18 Things to Avoid After a Hair Transplant Procedure
At Advanced Clinics in Oklahoma City, OK, we are proud to offer hair transplant because we believe people of every age should be proud of their head of hair. However, it’s essential that you know what to avoid once you come home from treatment. Read on to discover everything you need to know about proper post-treatment care.
18 Things to Avoid After Hair Transplant Procedure
Sometimes, hair restoration is performed under strong sedation. If you have been given a sedative, do not drive for the next 24 hours. Make sure you have someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
2. Sleeping Flat
To mitigate the risk of swelling, it is essential that you sleep with your head elevated for the first seven days after treatment. Some clients find they only need to sleep with their head elevated for a few days. Keep in mind, however, that not everyone experiences swelling after hair implants. If you don’t feel a slight pressure around your forehead, there is no reason why you can’t sleep as normal.
If you find you are experiencing mild swelling, we recommend converting your recliner into a temporary makeshift bed. It’s not ideal, but some people find their recliners to be far more comfortable than sleeping on top of four pillows. Aim to keep your head elevated by 45 degrees.
3. Ignoring Your Labels
One of the worst things you can do after your hair transplant procedure is to ignore the labels on your prescription and over-the-counter medications. Antibiotics should be taken exactly as prescribed to mitigate the risk of infection. Moreover, you should not drive after taking prescription analgesics if the warning label advises you against operating heavy equipment and machinery. You also want to make sure you’re not taking too much of any type of medication. Finally, take your medication with a meal if advised on the label. Taking certain medications, especially painkillers, on an empty stomach can cause gastrointestinal distress.
4. Forgeting the Ice
Do you remember the RICE technique your parents taught you when you got hurt as a child? The key to treating swelling “injuries” is rest, ice, compression and elevation. We’ve already covered the elevation. If you experience any swelling, we strongly recommend that you apply ice for 20 to 30 minutes just above your eyebrows. This is an excellent preventative measure, as well. Even if you don’t have any swelling, you may want to do this three to four days after your hair restoration. You may even find that ice is all you need to ease any general discomfort you’re feeling.
5. Scrubbing Your Hair or Shower
For the first 48 hours after your hair transplant procedure, do not wash your hair. On the third day after treatment, you can wash your hair gently. Do not wash your hair too aggressively through the fifth day after treatment. Also, do not blast the stream onto your scalp directly. Rather, use a cup to rinse shampoo out of your hair. If you suffer from itching, you may apply a conditioner to your scalp gently.
6. Dyeing Your Hair
You can’t die your hair within four weeks of your hair restoration. If you feel like you can’t make it four weeks without dying your hair, get it done shortly before your treatment. There are no negative side effects associated with dying your hair shortly before your hair transplant procedure, but afterward, the harsh chemicals found in hair dye can compromise the success of the transplanted follicles. For several weeks after the transplantation, the transplanted follicles are in an incredibly fragile state. They need all the care they can get.
7. Forgetting to Drink Water
We all know that water is crucial for life, but not everyone knows that hydration is even more important before and after your transplant. The more hydrated you are, the more comfortable you will be and the faster you will recover. Spending a couple of weeks making a conscious effort to drink 10% more water can make a massive difference in your entire recovery process. To ensure you are drinking enough water, we strongly recommend that you download an app on your phone to remind you to drink a cup (8 fl. oz.) of water every hour while you are awake.
A good general rule of thumb is that you should drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should drink 60 ounces (7.5 cups) of water daily. However, this doesn’t apply perfectly in every situation. To determine if you’re drinking enough water, check your urine. It should be translucent to very pale yellow.
8. Assuming Your Hair Won’t Fall Out
Many people don’t think that their hair will fall out after hair transplant surgery, but this is a perfectly normal, healthy part of your natural hair growth cycle. Roughly 10% to 15% of your hair is in the “shedding” phase at any given time. If you notice shedding within the first two to four weeks after your treatment, don’t panic. Your follicles aren’t damaged. In three months, new hair will have grown out of those follicles stronger, healthier and thicker than ever.
9. Sleeping on Your Tummy
A lot of us sleep on our stomach or toss and turn at night. However, you have to be careful in the first week after your treatment to not sleep on your stomach or side. Do not rub your new hairline against your pillow. If you can’t stop yourself from tossing and turning at night, buy a weighted blanket or sleep on a recliner. It’s a small sacrifice, but it ensures that you don’t jeopardize the results of your treatment.
10. Applying Ice Directly to the Scalp
Just as it’s important to avoid rubbing your new hairline on your pillow, it’s important to not apply ice directly to the areas of your scalp with transplanted hair. In fact, you should do your best to avoid touching the area at all for the first three days after treatment. After 72 hours, you should only touch your scalp very gently. Remember, you should gently apply conditioner to an itchy scalp rather than scratch it.
11. Soaking Up the Sun
Avoid exposing your scalp to direct sunlight between 10 AM and 2 PM for the first two weeks after your hair transplant. If you have to go outside during that time, don’t stay out too long. If you’re using your hair restoration as an excuse to go on a vacation to “recover”, make sure you’re protected from potential sunburn and that you don’t go scuba diving.
12. Wearing All Your Sports Gear
You may have a ball cap that matches your Seahawks jersey that you feel you have to wear. However, you should not wear a hat within 72 hours of your treatment. Scabs are a perfectly natural “side effect” of hair transplantation, but until they have had enough time to solidify, do your best to keep anything from touching the treatment site.
13. Going for a Personal Record
In the days after your hair transplantation, do not engage in heavy exercise or any other form of exertion. This means now is not the time to try and shatter a personal lifting or sprinting record. There’s nothing wrong with light to moderate exercise: just keep your heart rate and blood pressure within a safe, normal range for the first seven days after your treatment.
Brisk walks, yoga and tai chi are excellent substitutes for your typical workout routine for the first seven days after treatment. Three days after your treatment, you can even go on a moderately paced bike ride. Just don’t forget your helmet and reflective gear.
14. Sweating It Out
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to avoid strenuous exercise for the first week after hair transplantation. Avoid any other activity that can cause you to sweat heavily, such as unwinding in a sauna.
15. Drinking and Smoking
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it will dehydrate you. This can prolong your recovery time and increase your risk of discomfort. Moreover, it can elevate your blood pressure to an unsafe level and reduce the supply of blood and crucial nutrients to your head. Avoid alcohol for the first five days after your procedure.
If you’re a smoker, try to quit a few months before your hair transplantation. Quitting is hard, and it also elevates your blood pressure. Depending on your natural blood pressure, smoking could elevate your blood pressure all the way to a dangerous level. Remember, blood flow is essential for the growth of new, healthy hair. Abstain from nicotine, such as e-liquids, cigarettes, cigar, nicotine gum and nicotine patches, for the first 31 days after your treatment.
16. Having Sex
You will need to abstain from sex for the first seven days after your hair transplantation. People often argue that sex lowers blood pressure, and while it’s true that regular sex helps to lower blood pressure over the long-term, during sex itself your blood pressure and heart rate always go up. There is a very good chance that your heart rate, blood pressure or both will become too high for the health of your transplants. Moreover, there is a risk of sweating and the treatment site being touched during sexual intercourse. This can affect the healthy formation of scabs and increase the risk of infection.
17. Eating Fast Food
Fast food is convenient, and you may not feel like cooking during recovery. However, nutrition is nearly as important as healthy blood flow and adequate hydration during your recovery period. Your hair needs lots of nutrients to grow thick, healthy, soft, sleek, strong and beautiful. Unfortunately, fast food is typically devoid of nutrients and full of empty calories. If you’re struggling to get enough nutrients in your diet, look for a supplement that includes calcium, magnesium, protein, iron, vitamin B6, zinc, biotin and lots of protein. If you eat enough protein, you shouldn’t need to supplement with any specific amino acids.
18. Having Your Cake and Eat It, Too
As important as it is to avoid fast food, it is even more important to avoid soda, processed juice, baked goods and other foods that contain lots of sugar. Not only are these foods and drinks lacking nutrients essential for your hair health, they can also cause you blood sugar issues that will prolong your recovery experience.
Book Your Initial Consultation Today
It doesn’t matter if your drastic hair loss is caused by unlucky genes, medications, age, stress or other factors. Hair transplantation can improve your self-confidence, happiness, and self-esteem. But there are certain things you need to avoid ensuring your recovery is quick and comfortable and the results of your treatment are successful and satisfactory. To learn more about what to avoid after a hair transplant procedure, cost of hair transplant and what you should do, contact the professional aesthetic experts at Advanced Clinics in Oklahoma City, OK today to schedule your initial consultation.