No matter how well your surgeon performs your hair transplant, the outcome depends just as much on how much care you take afterwards. All Wimpole Clinic patients are given an aftercare pack to help them look after their hair post-surgery. However, you need to know exactly what you can and cannot do. This includes knowing which medications are to be taken after your hair transplant.
Medications can include prescription drugs, supplements, and painkillers. So which medicines are safe for you to take, and how will they impact your new hair growth and the healing process?
Sometimes your doctor will prescribe medication for you to take after your hair transplant procedure. This is to promote healthy hair regrowth and ensure your hair transplant gives you the results you want.
In addition, you’ll need to take certain medications before, during, and after the procedure to ensure a successful, painless hair transplant.
At the start of the transplant procedure, your surgeon will administer a local anaesthetic, usually Lidocaine. This numbs the affected areas of the scalp. This is a very effective short-term anaesthetic that wears off quickly after the procedure, and which has no side effects.
Afterwards, you may receive a cortisone steroid application to prevent any swelling from the surgery. Your surgeon will apply an antiseptic dressing to the donor area of your scalp to help prevent infection.
Your surgeon or hair loss consultant will discuss which medicines are to be taken after a hair transplant with you beforehand. Here are some of the most common medications:
Antibiotics help the body fight infection. Clinicians prescribe them proactively to prevent infection, which can cause damage to the hair grafts.
Prednisolone is a steroid that prevents and reduces hair transplant swelling. You might be prescribed this for up to a week after your procedure. Other steroids may be recommended instead of Prednisolone. Learn more about steroid creams for hair loss.
Rogaine is the brand name for Minoxidil, a drug that’s proven to stimulate hair growth and create thick, healthy hair. We recommend taking Minoxidil after your hair transplant to reduce shock loss and prevent losing your native and original hair.
Rogaine is a topical solution, so you’ll need to rub it into the affected areas on your scalp. While rare, some hair transplant patients report colour changes in their hair when using Minoxidil.
Propecia is another hair growth stimulant used to treat hair loss and contains the hair loss drug Finasteride. Taking Finasteride after a hair transplant can minimise ongoing hair loss. This is especially important if you suffer from a genetic hair loss condition such as female pattern hair loss or male pattern baldness.
Finasteride is usually taken orally. Propecia and other medicines containing Finasteride are only suitable for men. Take a look at these Finasteride results to see real patient photos and a timeline of expected results.
Some patients find that their new hair grafts are very itchy. Scratching the area can negatively impact your transplanted hair, so clinicians sometimes suggest antihistamines if your scalp is extremely itchy.
If you’re considering taking another type of medication — whether it seems relevant to the hair transplant procedure or not — it’s best to discuss this with your hair loss consultant. They can tell you if the new medication is likely to affect the success of your hair transplant.
Yes — the Wimpole Clinic team usually gives you painkillers and anti-inflammatories to take at home along with your aftercare pack.
Unless you’re usually advised not to take painkillers, you can also take your own paracetamol and over-the-counter pain management medicines. If you’re unsure which medicines you can take, speak to your GP.
Certain vitamins and other nutrients are needed for strong healthy hair. However, there’s little proof supplements or lotions on the market will speed up the rate of hair growth or prevent hair loss (though there are some that claim to do this). A good hair transplant surgeon will tell you that supplements aren’t necessary for you to take after a hair transplant.
That said, a good multivitamin supplement won’t do any harm (although you should always take the advice of your GP before taking any supplements, particularly if you take regular medications).
What is essential is that you follow a balanced diet, and get plenty of sleep and fresh air. This is all you usually need to do to maintain the success of your hair transplant.
If you’ve had a FUT procedure, you may be concerned about scarring. In this case, you may want to use creams or lotions that help reduce the appearance of the scar. You can apply these once the wound has fully healed and any scabs have fallen off.
If you’re using medicated creams like Minoxidil, it’s important to note that the effects will wear off if you stop using them. As a result, you may wish to continue using these medications long-term. Discuss how long you should use your prescribed medicines with your hair loss consultant and surgeon.
Certain medications can affect a surgical procedure or its outcome. That’s why it’s essential that you tell your surgeon about any long-term medications before you commit to hair transplant surgery. They can then advise you accordingly on the likely outcome.
There are a variety of lifestyle changes that you can undertake to help speed up the recovery process post-hair transplant surgery and ensure that you get the hair transplant results you want.
Rest and relaxation are the best ways to help recover from any type of surgery. This means getting enough sleep, avoiding stressful situations, and strenuous activity.
In the first 10-14 days post-hair transplant operation, make sure you sleep in the right position so as not to disturb the newly transplanted hair follicles. Learn more about how to sleep after a hair transplant.
Fitness freaks obsessed with exercise will need to wait until their scalps are healed before working out after their hair transplant.
In regards to work, if you feel healthy enough and your job does not involve a lot of stress or strenuous activity, you can get back to work in a couple of days after your hair transplant. However, we recommend that you take at least one week off from work before going to work after a hair transplant.
To prevent infection, practice good hygiene. Make sure anything that comes in contact with your healing scalp (ex. pillows, bandages, hands, etc) is clean.
In addition, make sure that you are regularly washing your hair at this time using the right antibacterial soap or a saline solution. Learn more about the proper way to wash your hair after a hair transplant.
It’s recommended that hats and other tight head coverings are to be avoided in the first 10 days after hair transplants. This is to allow the scalp to heal undisturbed.
After the scalp has healed, you may then wear a loose-fitting hat or hood when outside to cover your recent surgery and also protect your healing head from harsh sunlight, wind, rain, dirt, and pollution.
Again, only wear loose-fitting head coverings when you are outside to protect against the elements, particularly UV radiation from direct sunlight. Avoid anything that can pull on the newly implanted hair follicles or is tight enough to affect the blood supply to the scalp.
Abstaining from alcohol and smoking is not only good for your body but is also important for your hair health. Chemicals in smoking can affect overall blood circulation which can negatively affect the healing process.
Alcohol use also takes a toll on the body and can slow down the recovery process and interfere with any medications that you may be taking post-surgery. Therefore, it’s recommended that you abstain from alcohol until you are fully healed.
Learn more about the link between hair loss and alcohol.
If you have any questions or concerns about medicines to be taken after hair transplant surgery, discuss this in a free consultation with a hair loss specialist.
Our experienced consultants can talk you through pain management after a hair transplant along with the benefits of certain hair growth medications to prevent future hair loss.
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