Written by Dr Mark Tam for Doctify

So, you’re thinking of getting a hair transplant. But how soon will you be able to go back to work? Can you still dye your hair? Will you have to have another transplant years later?

Dr Mark Tam has all the answers below.

What is the recovery time for a hair transplant?

The typical recovery time for a hair transplant surgery using the Follicular unit Extraction technique is usually a few days. I would recommend planning about 10-14 days off.

Immediate post op

You are usually advice not to touch the newly transplanted hairs for the first three to four days and spray some saline solutions to the newly transplanted area for the first 3-4 days. The first few days are usually spend at home.

Day 3 – 7

The redness will generally subside significantly in 5-7 days after the surgery, there will still be some residual redness which can take a few days to a few week to settle back to normal.  There is a chance of some swelling in the treated area and if this happened, it usually will resolved itself with no treatment.

Most patients feels they are comfortable to step out with some residual redness at around five to seven days after surgery, while some may feel they wish to hide away for a longer period.  Depending on the treatment area, this can sometimes be help with some longer hairs covering the treatment area/redness area.

Day 7 – 10

You redness and swelling would have gone down significantly and any signs of hair transplant is improving. You are quite okay to have you haircut touch up 2 weeks afterward, without cutting the newly transplanted hair of course.

Day 14

Well rested, refreshed and ready to tell the world that you are looking better because you just had a hair transplant or you just had some time off and slept well.

How soon can you wash your hair?

After the surgery, one should usually wash the newly transplanted hair after three days. Given that the common is to practice spray saline solution on the newly transplanted area on the first three to four days, it is totally fine to wash to as soon as three days later.

Of course, you will need to be gentle when you start washing you newly transplanted hair.

Can you dye or bleach transplanted hair?

Yes, but not immediately after your hair transplant surgery.

You should usually wait for about four weeks for it to heal completely before undergoing any hair treatments.

Now that you have your new hair, of course you can style it, dye it and bleach it to make it look good.

Do people often need repeat transplants?

Well, having repeat transplants used to be the standard practice, but no any more. As the skills and experience level of hair transplant doctors improves, it is now not so standard to have repeat treatments in the previously treated area.

However, there is still the possibility of additional transplants in your lifetime as you may have other areas that need attention.

Are there any aftercare tips you can share?

  • Plan your hair transplant and haircut in advance. If you need to head back to work pretty soon afterward, you may find that growing you hair longer in certain places may help to cover the treated area and allow you to go back to work earlier. This is obviously only if you’re worried about people noticing.
  • If your normal haircut is quite different to the ‘post hair transplant look’, some patients may find it helpful to have their hair cut a few times to similar style to the ‘post hair transplant look’. In my personal practice, typically we treat the receding hairline, so we only have to shave the back, sides and the treatment area. We leave the hair on top longer to help to style to cover the newly transplant area.
  • Spray well to avoid any dried blood at the newly transplanted area. It can be normal to have some blood seeping from that newly transplanted area (slowly). However, if you spray the area well and regularly you can avoid the blood clotting on the surface, which can stop a scab forming.
  • Most importantly, take sufficient time off to make sure you are comfortable before you head back to workplace or being seen.

How much does a hair transplant cost?

How much does a hair transplant cost is probably one of the most common questions I receive.  So here it is, no more clicking or form filling to find out the cost of a hair transplant. I am here to tell you all.

Based on the latest data released by the ISHRS the total market size of surgical hair restoration is valued at  (EUR) €3,666,715,266 while the estimated number of surgeries worldwide is 635,189.00 in 2016 1. The average price for a hair transplant worldwide is therefore at EUR €5597.88. That’s GBP £5028.88. 2

Of course these figures do not differentiate between different techniques, such as FUT (strip) or FUE technique. Also, it is an average so it doesn’t take into consideration the complexity/difficulty of the procedure or the level of experience of the doctor.

So, in short, £5028.88 is the answer. With inflation rate at a five-year high (at the time of writing), will the price of good quality hair transplant go up? We might need an economic analyst to predict that. But, as a  a patient once told me, ‘The feeling of having a nice hairline: priceless.’

International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) 2017 Practice Census Facts and Figures – Extrapolated Number of Hair Restoration Procedures Worldwide
2 Conversion rate based on day of writing on 14 Nov 2017

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