09 Things To Avoid Before Hair Transplant (A Must-Know List)

things to avoid before hair transplant

A hair transplant is a minimally invasive surgery, which gives a permanent solution to balding, where healthy hair from the donor area is transferred to the bald area of the scalp.

Hair from the donor area is not prone to damage by a hormone such as DHT, which damages the hair follicle on top of the scalp leading to miniaturization eventually leading to hair fall.

For optimal results, however, you should take care of a few things before doing a hair transplant. Avoiding these mistakes will increase the chance of hair transplant success.

Keep reading to find out the things to avoid before hair transplant for a successful hair transplant and healthy hair.

09 Things To Avoid Before Hair Transplant

#1 Smoking

If you want to have a successful hair transplant, you need to stop smoking before and after hair transplant surgery.

Why you should not smoke before and after a hair transplant?

Nicotine  present in smoke constricts the lumen of blood vessels which eventually decreases the blood supply. In the absence of enough Oxygen and nutrients, the hair follicles can not grow well leading to hair transplant failure. It also leads to delayed wound healing and an increased chance of infection.

Most hair transplant surgeons advised not to smoke two weeks before and after surgery.

#2 Alcohol

Like smoking, drinking alcohol before and after hair transplant surgery is very detrimental to newly transplanted hair follicles.

Alcohol makes the scalp less susceptible to anesthetic agents which means hair transplants become a painful experience.

Not only that, it increases the likelihood of bleeding which is a nightmare for the surgeon. They have to deal with bleeding during surgery,  as a result, surgery time increases which decreases the chance of survival of newly transplanted hair follicles.

Harvested hair follicles can only survive for 6 hours in the outside environment. That’s why it should be kept in the recipient area as soon as possible.

It is recommended to stop drinking alcohol for at least four weeks before hair transplant surgery and not to continue after that.

However, if you cannot hold off drinking that long, you should at least avoid alcohol for one week before and after surgery.

#3 Exercise

Though exercise is good for general health, you need to stop exercising a week before the head transplant surgery.

Whenever there is bleeding in the body, platelets, a component of blood, first come into action and stop bleeding by clogging the bleeding part of arteries.

But, during heavy exercise, these platelets get damaged and this increased the likelihood of bleeding during surgery.

Also, you need to stop taking supplements and multivitamins, if you have been taking them regularly. They also increase the risk of bleeding during surgery.

#4 Hair dye and hair product

Don’t use hair dye before hair transplant surgery. Especially, if you use light color in your hair, it makes it difficult to harvest the graft from the back of the scalp to transplant it in the bald area.

If you have used hair dye, wash your scalp daily to remove the dye from the scalp before a hair transplant.

Also, don’t use hair products like gel, sprays, or any other styling product before surgery.

If you are using minoxidil or rogaine, you need to stop it one day before the hair transplant surgery and continue it after two weeks only. In this regard, consult with your dermatologist first before stopping them.

#5 Food 

What to eat and what to avoid eating during hair transplant surgery?

It is one of the most common questions asked by people who are planning hair transplant surgery.

In this topic, most hair transplant surgeons recommend: you should avoid greasy or fried food. Also, do not take a caffeinated product or heavy breakfast before hair transplant surgery.

Caffeinated beverage increased breathing and decreases sensitivity to anesthetic medication. It will make you more drowsy during surgery.

#6 Clothes

On the day of surgery, put on comfortable cloth as hair transplant surgery is a very long procedure. Usually, it takes 4 to 6 hours to complete.

In addition to that, you need to avoid wearing a tight T-shirt as when you take it off, it might pull out some newly transplanted hair follicles along with it. 

Instead, put on a button-down or zipper shirt during the day of surgery and at least one week after that.

In some centers, you need to change your clothes and wear disposable garments provided to you to avoid contamination and infection.

#7 Vitamins and supplements

Vitamin B increases the chance of bleeding. Due to this reason, you need to avoid using multivitamins that contain Vitamin B.

Stop using vitamins or supplements, at least one week before the hair transplant surgery.

#8 Medications

Medication such as antidepressants, Beta blockers, and blood thinners like aspirin or ibuprofen should be stopped before hair transplant surgery.

Generally, it is advised to stop using this medication two weeks before the surgery. But don’t stop your medication on your own without consulting a doctor.

Aspirin and Ibuprofen increase the bleeding during surgery which makes it difficult to transplant graft and increases the surgery time.

If you develop fever, or pain after surgery use paracetamol instead of ibuprofen. Also, take antibiotics prescribed by your surgeon to fight the infection.

#9 Haircut

Generally, people shave their heads a day before hair transplant surgery. It helps in harvesting the graft from the donor area and transplanting it into the recipient area as quickly as possible.

But, don’t have a haircut without asking your surgeon. If you have trimmed your hair very short, it becomes difficult to transplant them. Or, in the FUT technique, you don’t need to cut your hair as you need it to conceal the harvested and sutured area.

Read also: How to hide donor area after hair transplant?

So, you need to ask your surgeon about haircuts and when to have them before surgery.

Life saving advice: One important thing is that you can’t drive yourself after hair transplant surgery. So, bring someone who can drive for you or use public transport. Immediately after surgery, you will feel drowsy and it might cause an accident if you drive on your own.

How Does Smoking Affect Hair Transplant?

The surgeon wants you to stop smoking one month before, or at least a week before a hair transplant if you can’t control it for that long, and advise you not to do smoking after a hair transplant. They warn you about the negative impact of smoking on hair transplants and its overall success.

So, how does smoking affect hair transplants?

Here’s how smoking affects hair transplant and why surgeon wants you to stop smoking before and after a hair transplant:

  • Constrict blood vessels: Long-term smoking leads to plaque formation in arteries, which continue to increase in size narrowing the lumen of arteries and eventually blocking them. This means hair won’t get enough oxygen and nutrients essential for recovery and growth.

  • Decrease effects of anesthesia: To make surgery smooth and painless, the surgeon gives injects anesthetic agents into the scalp. If you’re a smoker, an anesthetic agent won’t work effectively and you might feel more pain during the surgery.

  • Decreased wound healing and infection: Not only does smoking narrow the blood vessel, carbon monoxide present in the smoke decreases the ability of blood to carry oxygen. As a result, newly translated hair won’t get enough oxygen and nutrients for healing. Plus, there is more chance of infection when the tissue is deprived of enough blood supply.

  • Increases blood pressure: Smokers have high blood pressure which thereby makes them poor candidates for hair transplants. Raised blood pressure Increases the chance of bleeding and thereby prolongs the surgery time. Find out the other effects of high blood pressure on hair transplants.

  • Graft failure: Newly transplanted hair is more sensitive. Toxin and carcinogens present in smoke will eventually cause death to hair follicles leading to failure of hair transplant.

Can you smoke before a hair transplant?

Generally, it is advised to not smoke for at least a month before a hair transplant. This is the minimum time required for removing the effect of smoking from the body.

However, if you are very addicted to smoking, you should quit smoking 1 to 2 weeks before hair transplant surgery.

Remember, at least two weeks before surgery is necessary for a healthy scalp, graft survival, and an optimal hair transplant result.

If you do not avoid smoking during this period, the surgeon will warn you about the poor result of a hair transplant.

Can you smoke after a hair transplant?

To tell you the truth, you should not smoke after a hair transplant.  Nutrients and oxygen are necessary for graft survival and growth after the surgery.

As already mentioned above, smoking will constrict the blood vessel and make the hair follicle deprived of essential nutrients and oxygen, thereby causing it to die. This will leads to graft failure and poor hair transplant results.

That is why you should stop smoking after a hair transplant.

Like many, if you can’t get rid of the habit of smoking, you should wait for at least two weeks before resuming it. To put it in simple terms, you should not smoke until the wound is completely healed.

Can you smoke weed, vape, or e-cigarettes before a hair transplant?

No, it is not advised to smoke weed either. And you should avoid it as much as you can before and after a hair transplant.

What about vaping or E Cigarette?

Though vaping or a cigarette is less harmful than smoking, it is still not recommended during a hair transplant. Indeed, this product does not have carcinogens and carbon dioxide like smoking. But, still, it contains nicotine which causes the blood vessel to constrict and deprives the tissue of essential oxygen and nutrients.


Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Hair Transplant?

To make sure you have a good hair transplant result, the hair surgeon advises you to stop drinking alcohol for at least two weeks before surgery. If you go against this common advice, they will warn you of the bad results after a hair transplant.

Why is it so?

How does drinking alcohol affect hair transplants?

Here’s how drinking alcohol affects hair transplant and why surgeon wants you to stop drinking alcohol before and after a hair transplant:

  • Delayed wound healing: Not only that alcohol impairs the oxygen and nutrition supply to tissue, but it also reduces cell division leading to impaired wound healing.
  • Increased risk of infection: Drinking alcohol increases the risk of infection in wounds in the recipient as well as the donor area of the scalp after a hair transplant. It weakens the immune system of the body and decreases the oxygen and nutrients supplied to the newly transplanted hair leading to hair transplant failure.
  • More pain during hair transplant surgery: As anesthesia becomes less effective in a patient who drinks alcohol, they feel more pain during the hair transplant surgery.
  • Increased bleeding: Alcohol makes the blood thin and also increases the chance of bleeding during surgery making the work of the surgeon very difficult. surgeons have to struggle more to control bleeding which increases the surgery time. Remember, hair follicles can survive only for 6 hours up in the outside environment. So a delay in the surgery decreases the chance of survival of the hair follicle and eventually lead to poor outcome.

In simple terms, drinking alcohol during a hair transplant leads to poor results. After a hair transplant, you’ll have only sparse and weak hair left on your scalp if you choose to keep drinking alcohol during the critical period of surgery.

Can you drink before a hair transplant?

You should refrain from consuming alcohol or beverage containing alcohol for at least one week before the hair transplant.

If you continue to drink alcohol, even after the warning from your surgeon, be ready to experience a poor hair transplant result.

So, avoid drinking as long as you can before a hair transplant.

When to drink after a hair transplant?

When it is safe to drink alcohol after a hair transplant, you may ask?

If you can stop drinking alcohol completely, it is better for your over health and your hair too. If you can’t then, you should at least avoid drinking alcohol for two weeks after the hair transplant.

That said, the longer you avoid drinking, the better it is for hair transplant success. This applies to all hair transplant surgical techniques, such as FUE, FUT, or DHI.

Bottom Line

To conclude, hair transplant surgery can give a permanent solution to balding. But, for successful surgery, you need to avoid things that are going to affect the result of a hair transplant. We hope this ultimate list of things to avoid before hair transplant surgery is helpful to you.


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