A leading innovator in hair transplant surgery, Dr. Cole offers superior results. Flawless appearing hair transplants from Forhair are due to Dr. Cole's unique methods and techniques, yes, as well his emphasis on artistic expertise and specialty instruments. However, they are also due to his emphasis on properly informing the patient about post-procedure recovery. You read right: your hair transplant's success also depends on *you.*
This blog post is going to outline the recovery process in-depth, answer common questions, and explain why Forhair's transplants yield thicker hair in less time. Our hope is that readers conclude what we already know: all the science and surgical expertise in the world can mean little if patients refuse to remain aware and accountable to themselves after the procedure. Not to sound too harsh, though. Dr. Cole particularly goes out of his way to both explain the recovery process as well shorten its duration. Keep reading to find out more!
Before Going Further: Keep Your Hair Retention Regimen Unless Instructed Otherwise!!
Hair transplants remain the only way to dramatically thicken balding or thinning spots. Dr. Cole and other hair restoration specialists are conducting numerous studies to find alternative ways to encourage similar thickness. Sonicated platelet rich plasma, what we call Cytokine Rich Plasma, and ACell are proving themselves indispensable but, still, do not achieve what FUE offers. Stem cell suspensions are also showing great promise; further research may even lead to the first solution that can generate follicles where there was none before. This post will cover such advancements in-depth in a different section, as they do effect recovery times. In fact, Dr. Cole finds that 80% of follicle transplants start growing permanent hair within three months and that 99% of follicle transplants initiate within four and half months. This is less than half the time of regular FUE recovery phases.
Those promising treatments aside, Dr. Cole still recommends Propecia (finasteride) to most patients. There is good reason for this recommendation too. Hair transplants effectively place mature hair follicles from donor spots into thinning or balding spots. However, that does not mean hair transplants stop future balding. Instead, they are a cosmetic remedy to correct balding or thinning that has already happened. Propecia helps prevent the further advancement of pattern baldness, stopping any awkwardness where patients have a full hairline but are losing hair at the back or top of their head. Those that find Propecia ineffective are in luck, however, as CRP + ACell and stem cell suspensions are a viable alternative that can also help stunt future thinning or balding.
The First Two Weeks after Your Hair Transplant Procedure
Patients, for the most part, can go about their usual business the day after a procedure. That mentioned, there are some things patients must avoid to encourage recovery and prevent grafts from dislodging in the first week. Scarring is also possible without proper care. Here is a list of things and activities to avoid:
- Physical exercise: this includes golf, people! Most patients can resume running or walking for their exercise after the first 48 hours but we caution against physical activities for the first week
- Submerging the scalp in a bath or pool
- Styling or chemical sprays (unless for post-op recovery, more on that later)
- Sun exposure: The scalp will be very sensitive to UV following the procedure, both leading to scalp and hair follicle damage
- Spicy food: not the most major problem, but it can affect the healing process
- Alcohol & tobacco: both effect circulation to the scalp, vital for recovery
- Vitamins, Ibuprofen, Advil, or Arthritis Medication: these medicines can thin the blood, increasing the chance of bleeding
- Dyeing hair: patients can typically dye their hair after a month
- Touching or rubbing your head
- Bending or lying down: keep the head elevated to the point of sleeping in a recliner or with up to four pillows (days one through four)
- Wearing a hat, however loose-fitting, unless outside (days one and two)
Aside from these huge no-nos patients must never, ever pick at scabs in the first week. This is a surefire way to dislodge follicle transplants. Picking at scabs can be tempting, sure, but just imagine that each time you pick that scab it dislodges a hair transplant.
Further, there are also several typical post-op reactions that can alarm patients. We outline what happens, and when, for each day below.
The Night after the Procedure
Your scalp will not be much to look at after the procedure. Some blood is common and overall your scalp will look red and tender. FUE is relatively painless, though. Most patients find their scalp's appearance surprising as they register little, if any, pain. We will lightly clean your scalp after we finish. You will not need to shampoo until the following day.
Day one is quite simple, actually. Patients will notice major pinkish and reddish discoloration but this will lessen within 24 hours. Overall red or pinkness and bruises, though, can take over a week to fade. The donor and recipient areas will also ooze a bit.
Painless swelling will most likely happen. Such swelling will most definitely happen on the scalp. However, it can also appear on the forehead and around the eyes.
Swelling usually subsides. Grafts at day five are much harder to dislodge but have not fully taken root. Continue to use caution when touching the head and avoid doing so if possible. Patients can start washing off loose scabs by leaving shampoo on them for 15 or 20 minutes and then lightly washing them off. Some redness, itching, and even a slight burning are common but are signs of healing. Those who find the itching too much often receive a prescription for a mild topical steroid.
Grafts fully lodge themselves into the scalp. Patients can feel free to touch their head and, though lightly, most actively wash off any remaining scabs.
Donor hair begins falling out between two and three weeks. Do not be alarmed! This happens to everyone! In fact, there will be more shedding in the next month or so.
Dr. Cole Offers Special Recovery Products for Good Reason
Now seems an opportune time to mention HairCycle. Dr. Cole is one of the few hair transplant surgeons to design and patent a series of hair loss hair care products ideal for post-op recovery. Gentle on the scalp and featuring salon-quality ingredients, the HairCycle Shampoo uses natural ingredients that block DHT and stimulates healthy growth. The HairCycle Conditioner also encourages the latter.
We are well aware that patients like styling their hair. We also are well aware aware that most styling products are quite disagreeable for hair health. Most actually block oxygen from the scalp, hurting circulation, and are only removable with forceful washing that also removes hair. The HairCycle Texture Gel and HairCycle Root Volumizing Hair Spray are Dr. Cole's solution. Featuring vitamin B, the texture gel is light and easy to remove while also protecting the hair scalp as a sun screen. The volumizing spray, meanwhile, is weightless and leaves while, like the texture gel, doubles as a sunscreen.
HairCycle also has standout products beyond its standard line. The HairCycle Post Biotin Spray and HairCycle Post Surgical Gel both make help hasten post-op recovery while making it more pleasant. The gel includes essential nutrients and growth stimulants to help minimize scarring, reduce itching, and reducing irritation. The spray, on the other hand, features a special formula that fosters scalp healing and keeps scabs moist. Excellent for post-op recovery, the spray is actually excellent for any scalp injury.
The First Few Months after You Hair Transplant Procedure
Many patients start panicking around three weeks to a month, again over a very normal issue. Hair may begin shedding around week two but most patients undergo the majority shed by the end of the first month of post-op.
Then, for the next month (month two), patients enter the "resting phase." Patients' scalps look much the same way as before the procedure. Again, do not panic! This is completely normal. In fact, for most patients, it will not be until the end of month two that hair begins to grow. Many of our patients voice concern over the thickness and durability of their new hair strands. Such hair is also typical. Transplants begin growing fine strands of hair that, over all, will begin to thicken over time.
How Forhair is Different: CRP, ACell, Stem Cell Suspensions, Donor Regeneration, and More
One of the first hair restoration specialists worldwide to offer FUE, and train other surgeons on its fine points, Dr. Cole is a pioneer in hair restoration and has international acclaim for his work. Not one to rest on his laurels, he is currently using several treatment methods that further augment his namesake FUE variant, Cole Isolation Technique (CIT®). Effectively, this combination of treatments and CIT® lead to more hair, thicker hair, and faster-growing hair. Many patients see results in half the time.
CIT® is the only hair transplant technique in the world that enables regeneration of donor follicles. Minimally invasive, CIT® extractions leave behind stem cell remnants. The addition of ACell injections, an extracellular matrix, enable anywhere from 30% to 40% of donor follicles to regenerate. This means that for every 1000 individual extractions a surplus of 300 to 400 new hairs appear. Quite the game changer, as hair transplants do not traditionally add hair but, rather, changes its location.
Dr. Cole's improvement of PRP, CRP, is also proving itself tremendously important for hastening results. PRP unto itself can be a boon for anyone with hair thinning or balding. However, this blood treatment is quite basic in comparison with its sonicated or stem cell variants. Dr. Cole's CRP, for instance, is five to eight times stronger than generic PRP. Far from just leading to thicker, faster-growing hair, CRP also has a dramatic effect on post-op growth rates. As we already mentioned, 80% of follicle transplants start growing permanent hair within three months and 99% of follicle transplants initiate within four and half months.
Stem cell suspensions are also showing tremendous promise. Among the cutting-edge techniques available, stem cell suspensions are quite similar to PRP or CRP. Instead of run-of-the-mill blood, however, surgeons collect small scalp biopsies. They then separate regular scalp tissue from stem cell viable areas, centrifuege it, and inject it into the patient the day of the procedure and again a month afterwards. Early research shows that density increases by 30%, give or take. Its addition to the procedure Forhair typically suggests is having a great impact too. Read about stem cell suspensions here and read about our patients' results here.
Enjoy Better Faster Results in Half the Time with Forhair
Faster results with thicker hair are always a good thing. At Forhair we feel pride of purpose. That means we emphasize surgical, artistic, and medical expertise, yes. We excel at what we do, however, for the patient. Your needs are what encourages Dr. Cole's pursuit of top-tier solutions for hair loss. All physicians worth their while consider how the patients feel. This is a matter of the end result, yes. It is also a matter of getting there...and the timeframe of recovery.
Forhair's aim is to help change how you receive people and how they receive you. We are confident our skills deliver some of the best results within the industry. We also understand what it means to anticipate a hair transplant result. Hair transplant patients must consider a lot during the recovery phase. It is not uncommon to constantly look into the mirror, trying to will transplants to grow and donor areas to heal. Our procedures and treatments help ensure patients spend less time waiting for results and more time enjoying them. Learn more by scheduling an online consultation today!