How soon can hair transplant patients return to their "usual" activities?
I'm often asked how soon patients can return to their usual activities. The answer is 5-7 days for FUE and 2 weeks for strip. Any sooner than that is not a good idea and something I do not recommend.
It's a mistake to think that FUE procedures require a lot less downtime than strip procedures The only difference between FUE and strip is the way the hairs are removed from the back. The way they are put in the front is exactly the same!
Why 5 days of downtime is needed
It takes five days for a brand new hair to adapt to it's new home. If I were to take a pair of forceps and try to pull out a graft after day 1 - it would come out! The same is true for days 2-5. However after 5 days the graft is while stable and that's when normal activity is same.
Significant increases in blood pressure, heart rate can increase one's chances of developing graft popping (and graft loss) in the days after a transplant. 5 days rest minimum is needed - no exercise, no weight lifting, sexual activity, lifting heavy objects. In strip procedures, this is extended to 2 weeks to allow the incision to heal.
Returning to work
Provided a patient feels good, returning to light activities at work is fine in 2-3 days. Patients with smaller procedures (especially those with existing hair) find it much easier to camouflage the look of the transplant than patients with larger procedures.
It's often seen and heard that hair transplantation is a short office procedure and patients can return to their usual activities in a few days. While it's true that hair transplantation is a short office procedure, returning to usual activities is not advised for at least 5-7 days.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299