Nowadays, with all the new techniques and technologies, hair restoration procedures are more and more successful than ever before. Hair transplant procedures are generally a painless and safe cosmetic procedure that can last a lifetime. With hair transplant surgery, you can look more youthful, feel more confident, and change your life for the better.
How Should You Sleep After a Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant is a minimally-invasive medical procedure, so it’s generally easy to recover from it. There isn’t much to heal because it isn’t exactly like a regular surgery where large incisions are made or muscle tissues are cut through.
Still, it is important to know what to do and what to avoid in the first days, and sometimes weeks, after your hair restoration surgery to make sure you achieve optimal results.
Sleeping positions are something you should take into consideration because, at first, the hair grafts are fresh, and this makes the operated area a little more delicate than usual.
Proper sleeping positions can help support the recovery process while also keeping all of the hair grafts intact.
Sleep on Clean Pillows and Sheets
Sleeping on clean and freshly-washed sheets and pillowcases will help keep potential infections at bay, and will also lead to a more comfortable and restful sleep. You should make sure that your detergent doesn’t contain allergens because these compounds might irritate the scalp, which is in the healing process for the first few weeks.
Keep Your Head Elevated
Although this procedure is minimally-invasive, some swelling can occur in the first couple of days. Mild swelling is usually no cause for alarm, but sleeping in a reclining position is one of the best things you can do to keep the swelling to a minimum. Neck pillows can help, too!
Use a Towel over Your Pillowcases
Many patients could experience a little leakage from their scalp both from the donor area or recipient area after hair transplantation. So, placing a towel over the pillow is wise if you want to avoid staining the pillowcases. Choose a dark-colored towel that’s made of a soft fabric. You will rest easy without worrying about staining your bed.
Don’t Sleep on Your Stomach
Another thing the doctor will probably say to you is to avoid sleeping on your stomach because it can lead to increased swelling. Those of you who normally like to sleep on their stomach should probably change your sleeping position until the scalp heals to ensure undisturbed hair transplant results.
Avoid Hitting the Headboard with Your Scalp
During recovery, protect your scalp as much as possible, and this includes not accidentally hitting it on the bed’s headboard. This could be an issue, especially if your bed structure is made of wood or metal. As a precautionary measure, you could always place a small pillow right between the headboard and your scalp. This can seem like a small thing, but it will definitely make a huge difference.
Develop a Healthy Sleep Pattern
After any kind of surgery, getting plenty of rest is always beneficial. During sleep, the body recovers quicker, and it recharges with the energy it needs to heal. Go to sleep early for at least one week after the surgery and prepare everything that will help you achieve a good rest.
Additional Aftercare Tips
Besides the way you sleep, how you wash your scalp and hair is also extremely important. The first thing to do is to avoid washing your head in the next days following your procedure, then, after you’ve healed a bit, you can start following our recommendation for washing your hair.
Your doctor will usually provide post-operative instructions and guidelines about your specific timeline for resuming normal activity.
The Proper Way to Wash Your Hair
Here’s what you must do:
- On the third day after the surgery, you can wash your hair for the first time since the procedure
- Only make gentle moves with your hands and avoid scrubbing the scalp because you might dislodge the grafts. This must be strictly followed during the first 5 days after the surgery to keep the transplanted grafts intact.
- Don’t place your head right under the shower to avoid a possible powerful water punch that comes out of the showerhead. If you have a rainfall showerhead, that would be perfect for the job!
- Put a little shampoo on your head and gently apply it all over your scalp. If you feel a little itchiness after you wash your head, that’s generally normal for the first few days after the hair transplant. A small amount of conditioner could help solve that issue because it usually helps to relieve the itching.
- If, after one week, you still have some scabs left on your scalp, you should apply some more conditioner, but only on the recipient site, which is the area in which the surgeon implanted the new hairs.
Another important thing you must do is drink a lot of water to keep your body well-hydrated. This helps to speed up your scalp’s recovery. Drink only water and refrain from consuming alcohol for at least a couple of days after the procedure. Alcohol might interfere with the blood circulation that occurs around your scalp and head area.
Avoiding direct sunlight and working out are also some other essential aftercare tips. Don’t worry, though, because the recovery process is generally short and painless. As long as you apply the guidelines provided by your surgeon, you will return to your normal activities in no time.
So, How Many Days After Hair Transplant Can I Sleep Normally?
Typically, in just 10 days, you will be able to go back to your normal daily activities, moderate workouts, regular hair washing routine, and the sleeping habits and positions that you’re used to. After those 10 days, both the scalp and the grafts should have healed enough to allow you to return to your normal lifestyle.
On the other hand, this period may vary from one patient to another, based on each individual’s lifestyle and the way the body reacts to the procedure. So, make sure to follow all the guidelines that your surgeon provides, and be patient.
What To Do After Hair Restoration
Ask a friend or a family member to go with you to the doctor or to wait for you after the surgery and drive you home. Although hair transplants don’t require strong sedation, it is generally best to avoid driving under the influence of any kind of sedative.
If it helps you to keep your head elevated for the first 3 days, consider sleeping with a neck pillow. You can even relax in a recliner and binge-watch movies on Netflix!
Talk to your doctor to find out which meds are safe to take after the procedure. The surgeon may prescribe you with some anti-inflammatory drugs to prevent swelling.
If you want to, you can apply an ice pack right above your eyebrows. This method also helps to prevent swelling, which, in most cases, occurs only within the first 3 to 4 days after the surgery.
As mentioned previously, wash your hair gently at first and avoid placing your head directly under the shower water stream. You can even use a cup to pour water all over your scalp when you rinse. Applying a mild conditioner can help alleviate itching as well.
If you feel like it, you can dye your hair prior to the operation because it typically won’t affect the hair transplant. After the surgery, you must wait for a full month before being able to dye your hair again.
Hydration is important, and you should drink a lot of water both before and after the procedure (and all the time anyway).
Finally, expect some hair fallout after the surgery. This could last between 2 to 4 weeks post-op. It is a natural step in the hair growth cycle. Don’t worry, none of the newly-transplanted hair follicles are damaged by the hair falling out. New hairs will appear within approximately three months.
What Not Do After Hair Restoration
Avoid sleeping on your stomach or your sides. Use pillowcases that are made of soft materials and don’t rub your hairline against them. You might notice some swelling, but that is normal as long as after a couple of days, the scalp’s skin goes back to normal.
Don’t touch the transplanted area with anything, not even ice. You can apply ice, but only to your forehead, next to your hairline, not on the scalp.
After hair transplants, many patients will notice scab formations, but you should do your best to avoid touching or picking at these as much as possible. Scabs are a part of the healing process. So, if they appear on your head, you should leave them alone until they fall off on their own, with the exception of a shower where shampooing may nudge them off.
Don’t wash your head for the first two days after the surgery. You can use a shower cap to protect your scalp. Also, avoid scratching your scalp even though you may feel some itchy sensations at first.
Don’t wear any hats or caps for the first couple of days. Wearing these items may disturb the scabs and the healing process. At the same time, don’t expose your head to direct sunlight during the first couple of weeks. Generally after about three days post-operation, you can start wearing a hat.
Don’t engage in intense workouts in the days following the operation because that might impact your blood pressure and heart rate, which need to remain well-balanced until the swelling subsides.
Finally, don’t drink alcohol for about a week and avoid smoking for a month if you can.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, like with any other surgery, you will have to follow certain rules after a hair transplant procedure. One of those guidelines is the proper sleeping position that you must consider during the first week since the surgery. In only 10 days, you should be able to go back to the way you were normally sleeping, and you might even sleep a little better now that you don’t have to worry about hair loss!