Which Shampoo is Best to Use After Hair Transplant Surgery?

Mon 22 Mar 2010

This question was posed  by a hair loss sufferer seeking hair loss  help  on our hair restoration forum  and answered by  Dr. Michael Beehner  of Saratoga Springs, NY who is one of our recommended hair restoration physicians. His professional answer is below.

I’m on my 3rd week post hair transplant.   Doctors at the clinic I had  my hair transplant at gave me their own shampoo to use.    However, it’s running out now.   What shampoo should I start using now?   I was considering Nanogen shampoo, but I’m not sure.   Any guidance would be appreciated.

My belief is that it doesn’t make any difference what shampoo you use after surgical hair restoration. All shampoos are simply soaps. Consumer Reports has done two extensive analyses of shampoos over the past ten years and published them, and their conclusion was exactly what I stated above. At our clinic we give out a “courtesy” gift tube of Nexus Therapy shampoo to each patient, but not because we believe it superior to all others, but simply as a gift. It has a slight nostalgic value to me also, since that is what the clinic gave out back in 1982 after each of my first three transplant sessions and I loved the way it smelled (have since lost most of my sense of smell and don’t enjoy that aspect of using it).

There are some shampoos that have added ingredients to help with seborrhea (dandruff) and these might be of extra benefit to patients who suffer from that. Also, the Graftcyte kit, which many of our hair replacement patients opt to purchase, includes a container of their shampoo with copper peptides in it. I have seen some great results one week later with patients who used the Graftcyte kit, but whether or not the shampoo portion of the kit had anything to do with the quick disappearance of the redness and scabbing I have no idea. I am pretty sure that the frequent spraying is what helps the most.

Lastly, there are some shampoos that are labeled as “volumizers.” They add a little bit of a protein coat to the hair shaft to make it seem fuller. Being a person with fine hair, I have used these from time to time and have noted a slight benefit along the lines of what they promise.

But the bottom line is that most of what hits you in print and over the air waves is all advertizing hype, created by people in rooms writing advertizing “come-on’s”. The other piece of advice that Consumer Reports gave was to try a bunch of different shampoos and if one of them makes your hair feel better or look more natural for some reason, by all means go ahead and use it. The choice will be very different for different people though.

Mike Beehner, M.D.

Bill Seemiller
Managing Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, the Hair Loss Q&A Blog, and the Hair Restoration Forum
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