Hair transplant is a surgical process in which your hair is transplanted from one part of your scalp to another. The hair is extracted from the donor area of your scalp and implanted on the bald patches or recipient area.
Your hair transplant surgeon makes small incisions on your scalp for extracting grafts. Graft extraction is done using either a FUT or FUE procedure.
FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction has considerably few and smaller wounds. That is why it takes lesser time to heal after this process.
In FUT or Follicular Unit Transplantation, the surgeon removes a strip from your scalp. This strip is divided into small units, and the grafts are extracted. This process requires a more extended recovery period.
When these wounds start getting better, you begin seeing scabbing on your scalp. So why do these scabs form? And how can they be removed?
Why do Scabs form on Your Scalp?
First let us understand what scabs are, as mentioned earlier, your doctor makes small incisions on your scalp during the grafting process. This causes the formation of scabs on your scalp. It also takes a few days for the scabs to heal. Usually, these scabs begin to form 3 days after the surgery.
You might get bothered by these scabs. But don’t worry; this is a part of your hair transplant recovery process. These scabs usually fall off in 7-14 days. Sometimes these scabs do not fall off on their own; in such cases, you can remove the scabs by washing your hair.
However, it would be best if you remember the following things while dealing with scabs:
- Do not scratch your scalp to get rid of the scabs.
- Do not remove them for at least a week.
- Do not touch your scalp and transplanted grafts. It may cause your grafts to get dislodged or damaged.
- Removing them with your nails may cause the transplanted grafts to fall off.
- For the first 5 days after the surgery, spray normal saline water on your scalp.
How to take care of your Scalp and Remove Scabs?
Often the first hair wash is done 3 days after the surgery. Use only mild shampoo while washing your hair. Gently shampoo your scalp and rinse with lukewarm water.
After 7-8 days these scabs will begin to fall on their own. It is better to let them fall off on their own. If these scabs do not fall off even after 10 days, consult with your hair transplant surgeon.
You can do a light massage on your scalp after 15 days. By this time the follicles are firmly attached to your scalp, and they get proper blood supply as well.
What can you do about the Scabs on your Scalp?
Here are some points to note:
- You don’t need to do anything to remove the scabs; they fall off naturally after drying.
- Some doctors tell their patients to soak their heads in a bathtub. You can use warm water and baby oil for this.
- You have to soak your scalp for at least 45 minutes to help reduce the scabbing. Gently massage your scalp only if the doctor has suggested a scalp massage.
- Massaging your scalp reduces the healing time required and reduces scabbing as well.
- Do not use your nails while massaging your scalp.
- Keep in mind that you should not pick at your scabs while massaging. As these scabs are firmly attached to the transplanted hair, picking at them may dislodge your grafts.
- Avoid touching your scalp for at least the first 4 days after the transplant. A lot of people also confuse scabs and crusts.
Scabs are dried blood, and crusts are dead graft tissue. Usually, you can easily remove scabs and crusts using shampoo. If these scabs and crusts are not falling off on their own, then consult your doctor. They will be able to recommend the right medicine and treatment.
Do not try any home remedies as these may cause infections on your scalp and cause your hair transplant to fail. Along with this, you have to take some precautions after a hair transplant as well:
- It would be best if you avoid smoking and alcohol for at least 3 days after the surgery.
- Avoid any vitamin supplements, aspirin, antibiotics or painkillers.
- Rest for at least one week after the surgery.
- Avoid sitting down or standing for too long as this may cause the swelling to spread to your face.
- Lie down on your back while sleeping.
- Avoid using a hairdryer.
Follow the instructions your doctor has given you religiously.
It is very natural for scabs to form after a hair transplant. Like any medical procedure, this is a part of your healing process. So don’t worry, let the scabs fall off on their own. If the scabs don’t fall off, then discuss with your hair transplant doctor.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet, keep your scalp clean and take all the necessary precautions. Your hair transplant will be successful.