It should come as no surprise that newly-planted hair follicles are delicate. In fact, many patients will experience varying degrees of tenderness during the post-surgery healing phase, with some people facing worse pain or discomfort than others. While this heavily depends on the hair transplant method (FUE vs. FUT), the degree of personal care and maintenance one should focus on remains equally crucial for both.
To ensure that your hair follicles aren’t damaged and that you don’t end up suffering from an infection or fall victim to permanent scarring, it is best to avoid heavily-strenuous physical activities, as sweat can be quite the villainous threat to your new hair. Even then, your scalp is still prone to getting dirty due to various other external factors.
Naturally, the most obvious question during these points is, “How do I wash my hair?” That’s precisely why we’re here to answer that and, hopefully, demystify some of the less apparent facets of post-op hair transplant care.
Let us dive into the do’s and don’ts of washing your newly-planted hair – you’d be surprised by how intricate it can get!
But First – the Don’ts
If your hair transplant was (or will be) directly overseen by a doctor who knows a thing or two about post-op scalp care, then you’ve most likely been told to wait 24 hours before doing anything remotely related to ‘washing.’ And for a good reason!
After the main process is all set up and done, your (very sensitive) scalp will be in need of a good softening. Naturally, any self-respecting medical practitioner will put some high-quality lotion on your dome – and if they don’t, you have other things to worry about at that point.
Funny business aside, the fifteen to thirty minutes that the lotion is meant to stay for are critical in removing blood and accelerating the healing process. Your new follicles are at their most sensitive at this point, so any washing should be avoided, with 24 hours being the sweet spot that a lot of doctors opt for.
Preparing with Products
We probably don’t need to tell you that ultra-hot or ice-cold water are no-go options for post-op hair washing, which is why mild room-temperature water is your best bet. Of course, you’ll need the right “tools” for the job, which brings us to our next point – hair products!
If you’re planning on washing your hair as soon as possible, then you should ensure that the shampoo you’re using does not contain perfume, silicone particles, or harmful dyes. Baby shampoo will end up being your best friend in the long run, especially since there are plenty of affordable options.
Additional products that will also inevitably benefit your hair-restoration journey are oils. We’re talking about coconut, argan, peppermint, and the like.
Lather and Tap
The actual washing process should take no longer than half an hour. You don’t want to “drown” your hair now, do you? The idea is that you should very gently rinse off excess dirt and oils with slow application of special medicated (or baby) shampoo in-between.
The last thing you want is to be aggressive with your hand movements. No hard strokes or pulling here, folks – simply tap. That’s right; you have to gently tap little dabs of shampoo product here and there so as to not ‘disturb’ the follicles, so to speak. And don’t go overboard with the shampoo, either!
Time to Dry!
After you do the dirty job of washing (heh), your next step is pretty obvious – drying your scalp! While the classic option of “letting it aerate” might seem enticing, we advise that you avoid exposing your scalp to moisture for overly-long periods of time.
As such, it’s better to speed up the drying process with a towel. Of course, that’s where the slightly tricky part comes into play.
Drying during the post-op healing phase kind of mimics the same application with lathering. Simply take a slightly-warm, ultra-soft towel and gently tap on your head. Simple fingertip motions are the key here, and the soft, semi-warm towel is perfect for your new hair follicles, as it won’t pull on them.
With all that said and done, expect to go back to your normal ways of hair-related hygiene in…about 10 days or so. Individual experiences may vary from person to person, which is why you should always consult top experts and medical practitioners if you have further questions!