When Can I Exercise After a Hair Transplant?

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After undergoing FUT or FUE hair transplant surgery, you may be eager to get back to your day-to-day life as soon as possible, but it’s important that you don’t rush into anything that may affect your recovery. Exercise is undoubtedly very important to our overall health, but in the short-term, your post-surgical recovery should be your main priority.

Both FUE surgery (Follicular Unit Extraction) and FUT surgery (Follicular Unit Transplantation) involve hair follicles being taken from a donor area at the back of the scalp and transplanted to areas that have been affected by hair loss. After the surgery, the newly-transplanted hair grafts will need to be looked after correctly to ensure that the scalp can heal – so how long should you wait before exercising after a hair transplant?

What are the risks of exercising after a hair transplant?

 

The reason why it’s recommended that you avoid exercise soon after surgery is to protect your new hair grafts and to reduce the risk of infections, to help promote healthy hair growth. Some of the potential issues associated with exercising after a transplant include:

Sweating

Sweating is unlikely to affect the results of your hair transplant but after surgery, the scalp can be very sensitive, and sweating can cause irritation. It can also potentially lead to infections around the surgical sites.

Stretching

Some types of exercise, such as sit-ups, can stretch and strain the back of the neck. If you have undergone FUT surgery, this is a particular risk, as the scar on the donor site will still be healing. The stitches may tear, which can lead to bleeding.

Blood pressure

Strenuous exercise increases your heart rate which, in turn, will raise your blood pressure. Increased blood flow to the scalp can lead to swelling and potentially bleeding.

Head injury 

Contact sports, such as rugby or boxing, put patients at a higher risk of head injury, which can damage the hair follicles and have an adverse effect on the outcome of your hair transplant.

 

Get in touch with Crown Clinic to find out more about hair transplants

 

When can I start exercising again after hair transplant surgery?

 

In the first 1-3 days after surgery, exercise should be kept to an absolute minimum – if possible, you should even avoid walking anywhere. During those first few days post-transplant, you should allow yourself to take things easy.

After the first week or so, you can start to re-introduce gentle exercise, such as walking. For the time being, avoid any type of exercise that will raise your heart rate or cause sweating.

If you have had FUE surgery, you should be able to resume exercise as normal after two weeks, but it’s better to err on the side of caution and ease yourself back into it gently. For those patients who have undergone FUT surgery, you should generally wait around a month before returning to your normal exercise routine.

For contact sports and weight training, four weeks post-surgery will usually be an acceptable time to start participating again. You can also start swimming again around this point, as the scalp will have healed enough for the risk of infection to be reduced.

It’s worth noting that everyone heals at different rates, so although there are general guidelines on when you can start exercising again after your transplant, it’s different for everyone, so make sure to speak to your doctor to discuss what is best for you.

Our Surgeon

Dr. Asim Shahmalak

Dr Asim Shahmalak is a world-renowned hair transplant surgeon who performed the UK’s first eyelash transplant in 2009. He runs Crown Clinic – one of Britain’s most successful and best known hair transplant clinics. He has treated a number of high-profile industry leaders and celebrities including the medical broadcaster Dr Christian Jessen, best known for Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies.

Expert hair transplant surgery by Dr Shahmalak

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We may pay extra time and money taking care of our hair and planning elaborate skincare routines, but how many of us pay the same attention to our scalps?

Although it’s easy to overlook – after all, many of us don’t really see our scalps – proper scalp care is key to having healthy follicles and healthy hair. Just like the rest of your skin, your scalp can accumulate bacteria, sweat and become clogged.

Why is a healthy scalp important?

Think of your scalp like a flower bed – without healthy soil and proper care, flowers won’t flourish. Similarly, without caring for your scalp you’ll be hindering healthy hair growth. The sebaceous glands in the scalp produce sebum – a natural oil that is meant to protect the skin – via the hair follicles. However, if the follicles aren’t clean and clear of sebum, or are otherwise blocked by dandruff or dead skin, this will have a negative impact on the growth of the hair.

Here is some of Crown Clinic’s top advice for caring for your scalp.

1. Treat dandruff as early as possible

Dandruff – flaking of the scalp – is very common, as the skin is constantly shedding. It’s not a serious condition, but it can be embarrassing to deal with. Try cleansing the scalp regularly with an anti-dandruff shampoo to see if it helps ease the buildup of oil and skin cells. Shampoos containing zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide or ketoconazole are the best options. It may take a few weeks to start noticing a difference and you may need to try a few different shampoos before finding one that works for your scalp.

2. Avoid overusing dry shampoo

Dry shampoo may be great as a quick fix for those days where you don’t have time to wash your hair, but it should be used sparingly. Relying too heavily on dry shampoo can cause a buildup of product on the scalp, which can clog the follicles and trap bacteria, potentially leading to dandruff. If you really must use dry shampoo, ensure you wash your hair as soon as possible with a cleansing shampoo to get rid of the buildup.

3. Treat your hair gently

Overusing harsh shampoos can do more harm than good, so consider switching to sulphate-free shampoos that won’t strip your hair of its natural oils but will still properly cleanse your scalp. As for how often you wash your hair, it depends on personal preference, but generally, we would suggest at least every other day. This is especially true for those who use a lot of product on their hair or sweat more, as the buildup on the scalp can cause itching and flaking.

You can also try using a gentle scalp scrub to exfoliate the skin and unclog the follicles, but make sure to replenish moisture to the lengths of the hair with a conditioner.

4. Avoid tight hairstyles

Traction alopecia is caused by the hair being repeatedly pulled in the same place, leading to irritation, discomfort, hair breakage and potentially long-term damage. Tight hairstyles such as braids can be very harsh on the scalp due to the constant tension, so to avoid this, change your hairstyle regularly and wear it in a looser style if you can’t wear your hair down.

Remember that a healthy scalp leads to healthy hair, so make sure to start adding proper scalp care to your routine.

For many people who lose their hair, it can be a traumatising experience that takes a toll on their self-esteem and wellbeing. As a result, you may wonder what exactly you can do to prevent hair loss. However, the answer is entirely dependent on the type of hair loss.

Preventing genetic hair loss

In most instances, hair loss is genetic. Over the course of their lifetime, two-thirds of men will experience male pattern baldness, with 40% noticing hair loss by the age of 35. Meanwhile, around half of women will experience some type of hair loss at some point in their life.

Although there is no way of preventing genetic hair loss, there are ways of treating it, especially if you seek advice as soon as you start noticing hair loss. Finasteride (Propecia) is a prescription medication that blocks the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that can contribute to hair loss by disrupting the growth cycle. If treatment is started early, Finasteride can be effective at preventing further hair loss. Not everyone is a suitable candidate for this medication, so you’ll need to consult with your GP or a specialist.

Other ways to prevent hair loss

Although there are no guaranteed ways to prevent hair loss, there are ways that you can improve your lifestyle to promote healthy hair growth.

Reducing stress

Stress can be a contributing factor to a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium, which is where hair is shed across the scalp. It happens when the growth phase of the hair cycle is interrupted by a disturbance within the body, causing a large number of hairs to shift into the shedding phase. When we are stressed, our body focuses our energy on only the most essential functions – unfortunately, hair growth is not one of these.

Everyone manages stress differently, so try to find a way of reducing stress that works for you, such as meditation, exercise and getting enough rest.

Cutting out bad habits

A poor diet, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can all take a toll on your body, impacting every area of your health. Your diet, in particular, may be contributing towards hair loss, as several deficiencies can cause hair loss, such as iron and vitamin D. Make sure that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals, as well as enough protein, as hair follicles are primarily made of a type of protein called keratin.

Looking after your hair

The way that you care for your hair is key to its overall health. Overusing hot tools such as hairdryers, curling irons and straighteners can make the hair dry, brittle and damaged, as well as more prone to breakage. Make sure to only use hot tools when necessary and use a heat protecting spray.

Wash your hair regularly with gentle shampoo and conditioner, avoiding products that are overly harsh and more liable to dry out your hair. To minimise the risk of excessive hair shedding – or even traction alopecia – avoid tight hairstyles that pull on the root of the hair, like tight braids or ponytails.

If you are struggling with hair loss, in many instances, there are both surgical and non-surgical options to treat it – Crown Clinic offers a wide variety of treatments that are sure to bring your hair back to its former glory. Why not book in for a hair consultation to find out the best course of treatment for you?

No matter the cause behind hair loss, it can be an emotionally distressing experience. Even temporary hair loss can be difficult to cope with, due to the toll it can take on a person’s self-esteem – and although many people associate hair loss primarily with older men, it can affect anyone of any age.

Why does hair loss affect our self-esteem?

Whether we realise it or not, our hair does affect our appearance – anyone who has ever ended up with a disastrous haircut can vouch for that. As a result, when people start to lose their hair, it can change the way that they see themselves and have a serious impact on their self-confidence.

Culturally and historically, a thick head of hair has been synonymous with youth, attractiveness and good health. This beauty standard still pervades, so hair loss may lead people to feel unattractive when they start to lose their hair. This is particularly true for women, whose hair is often considered their crowning glory. In fact, a study conducted by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology revealed that women are more likely to develop a negative body image as a result of their hair loss compared to men. However, 75% of men also reported they felt less confident about themselves after starting to lose their hair.

It’s not just concerns about self-image, either – many people who experience hair loss may worry about how they are perceived in the workplace, or by romantic partners, as they worry that they will no longer be considered attractive by others.

Can hair loss cause depression?

Hair loss can cause emotional trauma, and the subsequent impact on self-esteem and self-worth can be linked to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. In turn, some of the behaviours associated with depression – such as poor sleeping habits, a poor diet and increased alcohol intake – can make hair loss worse, making it a vicious cycle.

Coping with hair loss

If you are struggling with hair loss, you don’t need to suffer in silence – there are a number of ways to cope with hair loss.

Temporary hair loss

If you are experiencing hair loss caused by factors such as medication, pregnancy or weight loss, remember that the chances are it’s only a temporary form of hair loss known as telogen effluvium. Even if large amounts of hair fall out, the hair usually will grow back – although it can be hard to cope with, remember that it won’t last forever. It may be worth visiting your GP to check if there are any factors contributing to your hair loss.

Talk to someone

For anyone who is struggling with their mental health, it’s worth seeking treatment – there are plenty of professionals who will be able to support you through it. Talking therapies may be especially helpful if you’re finding that the emotional impact of hair loss is getting in the way of your daily life. Speaking to a professional about your struggles can teach you strategies to improve your confidence and self-esteem.

Surgical and non-surgical treatments

There may be no magic cure to hair loss, but there are plenty of treatments available to help restore your hair. From medications such as Propecia and Finasteride, to non-surgical scalp micropigmentation, all the way to permanent solutions such as hair transplants, there is sure to be a treatment to suit you.

Crown Clinic has been working with hair loss patients for years, offering them support and guidance to find a treatment that will work best for them. If you’d like to book a consultation to find out how we can help you, get in touch.