If you are considering a hair transplant, it is useful to obtain the necessary information in advance so that you are well prepared and know what to expect. With this guide we inform you about the following topics:
What to do before surgery
What your treatment timeline will look like
Postoperative care / aftercare
Hair transplant recovery timeline
Discomfort and complications that may occur post-surgery
Caution: The exact pre and post-surgery information may vary by clinic, this guide is for informational purposes only and does not replace professional medical advice. Do not take this guide as a strict guide and always follow the advice and instructions of your doctor.
How to prepare for a Hair Transplant
Before being treated it is important to take in to account the following points
Do not cut your hair 2 weeks before the hair transplant
Do not smoke for at least 72 hours before the hair transplant (this can hinder recovery)
Do not drink alcohol for at least 1 week before hair transplant (acute quitting in addiction can be dangerous, consult a doctor)
Do not drink coffee on the day of your treatment
Wear comfortable clothes on the day of the treatment (preferably buttoned clothes, so you don’t have to pull it over your head)
Report any illnesses and conditions, allergies and medications to the clinic where you are being treated (this can play an important role in your treatment)
Consult your doctor or the clinic before taking any medication
Fly in advance: we recommend that you arrive at least 1, preferably 2 days in advance.
Do not use hair products on the day of the treatment and rinse out any products from the previous day.
Hair transplant travel & treatment timeline
To give you a better idea of what a typical hair transplant treatment timeline looks like, we have shown below an example timeline of a hair transplant including hotel and transfers.
You will be picked up at the airport and taken to your hotel
Depending on the measures, there is first a stopover at a hospital for a COVID-19 test
Relax, have fun and be well rested!
If applicable, you will receive the result of the COVID-19 test
You will be picked up from the hotel and taken to the clinic
At the clinic, doctor will discuss and check a number of things with you and the necessary medical tests will be performed
The treatment takes place under local anaesthesia
After the surgery, you will receive the necessary information, medication and products, and are dropped off at your hotel
For exact details on the treatment itself, see the corresponding blog or the hair transplant page.
You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the clinic
A post-operative check-up is performed
You will be dropped off at your hotel or the airport
Hair transplant aftercare: Post operative care instructions
Although a hair transplant is often thought lightly about, the reality is that it remains an operation and should be taken seriously. To obtain the best results, to stimulate recovery and to prevent complications, it is of the utmost importance to pay close attention to aftercare.
See below a list of points to follow for for good aftercare.
Always follow the doctor's instructions
Use the provided medication (pain reliever, antibiotics and ointments) and products (pillows, head covering, shampoo, lotion, etc.) as instructed
Do not smoke for 2 weeks after surgery
Do not drink alcohol for at least 1 week after surgery
Sports, intensive activities, saunas and swimming are prohibited for at least 1 month after the treatment
Avoid dirty and dusty areas for at least 1 month after surgery
Do not take blood thinners without informing your doctor
Do not expose your head to the sun for at least 1 month, after this use at least factor 15.
Let your scalp air well and stimulate ventilation of the scalp at all times.
Do not comb your hair for at least 1 week, after which you can very gently comb the untreated area without touching the treated areas.
Do not scratch your scalp
Do not wear anything tight around your head
Do not sleep on your stomach, it is advised to sleep on your back with your head in a 30° position. For this you can use an adjustable bed or several pillows, you can also use a travel pillow as supplied on airplanes.
During the first weeks, scabs form continuously. It is important that you leave these alone and do not scrape them off. By following your doctor's directions, scabs will be minimized.
Hair transplant recovery timeline
Your hair transplant is over, but now it all just begins. Below is a description of what your hair transplant recovery timeline will look like and what you can expect!
In the first weeks, your scalp is mainly busy with recovery. You notice that everything is still very sensitive and that the wounds are healing.
By the end of the second week, the implanted hairs will begin to fall out. You don't have to worry about this because the hair follicles are still in your scalp. The hair loss in this case is shock related. By the end of the 4th week, this will make it look like you haven't had a hair transplant.
During this month, the hairs are in the resting phase and little hair growth will be noticeable
By the end of the 2nd month, the hairs will start to grow, this will continue and by the end of the 6th month, about 25-30% of the hairs will have grown.
Hair growth continues to increase during these months at a rate of about 12% per month. Most will achieve full results between 9-12 months, however, with some, it is a bit slower and the full result is only visible after 18 months.
Discomfort and complications that may occur after a hair transplant and how to deal with them
You may experience one or more of the following complaints. Always contact a doctor in worrisome situations.
Slight pain and discomfort can occur, severe pain is uncommon. Headaches can occur, especially at the donor area. Take the prescribed painkillers or other painkillers prescribed by your doctor. Do not drive or operate devices/vehicles while under the influence of painkillers.
It is normal for some blood or fluid to leak from the donor and/or recipient area. If constant bleeding occurs on the donor area, apply light and constant pressure to the bleeding area with sterile gauze or tissue for approximately 15 minutes.
Redness on the scalp after the treatment is normal and nothing to worry about.
Numbness occurs, in most cases this disappears within 6-8 weeks. In some cases it can last for several months.
Blisters and cysts
In the first month after the treatment, small blisters always form, this is because the new hairs grow and break through the layers of your scalp, these often disappear on their own without medication. If the blisters are larger than normal with redness, contact your doctor. 2-3 months after treatment, it may also occur in certain cases that blisters and cysts form around the hair follicle.
Swelling can occur for several days after the surgery and can last for 3-4 days. The swelling can also spread to your face. In this case, keep cold compression on your forehead for 10-20 minutes 2-3 times a day.
It is normal for your scalp to itch during the recovery period or when the implanted hair is growing. Scratching is prohibited, we recommend that you use baby oil to relieve symptoms.
If the donor part is swollen and/or hypersensitive, or if you have a fever these may be signs that you have an infection. In these cases, contact your doctor/clinic immediately. To avoid infection, pay attention to the following points:
Avoid dusty and dirty places, especially in the first week
Use the prescribed antibiotics
Keep the treated areas clean as directed by your doctor
Do you want to take the right step towards your hair transplant? Your Mediqle healthcare coach will help you on your way. Well-organized and completely free from start to finish!
At Mediqle we work together with only the best clinics/hospitals, both at home and abroad, and offer a lowest price guarantee. Therefore you are assured that you are not paying too much for the proper care. The Mediqle service is completely FREE for you from start to finish for contracted clinics and hospitals.
Would you like more information about hair transplants, the pros and cons of all treatments, how to start your medical journey and how to save money with our handy tips? See our hair transplant services, and perhaps we can help you too! #Mediqle