Hair Transplant FAQs
On average, clients spend 3 to 4 years researching hair transplant options before moving forward with the procedure. Doing your due diligence is an incredibly important part of the process so you can understand your options and the process from beginning to end.
At L.A. FUE Hair New York, it is our goal to be a trusted resource as you research hair transplant options and make the decision that’s best for you. We have spent years compiling accurate information, and are pleased to share answers to the most common questions below.
Making a decision about hair restoration
Am I a candidate?
The majority of our clients are candidates for either non-surgical or surgical hair restoration treatment options. However, there are some clients who are not able to have surgical procedures, for a variety of reasons. We offer consultations, where we will discuss all of your hair restoration options in detail, and then provide a personalized recommendation that aligns best with your hair restoration goals.
What is the cost?
What is the downtime after PRP and stem cell therapy?
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) and stem cell therapy are minor medical procedures that take 45 minutes to an hour, with minimal downtime. We ask you to avoid eating hot/spicy foods, avoid exercise, and refrain from showering and using hair products for 4 to 6 hours after procedure. Then, you can go back to your normal daily routine.
What is the downtime after the FUE hair transplant procedure?
Downtime after an FUE hair transplant is significantly longer compared to PRP and stem cell therapy. Although you are awake during the entire procedure, and the discomfort during the procedure is minimal, there is significant post-operative swelling that works its way down the face over the next 3 to 5 days. For this reason, we recommend taking at least 5 days off work after your procedure to allow the swelling to resolve. For more details, please refer to the “After Your FUE Procedure” FAQ section below.
How do I decide between a hair transplant and non-surgical alternatives? Which one is right for me?
During your consultation, we will educate you on all the options, including medical therapy and surgical and non-surgical treatment, and the benefits and considerations of each. We generally recommend exploring medical therapy, such as the use of minoxidil and finasteride, and non-surgical options, such as PRP and stem cell therapy, as a first-line treatment; we consider FUE hair transplant as a last-resort option. However, this varies from client to client and we will provide you with a personalized recommendation based on your hair restoration goals, donor strength and amount of hair loss.
Before your FUE procedure
Can I eat or drink beforehand?
Yes, we recommend that you have breakfast the morning of your procedure.
Are there any vitamins or supplements I should take before my procedure?
We do not recommend any special vitamins or supplements prior to your FUE procedure.
Are there any food or supplements to avoid?
We recommend avoiding or discontinuing the following medications and substances at least 14 days prior to your procedure:
- Vitamin E capsules or multi-vitamin pills containing vitamin E, as this can increase your bleeding
- ASPIRIN (ASA) or any drugs containing aspirin
- NSAIDs (Motrin, Advil, etc.)
- Any ALCOHOL (wine, beer, liquors) for 14 days, as alcohol use will cause excessive bleeding
- Any non-approved drugs or recreational drugs (marijuana, hashish, cocaine, etc.)
- Garlic, fish oil, curry, St. John’s wort, yohimbe (the natural Viagra), licorice root, gingko biloba, creatine or whey proteins
Do I need to shave my hair before the procedure?
No, your hair will be shaved completely at the clinic prior to the procedure.
During your FUE procedure
How long is the procedure?
FUE hair transplant procedures usually take the majority of the day. This is your special day and we normally allocate the entire day for your procedure.
Will I be awake during the procedure?
Yes, you will be awake during the entire procedure. You will be watching TV, napping or chatting with our surgical team during the procedure.
Is the FUE procedure painful?
There are only a few seconds of discomfort during the entire procedure when we inject the local anesthetic medicine. The rest of the procedure is virtually pain-free.
After your FUE procedure
How long does it take for the scabs and crusting to fall off?
On average, scabs and crusting will fall off between 1 to 4 weeks. It is important not to pick at the scabbing/crusting; instead, allow for them to fall off on naturally. When you wash on day 28, the remaining scabs/crusting should be washed away.
How long does it take for the numbness to go away?
Numbness varies from person to person. Some clients have no numbness, while others may have numbness that lasts for a few weeks to a few months.
How long does it take for the redness to fade?
Redness varies from person to person. The redness should fade gradually as the grafts fall out. This is typically between 2 to 4 weeks, although redness can last for a few months depending on skin tone. The minoxidil/betamethasone spray can help with this.
How long does it take for the swelling to go away?
It generally takes about 1 week from the day of the procedure for swelling to reduce, but it can vary from person to person. It also depends on the size of the area treated, the number of grafts implanted, the length of procedure, and how upright you sleep.
Should I ice the swelling?
No, do not ice the swelling. The swelling is not due to trauma, so icing the swelling will slow down the draining process, as well as negatively impact the grafts.
Why do I need to sleep at a 45- to 90-degree angle? For how long?
The post-procedure swelling is due to the fluids that are injected into the scalp during the procedure. The fluid will work its way down the face before it is reabsorbed and then excreted from your body.
The more upright you sleep, the faster the fluid will work its way down from your head. If you lay flat, gravity is not able to help the fluid move down.
We recommend you sleep inclined for 7 to 10 days. Some people choose to sleep upright for the first 28 days, especially if they tend roll over in their sleep; this will help them not disturb the sensitive grafts.
How long does it take before the grafts are securely in place?
It takes approximately 14 days, but you should avoid touching the area for 28 days.
How long do I need to use the vitamin E oil?
Continue to use the vitamin E oil for 2 weeks, starting on the day after the procedure. Use it after the wash routine, and after applying the nutrient spray or minoxidil spray, depending on where you are in the post-operative timeline.
When do I start using minoxidil? Why do I need it?
You should start using the minoxidil spray we have provided about 7 to 10 days after the procedure, once the nutrient day spray is finished. It will help slow down future hair loss, and preserve the hair you still have.
What are the common side effects of minoxidil?
The most common side effects are dryness, itchiness, redness and flaking of the scalp. This typically resolves on its own after 4 to 6 weeks as the scalp gets accustomed to the medication. Proper hydration helps with some of this.
How long do I use the minoxidil for?
You should use the minoxidil for 12 months after your hair transplant at full dose, twice per day. After that, you may decrease use to once per day if you choose to for another year. Ideally, you should continue using it long term to retain native scalp hairs for as long as possible, especially in the zones that were not worked on.
Do I have to use minoxidil to get good results?
We recommend the use of minoxidil for best results.
How does finasteride work?
Finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT, which is the hormone that causes hair loss.
What is the difference between Propecia and Proscar?
Both Propecia and Proscar are brands of finasteride. Propecia is the 1 mg tablet used for hair loss. Proscar is the 5 mg tablet used for benign prostatic hyperplasia, and is split into quarters prior to taking for hair loss.
Are there any natural supplements I can take?
You may consider Saw Palmetto, but be aware that herbal supplements can have other side effects as well. We recommend discussing the use of any supplements with your surgeon.
How soon after my procedure can I take a normal shower?
You can take a very light shower after 3 weeks, if you choose. Do not use high water pressure on the area that was worked on. At this point, you should still allow the area worked on to air dry. It is very important that you not touch the recipient area for a full 28 days after the procedure. After the 4th week, you may resume your normal shower routine. However, do not use your nails when showering; use only your fingertips to massage and clean the areas worked on.
How long before I can tan?
You should wait approximately 1 year before tanning, as you do not want direct sunlight to the area while follicles are still regenerating. Wear a head covering (baseball cap, sun cap, fedora, etc.) when you expect to be outdoors for prolonged time.
Should I cover up if I go outside?
Yes, cover your head if it is raining or snowing, or if you will have prolonged sun exposure.
When can I wear a hat?
After 14 days you can wear a loose-fitting, clean or brand-new baseball cap or fedora. Make sure that it does not touch the grafts. Also avoid hats made of wool.
How long before I can swim in a pool again?
Wait at least 4 months to swim. After that time, you must use a swimmer’s cap. You can swim without a swimmer’s cap starting after 6 months.
How long do I have to wait before I can start exercising/working out?
You can start exercising again after your 28-day wash. Be sure to wash your head or shower after your workouts.
Can I play sports?
Wait 1 month after the procedure, and wash your head after any strenuous activity.
Will working out affect the outcome of my transplant?
No, however, sweating can lead to infection, which is why we recommended that you wait until after your 28-day wash, and shower after exercising. It is also a good idea to ease yourself back into your workout regimen.
When can I get a haircut?
You can get a haircut 1 month after the procedure. Be sure to use scissors only on the hair recipient/grafted area.
When can I start using gel again?
You can use gel after 1 year, and it is important to choose a quality, organic product.
Can I use hair spray?
You may use hair spray starting 3 months after your procedure. It is very important to use only natural, organic products.
What hair products do you recommend?
Most natural products sold at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods will be safe for your hair. The most important consideration is that the product is organic.
When can I use Nizoral shampoo?
You can use it once or twice a week, starting after your 28-day wash. We recommend organic shampoo only.
When can I blow dry my hair again?
You can blow dry your hair after 1 year following your procedure.
How long should I wait before I dye my hair?
If you choose to dye your hair, wait 1 year after your procedure. Then, only use organic dyes and avoid any harsh chemicals.
Why do I have more dandruff than usual?
You may experience dandruff due to the sensitivity of the scalp and the trauma induced during the procedure. Additionally, the use of minoxidil can cause some scalp dryness.
What type of anti-dandruff shampoo do you recommend?
We recommend using only organic and natural products. Avoid any products with sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate or ammonium lauryl/laureth sulfate.
Is it normal to get pimples in the recipient area?
Yes, approximately 10% of people get pimples in the recipient area.
How can I get rid of the pimples?
Continue with your normal washes, and consider using a warm compress 3 times a day for 20 minutes. If there are multiple pimples near each other, you may need antibiotics.
After the FUE procedure, is your hair supposed to fall out?
Yes, your hair will start falling out 1 to 4 weeks after the procedure. Generally, your hair will stop falling out after 4 to 5 weeks. New growth will start at approximately 12 weeks and will generally increase at a rate of 10% per month.
Will I get shock loss?
Loss of hair after the procedure, also called shock loss, occurs 20 to 25% of the time so you may or may not experience it.
When will my hair grow again?
After the procedure, it’s important to not expect any hair growth for the first 3 months. A lot of people start feeling anxious and worried after 2 to 3 months because their hair loss is not better. In fact, it can sometimes be worse at first because of shock loss.
In general, after about 3 months, your transplanted hairs will begin to grow, about 10%. After 6 months, about 50%. 9 months, about 75%. After 12 to 18 months, you will see 100% growth.
It’s also important to understand that 50% of the success depends on how well the procedure is performed, and the other 50% is how well clients follow post-op instructions and care for their transplanted hair.
How will the transplant look when it initially grows in?
The transplant will look natural but will appear thin at first. It will thicken over time.
What is the graft survival rate?
On average, there is a 90% to 95% survival rate; however this varies from person to person, and may be influenced by other medical conditions you may have, and whether or not PRP or stem cell hair treatments were used during the procedure. It also depends on proper following of the pre- and post-op instructions.
How much donor hair do I have?
As every client is unique, an accurate calculation is not possible to make. Different factors, such as existing hair loss, family history, genetic background and density/thickness of the hair, will affect the amount of donor hair.
How many hair transplants will I be able to have?
The answer depends on the density of your donor area. Your hair transplant surgeon will be able to help you make a plan for additional hair transplants, if needed.
How long do I have to wait before I can have another hair transplant?
You should wait at least 9 to 12 months; we recommend waiting 1 year.
How long before I can massage my head?
Wait for 1 month after your procedure to massage your head.
Can I smoke?
We recommend not smoking at all, as it can affect the blood vessels and diminish results.
When can I fly after the procedure?
You may fly the day after the procedure, if the total flight is less than 6 hours. If the total flight time is greater than 6 hours, you will have to wait 7 days after the procedure to fly. This is due to the fact that you have swelling in your scalp that will keep the grafts hydrated the day after the procedure. However, by day 2, the fluids will have moved down your face, and will no longer keep the grafts hydrated from days 2 to 6. The air cabin pressure will cause the freshly implanted grafts to dry out, affecting the graft survival rate.
When can I go back to work?
If there is no dust in the environment, we recommend taking 1 week off from work. If there is dust, or you work in an unclean environment, we recommend 2 to 3 weeks off work. We can provide a medical letter for your employer if necessary.
Can I drive after the procedure?
No, you cannot drive the day of the procedure. You will need someone to drive you, such as a family member or friend, a taxi, Uber, Lyft, etc. Following the day of the procedure, you can resume driving, just be careful not to hit your head. If the swelling that is working its way down your face is impeding your vision, or affecting your eyes, do not drive until it resolves.
If you have additional questions that aren’t answered here, please contact us.