Exposure to pollutants and UV radiation has made hair loss and premature balding much more common today than it was earlier. The good news is that this is not a condition that one needs to live with and one that can be easily treated with hair transplant procedures. This procedure involves harvesting hair follicles from one part of the scalp and transplanting them to bald or thinning spots. There are two types of hair transplant procedures; follicular unit extraction and follicular unit transplant. Here are a few precautions to be kept in mind when undergoing a hair transplant surgery
- Keep your head elevated: Transplanting hair follicles involve making tiny incisions in the scalp into which the hair follicles are inserted. This can cause swelling and inflammation. In order to relieve this swelling and not aggravate it further, the head should be kept elevated at all times. While sleeping, use two or more pillows to prop your head up or sleep in a reclining chair.
- Avoid sweating: Avoid going out in the sun or any sort of strenuous activity that causes sweating. This is because sweating can increase the risk of infections considerably. For this reason, patients must also avoid saunas and steam baths for a few weeks after the procedure.
- Avoid alcohol and spicy food: Alcohol affects blood circulation and hence can slow down the healing process of a hair transplant surgery. For this reason, alcohol should be avoided for at least a month after surgery. Spicy food can also interfere with the healing process and hence should be avoided as well. It can also cause the scalp to sweat and thereby increase the risk of infection.
- Do not touch your scalp: The scalp may feel itchy or sore after a hair transplant procedure. There may also be numbness or a tingling sensation. However, touching your scalp or picking the area will only worsen the condition. It can also affect the regrowth of new hair follicles in the harvest area. Instead use a spray prescribed by your doctor to stimulate hair growth.
- Ice packs: Ice packs can be used to relieve swelling and inflammation after a hair transplant. However, this ice pack should not be placed on the grafted area. Instead, place it on your forehead or on the back of your head.
Hair follicles can take up to 6 months to regrow. During this time, if you experience any severe bleeding, pain or infection, you must consult a doctor immediately.