The healing or post-operative care period after a hair restoration surgery is important if you want to obtain the best results.
Hair Restoration Post-Operative Care
Hair Transplant: Whether you had a hair transplant surgery via an FUE or FUT procedure at Northwest Hair Restoration, effective wound healing requires some fundamental steps immediately following your hair restoration surgery:
- Keep the area moist without letting the area get either too wet or too dry. The post-procedure kit you were given by Dr. Robert Niedbalski includes soothing compresses and a spritz infused with copper peptides that aid in healing and help keep the area moisturized.
- Keep swelling to a minimum. Sleep at a 45-degree angle, slightly propped up for the first three nights post-procedure to help speed healing. Taking an anti-inflammatory or other pain medication prescribed by Dr. Niedbalski will help minimize swelling and irritation. A bag of frozen peas or cold pack can also help soothe the area.
- Avoid exercise. You have an excuse from your doctor to skip the gym (at least for the first 24 hours after surgery). Vigorous exercise in the week following your hair transplant procedure will promote scalp pain and swelling of your face.
- Consider ACell + PRP. When administered as part of your hair restoration surgery, it improves hair graft survival, decreases scar tissue formation and can speed up your recovery time.
- Feed the follicle. Applying Rogaine® (minoxidil) to the scalp dilates blood vessels, increasing blood flow and nutrient delivery to the transplanted hair follicles. Using Tricomin shampoo and conditioner along with Follicle Spray in the months following surgery will ensure the hair grafts and native hair receive the nutrition they need. Laser therapy in the form of a LaserCap® can also increase scalp circulation and follicular nutrition during your recovery.
Dr. Niedbalski has designed a comprehensive follow-up protocol for hair transplant surgery. Download this brochure detailing what to expect and do at 1 week, 4 weeks, 4 months, 6 months, 8 months, and 1 year after your procedure.
ACell + PRP: If you had ACell + PRP injection therapy as a stand-alone treatment without hair restoration surgery, the recovery period will be relatively quick, compared to a recovery after a surgery. That said, because your scalp can remain numb for several hours after you received the injections, you’ll want to be careful not to accidentally bump your head. Also:
- Take a pain reliever. Don’t be afraid to take medication if you are having some post-procedure discomfort. Most patients find an over-the-counter pain reliever to be adequate after injection therapy for hair loss.
- Apply ice. In the first 12 hours after treatment, it might feel good to apply an ice pack to your scalp (for up to 15 minutes, 3 - 4 times a day), which will also help minimize swelling. Your scalp will be tender for the next 48 hours, but you can wash and style your hair normally.
- Massage. Inflammation is a natural part of the body’s healing process and you might notice some swelling in the forehead and at the temples. Gently massaging the area with an outward swiping motion, from middle of the forehead to temples, can help resolve the swelling. Do this 4 - 5 times a day.
Some patients may experience hair shedding for up to several weeks after ACell + PRP injection therapy. This is a temporary reaction to the injections and the hair should regrow within 6 - 8 months.
Hair Coloring After Surgery
We understand that when you are pursuing the best possible results from your hair transplant surgery or ACell + PRP injection therapy, you want to safeguard your investment in your hair. That should involve care when coloring your hair after your hair restoration procedure.
While you can color your hair before and after you’ve recovered from your surgery or scalp injections, here are some important things for you to consider:
- Color matters. The greater the contrast between your hair color and your skin tone, the more the scalp becomes visible. If you have lighter skin tone, wear your hair color lighter or allow it to go grey. If you have darker skin tone, keep your hair color closer to your skin tone to reduce the contrast and the visibility of the scalp.
- Be cautious. Dr. Robert Niedbalski at Northwest Hair Restoration has treated patients who have incurred scalp burns, follicular damage, and even scarring from hair bleaching/coloring gone wrong. Wearing tight braids, ponytails, and extensions can also permanently damage the hair follicle and lead to a condition called traction alopecia, requiring a hair transplant to fill in the areas permanently damaged.
- Use a skilled stylist. Men can color their hair with the same products women use. However, we suggest avoiding over-the-counter products and pursuing salon-grade or medical-grade products instead. A reputable hairstylist knows their craft and will be better at color matching, as well as offering the least damaging options.
A stylist doesn’t necessarily have to use permanent hair color that contains hydrogen peroxide, which opens the cuticle of the hair strand and causes damage to force the color to bond permanently to the hair.
Semi-permanent color is temporary and uses a lower percentage of hydrogen peroxide or, in some formulations, none at all. This is a less damaging alternative that washes out over time and is gentler on the hair. Anytime hydrogen peroxide (also called bleach) is introduced to the process, it increases the possibility of over-processing, leading to hair breakage.
A skilled stylist can advise you about the best choice for your hair. Even hair that is colored can still be healthy and vibrant with the right products and treatment.
If at any time you have questions about your care during recovery after hair restoration surgery or ACell + PRP injection therapy, please call Dr. Robert Niedbalski at Northwest Hair Restoration of Tacoma, Seattle, and Spokane, Washington, at (253) 572-2949 or use our convenient online appointment request form.