Soon after a hair transplant, your scalp will feel and, of course, look different. And as with any surgery, there are likely to be some side effects. But not all of them are expected. For instance, people don’t expect to have an oily scalp after hair transplant.
Considering there is no apparent correlation between an oily scalp and hair transplants, their alarm is understandable. Rest assured, there is nothing to worry about, at least in most cases. But sometimes, things might be more serious.
Why Is My Head Oily After A Hair Transplant?
Several factors contribute to an oily scalp after a hair transplant. These are as follows:
Surgical Fluid Drainage
Several drugs and fluids will be injected into your scalp during hair restoration surgery. First, you will be given local anaesthesia so that you don’t feel any pain. You may also be given sedatives so that you can feel more relaxed during the surgery.
In addition, a tumescent solution, primarily saline, is injected into the scalp. It helps “puff up” the skin, so the hair grafts in the donor area are more visible. This tumescent solution may also contain other drugs that help prolong the duration of anaesthesia.
After the surgery, you may see these drugs weep from the skin, which can make it look greasy and oily. When that happens, there’s no need to panic, as this is normal. It should get better with time.
Just keep in mind that infection can also cause drainage. However, in that case, the colour of the drainage can be yellow, brown, grey or green. Moreover, it can make you bleed. If this happens, make sure to get in touch with your surgeon as soon as possible.
Serosanguinous or serous drainage is the fluid that’s produced by the wound as a part of the healing process. Again, there’s nothing to worry about. Usually, the fluid is clear, but it may be slightly tinged by blood.
Small amounts of it can come out of the surgical wounds on the scalp (punctures in the donor area and incisions in the recipient area). This, too, has the potential to make your scalp look a bit greasy and oily.
Glands Of Transplanted Grafts
Sebaceous glands or oil glands are attached to the hair follicles. And the hair grafts extracted from the donor area have intact glands. So, when these are transplanted, they will produce oil. As a result, you’ll notice your scalp and even forehead looking oilier than usual. Again, this is normal.
Notice how you break out more when you’re under stress? That’s because stress stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. And this stress can be another reason why you have an oily scalp after a hair transplant.
When you’re stressed, your body produces the hormone cortisol, which, in turn, increases the production of oil. Because of the stress of the surgery itself and the recovery, it is possible for you to experience something similar. And you’ll end up with an oily scalp as a result. Keep in mind that if the pores are clogged because of excess oil, you may also have pimples on your scalp.
Hormonal fluctuations can also result in the production of excess sebum, which can make the skin of your scalp oily. Here, you should know that a hair transplant will not affect the levels of hormones in your body.
So, hormonal imbalance is unrelated to the surgery itself. In this case, you need to identify the root cause of the problem to seek the right treatment.
Your hair transplant surgeon will advise you to stay hydrated after the procedure. That’s because it helps reduce swelling (by helping to flush out surgical fluids). Yet there’s another benefit to it that’s less obvious.
When the skin gets too dry, the lack of moisture can prompt the overproduction of sebum, which makes the skin oily. So, by staying hydrated after the surgery, you may be able to keep your skin hydrated. This, in turn, may help you stave off an oily scalp after surgery.
The kind of foods you eat may also be responsible for your oily skin. For instance, high blood sugar levels can cause hormonal fluctuations, which can stimulate the production of sebum.
Certain compounds in dairy products are thought to cause hormonal disturbance as well. If you drink too much alcohol, the dehydration it causes can put the oil glands in overdrive. So, you need to be careful about the kinds of foods you eat as they may also be responsible for your oily scalp after a hair transplant.
It is common for the skin to become oily and greasy in hot, humid weather. Again, it’s due to your skin’s sebaceous glands producing more oil. The profuse sweating only worsens the problem. This could be another reason why your scalp is looking oily after a hair transplant.
How Can I Fix An Oily Scalp After Hair Transplant?
In accordance with the surgeon’s instructions, wash your scalp thoroughly and sufficiently after a hair transplant. You need to make sure that your hair grafts are clean and that there’s no build-up of shampoo or lotion in your hair.
If you’re not washing your hair well, that too can leave your scalp oily. This doesn’t mean you should scrub your scalp or wash your hair with harsh chemicals. This could damage and dislodge the grafts, permanently damaging your results. Just make sure that you gently yet thoroughly wash your scalp after the surgery.
Is It Dangerous To Have An Oily Scalp After Hair Transplant?
Usually, an oily scalp after a hair transplant is nothing to worry about. It could be due to the drugs and fluids injected into the body during the surgery and the oil glands in the transplanted grafts (the number of oil glands in the balding area has risen).
However, if it’s due to an underlying health problem, it could be more serious. Hormonal imbalances can cause hormonal hair loss even after the transplant surgery. Additionally, an oily scalp can be problematic if there’s a build-up. It can clog the hair follicles, which will make it difficult for your skin to breathe while it’s trying to heal. If any of this happens, get in touch with your surgeon immediately.
An oily scalp after a hair transplant is usually not a cause for concern. The surgery can cause temporary changes in the skin of the scalp. However, as things settle, the oiliness will start to get better.
Just make sure to keep an eye on your recovery. There may be underlying reasons for your oily skin. If you notice any abnormal discharge or hair loss pattern, you should contact your surgeon for a consultation.