When is it safe to color or dye my hair after a hair transplant? Can I do this as early as 10 days post-op?
This question was posed by a hair loss sufferer seeking hair loss help on our hair restoration forum and answered by Dr. Steven Gabel of Hillsboro, OR who is an elite member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians. His professional answer is below.
There is no magical answer to when hair transplant patients can start dying their hair. The reason for this is that each patient heals at a different rate. I have some patients who come back 10 days after their hair replacement procedure and their incision and recipient sites look like they have healed. I have others that need a little more time to heal.
The postoperative instructions I give patients are to wait until the transplanted hairs have gone through their initial shock period – usually four to six weeks. By that time, I know that the grafts are firmly in place and exchanging their blood supply. The problem with hair coloring and the dying process is that different hair stylists will use several chemical compounds to dye the hair and I don’t want any risk of injury to the hair follicles with outside chemicals. My advice is always: be patient!
The same is true for wearing helmets. In the Northwest, this is skiing and snowboarding time (and this season we’ve had incredible snow at Mt Hood, Mt Bachelor, and Mt Rainier) and several of my hair transplant patients are anxious to get back on the slopes with their helmets. Again, I ask them to be patient and wait 4 – 6 weeks, at the earliest, so their hairs are firmly in place. I also tell them to ski/snowboard as much as possible before the transplant so they don’t feel they are missing the entire ski season waiting for their hair transplant to heal.
I hope this provides a little better insight into your question.
Steven Gabel, M.D.