Post-transplant, hair growth is likely to be uneven and patchy for a while. It is possible for hair to grow faster on one side than the other. When that happens, many people turn to cutting or shaving to level the field. However, this isn’t something that you should be doing immediately after transplantation surgery.
Also, many people wonder whether their hair can be cut after a hair transplant or if they can change their hairstyle. You can do both of these things, of course. But before you get your scissors, clippers, and razors or visit a barber shop, you must wait for a little while.
How Soon After A Hair Transplant Can You Get A Haircut?
You can use scissors to cut your hair 1 month after a hair transplant. However, for at least three months, don’t use clippers, electric shavers, or razors on your hair.
Keep in mind that your donor and recipient areas will be shaved before a hair transplant (unless you’re U-FUE, in which case, only the donor area is shaved). It may be cut 1-3 mm short for better visibility in the extraction and implantation process.
So, you won’t have to bother with shaving or cutting your hair yourself (or at a salon) a few weeks after the surgery. However, once the hair starts growing, which is usually after 3 months, it’s safe to cut the transplanted and non-transplanted hair however you like. Remember that the hair growth rate can be different in different areas of the scalp.
Sometimes, patients who have U-FUE feel like having a buzz cut after surgery rather than keeping hair longer in some parts of the scalp. It could help make the transplanted area less noticeable, especially since you’ll be wearing your hair up. But even in this case, you need to wait for 1 month before you can trim your hair with scissors.
Why Should You Not Cut Your Hair Immediately After Hair Transplant?
There are a few reasons why you should avoid getting a haircut while you’re in the early stages of recovery.
Among the biggest risks of cutting hair after transplantation surgery is dislodging the newly transplanted grafts. Bear in mind it can take 2 weeks for the hair grafts to become secured in the scalp. And if you apply even the slightest pressure on them before that, they can pop out.
When it comes to haircutting, you’ll need to comb your hair, which can make your grafts come out. The same can happen if your hand or the hairdressing tool that you’re using ends up hitting the scalp.
Another problem with getting a haircut right after surgery is that there’s an increased risk of infection. That’s because you’ll have open wounds on your scalp for a few weeks, at least. And if your tools are not entirely clean, bacteria from them can be transferred to the scalp. This can result in an infection, which will also delay recovery.
The reason why you can use scissors before using trimmers or razors is that the latter pose a greater risk of infection. They’ll touch the skin of the scalp, which will be sensitive and vulnerable for a while. So, it’s important that you don’t use these tools for at least 3 months.
It’s not uncommon for people to cut themselves while shaving or cutting their hair (sometimes, even barbers do it). Usually, it’s not a problem.
But when you have grafts on your scalp that are trying to take root, it is a problem. If you cut yourself or even end up poking the skin of the scalp with scissors, you can damage the grafts and start bleeding. Again, it will delay recovery and make you more vulnerable to infections and even bad scarring.
Irritation & Itching
Those who shave are familiar with the irritation and itching that can follow. Sometimes, you even end up with bumps. All of this will only make your recovery more difficult. Especially during the first 2 weeks, when your wounds are trying to heal, your scalp will feel itchy. When you add itchiness due to shaving, things can get quite difficult.
Many people have their hair blow-dried after a haircut, as that allows them to see how their hair looks.
Now, soon after a hair transplant, you need to avoid using a blow dryer because the heat can damage the sensitive skin of your scalp. There may also be a potential for damage to the grafts. Even if you’re considering blow-drying in a cool-setting, consult your doctor first.
What Haircut Should You Get After Hair Transplant?
You can get any kind of haircut that you want after a hair transplant. The hairstyles that you can choose from may be limited in the first couple of months, but after 3 months, you can style your hair however you like. By that time, your grafts will be secured in place, and most of the temporary side effects will have subsided.
If you want, you can have a buzz cut, or you can consider getting a fade or crew cut to better hide the hair transplant (after 3 months).
Before getting a haircut at a salon, make sure to inform your barber that you had a hair transplant. This way, they’ll take extra measures to make sure that the haircut doesn’t affect the final result of the surgery. Additionally, they may suggest some good hairstyles according to your situation until your hair grows back fully.
Can You Change Your Hairstyle After Hair Transplant?
You can, of course, change your hairstyle after a hair transplant. There’s no restriction against certain hairstyles. You can choose to cut or not cut your hair. It’s up to you. Just make sure to wait till you’ve crossed the safety threshold of 1 month and 3 months for scissors and trimmers/razors/clippers, respectively.
If your recovery has been delayed due to one reason or another, just make sure to consult your surgeon before going for a haircut. It’s possible that you may have to wait a little longer. Rest assured that nothing bad will happen to the transplanted hair if it’s cut at the right time.
How Short Can You Cut Your Hair After A Hair Transplant?
You can keep your hair as short as you like after the transplantation surgery. However, just keep in mind that if you keep your hair too short, the scars on your scalp might be visible (in the early months of recovery). Scarring can fade completely after a year, so you don’t have to worry about them after that, even if your hair is short.
Another thing to take into consideration is that it might not be a good idea to keep your hair short if your donor area is quite weak. Donor areas that are less dense can end up looking somewhat thin and patchy if you cut the hair too short. This won’t happen if you keep the hair slightly longer.
There’s nothing wrong with getting a haircut after a hair transplant, provided that you wait for 1 month before using scissors and 3 months before using clippers, trimmers or razors. Soon after the surgery, the grafts on your scalp are delicate and the scalp is also weak and sensitive since it has open wounds in it.
Trying to cut your hair just days or weeks after the procedure can damage both your grafts and the scalp. Therefore, you should avoid it for as long as instructed by your surgeon. After that, you can style your hair in any way that you like.