy hair follicles, you can rearrange your diet plan with the food items listed below:
- B-Complex Vitamins
B-Complex vitamins such as B7 (Biotin) and B12 have a very important role in hair structure, quality, and healthy growth. These vitamins also support the metabolism of nutrients by providing nutrients to the whole body, including hair and hair follicles. For this reason, doctors usually recommend patients to use B-Complex vitamin supplements after hair transplantation. Foods rich in vitamin B can be listed as chicken, red meat, banana, avocado, brown rice, nuts, and eggs.
In cases of zinc deficiency, hair thinning and hair loss are a serious problem. For this reason, zinc support is very important after hair transplantation. Zinc also plays an important role in tissue repair, collagen production, cell proliferation, hormonal balance, absorption of vitamins and protein synthesis. Some foods rich in zinc include lamb, chickpeas, shrimp, whole grains, spinach, eggs, and fish.
Iron deficiency, such as zinc deficiency, can also cause hair loss. Iron strengthens hair, improves hair texture, helps to transport oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles and scalp. Thanks to this important function of iron, it will be made possible for patients to get results according to their expectations. In the same way, the iron will strengthen the immune system and accelerate the recovery time after hair transplantation. Among the foods with high iron content; there are spinach, beans, beef, oyster, and calf’s liver.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties. Because it accelerates the healing of damaged skin, it is very effective in healing the scars. After the wounds are healed in the donor area and the transplanted area, vitamin E oil can be applied to soften the tissue and improve the procedure’s quality. Some foods rich in vitamin E include almond, avocado, spinach, sunflower seeds, and olive oil.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant, has a very important role in the production of collagen which has a vital role in healing the wounds. Vitamin C is also helpful in combating oxidative stress, which is responsible for hair graying and hair loss. Vitamin C rich foods can be listed as follows: Pepper varieties, cabbage, kiwi, broccoli, granular small fruits, and citrus fruits.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A is needed for the growth and development of all cells in the human body, including hair follicles. Vitamin A is also effective in the production of sebum, a substance similar to the fatty tissue that moisturizes the scalp and makes the hair healthy. Vitamin A deficiency can cause hair loss, as well as causing the scalp to be dry and itchy (Itching on the scalp are one of the temporary side effects after hair transplantation). Some foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, calf’s liver, cabbage, spinach, and pumpkin.
One other point I recommend you to pay attention to nutrition is your cholesterol level. Decreasing fat from your diet will decrease your LDL (bad cholesterol) values and your HDL (good cholesterol) values will increase. When the cholesterol level is kept within the balanced limits, both the recovery of the wounds and the healthy growth of the hair are ensured.
Recovery Process And Care After Hair Transplantation
Asepsis-antisepsis rules applied for all kinds of microsurgical procedures are also valid for hair transplantation. The risk of infection will be very low if the hair transplantation is performed in a sterile manner and under favorable conditions.
Although the healing process after hair transplantation varies from patient to patient, it covers about 1 year period. The first three days after the operation is very important. There may be some pain the first night, but if you use pain medication prescribed by your doctor, you can have a comfortable night.
In the first days after planting, you should lie on your back as much as possible and do not have any contact with the planting area. The day after hair transplantation, they will invite you to the clinic to remove the bandage on your neck and to make a dressing. Then, it will be enough to use the edema remedies prescribed by your doctor in the first three days.
During the first 3 days, there may be bleeding in the area where the hair follicles are taken and in the area where the transplantation is done. This is normal. In order to prevent the formation of inflammation, you should use the antibiotic cure prescribed by your doctor regularly without interrupting the first five days after the operation. You should not use alcohol during this process.
Because antibiotics can directly interfere with your blood, they can have negative consequences by interacting with the drugs you use. Since smoking may also adversely affect the healing process, it would be appropriate to recommend not to smoke until at least 1 week after the operation.
At the end of the first three days, the first washing process begins. You should do the washing with the special care lotion and shampoo recommended by your doctor for 15 days starting from the third day. With the regular washing process, the scab formation after the operation will soften and will be completely shed at the end of the 15th day.
Heavy and compelling sports should be avoided until at least 1 month after hair transplantation. Because doing exercise causes increased blood pressure and heart rate. Increased heart rate may cause bleeding of microchannels where hair follicles are planted and may damage the hair follicles. I recommend that you stay away from activities that will make you tired and sweaty at least for a week.
However, 4-5 days after the operation, you may do slightly paced walks that will not make you tired or sweat. After the hair transplantation process, you should protect the area from the sun rays for about 2 weeks. When you go out, you can wear a hat that won’t tighten your head. By the first month after hair transplantation, you will have left behind an important process.
Within a few weeks after planting your hair will be shed. 90% of patients pass through this stage, so you don’t have to worry. This is due to the fact that the grafts are transferred to the sleep phase (telogen) by activating their defense mechanism due to the trauma experienced during the collection of hair follicles. Your planted hair will begin to grow in a healthy way starting from the 2nd-4th month by entering the new growth cycle. I recommend you to be patient in this process.
After the fourth month, your hair will grow further and it will start to form its structure. From the 8th month, you will see that your planted hair becomes thicker and thicker. Approximately 1 year after the operation your hair will get a more natural look.
Things to Be Considered in the Process of Recovery After Hair Transplantation
The healing process after hair transplantation lasts about six months. During the healing process, the doctor’s recommendations must be strictly followed. Following the advice of the physician accelerates the healing in hair transplantation as in other treatments. The recovery process consists of two periods.
The First Stage: Fixation of the Hair Follicles
It starts with the implantation of the hair strands and covers a period of about one week. In this process, the scalp is very susceptible to germs because it is very sensitive. You should be very careful in this sensitive process. You should take all the precautions to protect your scalp. The first 3 days do not wash your hair. The first wash after the operation is done three days later. It is done mostly in the clinic where hair transplantation is performed. This wash can also be carried out at home as described by the physician. The points to be considered during this period are:
- Unhealthy (dirty, dusty and smoky) environments should be avoided.
- Annoying jobs should be avoided.
- No heavy work.
- You must wear a hat to protect yourself from intense sunlight. The hat should only be used when going out. In the interior places, it should be removed to make sure the operation area gets fresh air.
- No chemicals should be applied to the operation area except the medicines and products recommended by the doctor.
- Hair begins to be washed from the third day. Hair is washed daily, once a day. The lotion or shampoo recommended by the doctor should be used for washing. The washing process should be carried out with delicate movements using the palm and fingertips, and the nails should not be used.
- Clean towels should be preferred in the drying process. Towel drying should be done with sensitive movements to remove moisture from the head. Hair dryers should not be preferred. If a hair dryer is to be used, cold or warm air should be used and the machine should be kept away from the head.
- The head area must be protected against physical stresses such as impacts.
- For the first 15 days, you should stay away from swimming, sauna, and other sporting activities.
- Stressful and tiring work environments should be avoided.
- You also should stay away from alcohol and smoking.
- Make sure you do not touch the area where hair transplantation is made during your sleep.
Redness of the bottom of the hair after the operation and the formation of the scabs is expected to be a normal condition. These scabs fall out within 10 days. The absence of scabs will delay the growth of the new hair. Consult the doctor if the scabs do not fall out in 15 days. Operation area should not be scratched. If the itching sensation in the scalp reaches a disturbing level, the doctor’s recommended itching remedies can be used.
The Second Stage: When the Planted Hair Is Shed and Grow Again
After the first period, the second process lasts about 6 months. The first growing hair is weak and shed immediately. This is normal and should not be interpreted as a failure of the operation. The shedding process usually begins 4 weeks after the operation, it may be earlier or later than according to the person. For the growth of healthy hair, the transplanted tissue needs to be held and healed. In the second process of post-operative recovery, the following points should be considered:
- Shaving tools such as razors and machines should not be preferred in hair cut, and scissors should be used without touching the skin.
- Swimming should be avoided. In particular, chemicals involved in pool water can damage the scalp.
- Chemicals such as hair styling products and hair dye should be avoided.
- Do not use hair products which may irritate the skin.
- The operation area should not be washed with very hot water and should not be exposed to high-pressure water.
- It can be massaged both during the wash and at other times with palms and fingertips, but you should never scratch the area of operation with your fingernails.
- After hair transplantation, it takes time for hair to become thicker.
- Therefore, the patient should be patient during the healing process. The hair that grows first are quite thin and lifeless and must be shed. In a few weeks, instead of them, thicker and more vivid hair begins to grow.
- New hairs will grow from 80% of the transplanted follicles in 6 months after the operation.
- 100% completion of the process lasts one year. At the end of a year, the traces of operation will disappear as well.
It is a hair care applied before and after the operation. Hair mesotherapy is the process of applying some vitamins and minerals needed by hair follicles to the scalp with the help of an injector to strengthen the hair and prevent or reduce hair loss if there is any.
Hair mesotherapy can be applied in hair transplantation both before and after the operation. First one is made to thicken hair strands before planting and to improve the hair quality. The second application is done at the end of the healing process after the hair transplantation. Hair mesotherapy performed at the end of the healing process helps the growth of new hair from hair follicles planted beforehand. Hair follicles need some vitamins and minerals to grow. With the hair mesotherapy, the minerals, vitamins and some antioxidants that hair follicles need are given directly to the mesoderm layer of the skin tissue. Fine tipped injectors are used for this process.
Hair mesotherapy can be done independently of hair transplantation. It does not consist of a single session. There are approximately 10 sessions of hair mesotherapy. The application is effective after the fifth session. It provides a significant reduction in hair loss after the eighth and ninth sessions.
The effect of external treatments to the hair is short-lived. Mesotherapy provides a longer lasting improvement in the hair. The effect of hair mesotherapy can be between three and four years. At the end of this period, the application can be repeated. The most important advantages of hair mesotherapy are that it is permanent, very easy to apply, and not too long and laborious. Hair mesotherapy performed with hair transplantation positively affects the result of the operation.
Application of Hair Mesotherapy
Hair mesotherapy is applied with a special massage to the scalp. First, steam is applied to the hair. Thus, the skin is softened and becomes ready for application. The mineral, vitamins and other nutrients needed by hair follicles are injected into the mesoderm layer of the scalp. This layer contains the hair follicles.
Local anesthesia can be performed to prevent pain during mesotherapy. The application can be carried out manually or with the help of computer-aided devices. The application with the help of computer-aided machine provides equal distribution of the given drug to each region. Each session takes 20-30 minutes. Hair washing and drying after hair mesotherapy should be done more carefully as in hair transplantation.