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Post-Operative Hair Transplant Instructions

The following is a list of post-operative instructions for your care after your hair restoration surgery in our Glasgow clinic. Following these instructions is essential to achieve the best results. Please read them carefully several times.

Day of the procedure (Day zero)

Avoid any contact with the grafts, as they can be dislodged if you are not careful.
Immediately after surgery, you should plan to go home and rest.
You will leave the clinic wearing a light dressing. You will need to keep this on the first night.
We will provide you with a spray bottle with sterile N/S 0.9%. Start spraying the recipient area every 30 minutes until bedtime. Spraying will speed up the healing, protect against infection, minimise scabbing and relieve any itching sensation. Place the spray bottle in the fridge overnight.
Before you lie down, place the disposable pad on your pillow and the sterile drape on the pad.
Sleep with your head elevated at a 30 degree angle for the first couple of nights following surgery to help decrease the swelling. A neck pillow can help.
Take 1000 mg of paracetamol if you feel any discomfort.

Day 1

Start spraying the recipient area every 30 minutes immediately upon waking up.
Take your medication as directed.
Remove the bandage from the donor area 24 hours after the surgery.
Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly before touching your scalp.
If it feels like the bandage is sticking to your wound, pour lukewarm water onto the dressing to get it wet and gently and slowly remove it. Do not rip the bandage off while it is stuck because it can start bleeding.
Once you have removed the dressing, gently wash the donor area.

Use the mild shampoo that comes in your aftercare bag.
Start by rinsing the donor area with room temperature water. Apply a small amount of baby shampoo into the palm of your hand and rub your hands together. Spread the shampoo on the donor area using your fingertips and gently massage the area.
Rinse thoroughly. Dry naturally. Repeat twice daily. Apply a thin coat of antibiotic cream to the donor area before bed for the next five days.

Day 2

Start spraying the recipient area every 30 minutes immediately upon waking up.
Wash the donor area morning and evening.
Take your medication as directed.

Day 3

Take your medication as directed.
You can now stop using the spray bottle and begin washing the recipient area gently with the mild shampoo that comes in your aftercare bag.

Wet your head with a cup or bowl of room temperature water or with a gentle stream of water from the shower. If you use the shower, block the stream with your hand so that the water pressure is not too intense.
Do not rub the shampoo into your scalp. Instead, apply a small amount to the palm of your hand and rub your hands together. Do not massage your scalp for the first three days. Softly use your fingertips in a tapping motion instead and avoid catching the grafts with your fingernails. Do not pick or scratch the scabs.
You may want to have a cup in the shower to help rinse the grafts. It is OK to use the water stream to fall directly into the scabs after one week, as long as the water pressure is not high.
Allow your hair to dry naturally. Alternatively, you can pat it dry very gently with a clean towel taking care to keep the grafts secure.
Keep washing your head twice daily until the scabs fall off. After three days of washing, massage your scalp every time you wash it with your fingertips in a gentle kneading motion. The scabs will gradually fall off, and your head should be clean ten days after the surgery. As the scabs fall off, you may notice that hair is shed with them. This is normal. The hair shafts detach from the grafts and fall out with the scabs.

Hair Transplant General Post Operative Instructions

Some people return to light work the day following surgery, although most people prefer to take at least 2-3 days off. Because of the possibility of swelling and some crusting following surgery, some people prefer to take one week off following surgery. Crusts usually fall off seven to ten days following surgery.
Refrain from any physical exercise, besides walking, for a week.
Refrain from strenuous exercise for two weeks. It is essential to allow your new follicles to heal correctly.
Avoid swimming in the sea for ten days and in pools for three weeks.
Avoid direct sun exposure for ten days. You can wear a hat four days after the surgery.
Swelling may occur between the second and the fourth day following surgery. It is painless and will begin on the forehead and over the bridge of the nose. It may proceed to surround the eyes. Do not worry. The swelling will subside spontaneously in 2 to 3 days. You can speed up the process by using ice packs on the swollen areas. Massaging will also help. Use your index and middle fingers. Start at the centre of your forehead and gently move toward your temples.
Avoid hair styling products like gel, mousse, hair fibres, hair colouring, hairdryers and power showers for four weeks.
Do not consume alcohol for three days.
Refrain from smoking, if possible. Smoking causes constriction of blood vessels and decreased blood flow to the scalp and may contribute to poor wound healing after a hair transplant and increase the chance of wound infection and scarring. Smoking may also contribute to poor hair growth, although no one can predict the extent to which it will happen. Please note that studies show improved blood flow within a month of replacing cigarettes with vaping, so the latter may not be as harmful as regular cigarettes. We recommend abstaining from smoking at least one week before surgery until two weeks after the procedure.

Itching on the scalp is common. Please avoid scratching your head
Numbness and tingling sensations in the recipient area can appear during the healing process. They are normal and usually resolve after a few days.
Your transplanted hair might shed two to three weeks after the surgery, making you look like you did before the hair transplant began. This is part of the healing process. Hair follicles typically enter the telogen phase, and regrowth should commence 2.5 to 3 months after the hair sheds.

This growth may occur at irregular rates, with some hairs coarser, finer, darker, or lighter in colour, and with different textures than those of your original hair. In most instances, this eventually normalises. However, it may take 15 months or more from the starting point before cosmetically satisfactory results are seen, especially if the procedure involved the crown area.

Please be patient. Time is on your side.

If you are concerned about hair loss and live in Glasgow, Edinburgh, or anywhere in Scotland, contact Dr Bonaros, who specialises in the diagnosis, management and treatment of hair loss. Our Glasgow clinic offers the latest techniques in hair restoration surgery and medical treatments that can help permanently restore thinning hair.