You have been losing hair steadily for a long time and eventually you started seeing bald spots, which was not only becoming a sore sight for the eyes, but was also playing heavily on your confidence. You went and met a hair restoration expert and after a thorough examination, you were told that you would be an ideal candidate for a hair transplant procedure. The clinic you chose was a highly reputed one and they ensured that you are given all the instructions and information required.
On the day of the procedure, everything goes as per plan and the surgeon extracts and implants the required number of grafts. Now starts the wait for your new hair to grow in and for you to get that look that you had always wanted.
Before your hair starts to grow in, it is important that you understand how it is that transplanted hair grows:
You need to remember that all scalp hair will not grow at the same time – at any given point of time, every single hair could be at a different stage of growth. Every hair will go through a period of growth, rest and then shedding. The human body is so complex that each has its own schedule and cycle of growth. So, even when hair has been transplanted it will grow in that same random manner.
When hair is removed and transplanted, the hairs undergo almost a shock, which pushes them into the resting phase. Because hair go from resting phase to shedding phase, even the hair that has been transplanted will fall out, and there is nothing to worry about, because this is completely natural. As a matter of fact, most of the transplanted hair will fall out 6-8 weeks post procedure.
After about 2-3 months of the procedure, the hair that has been transplanted will start to ‘germinate’ under the scalp. Initially, these hairs will appear in the form of red pimple like bumps and eventually, proper hair will start to grow. Eventually, transplanted hair will start to show proper regrowth, and this will happen between 4 to 6 months. Again, because the growth cycle is random, it is quite possible that all the newly grafted hair will not grow at the same time or rate. Initial hair growth could be thin and fine, but over time, the hair will grow thicker, and the density will improve. You should be able to see hair growth within the first 6 months and full growth should become visible in about a year, although in some cases, it could take up to one and a half years.
Now let’s look at how you need to look after your hair, to ensure proper hair growth after hair transplant surgery:
It is important to remember that the first day after the surgery is when your hair is the most delicate and you need to be extremely careful. As a matter of fact, for the first few days, you need to be really gentle with your hair. After the first day, you will be allowed to wash your hair, but it would be best that you not stand under a shower, because the water pressure is normally high. You will be asked to use warm water and gently wash your head with only water. After about five days, you will be allowed to use your regular shampoo and wash your hair in the normal way. At this point, you need to make sure that you wash away all the scabbing, because scabs will inhibit new hair growth.
You could notice some redness, swelling or a tightness, but these are all normal side effects, and there is nothing to worry about them as these will resolve on their own with a few days. However, you will be asked to limit most physical activities such as sports or jogging for about 10 days, because straining your body and sweating will lead to problems and distress to your newly implanted grafts. Your newly implanted hair also needs a lot of nourishment, which means that you need to eat really healthy food. Your diet needs to have food that is naturally rich in antioxidants, which means that you should include cherries, tomatoes, blueberries and squash. And of course, you should consume plenty of water, because hydration is crucial.
Once approved by your surgeon, you can start giving your scalp gentle massages, which will help improve blood circulation in the scalp. However, you need to make sure that you are extremely gentle and do not use any harsh chemicals. What you could do is mix a few drops of an essential oil like rosemary or peppermint into a carrier oil like coconut or olive and use that to gently massage your scalp.
Finally, let’s look at some of the major concerns and expectations that you might have post a hair transplant procedure:
The time between the transplant and the actual hair growth can be quite tough, but you need to remember that a transplant is not a magic procedure – it will take time and during this time, you need to be patient and careful. You need to remember that hair will not be visible on your scalp for a while, but this is normal and eventually, you will start to notice hair growth. Another aspect that needs to be kept in mind while waiting for hair regrowth post a transplant is that initially, only some newly transplanted hairs will show growth, because all of them will not grow at the same rate. It will take anywhere between 6 months to one and a half years for proper hair growth to become visible. It is also important to remember that the rate of hair growth will vary from person to person.