April 5, 2023

Hair Transplant in Albania: Post-Procedure Recovery and Care Guide

The following is a brief version of what we recommend to our patients after undergoing a hair transplant in Albania. It is to be noted however that these are only general guidelines and they might change along the way and after a consultation with your doctor. Post-op you will be receiving more extended instructions, as well as a set of customized hair care products and headwear, all part of the price of the package.

After undergoing a hair transplant, what is the recommended procedure to follow?

1st to 8th day

The first day after the hair transplantation, once you’ve gotten enough rest, the very last appointment with the surgeon allows him to check the bulbs, and the caregiver to apply an antiseptic. The bandage is then removed and a first shampoo wash is done by the caregiver to teach the patient how the procedure is done. This is at least how hair transplant clinics in Albania work and proceed. In order to shake off the sedatives which are administered for the local anesthesia it is necessary to take a day off and rest. If the job done is much more than just physical it is recommended to take a full week off. While in the cases the professional activity you do is stationary or inactive it is recommended you only rest for two to three days. Drinking alcohol is forbidden for the next ten days, particularly if the doctor has prescribed you antibiotics. Smoking is also prohibited, at a minimum two to three weeks subsequent to the transplantation. Salty and spicy foods should absolutely be avoided.

Another thing to be avoided is aspirin, which affects the blood by thinning it and hindering the appropriate healing. However, the post-op advice given by the clinic and the medication prescriptions should be thoroughly followed. Moreover, you are allowed to remove the bandage within the first day after the operation. If any bleeding happens, you can easily gently tap the area with a sterile gauze. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that a hair transplant diminishes the risk of infection and enhances regrowth. 

Following the first two days, the cleaning of the skull can start, following accurately any instruction specified by the doctor. Delicately apply the product presented by the surgeon to the scalp, which can help the cleansing of the skull additionally relieve itching. The area should only be rinsed with clear warm water, using a cup in which you dip your fingers. The scabs should not be touched. You can, however, spray the implanted area with a mister, several times a day. 

After four-five days, the head can be put under a warm shower but only using moderate pressure, and a special shampoo, of course, very tenderly.

One week after the hair transplantation you are allowed to shower the grafted area for twenty minutes or less, always with lukewarm water. This is when the scabs start to fall off. They should not be scratched. 

The touching of the grafts with any other material should be avoided, in all situations. For the first two nights, to sleep, you should adopt a semi-sitting position and only use a special pillow to support your neck. This type of support will hinder the forehead area from swelling and will dodge any contact of the transplanted area with the sheets. In case you are unable to do the semi-sitting positioning and do not have a special pillow, it is recommended to put a diaper on the pillow, so it can absorb the sebum discharging from the scars.

Normally, around the third or fourth day, there should be swelling above your eyebrows, and swelling of the epidermis, which can be calmed down using a washcloth filled with ice cubes to apply to the forehead area. If you do not like for the swelling to go down into the eyes, which normally nobody does, you can wear a foam headband on the forehead.

It is common knowledge that sexual activity is not allowed a few days after any surgery, in this case, it is prohibited for the first ten to fifteen days. That is because sexual activity can cause an increment of the temperature in the cranial epidermis, harming and stopping the proper regrowth of the grafts.

Day 8 to 30

Once you have recommenced your normal life, the scabs will start to disappear thanks to the daily showers. In the first month, exposure to sunlight and rain is exceedingly prohibited. During this period you may feel itching. To help with the itching you can easily use calendula oil and/or aloe vera, an anti-irritation product used for the babies’ skin. This also helps with the healing and hydration of the donor area, preventing the skin from becoming highly dry.

Any aggressive hair product such as gel, lacquer, wax, or coloring is forbidden. It is worth mentioning that the use of combs and brushes is also forbidden. A prosperous hair transplant is defined by rigorous maintenance of the hair post-op. Sesame, argan, or coconut oil can help on nourishing the scalp, whilst over shampoos, the most favored ones are the mild shampoos. What also affects the recovery process is a healthy diet, one that is rich in vitamins and minerals, but low in fats. Such a diet aids in providing the hair implants with a proper-oxygenated and nourishing blood supply. If you are suffering from medical conditions such as vitamin D deficiency or anemia, it is advisable to ask a pharmacist to assist you and medications that help with hair growth, including probiotics, minerals, and vitamins.

1st to 3rd month

One month after the operation, the implanted follicles start to fall out in the shape of tiny fluff. This is essentially normal. They will start to regrow and after only three months permanent hair will appear. You might even notice small white spots during this time before your hair starts to grow again. It is worth bearing in mind that this is a normal reaction and you shouldn’t be frightened or think it is an infectious pimple. The white spots will soon turn red and then open up, making room for the reborn hair. In several cases, patients might feel the sensation of numbness in the operated areas. Again, don’t worry, this feeling will diminish at the end of the second month.

Let your head breathe at any time. But do not expose it to sunlight, which is extremely lethal for the baby follicles and awful for the healing of the hair transplant. Hats, motorcycle helmets, and any other type of head covering should be avoided for the first three months in order to prevent damage to the grafts from happening and undermining their appropriate growth. Please wait until three months go by before returning to sporting activities or swimming in the sea or pool.

The results of a hair transplant are only visible to the eye eight to twelve months post-op.

Frequently asked questions after a hair transplant

Is it common to have scabs following a hair transplant procedure?

Yes, it is undoubtedly normal. From the very first day, crusts of skin and blood clumps, both, on the implanted grafts will show. They should not be touched. If you follow the instructions correctly by applying foam and shampoo on a daily basis starting the day after the operation and for eight days on, the crusts will be softened. By the eighth day, all scabs will be gone.

Is it permissible to wear a cap, hat, or helmet following a hair transplant?

Though it is recommended to let your head breathe after the hair transplant, as much as possible- several clinics suggest wearing a headband, so you can prevent the swelling from going down to the eyes, at least for four to five days post-op. It is permissible however to wear a wide bob or a wide-tongue cap after one week. While, on the other hand, a woolen cap is solely allowed after a month, at a minimum. The same is valid for a construction, fireman, or motorcycle helmet.

Is it safe to use castor oil on my grafts after a hair transplant?

Nope, it is not safe in any way to apply anything to the transplanted area throughout the first six months, be it castor oil, gel, or hair spray. The only hair cleaning products worth using are the natural creams and gels prescribed by the clinic. 

What is the recommended duration to wait before returning to sports activities following a hair transplant?

Following a hair transplant, you have to wait one month before returning to moderate sports activities such as cycling, yoga, or running. This is not cogent for sports that are more violent and require more intense physical effort, including team sports, weight training, or squash. Such sports activities can only be resumed three months after the operation. This is due to the high blood pressure that they strive for in the body, specifically, the head.

If you have any other questions on the hair transplant procedure or regarding medical tourism in  Albania in general, feel free to contact us and our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

To be expected

Hair Wash

Seeing as hair washing is one of the most critical things that sway the final outcome of the hair transplant, every patient is educated on the subject at the clinic. Three are the primary steps followed during a hair wash:

  1. The transplanted area is firstly covered with lotion or any other fitting moisturizer and left like that for fifteen to thirty minutes. This is done to soften the scabs around the transplanted grafts and donor area. Moreover, this softening phase affects the dried blood and removes it, as well as, aids in faster recovery. After fifteen to thirty minutes are done, the scalp should be washed with lukewarm water. This should be done carefully by lathering a little quantity of shampoo between the hands and applying cautiously to the entire scalp. The scalp should not be rubbed. All washing stages should be performed gently and carefully, without using pressure.
  2. As aforementioned, even when drying after washing, the paper towel should not be rubbed against the scalp but patted gently. The moisturizer should regularly be used until the scabs fall off or whenever it feels dry. In such cases, when the scalp feels extremely dry and the feeling doesn’t seem to shake off, it is probably possible to use it between hair washes.
  3. After seven to ten days there shouldn’t be any traces of dried blood or scabs on the scalp. Nevertheless, the shampooing should be done until the fourteenth day. On the fourteenth day, you can start washing your hair the normal way. If need be, you can also wash the hair more than once a day after the transplantation. The special shampoo should be used until the bottle is wholly empty.

In the event that you are purchasing your own hair products, please ensure that there isn’t any type of silicone, perfume, or dyes in them.

Pain After A Hair Transplant

It is normal for mild pain to be present during the first two days post-op. Numerous people also report difficulty sleeping. It is regular to feel more pain in the donor area than in the recipient one after the hair transplant procedure. Post-operative hair transplant pains can easily be relieved with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. 

Swelling

When it comes to small hair transplants swelling is relatively rare. It happens mostly for greater hair transplant operations and transplants that have had a lot of work done to the hairline. The swelling can influence the forehead and the area around the eyebrows and eyes and it may last from two to five days, reaching its maximum peak on the fourth day. To reduce these symptoms the surgeon will recommend using a drug called dexamethasone.

Itching Following Hair Restoration

Itching is a very usual sensation following a hair transplant. It may appear all over the scalp seven to fourteen days post-op. The itchiness, as probably known by you, indicated that the tissue is recovering. In the cases it becomes strong and unbearable, it is advisable to use antihistamine pills.

Correct Sleeping Position

It is crucial for the recipient areas to be touched as little as possible during the very first week after the hair transplantation. Sleeping on your back, with the head elevated on a few pillows is quite endorsed. Raising the head during the night using pillows can diminish any swelling that can happen after the operation. Another piece of advice is to use a special pillow for the first seven to ten days.

Healing And Recovery Times

Once the hair transplantation is over, the healing is quite swift and prompt. Most of the patients feel all right within a day or two following the operation, though they might feel some numbness and mild soreness in the scalp for several days. There will be some dotted red scabs at the bottom of the transplanted hair grafts on both the recipient and donor sites, but they are only visible for the first ten to fifteen days. After this period, only minor redness will be visible. This, however, is untrue for patients who have a lighter skin complexion, and who might experience redness for a lengthy period. But, those who have a darker skin complexion, lean toward faster recovery. All things considered, recovery after a hair transplant changes from one individual to another and it depends entirely on other factors too, such as age, lifestyle, diet, and even weather.

Alcohol Consumption

Unfortunately for some people, the consumption of alcohol affects the healing time of the wounds after hair transplantation. It would ameliorate the process if you wait for two weeks post-operation.

Sun Exposure

Direct sunlight should be bypassed for the first two weeks after the hair transplantation. The recommendation goes as follows: the first six months after the operation, you should wear head-wear when in sunlight.

Medication And Hair Product Recommendations

Shampoo And Lotion For Hair Wash

Given to all of the patients following the operation, the lotion should only be applied to the recipient and donor areas by using gentle tapping. Afterward, it is recommended to wait fifteen to thirty minutes before using lukewarm water and shampoo to wash it off. Please elude scratching the recipient and donor areas by using the towel carefully. Until all the scabs fall off, hair wash should be performed daily. If you feel as if the donor area is dry in between the washes, you can apply a thin layer of lotion to calm it down. In this case, there is no need for washing.

Scarex Or Contractubex Gels

Scarex or Contractubex creams are both gels used to lessen the scarring in the donor area. They can be applied to the area where the grafts were extracted from. It is recommended to be used once or twice per day and it can be used up to fourteen days post-operation.

Antibiotics Use After Hair Transplantation

Antibiotics are generally ordained right after the transplantation by the surgeon and their usage should last from three to five days. The reason behind their prescription is so they can prevent any probable infection and ensure a gentle healing process. 

Oftentimes, there is a need for an antibiotic cream during the recovery progress. Whenever the pimples or bumps show in the recipient or donor areas, it is time to apply this cream directly to the inflamed areas.

Jessica

Jessica

Meet Jessica, the compassionate website publisher with a passion for medical tourism, medical procedures, plastic surgery, and uncovering the wonders of Albania. Through her informative and eloquent writing, she guides and empowers readers to make informed decisions about healthcare and explore the beauty of this enchanting country. Let Jessica be your trusted source for all things related to health, travel, and self-discovery.

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