Patients are able to go home on the same day as a hair transplant procedure. Generally, we place a gauze dressing over the donor area, but no dressings or bandages are required in the recipient area. Some people choose to wear a baseball cap, bandana or scarf out of the office. We ask that a friend or family member drive you home, or we can arrange a car service for you.
Recovery following hair transplantation is generally uncomplicated. All procedures have associated risks such as minor infections or bleeding and patients are prescribed a one-week course of antibiotics as well as medication to minimize swelling.
If you have had a strip surgery (FUT) procedure, it is normal to have some tightness and discomfort in the donor hair area. If you have had an FUE procedure, while there is no scalpel incision, stitches, or linear scar, there can still be some temporary discomfort. In general, minor pain can be managed with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) and cool compresses, but we do provide prescription pain medication for those that need it for the first one or 2 days.
Following a hair transplant, there is often some swelling that can track down into to forehead and eyelids and sometimes into the cheeks. This can lead to a puffy appearance for a few days but it is a normal and expected effect of the procedure and is nothing to worry about. The recipient areas will form scabs and crusts around the grafts. It is important to keep the graft areas clean and moist, and you can begin gently washing the hair within one to two days. The scabs will generally fall away within the first week leaving the transplanted follicles, which generally begin to grow in within 3 months.
You will be provided with clear, written instructions on how to care for the donor and recipient areas after your transplant. Hair can be washed on the first or second day. Light exercise and other activity may be resumed in 5-7 days and we recommend 2-3 weeks off of strenuous exercise and swimming.
The recovery time from hair transplantation depends on the extent of the procedure performed and the location of the transplants. Discomfort is generally minor and easily controlled. The amount of downtime from work also depends on the type of work that you do. We generally recommend taking at least 2-3 days off, although most patients resume taking phone calls, answering emails and doing computer work on the first post-procedure day. Some of our patients even take business calls or work on their laptops or phones during the procedure itself!
As the swelling settles and the small recipient site scabs fall away, most patients look normal for in-person work or taking Zoom calls within 7-10 days. If you have had a strip (FUT) procedure, since only the donor area has been trimmed, it is completely covered by the surrounding hair and not visible. If you have had an FUE procedure and a larger area has been trimmed at the back and sides of the scalp, the surrounding hair grows in quickly over the donor sites so within a few days, it generally looks like a “high and tight” haircut.
As noted above, there is typically some mild swelling and redness for about a week and most people choose to take a few days off. After any transient redness or swelling has settled, you will look much like you did before the procedure. If you have had a strip (FUT) procedure, since only the donor area has been trimmed, it is completely covered by the surrounding hair and not visible. If you have had an FUE procedure, this generally requires trimming a larger area at the back and sides of the scalp. The surrounding hair grown in quickly over the donor sites so within a few days, it generally looks like a “high and tight” haircut
The transplanted hair follicles remain dormant in the scalp for a period of time so after the initial brief recovery, your transplant will be difficult to detect and nobody will be able to tell that you have had anything done.
As noted, the transplanted hair follicles will generally begin to grow within approximately 2-3 months. Some of our patients will use medical treatments such as topical minoxidil or injections therapy in order to promote graft growth and prevent further loss of surrounding non-transplanted hair over time. Within 4-6 months, most patients will notice a significant improvement and the full effect of the transplant procedure can take 12-18 months. The transplanted hair is your own and will continue to grow for a lifetime. You can cut and style it, use product, swim, and engage in sports and other activities just like normal.
Your hair transplant journey begins with your decision to make a positive change.
At Follicle HT, our philosophy is that modern hair transplantation is a freedom granting procedure. We strive to help all our patients look and feel their very best by having the full range of options available.
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