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After you receive a hair transplant there are important hair transplant post operative steps that you will need to follow to ensure a speedy recovery and to reduce the risk of damage to the newly implanted follicles. Immediately after your surgery, the clinic should go over the immediate steps you will need to take to care for your new hair transplant. These will include not washing your hair for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. The new follicles are very prone to damage in the early stages and washing could dislodge or damage them.
For two weeks your hair transplant post op regimen should include avoiding direct sun contact on your hair transplant as well as avoiding any strenuous exercise or contact sports. To prevent swelling you should sleep with two or more pillows under you head to prop you up, or if you can manage it, sleep in a recliner chair.
Scabs will form on your hair transplant post op. This is a natural part of the healing process and these scabs should be left alone to heal on their own. Never pick or scrape the scabs as you risk infection or permanent damage to the new hair grafts.
Once you've completed your hair transplant there will be certain things you won't be allowed to do in order to facilitate a speedy hair transplant recovery. On top of those activities to avoid there are other minor things you can do to make your hair transplant recovery a more pleasant experience.
First off, you should be aware that immediately following your hair transplant the new transplants will be very noticeable and quite sensitive. To cover up the transplant and help protect your new hair you might want to take a baseball cap with you to your surgery. After the surgery you can carefully put the cap on but don't secure the back strap - leave the cap loose on your head. You will want the cap to remain loose on your head to avoid cutting off the blood flow to the grafts and prevent rubbing on the new hair follicles. The best way to put on your hat is to press the front of the cap against your forehead and gently ease the back of the cap down over your head. This will camouflage your transplant and make you feel more at ease during the beginning of your hair transplant recovery.
Since you will have received a local anesthetic you will not be able to drive yourself home. Arrange to have someone drive you to and from the appointment and to stay with you afterwards. This way you can travel home safely and relax for the first few hours of your hair transplant recovery.
After your surgery you will need sufficient hair transplant recovery time to minimize infection and aid in speedy healing. During the day of your surgery you should go home immediately after the procedure and rest. It's wise to have someone stay with you to help you should you need it and keep an eye on your recovery.
With the discomfort portion of your hair transplant recovery time may only last a day or two you may experience swelling or bruising beyond this period. Alternating hot and cold compresses can reduce swelling and alleviate bruising quicker. Generally, the bulk of your hair transplant recovery time will be over after approximately one week.
After the first week of your recovery time has gone by the swelling, bruising and discomfort should be gone. You may still want to wear a baseball cap out in public while your grafts heal but after 10 days you should be able to ditch the hat. The hair transplant recovery time for your new grafts themselves will take a little longer. Wash your hair gently with warm water and avoid scrubbing your hair clean for at least the first two weeks after surgery.
As with any type of surgery there are activities you're going to have to skip during your hair transplant recovery period. While it might seems like a difficult task if you stick to the rules you up the chances of a fast recovery and successful hair transplant.
One of the things you should avoid is scratching the grafts where your hair was transplanted. While you can begin giving the area a light massage approximately 10 days into your hair transplant recovery you should avoid scratching the area altogether. To reduce itchiness apply a 1% hydrocortisone cream to the area twice a day and taking 25 mg of Benedryl every four to six hours. Both of these are available over the counter.
If you're a smoker you are highly advised to kick the habit, at least for the first 10 days of your hair transplant recovery. Smoking constricts the blood vessels and will slow the much needed blood supply to the newly implanted grafts. It also decreases the amount of oxygen to the area which helps promote fast healing. If you're a smoker you should refrain from smoking for at least 10 days after your surgery and longer if you can.
One of the concerns of patients undergoing a hair transplant is the pain and/or numbness they will experience afterwards. Knowing how long each will last can help a person know whether or not their hair transplant recovery is proceeding as normal.
The first day after your surgery you can expect some discomfort and tightness in your scalp. There is also often numbness in the area. In day two and three there may still be some soreness in the donor area but the recipient area should be pain free by now. In some patients there may still be some numbness in this stage of their hair transplant recovery.
By the end of the first week of your hair transplant recovery the pain should all be gone. In some cases there is still a small amount of numbness but most cases of numbness will have disappeared by the end of the second week. In some cases the numbness can persist in the donor area but should be completely gone by month two to five of your hair transplant recovery.
In the days following your hair transplant you will be required to cleanse and shampoo your scalp often in order to remove the crusts that will form and reduce the risk of infection. While it may seem like your head spends an awful lot of time being wet in those first few days it is actually very important not to let your hair soak in water for too long during your hair transplant post op cleansing.
New hair grafts that are immersed too long in water at one time may begin to swell as they soak up the excess water. This is evident when the grafts rise above the scalp and appear as little white bumps on the scalp. While this is not dangerous it is an indication of too much water exposure during your hair transplant post op routine. The bumps will disappear once the hair and scalp dry out.
To avoid having your new hair grafts soak up too much water it's recommended to use a sponge to wash your hair. Dampen your hair with the wet sponge, lather gently and wring out the soaked sponge over your hair to gently rinse. This will ensure that your hair transplant post op cleansing ritual is gentle and graft friendly.
As with any incision made during surgery, it is very important to keep the area clean during the recovery time. Hair transplant post surgery cleansing begins the next morning by removing your bandages and showering every four hours. During your shower you will cleanse your scalp, which will remove any blood on the scalp and keep the area clean in order to minimize the risk of infection.
For the remainder of the week during your post surgery you will be encouraged to shower twice a day and cleanse your scalp with a special shampoo. During your hair transplant post surgery cleansing you should be as gentle as possible with your new hair grafts. At this point no further bandages will be required.
After two weeks have past since your hair transplant surgery you can begin to resume your normal hair cleansing and styling rituals. You can begin to brush your hair at this point and your hair transplant post surgery cleansing can be scaled down to your normal amount. You can even have your first post surgery haircut at this time if you wish. After three weeks have past you can color your hair if you wish.
Dull and dry hair can be caused by a number of factors. Too many chemical processes, such as perms and colors, exposure to chlorine or poor diet can all take a toll on the health of your hair. With the proper repair strategy and maintenance routine you can be on your way to shiny, healthy hair in no time.
Your first course of action is to get rid of what is not repairable. Hair, no matter how healthy, is nothing more than dead cells. Still, these dead cells either shine brilliantly, if treated well, or remain dull and break off if abused. Since hair that is split and breaking off is beyond help it is best to simply cut it off. Keeping splitting ends will not only make your hair look way worse but as the hair breaks off and splits up further you will slowly loose more healthy hair to the destructive process.
Your next step is to treat the hair you now have like gold. Healthy hair doesn't happen by accident; you need to create it. Now that the worst of your damaged hair is gone you will need to change your hair habits or suffer a repeat of the damage. Now is the time to figure out what caused the dryness and avoid it—at least for now. If you colored or permed your hair too often you'll need to lay off the chemical services for a while. If you are a swimmer you'll need to invest in a special shampoo to remove the drying chlorine from your hair and buy a swim cap. You'll also want to try letting your hair air dry when you can as excessive use of blow dryers and flat irons can quickly damage healthy hair.
The products you use can also help or hinder your hair's health. Use shampoos and conditioners that are designed for dry/damaged hair. You'll also want to invest in an intensive weekly conditioning treatment that will help give your hair extra moisture and protection in its weakened state. While you're nursing your hair back to health you can fake healthy hair by using a styling cream or gel that contains silicone. This will give sheen to the hair and help control and frizzies. A spray on shine product will also make your hair look healthier.
While these steps will help nurse your hair back to health, your long term hair maintenance program should include a healthy, balanced diet, minimal chemical and heat exposure and regular trims to keep your healthy hair looking its best.
Highlighting your own hair, or someone else's, at home can be tricky. This is even truer if you are highlighting hair that is very short. The key to great hair highlighting on this length of hair is precision and patience.
First, you will want to put on the gloves that come with the home hair highlighting kit and mix the ingredients according to the included directions. Remember, this is a product high in peroxide so don't let it get on your skin. If you do get some of the mixture anywhere on you be sure to wash that area immediately. Also remember to wear old clothes and cover yourself (or the person whose hair is being highlighted) with an old towel to catch any drips.
Since the hair you are highlighting is so short you will want to skip using any plastic cap and brush that is included with the kit. You won't be able to control the placement as well when highlighting hair that is this short so it's best to use the tools nature gave you—your fingers.
With gloved hands, dip your pointer finger and thumb into the hair highlighting mixture and coat the pads of each finger. Next, starting with the front of the hair, grasp the tip of a very small section of hair and very gently rub it between your coated fingers to transfer the mixture onto that section of hair. Be careful not to get globs on the mixture where you don't want it. Your goal when highlighting hair this short is to simply place enough of the mixture on the very tips to lighten them.
Repeat the process throughout the top of the head in random but even sections. Don't highlight hair on the sides or back as it will only end up looking like leopard spots. When you have finished applying the hair highlighting mixture leave the mixture on for the recommended time. If it took you a long time to apply you may want to check the first pieces you highlighted (since they got a head start) to see if they are done. If they are light enough simply lightly mist that section of hair only with a water bottle to stop the process and let the rest of the hair catch up.
Bernstein Medical Tip: When undergoing any type of surgery it's only natural to want the best surgeon in the field to be working on you. This is also true of those searching for the best hair transplant surgeon. For those considering a hair transplant,
Some of the surgeons found in
When choosing a doctor for your hair transplant
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|