So, you have decided that the only way you can get back to looking the way you once did, is by getting a hair transplant. You have done your research and finalised on a good doctor with plenty of experience. However, there are still a lot of things you will need to keep in mind and the most important points are discussed here:
Two weeks before the transplant procedure:
- It is important that you call the doctor and reconfirm your appointment.
- If you are taking any medications, you should let your doctor know in advance, because certain medicines, especially blood thinners need to be stopped a few days before the procedure.
- It is important that you do not cut your hair, because the length will be required for the process. The hair will actually help cover marks that are bound to appear post procedure. If the hair is too long, your doctor will be able to trim it to the appropriate length.
One week before the transplant procedure:
- There are certain multivitamins that lend to an increase in the bleeding during the procedure, which is why they will have to be stopped. This is something your doctor will be able to advise you about.
- It is important that you do not take medicines such as aspirin or anti-inflammation drugs.
- However, prescriptions medicines, such as those for heart and blood pressure, should be taken as per routine, even on the day of the procedure.
- If you are a smoker, it would be best that you give the same up in this week. The nicotine in the cigarettes can cause the blood vessels to constrict and as a result there could be a decrease in blood flow.
Three days before the transplant procedure:
- It is advisable to abstain from alcohol for at least three days before the procedure is due to take place.
- If you are someone who utilises dyes or hair colours, it would be best that you do not apply it in the days before the procedure. As a matter of fact, each day before the procedure, it would be advisable to clean your scalp thoroughly, to get rid of any residual colour.
The day of the procedure:
- Please make sure that you wash your hair, with a regular shampoo and not use any styling products.
- It would be a good idea to wear loose fitting clothes or ones that need not be pulled over the head, as that could damage the new implants.
- Eat a proper meal.
- You might want to assign someone to take you home after the procedure, because there are chances that you might feel drowsy or slightly tired.
Now, here is a look at what all happens during the transplant process:
- The actual process is quite non-disturbing and most people enjoy watching a movie or listening to music, while the procedure is being conducted. Many patients prefer to engage in conversation with the staff members, including the doctor.
- If you are feeling nervous, you can always ask the doctor to administer a mild sedative, which will allow you to sleep through the process.
- The time taken for the process depends on how many grafts are required. So, while for some people, the process might take only a few hours, for others it might extend to the entire day.
- However, with most doctors, it is suggested that you spend the entire day at the clinic, because that would allow them to observe any extra bleeding.
Finally, let’s look at all that needs to be kept in mind, once the transplant procedure is over:
- The night of your procedure, and even for the next few nights, it would be advisable that you prop your head on a soft pillow.
- Your doctor will prescribe medication for you, which might include painkillers and prophylactic antibiotics.
- The third day, you will be required to carefully remove the bandages and wash your head. You will be required to spray normal saline on transplanted area for 3-5 days.
- While taking a shower, make sure that you treat the transplanted area with care. Use a special/gentle shampoo to wash your hair and avoid using any harsh chemicals for a few days.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking for another 3-4 days.
- There will be shedding in the days to come, and this is absolutely normal, so you will have nothing to worry about.
- Three to four days after the procedure, you can return to your regular routines for hair care. By this time, you can also plan a haircut, but it would be a good idea to continue treating your hair with care.
- If you are going out into strong sunlight, wear a hat or bandana to protect your head.
- If you wish to dye or colour your hair, you can do it one month or four weeks after the procedure.
Most of the times people are able to go back to their normal routines, within days, but doctors would suggest that you restrain yourself from indulging in strenuous physical activities for a few weeks. You might want to schedule regular visits with your doctor, just to ensure that everything is ok. In addition, these visits would also be a great opportunity to confirm the dos and don’t once more.