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Getting ready for hair transplant surgery: the essential steps

If you have been struggling with thinning or receding hair, you may have tried a number of different treatments in order to stop or reverse the effects.

But if your hair loss is severe or doesn’t respond to treatment, you might decide that a transplant is the right option for you.

Hair transplants are an extremely popular and safe cosmetic procedure and are officially classed as low risk. Nevertheless, to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible and in order to get the best results, it’s still important to prepare.

Here are some of the steps your hair transplant surgeon might ask you to take before the procedure is carried out.


Although you might be feeling a bit apprehensive about the surgery, and could be craving cigarettes to help you stay calm, they are in fact a very bad idea.

It’s extremely helpful if you can stop smoking any tobacco products at least a day before the transplant takes place. This is because smoking can have a negative impact on the healing of a wound, and can delay your recovery.

Stopping smoking 24 hours before you have your transplant and waiting until afterwards before you have a cigarette could provide a much better chance of your graft healing well.

Hair cut

You might think it’s a good idea to have a haircut prior to the transplant, so that you look smart and well-presented, and it’s easy for the surgeon to navigate their way around.

In reality, having a haircut just before surgery is a bad idea. Your surgeon needs good growth on the donor hairs to make it easier to transplant. In addition, a slightly longer cut will help to cover up any scar area or stitches until the donor area has healed. However, you can get a buzz cut after hair transplant surgery to mask your new hair growth.


Similar to smoking, alcohol can influence the healing process adversely so having a drink of “Dutch courage” beforehand is not recommended.

Your surgeon will give you some advice about what to do but in general, the minimum amount of time that should be left between your last alcoholic drink and surgery is three days. Ideally there should be at least a week between drinking and your transplant procedure.


Some types of medication can influence the cosmetic surgery and the healing procedure and shouldn’t be taken in the run-up to a hair transplant.

Aspirin and any anti-inflammatories should be ceased at least a fortnight before the transplant takes place. Other types of medication which can be an issue include those prescribed for high blood pressure and depression, as well as blood thinners and beta blockers.

However, you should never just stop any drugs or treatment without medical supervision. Your hair transplant surgeon will let you know whether the medication you are taking could interfere with your procedure.

Vitamin supplements

You may well be understandably keen to be in the very best possible state of health before your transplant, to have the optimum chance of a successful graft.

However, multivitamins and supplements come under the same rules as other types of medication and should be stopped at least a fortnight before your transplant.


In the run-up to your transplant, a regular hair and head massage could be beneficial to the process

Just rubbing your scalp for 10 minutes per day, or 30 minutes if you have the time, will help the skin to soften and also get the blood flowing efficiently. Both of these factors are critical to the success of your hair implants in the long term.


Although it might seem like there’s a lot to think about, the process of having a hair transplant is actually very simple. Preparing properly and abstaining from any potentially harmful habits will help provide the very best chance of getting optimum results.

Learn more about what to expect throughout your procedure and recovery in our hair transplant timeline.

The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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