Caring for your new hair is crucial in the first few weeks after a hair transplant. Whether it’s a Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) or a Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), you’ll need to take it easy for the first 2-4 weeks after any hair transplant procedure.
This means that it’s important that you make sure you have fully recovered before going hitting the gym or partaking in any strenuous exercise so that you can see the hair transplant results that you envisioned.
Read on to learn more about when you can return to the gym, lift weights, and the risks you need to avoid.
If you’re investing time and money in FUT or FUE hair transplant surgery, 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:
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 any hair transplant procedures. And when you do get back to the gym or your normal exercise routine, there are some additional considerations to think about.
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 exercising after your hair transplant.
It’s recommended that patients who have recently received a hair transplant rest for at least 5 days after the surgery. This is to allow for the hair grafts to properly heal and attach. During this time of rest, patients should also avoid sweating and direct sunlight.
After the initial 5-day rest period has passed, hair transplant recipients can then partake in light exercise such as gentle walking, as long as it won’t stretch the skin around the transplant area.
Cardio workouts or any exercises that cause sweat need to be avoided for a short period following the surgery. This includes having sex after a hair transplant. Sweat can cause irritation of the scalp which may prevent optimum healing.
Scalps usually heal around 10-14 days after a hair transplant surgery. At this time, it is generally safe to partake in more strenuous exercises other than gentle walking.
When you do resume your workouts, start off with a lighter regime than you’re used to and increase gradually over time.
To avoid scarring, wait until the scalp is fully healed before resuming anything more strenuous than walking. As always, check with your clinic or hair transplant surgeon to make sure that your scalp is healing properly before engaging in any strenuous activity such as weight-lifting or doing pull-ups.
After 4 weeks, hair transplant recipients are welcome to resume strenuous exercise if their doctor has determined that their hair grafts have fully healed. This can include cardio exercises, swimming, weight-lifting, and even team or contact sports.
Most hair transplants heal after 4 weeks of the surgery. Some patients may even see some shedding on the transplanted hair which is perfectly normal and a sign that the hair graft is healing nicely.
Hair transplant recipients can resume their weight-lifting regime 2- 4 weeks after surgery. If your usual workout is particularly intense 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 so be careful not to press down your head on weight training equipment such as the weigh bench or leg press too hard in the first few weeks when you resume weight training.
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 otherwise you risk compromising the health of the graft transplant site.
Here’s our recommended advice on what to avoid in the first few weeks post hair transplant surgery.
If you are still healing from a hair transplant surgery, it’s important to avoid sweating too much. Sweat can also lead to itchiness and itching can dislodge your grafts.
If you do find yourself sweating, carefully dab it away. Be careful not to wipe it off as you could tear out the new hair roots that are not yet firmly anchored to the scalp.
In the first 3-5 days after your surgery, your hair grafts are vulnerable to dislodging. Therefore, it’s important not to disturb the transplanted area with any impacts, pulling, or straining during this time.
Dislodged hair grafts often present themselves with bleeding at the transplant area. Bleeding will damage the hair follicle roots which will prevent the hair from growing, so be careful and make sure to pamper yourself and your scalp after a hair transplant surgery.
Strenuous activity can cause the pressure on the scalp to increase. This excess strain can take a toll on the healing transplanted area and might even cause the graft to pop out. Therefore, it is recommended to take it easy and rest in the first few days following surgery.
In the early days of recovery following a hair transplant surgery, hair grafts are particularly vulnerable to infection. That’s why it’s important to maintain good hygiene and keep the transplanted area clean. This means keeping bedding, towels, and anything else that may come into contact with your scalp clean.
If you decide to go swimming, make sure to consult with your hair transplant surgeon first to make sure that the graft is fully healed. Swimming in seawater or chlorinated swimming pool water can damage the hair follicles and natural water may contain bacteria that could cause infection.
Workouts and exercise raise your heart rate and your blood pressure. Until the transplant area has fully healed (at least 4 weeks), it’s best to avoid high blood pressure which may lead to bleeding which can damage the newly transplanted follicles.
Newly transplanted hair follicles are especially sensitive to UV radiation. Therefore, it is recommended that hair transplant recipients try to avoid harsh and direct sunlight in the first 3-5 days after transplantation.
Recovering patients are advised to wear wide and loose-fitting hats or hoods while outside in the sun to protect their healing scalp while the transplanted area is healing.
Wearing a helmet or any other type of protective headgear after a transplant surgery should be avoided if the transplanted area on the scalp is still healing. Sweat can build up underneath helmets and headgear which can irritate the scalp and cause itching. In addition, unsanitized helmets or headgear could carry bacteria that could possibly infect the wound.
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 promote healthy hair growth, but it can also make you feel fitter and more energised.
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.
The way you manage your hair transplant during this aftercare period will affect the speed of hair transplant 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.
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