I am 7 days out from a hair transplant and want to know how gentle or aggressive I should be with the follicular unit grafts when washing my hair in order to work off the scabs.

Keep in mind  that every hair transplant clinic has their own hair restoration postoperative instructions and they vary.   Therefore it is always best to get detailed postoperative hair washing instructions directly from the hair transplant surgeon.

That being said, I thought I’d share my personal experience with hair washing after hair transplant surgery that worked well for me.

Day 0: (day of  hair restoration  surgery): Just relax.   Do not wash your hair at all.

Day 1: If at all possible, visit your hair restoration clinic for a postoperative hair wash.   If not, fill a cup with water mixed with shampoo and pour it gently over your head several times.   Gently massage the shampoo into the donor area, cleaning the area around the scar.  

Day 2 and 3: Fill a cup with water mixed with shampoo and pour it gently over your head several times.   Gently massage the shampoo into the donor area, cleaning the area around the scar.   Wash donor area normally working around the scar with care to work off any dried blood.   Apply as much pressure as needed however, avoid using so much pressure that it causes pain.  

Day 4: Assuming that your shower pressure is reasonable and not too harsh – let the water from the shower head hit your head normally.   Massage shampoo in your hands until it  lathers.   Gently touch the grafts with the shampoo in the palm of your hands and gently touch with your finger tips.   Avoid any massaging of the transplanted hair at this point.   Continue washing donor area normally from this point on paying extra attention around the scar as to work off any dried blood and keep the area clean.

Day 5: Repeat the instructions from day 4 however,  add very gentle back and forth motions with your finger tips  through the transplanted hair.   Avoid using your nails at all costs.

Day 6:   Resume normal hair washing but be extra gentle with the hair grafts.

Day 7+:   Begin showering twice a day normally however, use a little extra care of the follicuar unit grafts.   Spend 10 extra minutes in the shower both in the morning and evening massaging with shampoo the hair grafts in a circular motion  with your fingertips in order to start working off the scabs.   Avoid using your fingernails at all costs.   Do not apply a lot of pressure.   The trick is to apply  a constant circular motion to gradually work off the scabs rather than simply picking them off.   Picking the scabs should be avoided at all costs.   Whatever scabs don’t come off in the shower will come off after subsequent showers and circular massaging.   Additionally, when you come out of the shower and after looking in the mirror see some loose scabs, feel free to perform additional soft circular massaging over the scabs in front of the mirror to work off loose scabs.   Scabs still tightly secured to the scalp should not be worked too much.   These scabs will come off after subsequent showers in the coming days.  Patience is important and don’t force anything off.  

I have found that by using the above method, scabs typically come off between 8-12 days.

Bill Seemiller
Associate Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network and the Hair Loss Learning Center
View my Hair Loss Weblog

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