As with any medical procedure, all surgery carries some degree of risk and will cause some discomfort. A hair transplant is not particularly invasive and therefore should not cause any extreme pain or side effects – but of course, post-surgery, you should expect a little tenderness and perhaps some irritation. Although this can vary from patient to patient, here, we go through the potential discomforts that you may experience after undergoing a hair transplant.
Sleeping after your hair transplant might be uncomfortable:
As we sleep with our heads touching the pillow some hair transplant discomfort is to be expected for about a week following the procedure. This isn’t to say you won’t sleep – just it may cause you some slight discomfort. To protect your grafts, always use an elevated pillow – put one to two pillows under your normal amount to prop yourself up or roll a towel up under your neck to aid sleeping at a 45-degree angle. This shouldn’t be too necessary after the first few days to a week.
Swelling – one of the most common hair transplant discomforts:
Any area affected by surgery will, of course, swell up slightly. Swelling is the most common hair transplant discomfort and is nothing to worry about. Swelling is due to the injected medicine during the surgery and will go away within a week. To help the swelling reduce faster, hydration is key, so drinking lots of water is advised. Avoiding any strenuous activity that could put extra tension on the skin will also help swelling reduce faster, including exercise after hair transplant.
Bleeding – a little is to be expected:
A hair transplant consists of lots of little incisions and some injections, so as with any surgeries, some bleeding on the day of the surgery is completely normal. This is just where your skin has been cut slightly, both in the graft area and in the donor site and is nothing to worry about. It should stop after the first wash, but your first-night sleeping post hair transplant may not be comfortable. Light bleeding will stop a few days after surgery, but of course, if you knock or cause trauma to the area it can re-trigger bleeding. After a while, like all cuts, scrapes or wounds, the area will begin to scab over and the bleeding will stop.
With any small operations that cause bleeding, there are always general rules you should follow for a short time to prohibit excessive or unnecessary bleeding, such as not taking part in too many strenuous exercises or activities, avoiding putting your head and skin in situations where they could become damaged, taking care to clean the area with precision, and not taking medications that thin the blood (unless recommended and advised by your doctor), or drinking alcohol. It is also important to avoid smoking after a hair transplant.
Itching is totally normal, too:
Itching is a totally normal part of the healing process, and – while it is annoying – it’s actually a good sign! Itching means that your scalp is recovering and is showing signs of healing. As the skin recovers and moves, it will give an itching sensation, but you must resist touching and itching it. Patients should try not to touch their head for a week (except during washing), which gives your skin time to heal and will reduce risks of irritation or infections. Remember, the grafts are still fresh, so if you touch them too much in the first week you run the risk of moving them around.
Of course, there are hair transplant discomforts to be expected – but they are minimal, and of course, will seem so worth it when you are rewarded with of the gorgeous head of hair that you’ve been dreaming of. The longest time you should be experiencing any hair transplant discomforts is about two weeks – after this, you should feel absolutely fine again. Of course, if you experience any unexpected discomfort (or anything not listed here) you should consult your dedicated care specialist or doctor.
Speak to a Longevita hair transplant specialist if you have any questions or queries, want to explore the possibility of a hair transplant, or have had a transplant and have concerns – simply give us a call, drop us an email or visit our London clinic, and our friendly team will answer any questions you may have.