Hair loss affects around 50% of people in the UK and can be a very traumatic experience. Having a full head of luscious, thick hair is often seen as the beauty ideal, so losing your hair can make you feel self-conscious about the way you look.
Hair loss can also impact the way you think about other aspects of your life such as ageing or relationships. Thankfully, new developments in hair restoration technology have meant that those who suffer from hair loss can now find a permanent solution through hair restoration surgery.
With such significant advances in the hair transplant process over the past decade and an increase in hair transplant success rates, the number of people seeking either FUT hair transplants or FUE surgery has surged in recent years. With high-profile public figures such as Wayne Rooney addressing their hair loss with hair transplants, more and more people are turning to these advancements to improve the appearance of balding or thinning hair.
If you have experienced hair loss, then a trip to the barber or hairdresser may have previously filled you with dread.
But if you’ve undergone a hair transplant and are now enjoying a fuller head of hair and a higher level of confidence, you may be ready to visit the barbers or hairdressers and get a fresh new style. However, before you get a haircut after a hair transplant, there are a few important things you need to know.
The first month after hair transplant surgery does require you to give your scalp and hair a little more care and attention than you would normally. Particularly in the first week, you should use specialist shampoo or a saline solution on the treated areas while the scabs heal, and the new hair begins to grow.
You should aim to be more gentle when you wash and dry your hair too, ensuring you are not being overly vigorous with shampooing or towel drying. You should also avoid using a hair dryer after a hair transplant.
It’s totally normal for hair transplant patients to notice a few hairs falling out. This type of hair loss post-surgery is known as shock hair loss and it’s a natural part of the hair growth cycle. Think of this process as being similar to baby teeth falling out and stronger teeth coming in, only in this situation, healthy hair will grow instead.
The hair strands might fall out but the transplanted hair follicles will still be there causing new hair to grow over time. You don’t need to be alarmed or worried that your hair transplantation has taken.
However, your normal hair will also continue to grow, which can make the hair in the donor area more noticeable if you have a particularly short haircut. The good news, however, is that after around three weeks you can safely get your hair cut without causing any damage to the transplanted grafts or new hair.
Before you get your first haircut after hair transplant surgery, it is advisable to visit your physician to ensure the head is healing properly. If the healing process is a little slower than normal and there is still some redness, swelling, and scabbing, you may need to wait before getting a new haircut, as this could aggravate the area and slow down healing even more.
Your hair transplant physician will be the best person to advise on this as your hairdresser/barber may not have any experience with hair transplants, so it is better to take the advice of a specialist before cutting hair.
Feel free to get your hair styled any way you want! Providing your scalp has healed correctly, the risk of dislodging your transplanted hair grafts is minimal. Therefore, you can opt for any hairstyle you choose. Some men decide to shave their hair very short and get a buzz cut after their hair transplant. This masks any difference in length between their natural hair and the transplanted follicles. The hair can then continue to grow at the same length.
Another option is to go for a more voluminous style to cover up the donor area hair which is still growing. Essentially, your first haircut after hair restoration surgery is entirely down to personal choice. Now that you have more hair to play with, you can enjoy the process of finding a style to suit you.
In addition to your haircut you may also be eager to get back to using styling products, chemical dyes or heat treatments to get back to your old style.
However, just like the haircut, it’s recommended to avoid these for at least 3-4 weeks. Even using a hairdryer can burn your scalp if your transplant area is still numb. Plus, excessive heat can damage existing hair as well as new follicles. Your new follicles may also be more sensitive to chemicals and styling products in the initial growth stages, so there’s a possibility you could have an adverse reaction.
If you are planning to colour your hair, then you should wait at least 4 weeks and check with your hair transplant physician before doing so. You should also do a patch test even if you have used the dye before as the new transplanted hair follicle may react differently to the dye.
For more advice on hair transplantation and hair transplant aftercare, the Wimpole Clinic is always here to help. Contact us today for a free, no-pressure consultation.
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