At The Griffin Center, we provide a variety of hair restoration treatments to address the many different causes of hair loss. However, for more than forty years, our specialty has been hair transplantation surgery. Several months ago, we detailed exactly what sort of things you might expect to encounter during a hair transplantation procedure, but understanding what is going to happen on the day of your surgery is really only the beginning. Hair loss is a progressive condition, and hair loss treatment is not something that can be completed in a single day. In order to achieve the most natural-looking results possible, it is important that a hair transplantation patient take the proper steps, both before and after their procedure. Here are important answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about preparing for, and recovering from, hair transplantation surgery.
Do I have to do anything special to prepare for a hair transplant procedure?
Drinking alcohol or using medications like aspirin, ibuprofen-containing products, naproxen, and certain homeopathic vitamins, may potentially increase the likelihood of intra-operative bleeding or bruising, so avoid these things for the week prior to your hair transplantation surgery. Smokers should discontinue smoking for a minimum of two weeks prior to the procedure in order to allow healthy blood and oxygen flow to the scalp. Moreover, while you are recovering after your procedure, the nicotine in cigarette smoke can constrict blood vessels and limit blood flow to the new grafts, which can potentially lead to suboptimal results. Prior to your procedure, we will go over all of your preoperative care details, and written pre-operative information will be provided.
Do I need to cut my hair short before my procedure?
No, we do not require or even recommend that patients get a short haircut prior to their hair transplant procedure. We will need to shave small portions of the donor area if you are undergoing follicular unit extraction (FUE) and some additional length can actually help during the recovery period by providing some coverage to these treated areas.
How long will it take to recover after hair transplantation surgery?
Necessary recovery time after hair transplantation is minimal. Generally patients are able to return to work within two to four days following surgery. Although some crusting will be evident as the grafts heal, it will usually last only about seven to ten days. We also recommend that you avoid strenuous physical activity or exercise for one week after your surgery. After follicular unit grafting (FUG) or strip hair transplant procedures, the staples will be removed from the donor site where the tissue was harvested after seven to ten days. Some residual pinkness may remain in the grafted areas for a couple of weeks.
How long will it be before I start seeing my hair transplantation results?
It is important to know that the hairs in the new grafts may go through a shedding period two to three weeks after the procedure. This is completely normal and actually a sign that the new follicles are returning to their original hair growth cycle. New hair may not begin to grow back until after two to four months. The first new grafts should start growing within two to four months following the procedure. Also, because hair grows in cycles, the new grafts do not all start growing at once. By the eighth month after the surgery, an estimated 90% of the grafts are growing. However, it is important to remember that every patient is unique and individual recovery rates can vary. Some patients find that new grafts start growing up to two years after the procedure.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we want to stress, once again, that hair loss is progressive, so after hair transplantation surgery patients need to diligently follow a hair loss prevention plan in order to maintain their results. If you would like to learn more about hair transplantation surgery, or about any of the other hair restoration treatments we offer, please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research or the Griffin Center for Women’s Hair Loss to schedule a consultation. Don’t forget to follow us on the Griffin Center Facebook page, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.