After Hair Transplant – Care of Grafted Area
During the first week after your hair transplant, you should wear a paper medical cap or a clean hat anytime you venture outside. Care should be taken so that the hat does not touch any of the grafts. You should use your fingertips to gently apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to the stitches on the back of your head twice daily, for seven days. Your stitches should be removed 10-14 days after your procedure.
The first day after your procedure you may place a soaked washcloth on your grafts for 10 minutes at a time up to four times per day. After two days, you may begin to gently shampoo the grafts up to twice a day. Gently means that you should not allow the force of the shower to strike the grafts, nor should you aggressively massage the grafts with your fingertips or fingernails. A technique that has worked for many patients is to lean your head forward as you shampoo the back and sides of my scalp. This allows the suds and water to gently wash over the grafts which is a good way to clean your “new” and old hair.
On the seventh day, you may shampoo the way you did prior to your hair transplant procedure at our Los Angeles office. I may normally massage the surface of the grafts with my fingertips and remove any crusts present.
Combing/Brushing- Except for the grafted zone, you may gently comb your hair from the first day after transplantation. You should not touch the grafts themselves with the comb. You may comb all your hair, including any hair that may be present in the grafted zone, beginning the seventh day after your procedure.
Hairspray/Hairdressings- You may use hairsprays, conditioners, shampoos, and other hair products after 7 days. Since the grafts will be well healed, you will not harm them if they come in contact with sprays and other hair products.
You will be given Vicodin to take orally, as instructed for pain. You may also be prescribed Valium for relaxation and Ambien for sleep. It is important not to take these medications together, and only to take them as directed. You are not supposed to drive or operate machinery while under the effects of these medications. You may also be prescribed
Swelling is uncommon but you may have some swelling around your forehead and/or around your eyes. If swelling occurs, it typically peaks between the third and fifth day after a hair transplant procedure, and should be gone by the seventh day of recovery. Rarely does blood work its way down into the eyelids producing a black eye but it is possible for this to happen. In extreme cases of swelling, an oral steroid medication such as Prednisone, may be prescribed to alleve and prevent swelling after the transplant.
Sometimes the grafted area or the stitches in a donor area bleed. This can usually be controlled the by applying pressure to the area with a cold pack. Applying a cold pack to the donor area can also help with pain control in the region. A soft cloth saturated with ice-cold water, an ice cube wrapped in a wet cotton cloth or a reausable cold pack can be used to do this. If the bleeding does not stop with firm pressure applied for 15 minutes you should call Dr. Dauer or your personal physician. NEVER put a cold pack on the grafted area.
Numbness may occur for a short period of time after transplantation. It will resolve on its own, in most cases, within 3-12 months.
Some patients’ stitches are somewhat uncomfortable. This is normal. If grafts or a donor area become hot, inflamed or very uncomfortable, you should call Dr. Dauer. If Dr. Dauer is not available, you should call your personal physician. If you are extremely uncomfortable and cannot get in contact with Dr. Dauer or a trusted physician, seek other medical attention.
Some hair transplant clients in Los Angeles experience dandruff-like scaling, redness, or itching during the first month after transplantation. This can be treated with over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or lotion to the area two to four times each day to clear this up.
Small crusts may form at the micrograft sites. These will come off with shampooing at seven days or later. The small spicules of hair that come off with the crust are normal and do not represent loss of grafts. The hair will still begin to grow as expected, typically around three months after the transplant. Some ingrown-hair-like pimples may occur during the regrowth phase that is typically noticeable 45 to 90 days after the procedure. An over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide preparation can be applied to the area two times each day to help clear these up more quickly than if they are left to heal on their own. Patients who use a benzoyl peroxide preparation, typically see results within three to five days. .
In the Event of Complications
In the event you have any sort of complications, you should contact Dr. Dauer or your personal physician immediately. Examples of uncommon complications include but are not limited to:
- Vascular growths at surgical areas
- Tender scar formation
- Any sign of infection
- Any other problems I believe out of the ordinary
Many of these problems will be resolved on their own but some will need the attention of Dr. Dauer or my personal physician. Definitely seek medical attention if you experience any of these problems, or ones not mentioned here. In the unusual event, you experience complications from your procedure, Dr. Dauer’s hair transplant practice in Los Angeles will be there to help you as soon as you let us know you need it.
A Note from Dr. Dauer….
Over many years of hair transplantation experience, we have found the procedure to be very safe and complicated by few difficulties. The vast majority of patients who have undergone the procedure have done so without problems. They have enjoyed the rewards of lifelong improvement in their appearance. Recent advances, especially with naturally occurring follicular unit micrografting, have dramatically improved my patients’ appearances and have helped me to creating more natural results than ever before.
Proper aftercare is important in assuring the best results of a hair transplant procedure. Be sure to follow the instructions given. Always remember, we have your very best interest at heart. We want you to be pleased with your results. Be assured we will do everything reasonably within our power to perform the procedure in a proper and professional fashion. We will follow up on any problems you may develop in the routine course of healing after your transplant.
We expect you to inform us if any problems arise so that we can handle them in the proper manner. You are very special to us; your health and happiness are our purpose in life.
Things to Remember After Your Hair Transplant
- Follow instructions carefully to avoid loss of grafts.
- Growth will probably not be as thick as you or I would want. The top of your head originally had between 30,000-50,000 hairs before it began to lose them. Typically, even with multiple procedures, we can only move 12,000-18,000 hairs.
- Growth will probably not occur as fast as you would like, in fact, you will probably see no growth before until four months or a little sooner. Be patient. It takes most people at least four to six months to begin seeing the positive change and most likely, about 12 months to see the full benefit.
- In some cases, you may actually look a little thinner after the transplant. This is more likely to occur when pre-existent hair are present in the transplanted zone. These hair may thin out in the 3 months after transplantation, but will usually grow back about the same time and rate that the grafts grow in. Do not worry if you look thinner at three months after transplantation- your rewards will start to come after 6-12 months.
- You will not get the maximum benefit from your transplant until 9-12 months after the procedure because the hairs must have this amount of time to regrow length and thickness of shaft. You will see improvement at four to six months in the form of fine hair but results typically peak at 9-12 months.
- Hair loss is a relentlessly progressive process and you likely will want additional replacement procedures in the future to thicken or cover new areas of loss. This is also the reason we strongly recommend the use of Propecia and Rogaine to help prevent this progression.
- We are always available to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Don’t be hesitant to call us. To us, you are the most important person in the world; you are our patient.
If you are looking for a highly skilled and recommended hair transplant doctor in Los Angeles, contact Marc Dauer, M.D., today.