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Hair Surgery Side Effects and Post-Transplant Hair Care Tips

cured hair transplant side effects

 

Hair restoration surgery is an effective treatment option for patients who suffer from hair loss. It is a surgical procedure that involves the transplantation of healthy hair follicles from a donor area (typically the back of the head) to bald or balding areas. The outcome of this procedure can be both rewarding and challenging. Patients often experience positive changes in their appearance, which may include greater self-confidence and an improved sense of well-being. 

However, as with any surgery, there are potential risks and side effects associated with hair transplant surgery. For example, some patients report postoperative bleeding, tenderness, soreness, and itching at the graft sites. These side effects are usually temporary, but they may persist for weeks or even months after the procedure. If you are considering a hair transplant procedure, it’s important to understand exactly what to expect from this type of surgery so you can make an informed decision about your treatment options moving forward.

 

Understanding the Side Effects of Hair Transplant Surgery

Each person’s hair transplant experience will vary based on a variety of factors, including their age and the health of their scalp and hair follicles. Certain side effects are more common than others, but they can occur in any individual. The most common side effects associated with hair transplant surgery include bruising, bleeding, itching, swelling and tenderness of the scalp, hair loss, and discoloration of the hair and/or the scalp. 

Some patients also report increased shedding of their regular hair, which is typically temporary. While some of these side effects are not at all pleasant, others, like shedding and increased hair growth, are actually positive indicators that the surgery has been successful. Shedding of the regular hair and the growth of new hair in its place is a sign that new follicles have been successfully transplanted.

 

Shedding and Shaving of Hair

One of the most common side effects of hair transplant surgery is the shedding of regular hair. This is because the transplanted hair is growing from dormant follicles that were “frozen” during the harvesting process. Dormant follicles are typically frozen in order to protect them from damage. When a hair follicle is frozen, it is not killed, as is commonly assumed. 

Rather, it is put into a sort of suspended animation and remains in a state of hibernation until it is activated by an external trigger, such as minoxidil, surgery, or a change in hormones. When the dormant follicles are “awakened” during surgery, they release the regular hair that had been growing from them. This hair can easily be shaved off to remove it from the donor area.

 

Bruising and Scarring

Bruising and postoperative bleeding are expected side effects of hair transplant surgery. In most cases, patients can expect to experience some bruising on their scalp as a result of the incisions used to transfer the hair follicles from the donor area to the recipient sites. Bruising may appear as soon as 24 hours after the procedure and can persist for up to one week. 

It is important to keep the incision sites clean and protected with a bandage or dressing to prevent the blood from staining clothing. For some patients, bruising can be quite intense and last for several weeks. In some cases, it may last for months. In rare cases, bruising can lead to the formation of unsightly scars. To prevent scarring, it is important to make sure the incision sites are kept clean and protected after the procedure.

 

Short- and Long-term Hair Loss

Hair loss may occur in both the short- and long-term after a hair transplant procedure. However, it is important to note that hair loss after surgery is normal and expected, as it is a result of the harvesting process. Hair loss is a side effect that only affects the donor area and will generally regrow after a few months. 

One of the most common causes of short-term hair loss after surgery is the shedding of the regular hair that was growing in the donor area before the procedure/the removal of some of the existing hair at the donor sites. Long-term hair loss after surgery is rare, and it typically only occurs in patients with very low levels of donor hair. In these cases, the transplant surgeon may need to use hair from the patient’s chest or scalp to complete the procedure.

 

Darkened Hair and Discoloration

Some patients experience a darkening and discoloration of the hair and/or scalp after hair transplant surgery. This side effect is often temporary, but in some cases, it may be long-lasting. As hair is transferred from the donor area to the recipient sites, it may retain a reddish or brownish discoloration as a result of the harvesting process. This discoloration is often referred to as “black harvesting,” and it is usually temporary. In some cases, the hair may turn dark or even black. In these instances, the discoloration is likely caused by the use of an anesthetic cream containing a pigment that is absorbed into the bloodstream and deposited in the new hair follicles.

 

How to Take Care of Yourself After Hair Transplant Surgery

After you have had the transplant surgery, you will have to take care of your hair for about three months. At this time, your hair is very fragile, so it is best to avoid anything that could cause too much stress, like tying your hair up in a tight ponytail. During this time, you must take your medication as prescribed and do your best to rest and recover as much as possible.

After three months, your doctor will likely give you the all-clear to style your hair however you like, but it is important to remember that your transplant is still very young and, as such, very delicate. During this time, you will have to follow a few rules to get the best results.

  • Do not use any heating tools on your hair, such as straighteners, curling irons, or hot rollers. 
  • Avoid anything that could put too much stress on your hair, such as very high ponytails or braids, as well as chlorine and salt water. 
  • Always wear a hat or scarf if the weather is cold or if you are out in the sun for long periods of time. The heat and cold can affect your scalp and make the healing process slower.
  • Avoid scratching your head. Scratching can cause itching and break the stitches.
  • You also need to avoid swimming and submerging your hair in the water. Water can cause your stitches to break and cause infection.
  • You need to avoid mental stress as much as possible. Stress can cause hair loss, and it will slow down the healing process.
  • You need to keep your head clean and dry. Clean your head with a moisturizing shampoo.
  • You need to have a healthy diet to get the best results from the transplant.

 

Conclusion

The side effects of hair transplant surgery are generally short-term side effects that can easily be managed. Hair loss is normal and expected after surgery, as it is the result of the harvesting process. Bruising and postoperative bleeding may persist for a few weeks, but in most cases, it will disappear completely within a few months. Besides these, there are certain other side effects that can occur after surgery, such as bleeding, itching, swelling, tenderness of the scalp, and discoloration of the hair and/or the scalp. 

Some patients report increased shedding of their regular hair, which is a positive sign that new follicles have been successfully transplanted. If you are considering a hair transplant procedure, it’s important to understand exactly what to expect from this type of surgery so you can make an informed decision about your treatment options moving forward. Visit Cured.com to learn more about hair care and treatments

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