The following response was posted to our Hair Loss Social Community and Discussion Forums by Ailene Russell, Clinical Supervisor for Dr. Jerry Cooley who is a member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians:
I’m hoping someone can help me. I had follicular unit extraction (FUE) 16 days ago. This morning I woke up with loads of grafts on my pillow (or maybe they weren’t grafts but hairs with dead skin on them). I also had them in my fingernails, so I’d obviously been scratching. There is no blood on my head though.
I’m trying to make myself feel better by telling myself that when I wash it, I’m effectually washing out the hair that’s ready to fall out in the shedding phase….but somehow this just feels wrong.
I’ve I lost all those grafts that were on my pillow, or did I just speed up the shedding phase with my scratching?
I am not sure if you were instructed on what happens after surgical hair restoration regardless of the harvesting method. In most cases the implanted grafts will “sit” and passively absorb oxygen and food from the surrounding tissue. They adapt and take root usually over the first 6 to 7 days. Sometime around the 10 day time frame, the hair shafts will extrude and shed. Because of the solutions used in numbing, there can be a little swelling or a “sunburn” type effect to the recipient area and this skin can peel off.
The bulbs are there, as noted above. If they had been dislodged (and at 16 days this is very, very unlikely) there would have been bleeding and it would have been enough to get your attention.
Most of the hair will shed after surgery, leaving you much as you were prior to your hair transplant. The grafts will have entered into the resting phase and will sit for 2 to 4 months before they begin to regrow.
You are just beginning your journey! Good luck!
Ailene Russell, NCMA
Clinical Supervisor for Dr. Jerry Cooley
To share ideas with other hair loss sufferers visit the hair loss forum and social community.