Immediately after hair transplantation, you need to exercise little extra care to derive the best benefits. This includes immediate postoperative care, some common with most other surgeries and some very specific to hair transplantation.
The following things will happen immediately after transplant, throughout the first week:
- Immediately after surgery, like any other surgery requiring anesthesia, there will be slight drowsiness and so it is advisable to arrange for a drive.
- Expect some mild swelling and soreness that can be managed with rest and anti-inflammatories.
- There will also be a tight and itchy feeling in areas where transplant has been done.
- Spray water or saline every half an hour to keep the scalp moist in both the recipient and the donor sites. This promotes healing and also reduces the itchy feeling in these sites.
- Thermal shock would be applied to areas to damage the existing follicles and new stem cells would be transplanted. This can also produce a warm feeling, sometimes referred to as 'thermal shock'.
- In some people, there could be scab formation which occurs due to fall of the topmost transplanted hair follicles.
- If you have undergone a micrograft, then you will have a compression bandage around your head. This should be in place for a day and will cause a tight feeling.
- Sleep with your head elevated with a couple of pillows.
- The first day after surgery, hair needs to be washed under the supervision of a physician or a nurse. Use a shampoo, which contains tea tree oil.
- It is recommended to shampoo your hair regularly from day 2, as it is required to remove the dirt, blood, and oil that often accumulates at the recipient's site. This also helps to controlling infection, which is common post surgery.
- Wait for at least 14 days before you resume coloring your hair, use of hair sprays, gels, and other hair care products.
- All transplant surgeries require stitches. If the suture material is absorbable, there is no need to follow-up for removal. If it is not of absorbable material, they need to be removed after 2 weeks' time.
- Please do not get into a regular exercise routine for up to 6 weeks. Cycling, gymming, swimming, golfing, etc., are to be avoided until the scalp is completely dry and to avoid stretching of the scar.
Everyone's body is unique and responds differently to hair transplantation. Go for periodic review with your doctor to understand how your body is responding.