This blog was written by Dr. Steven Gabel of Hillsboro, OR who is an elite member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians.
If I went tanning in a high powered tanning bed without covering my head a few days after hair restoration surgery would that delay or restrict growth of the newly transplanted hair?
I recommend to my patients that they avoid unprotected sunlight exposure for 3 months after hair transplant surgery. This is not a hard and fast rule but it is important not to expose the grafted site for some time as the added radiation exposure could cause prolonged redness to the skin at the grafted site. Also, if it is a new hair transplant, you may risk some poor growth as the new follicles may be burned with the sunlight exposure.
I suggest to my patients that they wear a hat if they are going to be outside for a prolonged period of time. Short bursts of sun exposure, such as getting out of the car and into the house or office or for shopping, in my opinion, won’t cause any damage to the follicular unit grafts. However, if they are going to be exposing their scalp to the sun for more then 5 – 10 minutes, I advise some type of protection. Another piece of advice I give my patients is, once the transplanted hairs have shed (4 weeks after surgery), I recommend that they use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 or SPF 30 on the healing/grafted portion of the scalp.
Dr. Steven Gabel, M.D.