If you are considering a hair transplant then you have to be aware of the ramifications the procedure has on your lifestyle and what you can and can’t do afterwards. This extends to leisure activities like smoking and drinking alcohol.
In this guide, I take a look at the effects alcohol consumption can have on the success of a hair transplant and your recovery, and give safe guidelines on when you can start drinking alcohol after your surgery.
Impact of Alcohol on the Healing Process
To understand the relationship between alcohol and hair transplants we have to look at the negative impacts excessive consumption can cause. For general bodily functions and health, excessive alcohol can contribute to the following:
- Your perceptions and reactions change.
- Reactions are slowed.
- Body temperatures are lowered which can cause confusion and drowsiness.
- Your liver can be damaged over time.
However, these factors don’t affect your healing process after a hair transplant. Instead, we have to look at the specific effects of alcohol after hair transplant procedures which include:
- Cell rate division is reduced which causes wounds to heal slower.
- Blood clotting is reduced which can keep wounds open.
- Alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of local anesthetics.
- There can be increased bleeding during the procedure.
- The healing process of your scalp can be delayed.
- Higher risk of infection.
- The growth of the transplanted hairs can be impeded.
As you can see, this is a long list of negative effects, and consuming excessive alcohol after a hair transplant can be detrimental. Essentially, your recovery will take longer, and you could encounter complications including wound infections.
The fact that alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of local anesthetics is something to think about as Dr Yaman’s DHI implanter or other surgical tools used during the procedure could cause more pain than they should.
The worst-case scenario, however, is that you damage the grafted hair follicles, stunt their growth, and even cause them to fall out. This would undo the hair transplant process and make it effectively worthless.
When Can You Start Reintroducing Alcohol After a Hair Transplant?
I completely understand that people like to enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage to unwind or to have a little fun on a night out for example.
The great news is, is that you don’t have to stop drinking alcohol indefinitely after a hair transplant! It’s only during the initial recovery phase that we advise not drinking any alcohol. This is for at least 10 days after your procedure.
During the first 10 days, your scalp is healing and will be sore and swollen so adding alcohol into this equation won’t help. Additionally, it’s during this period that your grafted hair follicles are the most vulnerable and are still stabilizing.
Refraining from drinking alcohol during these 10 days gives the hair grafts the best chance of taking root, stabilizing properly, and growing. After the initial 10 days, don’t jump straight back onto the wagon! First, assess the condition of your scalp and hair and make an informed decision.
If you feel like your scalp hasn’t quite healed fully or there are still scabs, consider putting off your alcoholic celebrations for a little longer.
Everything in moderation
The saying that everything in moderation is so true and it applies to this scenario too. If you drink excessively immediately after your hair transplant the consequences can be severe. However, having just one or two drinks during the initial 7-10-day recovery period could be OK.
While it’s not ideal to drink alcohol after a hair transplant, it is important to stay hydrated. You should replace your alcoholic drinks with a healthy alternative such as water or squash. Tea and sports drinks can also be a great option to keep you hydrated and ensure a healthy blood flow to your scalp after the procedure.
Long-Term Alcohol Consumption After a Hair Transplant
When looking at alcohol after a hair transplant we have to consider the long-term implications too. Once you have gotten over the initial recovery, there is no reason why you can’t drink alcohol again as you usually would.
However, continuing the theme of “everything in moderation”, perhaps now could be the ideal time to cut down your alcoholic consumption or even cut it out entirely. It is perfectly safe to drink after the initial recovery phase, but regularly drinking alcohol can have negative effects on your body, and ultimately it can reduce the quality of your transplanted hair.
Do Not Drink Alcohol Immediately After a Hair Transplant
I hope you now have a clear idea of how to tackle alcohol after a hair transplant. To summarize, you should not drink immediately after your procedure for the first 7-10 days as this is when you are most vulnerable and your scalp and grafted hair follicles are healing and stabilizing.