Can You Exercise After Hair Transplant? Although hair transplant surgery is a simple and effective procedure, it still is a medical procedure and there is a crucial healing process during which you need to be careful and take good care of the delicate areas of the head. This aftercare is important to protect your new and sensitive hair grafts, and also your general health. So, despite the benefits of daily exercise, you are going to need to avoid some daily routines such as exercise for a while after your surgery.
How Does Hair Transplant Operation Work?
Both of the most common methods of hair transplant surgery, Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), are carried out by taking healthy hair follicles from the donor area of the head and grafting them onto the areas that have hair loss. This procedure involves making tiny incisions on the recipient area of the scalp and grafts are transplanted into these sites.
It is highly important that you take good care of these new and sensitive hair grafts, which are extremely fragile, in the following days and weeks of the procedure. By doing so, you will be able to allow your scalp to heal properly and take the results you desire. To do this, it is highly recommended that you avoid strenuous exercise until at least ten days after your hair transplant surgery. Some light exercises might be allowed regarding to your healing process and you can keep reading to learn about these harmless exercises and the hazards of strenuous exercise.
Strenuous exercise can be a threat to new hair grafts for several reasons. One of them is the increase in heart rate will raise your blood pressure and this might lead to a bleeding in recipient areas on your head, causing new and sensitive hair grafts to dislodge. You should also avoid sweating; because this may irritate your wounds and damage your grafts. So you should take a break from saunas or exercises that will cause sweating.
If you had a Follicular Unit Transplant, stretching might be harmful to your scar. You should avoid exercises that will stretch the back of your neck for the first couple of months after a Follicular Unit Transplant surgery in order not to interfere with your healing process.
What Exercises Are Allowed According to the Time Period After Surgery?
After 1 to 3 days after your hair transplant surgery, you should avoid physical activities as possible and that includes working and unnecessary walking. This is a delicate time for your healing process and you need to be extremely careful. You should avoid bending over; try to keep your head above the level of your heart; because increased blood flow to the area will increase the risk of swelling. Try bending your knees when you need to pick something up or tie your shoes, instead of bending over. Also, avoid any agitation to the sensitive area including contact, since it is an extremely sensitive time for your grafts. Exercise after hair transplant surgery causes a great risk of blood pressure complications. When the heart rate increases, grafts are more prone to be dislodged and both the donor area and the new implantations will be affected by it.
After 4 to 9 days after your surgery, mild exercises such as yoga or gentle walking is usually permitted. But you should still avoid sweating, running or cardio exercise in order not to cause an increased blood pressure. You should be aware of an increase in swelling or irritation during this time, if you notice any of the two; you should reduce or cut your exercises for a few days more. All activities should be gentle and avoid irritation to the scalp.
Hair Transplant Surgery
Your scalp should be healed from scabs and swelling after 10 days from your hair transplant surgery. In most cases, it is safe to start doing some cardio exercise, gym or weights. But if you have had Follicular Unit Transplant surgery, you still should avoid exercises that will stretch the back of your head for another 6 to 8 weeks. Because the scar here will still be healing and if you are not careful and gentle your stitches might become dislodged. Stitches after a Follicular Unit Transplant surgery are removed after 10 to 14 days.
It is for the best that you do not start strenuous activities like sit-ups, bench presses or weight lifting for at least a month as these can cause harm on the suture line in the donor area. Mostly, it is safe to return to strenuous exercises after 4 weeks from your hair transplant surgery.
Swimming after Hair Transplant
You should avoid swimming or other exercises that involve wetting your hair, since chlorinated or salty water can be harmful to your grafts. Moist, chlorine or other chemicals in the swimming pools can damage hair follicles and the skin of your scalp, causing irritation or removing natural oils that protect them. You should avoid sea water and salt water pools for the same reason; salt also causes dehydration and irritation. It is not recommended to go to saunas or spas during the first weeks after your surgery, either.
Usually, experts recommend that you wait at least a month to do any sports that involve water after a hair transplant surgery and after this time has passed they suggest wearing a swim cap and moisturizing your hair and apply hair conditioner without rinsing it, this way the conditioner acts as a barrier against harmful chemicals.
All of this considered, it is important to highlight the fact that every individual and patient heals differently and may have personal circumstances. Also the required healing time after a hair transplant surgery may vary among different cases. These situations may vary depending on personal situations; but general recommendations that we mentioned in this article will help you protect your new implanted hair follicles and prevent infections by promoting successful regrowth, which will able you to achieve desired results from your surgery.