Hair Transplant - Aftercare Advice
There are two predominant types of hair transplantation currently in use:
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
Talk to your doctor or a transplant surgeon before you decide to get either hair transplant procedure. Understand that neither procedure is guaranteed to be successful but that scarring is a risk.
FUT and FUE both involve transplanting individual hair follicles.
During FUT surgery, a surgeon cuts a strip of skin from the back or side of your scalp and then extracts the hair follicles.
In FUE surgery, your surgeon will remove individual hair follicles directly from your scalp, rather than first taking a strip of scalp skin.
FUE is currently the more common surgery. Some of the advantages of FUE include:
- Quicker healing time
- Less pain after surgery
- Doesn’t cause a significant scar
- Hair from other body parts can be used
- Can be used even if you have poor hair density
Some advantages of FUT include:
- May be a better option if you need a large number of hair follicles grafted
- Shorter operation time
- Cheaper surgery
FUT and FUE may each take several hours to several days to complete. In part, this depends on the amount of work performed by the surgeon. You will go home the same day of the procedure.
Once the surgery is done, your surgeon carefully removes any bandages. The area may be swollen, so your surgeon might inject triamcinolone into the area to keep the swelling down.
You’ll likely feel pain or soreness at the transplant site as well as in the area where hair was taken from. For the next few days, your surgeon may prescribe:
- Pain medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil)
- Antibiotics to prevent infections
- Anti-inflammatories, such as an oral steroid, to relieve swelling
- Medications such as finasteride (Propecia) or minoxidil (Rogaine) to help stimulate hair growth
Here are some aftercare tips for hair transplant surgery:
- Wait a few days after the surgery to wash your hair. Only use mild shampoos for the first few weeks.
- You should be able to return to work or normal activities in about 3 days.
- Don’t press a brush or comb down over the new grafts for about 3 weeks.
- Don’t wear any hats or pullover shirts and jackets until your doctor say it’s OK.
- Don’t exercise for about a week.
- Don’t worry if some hairs fall out. This is part of the process. Transplanted hair may not grow much or seamlessly match the hair around it for a few months.
Hair transplant side effects
The most common side effect is scarring, and this cannot be avoided with any procedure.
Other potential side effects include:
- Crust or pus drainage around the surgical sites
- Scalp pain, itching, and swelling
- Inflammation of hair follicles (folliculitis)
- Losing sensation around the surgical sites
- Visible areas of hair that don’t match the surrounding hair or are noticeably thinner
- Continuing to lose hair if your hair is still balding
Minoxidil and Propecia can also have side effects, such as:
- Irritated scalp
- Chest pain
- Irregular heart rate
- Hand, foot, or breast swelling
- Sexual dysfunction
I confirm that potential complications for the procedure undertaken and aftercare instructions have been explained to me. I agree it is my responsibility to read and understand the information provided in this form and to follow the instructions on it, until the site has healed.
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