If you’re investing time and money in a hair transplant, you naturally want the effects to look as great as you imagined. That usually means avoiding the gym after your hair transplant, at least for a few weeks.
To ensure the success of your procedure, it’s important to take extra special care of the affected areas in the days and weeks following your transplant.
There are a number of reasons why this aftercare period is vital:
- To protect the fragile new hair grafts during the most vulnerable period immediately after the surgery. The careful protection of the newly-transplanted follicles is essential for the best results, as well as the long-term success of the transplant.
- To reduce the risk of scarring to the scalp, especially after FUT or strip procedures that involve a donor section of the scalp. If you intend to keep your hair short following any transplant, it is particularly vital to try to minimise any scarring.
- As with any kind of surgery, the post-procedure care can make a difference to how quickly and how well you get back to normal. Making sure you get the rest you need, as well as good nutrition and physical care will give your body the best chances of recovering speedily and well.
But whilst maintaining a healthy lifestyle will support the healing process, as well as the success of your transplant, it’s crucially important that you don’t rush back to any strenuous exercise or intense workouts too soon after the procedure. And when you do get back to the gym or exercise regime, there are some additional considerations to think about.
When can you go back to the gym after a hair transplant?
The road to recovery after a hair transplant is straightforward, but it’s not quick. To give your grafts the best possible chance of healing well and taking root, you should wait at least 1 month after a hair transplant before going to the gym, lifting weights, or doing strenuous exercise.
It’s not always easy to give up your exercise regime for this amount of time. To help you take care of yourself, look your best, and protect your investment in your hair and appearance, here are some recommendations for working out after your hair transplant.
Light exercise can usually be resumed within a week of the surgery, as long as it won’t stretch the skin around the transplant area.
To avoid scarring, wait until the scalp is fully healed before resuming anything more strenuous than walking. When you do resume your workouts, start off with a lighter regime than you’re used to and increase gradually over time.
If your usual workout is particularly intense, such as weight lifting, you may need to allow even longer for more comprehensive healing of the scalp and protection of the new hair grafts. Sweat and strain can have a negative impact on your transplant growth. That’s why it’s important to minimise exposure while your grafts are still new.
It’s a good idea to avoid swimming until the transplant site and any donor sites have fully healed. This will help to prevent any irritation from pool chemicals or infection from bacteria.
Cardio workouts or any exercises that cause sweat need to be avoided for a short period following the surgery. Sweat can cause irritation of the scalp which may prevent optimum healing. Excessive sweating could also dislodge the new hair grafts.
Workouts and exercise raise your heart rate and your blood pressure. Until the transplant area has fully healed, it’s best to avoid high blood pressure which may lead to bleeding. This can damage the newly transplanted follicles.
You may need to wait longer than usual before you can rejoin training with your team. This is especially true if you play a contact sport. Playing sports like football or rugby can cause significant damage to your hair transplant if you come into contact with an opponent. You should wait a while after your transplant is healed before you take up team sports again.
What happens if I exercise too soon after a hair transplant?
Dislodging or disturbing your grafts during the healing stage by exercising too soon can affect the success of your hair transplant surgery. The increased circulation from exercising can also cause the grafts to bleed, while sweat can cause infection in the wounds.
Sweat can also lead to itchiness. Itching can dislodge your grafts, so it should be avoided as much as possible after a hair transplant. Less exercise means less sweat, which means less itching.
When you’ve spent time and money on a cosmetic procedure, it’s best to wait until you’re sure it’s safe to exercise. That way you have a better chance of getting the results you’re looking for.
Managing your diet after a hair transplant
If your regular exercise routine is restricted after a hair transplant, you may feel a little more sluggish than usual. In this case, make sure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet while the gym is off-limits. If you’re eating a calorie-restricted diet, make sure you’re still getting enough nutrients to feed your follicles.
Not only does the right diet give follicles the nutrients they need to produce healthy hair growth, it can also make you feel more fit and energised.
Do I need to ask my hair transplant consultant before I go back to the gym?
As part of the transplant process and aftercare, your consultant will give you more detailed advice on healing timescales and when you can return to your usual exercise.
In some cases, you may be able to resume your normal workout routine within a couple of weeks. Other times, you may need a few additional weeks to allow full healing and ensure the best outcome.
If you’re confident your grafts and/or donor area have healed, you can resume your exercise regime without consulting your clinic.
Taking care of your hair transplant after surgery
The way you manage your hair transplant during this aftercare period will affect the speed of recovery. It can also impact the success of the transplant and the chances of long-lasting results. With a bit of attention and patience, you can support the recovery process and take the best possible care of your new hair – so you can return to the gym with confidence.
Find out more about how to take care of your hair transplant after surgery.
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