Newly transplanted hair usually falls out within the first few weeks after surgery. New, permanent hairs will begin to grow after three to six months and should give your head a fuller look over the following several months. Typically, the new hair will grow at a rate of half-an-inch per month. It’s important to remember to be patient while you wait for your new hair to come in. These new hair dos and don’ts will help you take care of your new hair post-procedure.
Shampooing your hair is usually not recommended immediately following surgery. Most surgeons typically recommend holding off on washing the area for two days after the transplant unless it is being performed in the office under doctor supervision. Shampoo can irritate the grafts or disrupt the healing process.
When you get the go-ahead from your doctor to begin washing your hair again, you can use your favorite shampoo, although it might be best to choose a mild formula, at least for the first two weeks. Some surgeons recommend using baby shampoo, as it doesn’t contain additives or harsh detergents that can irritate the grafts. If you were using a special shampoo before the transplant, such as an anti-dandruff formula, talk to your surgeon before resuming use.
It’s best to let your hair air dry for the first week after the surgery. The area around the grafts and at the donor site may be numb. You risk burning the area if you use a hair dryer as you may not feel it heat up. The heat from the dryer can also cause damage to the hair follicles as they heal. Once you introduce heat drying to your styling routine again, use a low heat setting at first.
Surgeons typically recommend holding off on using chemicals such as hair dye or color on your hair for at least three weeks following hair transplant surgery. The transplanted hair follicles are usually more sensitive and might react in unexpected ways to the chemicals found in dyes or other products. You can dye your hair a few weeks before the surgery if you want to change its color or touch up the roots.
Your new hair might take some getting used to. Since it will be several months before the new hair is evident, styling will initially focus on the hair you already have. As the hair grows in, you might find that you need to change the style of your hair slightly to accommodate the new growth. For example, as soon as you are able to comb your hair after the transplant, you might decide to comb it over the transplanted area, creating a deep side part.
Go in for a trim before your surgery but don’t have it cut too short, as you will need to wait until the area has healed sufficiently to get another cut. In most cases, surgeons recommend waiting about three weeks after the surgery for a haircut.
It may help you to rethink your styling as you contemplate your new hair. Take a look at the before and after photos of patients who have undergone surgery. And remember, be patient.