If you are considering a hair transplant then it’s important that you understand hair grafts, what they are, and how they heal. The healing process of hair grafts is vital to the overall success of your hair transplant procedure and in this article, you will find out when are hair grafts secure after the surgery together with a healing timeline and potential risks.
Understanding Hair Transplant Grafts
I get that you may be a little uncertain as to what we mean when we use the term hair grafts. Grafts are used as part of the hair transplantation process and are essentially a tiny piece of your scalp tissue that contains between 2-4 individual hair follicles.
This is a vital part of hair transplants as you need the surrounding tissue and complete hair follicle structure in order for the hairs to regrow and stabilize in their new position. Surrounding the follicle there are things like the sebaceous gland, erector muscle, and sebum which are all vital, hence why a graft is taken as opposed to single hairs.
The Grafting Process
During a hair transplant, surgical tools are used to cut hair grafts and extract them from your scalp. With the more popular FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) method, a micro punch tool is used to remove groups of hair follicles (or hair grafts) which are then placed in a preservative solution until they are ready to be implanted in the new location.
A series of small surgical incisions are then made on the graft sites and a tool is used to implant the grafts into those open incisions thus completing the process.
The Healing Timeline
The timeline for hair graft healing is relatively simple and there is only really one key waypoint that you have to reach for the grafts to become secure. However, before this, they are extremely fragile so care must be taken. The healing timeline can be broken down as follows:
- 0-5 Days After Surgery: During the initial period, your new hair grafts are very fragile. You may have a head bandage for up to 24 hours after the procedure and it’s important not to touch the grafted area at all.
- 5 Days After Surgery: After 5 days, this is typically when you can first wash your hair but this should only be done extremely gently and without touching your scalp (you would use a jug to rinse your hair etc.).
- 14 Days After Surgery: After 14 days, the hair grafts should be secure and have taken root properly. At this point, your scalp should have fully healed and the hair grafts have joined with your existing scalp tissue.
- Long-Term Post Surgery: From then onwards, the grafts should be secure and healed properly and there should be no more risk of damage to the actual skin and tissue.
How Long Grafts Need to Become Secure
To answer the original question of when are hair grafts secure, the accepted timeframe is 14 days. After this point, the tissue should have healed properly and effectively blended with your existing scalp tissue. The healing process of the grafts is essentially complete and now its a case of protecting the actual hair follicles and minimizing any risk to them.
Potential Risks During the Healing Phase
So why should you care about the hair graft healing process? Simple – if you do not, and cause damage, the hair grafts may fail, become dislodged, and fall out.
We can use the analogy of a newly planted seed when looking at hair grafts. The seed is initially planted (like an FUE implant), it is then nourished and needs time to stabilize in the soil (your scalp), and grow. Only when the roots (the graft) are secure and implanted in the soil can the plant start to flourish.
Essentially, until the grafts are secure, they could fall out and make your hair transplant procedure worthless. This is a shame due to the fantastic Turkey hair implant prices!
Important Things to Avoid After a Hair Transplant
- Don’t touch, scratch, or rub your scalp even if it is itchy.
- Don’t touch the hair grafts until after the initial 14 days.
- Don’t do any strenuous physical activities for at least 14 days after the surgery.
- Don’t expose your scalp to direct sunlight for 14 days after a hair transplant.
- Don’t dry your hair and scalp with a fabric towel.
- Don’t wear tight-fitting hats until the grafts are healed.
Follow Your Surgeon Guidelines to Maximize Graft Healing
Providing that you follow your surgeon’s guidelines and take the healing process and post-surgery recovery properly, there is no reason why your grafts won’t heal properly and your hair transplant be a resounding success.
Just remember that typically, hair grafts take around 14 days to “take root” while the scalp heals – during this period, extra care is needed to avoid any potential damage.