A hair transplant is a surgical procedure, and as with all other surgical procedures, there will be a time frame where healing is needed. The extent of the healing period will have much to do with which hair transplant procedure was chosen. There are two main hair transplant techniques today, the FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) method and the Strip procedure, and they heal differently.
The FUE hair transplant method is the least invasive approach. It does not involve any scalpels or stitches so there are no big wounds that need to heal up. On the other side, there will be hundreds or thousands of tiny incisions all over the scalp, from extracting and inserting the hair, and these incision sites would need about one week to heal and close up. With the Strip method, there will be a long linear wound on the back of the scalp. This wound will need longer to heal, and stitches or sutures will be removed after about 10 to 14 days.
Due to the wound on the back of the scalp, someone who has undergone a Strip hair transplant procedure would need to take it easy up to about one month after surgery, sometimes even longer. This includes being generally cautious and avoiding heavy lifts, strenuous exercise or anything else that could aggravate the wound and slow down the healing process. An individual who chose the FUE would be able to be more active and can usually return to all activities after about one week. This week is needed only to make sure that the incision sites are completely healed up. After that week, the client can return to all activities, including lifts and exercise.
In addition to being cautious and avoiding certain things for one to four weeks after the surgery, depending on method chosen, someone who has undergone a hair transplant also must be very gentle on the scalp. This means absolutely no picking, scratching or pulling of the scabs or the hair for at least one week. Combing the hair and using high water pressure directly on the scalp should also be avoided for the first days after surgery. While it is ok to wash the scalp a couple of days after hair transplant surgery, it should be done as gently as possible, such as slowly pouring water on the head. Anything that could cause an infection to the scalp, such as swimming in a pool, should also be avoided for at least one week with the FUE, and a little longer with the Strip.
Other than just taking it slow and easy for a couple of weeks after surgery, leading a healthy lifestyle, including a nutritious diet and avoidance of alcohol and cigarettes will also play a role in the proper healing after a hair transplant. Most people who undergo a hair transplant will heal up nicely and be able to enjoy their new hair, with full results being visible about one year after surgery.