The process of hair transplant can be quite rigorous and, in fact, uncomfortable for the patient. There will have to be cutting off some parts of the hair, leading to bleeding and small wounds. Often, the patient may not be able to expose the hair in the period immediately following the transplant. This period is not always palatable.
As a result, many people looking to undergo a hair transplant will want to know how it works.
However, the process of hair transplant takes a considerably long period. But have no worries. We have decided to take you through the process, step-by-step. This is for you to know what to expect and, more importantly, how to handle hair care during this period. Thus, starting from the period before the hair transplant to the months after the transplant is a comprehensive guideline to help you.
The Stages of Hair Transplant
As we mentioned earlier, the entire hair transplant process is in stages. In fact, the actual hair transplant surgery is just one out of the many processes you may have to pass through. However, we have to note that the way the stages work for each person may differ, especially after the surgery.
It is important to note this because it may turn out that the process may slightly be different in your case. Nevertheless, there are common patterns that do occur and are quite popular with most people. Thus, although you may not expect to see the same pattern in your case, what you experience during and after your hair transplant should bear many similarities to what you find here.
Before the Transplant
The processes you have to undergo before the transplant is unique to you. Usually, the surgeon and other hair care professionals will give you some guidance on what to do. We highly recommend that you stick to them.
Immediately After Transplant: The First Two Weeks
The period that immediately follows the transplant can be the most important in the entire transplant process. Thus, your actions regarding the care of your hair may either damage or boost the healing process after the hair transplant.
For one, we have to note that there will be some appearances of blood in the period immediately following the transplant. The amount of blood you see will depend on the technique of hair transplant that was used. Furthermore, you might have cases of some hair shedding. You should have no worries as this is normal.
However, during these periods, you must observe some measures and precautions to protect the surgical area. First, you should avoid touching the surgery area, at least in the two weeks following the surgery. This will be difficult, especially if you are used to massaging your hair, but you have to do it.
The area where you did the surgery will still be fragile, and unnecessary touching may add pressure to it, leading to complications. Some surgeons may recommend that your sleep is in an elevated position (that is, where you will not place your head on the bed). This may go on at least for the first few nights.
Usually, after the first week, the doctor will relax most of these instructions. The surgical area will have become increasingly less fragile. You may even start washing the hair. However, note that you should only use recommended materials for hair wash and care. Avoid using shampoo and other strong hair care products.
The Following Two Weeks
This stage of the post-surgery healing process will start some two weeks (or a bit later) after the hair transplant. By now, the surgical area will have started to undergo reformation. Most likely, the bloody area would have dried up, and the healing process will start. Also, the hair graft will be strong enough by now for you to touch. However, ensure you do not add too much pressure to it yet.
Now is the time for you to return to your previous way of doing hair care. You may start to use stronger hair care materials, but we highly recommend that this be done once in a while. This is because these materials largely contain some pretty strong chemicals, which are not good for a recovering scalp.
1-3 Months After Hair Transplant
By the time you go into the second month after surgery, a great deal of healing would have happened. The surgical area will start to take shape, while the hair will gradually start to grow naturally. However, this is not the case with everyone.
For most persons, the natural hair growth on the surgical area may take a few more months to start. For some, they don’t even experience any type of hair growth for many months after. It is, however, common that during this time, there can still be more hair shedding. This is no cause for fear, as it is part of the phases you have to go through to get healthy hair.
The Next 3-6 Months
It can be said that this is when you get to start reaping the benefits of the hair transplant. During this period, you will experience some accelerated growth of hair.
For some patients, the growth may be quite fast, while in the case of others, it may be slow or, at best, be gradual. This is also normal.
By this time, you can go back fully to the hair care process you are used to. Nevertheless, still, avoid chemical and abrasive substances.
The Final 6-12 Months
This is typically when the post-hair transplant process ends for most people. For some, after six months, they may be done with the process. For others, it can take longer, going for another six months. By now, the hair should have started to grow naturally on its own.
As we have seen so far, there is no specific date. Many factors affect how long the process will take. One of them is the technique you choose. Another is how bald the hair was before you went for the transplant. As a result, from one individual to another, the entire process will be entirely different. Nevertheless, the pre-and post-transplant processes above should provide enough guidance on what to do and expect.