Hair Transplant Recovery Timeline and After Care Tips

Written by Dr. Griffin

Many patients who come to the Griffin Hair Restoration Center of Philadelphia have concerns about the recovery period following a hair transplant. Follicular Unit Transplant is an ambulatory (same-day) surgery, meaning you can return home after the procedure has been completed. Dr. Griffin will send you home with written post-operative instructions, as well as any necessary pain medication and antibiotics.

Crucial Tips to Follow After Your FUT:

  • For the first few nights following your hair transplant, sleep with your head elevated.
  • Do not drink alcohol for the first three days following your transplant – alcohol may cause bleeding.
  • Do not smoke for the first two weeks following your transplant – smoking affects tiny blood vessels which are vital to healing and the “take” of hair grafts.

Post-Operative Recovery Timeline & What to Expect

The rate of recovery depends on multiple factors:

  • Your individual healing time
  • The method your surgeon used for extraction of the hair follicles FUE (Follicular Unit Excision) vs. Strip Harvesting
  • The size of the recipient region
  • And most importantly, the skill of the surgeon

Day 1 Following Surgery

On the night of surgery, icing of the forehead is very important to help prevent swelling of the forehead and face.This should be done until falling asleep, 20min on 20 min off.We recommend sleeping somewhat upright on a recliner or on several pillows for the first several days.We supply a neck pillow to stabilize the head.It is possible to see mild focal bleeding but not continuous bleeding during the first night and day following surgery.Patients should notify the staff of any significant bleeding.We will see you on the day after surgery to ensure that the grafts have stayed in place over night and to clean up any residual or dried blood. Prescribed medications should be taken as directed on day one.We provide a post op kit which contains a spray which helps healing which can start on day one after surgery.We recommend leaving the grafts alone during the first several days other than using the spray and icing the forehead.
Days 2-3 Following Surgery Some swelling may occur on the forehead and possibly around the eyes and cheeks, usually on day 3 or 4.If this occurs, warm compresses are recommended which will dissipate the swelling.Soreness and numbness may persist in the donor site and recipient site.Scabs will begin to form as your scalp heals. It is crucial that you do not pick at the scabs as this will disrupt the grafts and can lead to loss of grafts. Continue the spray and on day 3-4 begin to use the soaking pads provided in the post op kit on the grafts.Use the ointment provided on the donor area.Continue soaking, spraying and taking the prescribed medication through the first week.

One Week Following Surgery

At this point, most, if not all, of the residual numbness, swelling and soreness will have subsided. We will see you one week post op.Some stitches will be removed from the donor site if you had a strip procedure.The staff will try to gently remove some scabs from the grafts.Normal shampooing can resume at this time.

7-14 Days Following Surgery

The scabs will be almost entirely gone and you may start to see some shedding of the small hairs in the grafts. This is part of the healing process and should not cause alarm. It is the follicles which are transplanted and these will heal and produce a new hair.

14-30 Days Following Surgery

Your transplanted hair will continue to shed. At the end of one month your hair will look much like it did immediately before your surgery. If you color your hair or use topical hair growth products these may be resumed in approximately 3 weeks post op.

2-3 Months Following Surgery

The transplanted hair will begin to grow. Some or all of the hair that has been shed in the prior month will grow back.

3-12 Months Following Surgery

You will continue to see changes in the length, density and possibly texture of your hair. This hair is yours to groom as you please. Full results can be seen 6 to 12 monthsfollowing your hair transplantation surgery with Dr. Griffin.

Your Hair Transplant with Dr. Thomas Griffin

Dr. Griffin is a board certified dermatologist who has over 30 years’ experience with hair transplantation surgery. He is a pioneer in his field and has participated firsthand in the evolution of the treatment for hair loss. During your hair transplant consultation with Dr. Griffin, he will evaluate your family and medical history and conduct a physical examinationand possibly some tests in order to determine the cause of your hair loss. He will discuss your desired goals with you, and offer his professional advice on which FUT method is best for your individual situation. This consultation is your time to ask Philadelphia’s top hair transplant expert any questions you may have and discuss all your hair loss and hair treatment concerns. To schedule your consultation today, call 215-561-9100 or click here to schedule online.