The first few weeks after hair transplant surgery can be touch and go for many patients. Individuals often have many questions: Will the grafted hair follicles take root? When will they grow? When can I wash my hair? When can I cut my hair? When is it safe to color my new hair growth?
As for the latter, the fact is that transplanted hair follicles tend to be more sensitive, particularly to chemicals like bleach, peroxide, and dyes which can damage newly transplanted hair follicles if the instructions on the box aren’t followed to the letter.
Many hair transplant surgeons feel it’s a safe bet to wait at least a month before patients resume their normal use of hair styling gels, colors, straighteners, and blow driers. Even though grafted hair is usually stronger than non-grafted hair, the transplanted hair follicles are more vulnerable to chemicals and therefore they should be used with caution. Once the grafted hair follicles have taken hold and have developed their own blood supply, then it’s probably OK to begin using hair coloring chemicals once again without the fear of new hair growth falling out.
Hair transplant doctors also feel it’s a good idea to wait several weeks until after the initial “shock” of hair transplant surgery. During this recovery period it’s possible some hair dyes could damage grafted hair follicles. Consider the abrasive, damaging potential of ammonia and peroxide even on non-grafted hair.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the careless, incorrect use of hair dyes or the failure to follow instructions on their use could cause harm to your new locks and that could turn out to be a bad hair day for you and your hair transplant surgeon.
Caution, and heeding the sound advice of a qualified hair care professional, is the key to strong, healthy hair after hair transplant surgery.
Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon located in Virginia Beach. He can be reached at The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery at (757) 389-5850 for a personal consultation.