When people experience balding or hair loss, due to factors including ageing or hereditary causes, it can make people experience a lack of confidence in their appearance.
A negative view of their appearance doesn’t just affect self-esteem, but this can also greatly impact all areas of their life.
For many, hair loss can be a hard thing to come to terms with for both men and women, but the wonders of modern-day medical treatment has allowed hair transplant surgery to be a reality.
To regain your hair back can give people the opportunity to feel like themselves again, bringing back the confidence they once had.
But, as with all cosmetic procedures, a hair transplant too comes with side effects that patients should be made aware of before investing in the procedure.
So, before agreeing to a hair transplant, it’s vital to understand the recovery process and what this involves.
So, what happens during a hair transplant procedure?
If you are looking to undergo a hair transplant, it’s important to understand that there are two different types of procedures that are available to you.
The two treatments are known as an FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) hair transplant and a FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant).
The FUE hair transplant is the more modern option that a patient can choose, and this is mainly surrounding the fact that it’s less invasive than its counterpart.
The process for this procedure includes extracting hair follicles from the back of the head, which are then prepared into grafts.
The surgeon then places these grafts onto the area in which the patient is experiencing hair loss.
As FUE requires no stitches and is a quick and relatively painless procedure, in most cases, the patient can be back to a normal routine in just a few days time.
The other option available to patients is the FUT method, which is the traditional technique used to complete a hair transplant procedure.
Although it’s more invasive, it is typically used for patients who are experiencing advanced hair loss.
This type of procedure involves hair follicles being harvested by removing a strip of skin from the back of the scalp, where the hair is at its fullest.
As this is for patients who have experienced extreme hair loss, FUT allows for a higher number of skin grafts, which means this type of procedure covers a larger surface area.
As it’s a harsher treatment than an FUE hair transplant, a patient will experience a slightly lengthier healing process due to the higher level of skin grafting.
But, compared to other surgeries, it is still classed as a minor procedure.
What can I expect during hair transplant recovery?
Due to the minimal surgery that is involved in a hair transplant procedure, in most cases, we see patients being able to go back to their normal routine relatively quickly.
We usually see patients be able to return to their normal daily routine typically just three days after their procedure, although it does take time for the results of the surgery to be revealed.
What are the side effects of hair transplant surgery?
As with all surgical procedures, there are associated side effects which are typical for hair transplant surgery.
These three side effects are relatively common for a hair transplant, but are easily manageable with the correct aftercare.
The most common side effects include:
Swollen, achy scalp
Due to the type of surgery a hair transplant consists of, you will most likely notice a swollen, achy scalp following your procedure.
This is due to the grafting that has taken place, which will affect the scalp, but this swelling should subside after two weeks post-surgery.
In most cases, as skin grafting has occurred as part of the process, the area that has been treated will most likely scab over to aid in the healing process.
This scabbing is temporary though and will help you to recognise that you are on the road to recovery.
Skin grafting can, in some cases, cause very tiny scars where the hair has been transplanted.
This scarring will be minimal, and as the affected area begins to heal, any scarring will typically heal and become less visible over time.
Top tips to dealing with the hair transplant recovery process
To ensure you get back to normal as soon as possible, there are a few things you can do to help aid your body in the recovery process.
You will be recommended to:
Avoid strenuous exercise
It is recommended that patients who undergo a hair transplant procedure should avoid exercise for at least a month post-surgery to reduce the risk of scarring.
You will be advised to continue with gentle exercise, i.e. going for a short walk when possible, as a month without exercise can have other detrimental effects on your health.
Although doctors will suggest avoiding smoking for your health anyway, if you do smoke, health professionals will ask patients to refrain from smoking for at least a month post-surgery.
As cigarettes contain dangerous chemicals, smoking should be avoided due to the substances impacting blood flow and hair growth.
As with smoking, you’d be expected to stop drinking for a certain period of time after your surgery.
You will be recommended to wait at least a week post-surgery to have an alcoholic drink as this can also affect the blood supply levels to your head.
Washing your hair
You may think that washing your hair could have a hugely detrimental impact on the recovery process following a hair transplant.
But a health professional will typically only recommended a patient to wait around a week before washing your hair post-surgery but would suggest doing this gently with no scrubbing.
Another vital factor a patient should understand is that the results of a hair transplant do take a considerable amount of time to appear.
In most cases, it can be anything from around 12 to 18 months before you can fully see the effects of a hair transplant procedure.
If you’d like to discuss the hair transplant procedure in more detail, with a trained member of the MedicoTrips team, we’d be more than happy to talk you through the process.
We can ease any worries or concerns you may have, to ensure that this is the right process for you. To speak with us today, please call +44 (0) 121 288 4552.