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How To Sleep After A Hair Transplant


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    How do you sleep after having a hair transplant? Your hair follicles will be delicate for 10 days following the procedure, so it is important to sleep properly after a hair transplant. To avoid damaging your hair transplant when sleeping, sleep on top of 1 pillow with a travel pillow round your neck. By sleeping this way, you are slightly upright, ensuring you don’t worsen swelling or roll over in bed damaging transplanted grafts following your hair transplant.

    In this article, we will discuss in detail how to sleep after a hair transplant, including the best position, the healing process, and the dos and don’ts.

    When can I sleep normally after a hair transplant?

    • Day 0-10: sleep on your back at an incline
    • Day 10-14: you can sleep on your side. Please don’t sleep and place pressure directly on the area that has been operated on
    • Day 14 onwards: you can sleep in any position

    By 10 days following surgery you should be able to sleep normally in any position without significant discomfort. Even so, remember that applying too much pressure on your hair grafts still has the potential to damage them. Our advice is not to sleep face down until 14 days have passed

    Sleeping after a hair transplant: the dos & don’ts

    In this section, we offer some advice on sleeping after a hair transplant:

    DO:

    • Keep your head elevated when sleeping during the first two weeks after a hair transplant
    • Use extra pillows to elevate your hair
    • You can use a travel pillow to help prevent yourself from turning

    DON’T:

    • Toss and turn when trying to get to sleep
    • Turn your head sideways
    • Rub your head against anything
    • Take any sleeping pills if at all possible, as you may wake up during the night and feel disorientated- potentially putting yourself at risk of hitting your head

    We give patients detailed instructions on how to sleep when they have surgery in our clinic. It can vary from patient to patient dependent on how their surgery has progressed and the area they are having transplanted. The main advice is being extra careful when sleeping for the first 10-14 days after having a hair transplant

    Dr Vara, Hair Transplant Surgeon and Director at The Treatment Rooms London

    What is the best position to sleep in after a hair transplant?

    The best position to sleep in after a hair transplant is on your back, with your head elevated above your heart. This will help reduce swelling but also prevent your head from turning and damaging grafts at night. Sleep on 1 pillow with a travel pillow around your neck to prop your head forwards and up. By sleeping in this position, you can reduce the risk of causing damage to your hair and increasing inflammation of your scalp. 

    Remember, the purpose of sleeping in this position after hair transplantation is to avoid contact between the recipient (transplant) area and the pillow or bed. Things will get easier! Once your grafts have become secure, around the two-week mark, you will be able to sleep how you wish without posing a risk to your hair.

    How long does a hair transplant take to heal?

    During the first days after a hair transplant, both the donor area (from where the hair grafts were taken) and the recipient area (where the new hair grows) is healing. The donor area is bandaged initially, and some post-procedural oozing and inflammation are considered normal. 

    As scabs form on these areas, they will get itchy. To aid the healing process, you should never pick at or scratch the scabs. Allow them to fall off naturally. If you are suffering from an itchy scalp after having a hair transplant, we recommend using these treatments and tips:

    • Use a saltwater spray
    • Take antihistamines
    • Use medicated shampoo
    • If advised by your Surgeon, apply a steroid scalp solution
    • And finally, do not scratch the itch!

    By around week 2, inflammation should have subsided and you should start to feel better. Itching can persist for a little longer and it should eventually settle. It’s also important to take precautions such as avoiding intense physical exercise for two weeks or so.

    At one month, the healing process should be complete and you should feel minimal discomfort. Hair would typically have grown to cover the donor area, but it should be noted that the recipient area – where your new hair won’t emerge for another 2 months or so – is still delicate and should be treated with care. 

    When are hair grafts secure after a hair transplant?

    As we have outlined in the sections above, the bulk of the healing process following a hair transplant takes place in the first two weeks. 

    From week 2 onwards, you can expect the hair grafts transplanted in the recipient area to be healed and secure. That means there is much less chance of damaging them while you sleep.

    For more information about how to sleep after a hair transplant, and what you can do to help your recovery process go as smoothly as possible, please contact The Treatment Rooms London. We are on-hand to provide you with expert help and advice to ensure you receive the best possible care. 

    Authored by

    Hair Transplant Surgeon Dr Roshan Vara

    Dr Roshan Vara

    Full Medical Member of the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery

    GMC Registered - 7458409

    Reviewed by

    Hair Transplant Surgeon Dr Dilan Fernando

    Dr Dilan Fernando

    Royal College of Surgeons

    Executive Committee Member & Treasurer of the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery

    GMC Registered - 7458157

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