Many individuals suffering from hair loss who opt for a hair transplant have lots of questions to ask about the procedure. What does it involve? Does having a hair transplant hurt? And how much hair transplant downtime do I need?
Hair transplant downtime depends on the speed and complexity of your surgery. This includes:
Physical recovery is a simple process. It involves waiting for the scalp to heal, which usually happens within a few days. However, it may take a little longer before you feel confident enough to go back to work after a hair transplant or resume your normal activities.
While both FUE and FUT hair transplants give entirely natural-looking results, they can have different results as far as downtime is concerned.
The FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) hair transplant procedure is usually preferred if you’re looking for less downtime. It’s also the most popular technique, with almost three-quarters of hair transplant patients opting for a FUE hair transplant procedure in 2021 .
Most FUE patients have a quick hair transplant recovery timeline with minimal downtime. That’s because this is a one-day procedure that uses a short-term local anaesthetic. The process of extracting the donor grafts and transplanting them takes between 2-6 hours, depending on how many grafts are needed.
Any dressing applied to the donor area site can be removed the next day. You’ll make a follow-up appointment at the clinic after 3 days to see how you’re healing, and to wash your hair after your hair transplant.
In many cases, patients can return to work within 1-2 days. However, most people choose to take up to a week off work after hair transplant surgery to avoid probing questions from colleagues. Find out if you can get a hair transplant without anyone knowing.
FUT (follicular unit transplantation) hair transplant surgery is also a single-day procedure. However, you may need a little more downtime to recover from FUT surgery.
Also known as strip harvesting, FUT involves removing a strip of skin from the back or side of your head to harvest the healthy hair follicles needed for your donor grafts. Since FUT transplant surgery is slightly more invasive than the FUE procedure, it has a slightly longer recovery time and also requires a little more post-surgical care.
Your transplanted hair will eventually grow to cover any scarring caused by your FUT procedure. However, in the days and weeks after surgery, the wound and scar will be fairly obvious. So you may want to stay at home to protect your wounds and prevent infection.
In most cases, you can get back to your normal work and social activities after 2-3 days. If you feel self-conscious during this part of the transplant recovery process, you may wish to wait for 10-14 days before going back to your regular routine.
The main reason you might need extra downtime during your recovery period is if you develop an infection, reopen your wounds, or experience excessive hair transplant side effects. This usually only happens if you had your surgery in an unclean environment, or you haven’t cared for your grafts as recommended by your hair transplant surgeon.
Choosing the right clinic is essential for minimising downtime. Choosing a cheap hair transplant in Turkey may seem like a good deal, but can ultimately cost you more in downtime and having multiple hair transplants to repair the damage. Find out how to choose the right clinic in our hair transplant cost analysis.
You might also need to extend your downtime if you have a hair transplant into scar tissue. Graft survival rates are often lower in scar tissue, thanks to poor blood supply and tissue stiffness . So allowing extra time in the healing process can give your grafts the best chance of survival.
There are many things you can do to ensure you get back on your feet as soon as possible after a hair transplant procedure:
The prospect of taking long periods off work or letting other people see your unsightly scalp scabs may put many people off getting a hair transplant.
Fortunately, modern hair transplant techniques don’t force you to take weeks off to recover. These precision techniques create only tiny scabs as the grafts heal. With good haircare, any scabs usually fall off within a couple of weeks.
At the Wimpole Clinic, our surgical team has the skill and experience to create your ideal hairline with minimal downtime for you.
To see our previous results, take a look at our before and after hair transplant gallery, and check out our hair transplant clinic reviews.
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