For people who have an active lifestyle and exercise regularly, one of the most common questions is how long after a hair transplant can I workout. This is understandable as workouts become a part of your daily routine and if you are in great shape, you want to stay that way!
To leave no doubts in your mind, and to give you realistic expectations, I answer this question below and explain the different post-surgery stages, and what exercise is possible during them. Let me start by saying that ideally, you should not workout for at least two weeks after a hair transplant, but it’s a little more complicated than that.
Post-Transplant Exercise Timeline
Exercise after a hair transplant isn’t a straightforward process and we can break it down into different stages that coincide with the recovery and stability of your newly grafted hairs.
Stage 1 – 1-7 Days After Your Hair Transplant – No Exercise
Immediately after your hair transplant, the grafts are the most fragile and susceptible to damage or even being pulled out. During the first 1-7 days after your procedure, you should not do any exercise.
Ideally, if possible, you should take time off work so that you can relax and let your scalp heal properly. Sweating is the main enemy here as excess sweating via exercise can cause scalp irritation and be detrimental to the transplanted grafts healing.
Towards the end of the first week – from day 5 onwards, you can do a little light exercise such as short walks but the main point is to not do anything that causes sweating or straining so at this point workouts are not advised.
Stage 2 – 7-14 Days After Your Hair Transplant – Regular Exercise
After 7-14 days your scalp and any scabs and swelling should be reducing and healing nicely. During this period, your hair grafts should also be strengthening and taking route properly in their new location.
After the first week and until the end of the second week you can light exercise that doesn’t make you sweat. Examples can include short bike rides on forgiving terrain and short walks. It’s still not advisable to do anything more strenuous than this including gym sessions.
Stage 3 – 4 Weeks After Your Hair Transplant – Any Exercise
The two-week date marks a more dramatic change and by this point, your hair grafts should be stable and more resistant to pulling out and excess strain. As a result, after two weeks you can start doing gym workouts again including weight training.
However, please note that everyone is different and there is no universal recovery time for hair transplants. If you notice that your scalp is still sore and swollen, or there are still scabs, it’s advisable to consult your transplant surgeon. Dr. Yaman’s hair transplant clinic in Istanbul, for example, can provide advice if you are concerned that the recovery is taking longer than expected.
Stage 4 – Longterm – No Restrictions
Up until the one-month point, any contact sport and swimming should be avoided. Contact sports have the highest potential to damage your hair grafts and undo the work done during the surgery. Similarly, swimming isn’t a great idea as you have to dry your hair afterward which can cause pulling.
After a month, your recovery should be complete and your hair grafts will be much more durable, and this is when you can start contact sports and swimming again.
Consultation With Your Surgeon
As mentioned above, this is an approximate guideline based on how we expect your post-surgery recovery to progress. Every individual case is different though and people recover at different paces depending on factors like personal health and lifestyle.
To summarize, the following is a bulleted breakdown of your expected post-surgery workout limitations:
- 1-7 Days – No exercise until day 5+
- 7-14 Days – Light exercise that doesn’t cause sweating.
- 2-4 Weeks – Regular exercise including gym workouts.
- 4 Weeks+ – All forms of exercise, contact sports, and swimming.
If at any point you are unsure or concerned about your recovery then you should seek a consultation with your hair transplant surgeon. They should be able to provide advice, assess your scalp and hair grafts, and advise if workouts and exercise should still be avoided.
Always Follow Your Surgeon’s Guidelines for the Best Results
If you are in any doubt then simply contact your surgeon after the hair transplant. They will be able to provide help and give you clear instructions on what you can and can’t do relating to workouts, sports, and exercise.
Regardless, I implore you to follow your post-surgery recovery plan and take it seriously. Having a temporary break from exercise even if it’s something you really enjoy will help your hair transplant and recovery and make the time and effort worthwhile.