Being bald or having thin and patchy hair is not something we can always control and it can cause social anxiety and depression. While some patients may use topical treatments like sprays and oral pills, others may seek a longer-term solution. A follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplant in Singapore is one such option.
Before you leap into getting this treatment, though, you should know more about the FUE hair transplant process and what happens before, during and after the treatment. Let’s take a closer look!
What’s an FUE Hair Transplant?
FUE is a minimally invasive hair transplant procedure that involves shifting hair follicles from a donor area on your scalp to areas where you are experiencing hair loss. Unlike traditional hair transplant methods, which can leave visible scars, FUE leaves tiny, almost invisible scars that are easily concealed:
Think of FUE like gardening – just like planting a seed to grow a new plant, hair follicles are transplanted from one area of the scalp to another to grow new hair. Just like a garden needs the right conditions to thrive, transplanted hair follicles will need time and proper care to grow into healthy, strong hair.
Preparing the recepient site to its optimal condition prior to the FUE procedure is like laying down quality soil for the seeds to grow successfully. There are multiple ways to prepare the scalp, such as lotions, medications and even hair laser treatments, and an experienced doctor will be able to guide you through this.
One of FUE’s major benefits is its natural-looking results. As the hair follicles are extracted individually, they can also be placed individually. A good practitioner can implant the follicle to mimic the natural growth pattern of a patient’s hair, resulting in a seamless, natural-looking head of hair.
Additionally, since the transplanted hair is from your own scalp, it will continue to grow and can be styled just like the rest of your hair.
Another benefit of FUE is the quick recovery time. Traditional hair transplant method FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation), also known as Linear Strip Method involes the removal of a strip of scalp which will then needs to be sutured close. The wound will require weeks of downtime and discomfort. On the other hand, FUE patients typically return to their regular routines within a few days after the procedure.
Finally, FUE is a long-lasting solution to hair loss. While it may take several months for the transplanted hair to grow fully, it should continue to grow and be permanent. With proper care, you can maintain your transplanted hair for many years.
Process of the FUE hair Transplant
An FUE transplant is a process that requires assessment and attention from a professional for the best outcome. Here’s what transpires from the moment you step into a clinic to ask for an FUE transplant:
- Consultation: The first step is to consult a hair transplant specialist. During this consultation, the doctor will assess your scalp’s condition and discuss your goals for the procedure.
- Blood Test: Once you have decided to proceed, a blood test will be performed to assess your overall health status, andidentify any issues that may affect the outcome of the procedure.
- Donor Area Preparation: On the day of the procedure, the donor area of the scalp is shaved and cleaned.
- Anaesthesia: Local anaesthesia is administered to the donor area to numb the scalp and reduce discomfort during the procedure.
- Follicle Extraction: Using a micro punch tool, the doctor extracts individual hair follicles from the donor area of the scalp. Each follicle is carefully extracted to preserve its integrity and ensure optimal growth in the recipient area.
- Recipient Area Preparation: After the follicles are extracted, the recipient area is prepared by making tiny, shallow incisions in the scalp where the follicles will be transplanted.
- Follicle Implantation: Using a fine needle or forceps, the doctor implants the extracted hair follicles into the recipient area. The follicles are placed in a way that mimics the natural growth pattern of your hair for a more natural-looking outcome.
- Post-procedure Care: After the procedure, the doctor will provide specific instructions for caring for the scalp and newly transplanted follicles. This may include medications, ointments, or other special instructions to promote healing and ensure the best possible results.
- Follow-up Appointments: You will typically have several follow-up appointments with your doctor in the weeks and months following the procedure to monitor your healing process and ensure the best possible results.
FUE Transplant Recovery Timeline
While recovering from an FUE hair transplant in Singapore is a relatively simple process, it is important to remember that your experience may differ slightly from the next person’s. The recovery period will depend on each person’s baseline state of health, immunity, age, and any underlying health issues.
What to Expect
However, if you are looking for a general timeline of what to expect during the FUE hair transplant recovery period, here are some details:
- After the procedure, you may experience mild pain, swelling, and redness in the donor and recipient areas. Your doctor will provide medication and antibiotics to help you with the discomfort and prevent infection from taking root. For the next few weeks, it is also advisable to avoid excessive sun exposure.
- In the first week, take it easy and avoid strenuous activities that include sweating of any sort. You should also avoid touching or scratching the transplanted area, as this can dislodge newly transplanted follicles. You will also need to make some adjustments to how you wash your hair.
- 7-10 days after the procedure, there might be scabbing and flaking around and over the transplanted area. This scabbing activity is a normal part of the healing process. At this point, you may be able to resume light physical activity but should still avoid any activities that could cause trauma to the scalp. Also shock loss of native hair at recepient site may occur, but these hair will grow back
- 2-3 weeks after the procedure, some of the transplanted hairs may begin to fall out. This is also a normal part of the healing process. It is important to remember that not all transplanted hairs will fall out, and new hair growth should begin growing within a few months.
- 3-6 months after the procedure, you should start to see new hair growth in the transplanted area. Hair may initially be thin and sparse, but it should continue to grow and thicken over time.
- 6-12 months after the procedure, you should have a fuller head of hair.
Day After Surgery
An FUE hair transplant surgery is time-consuming and requires intricate work on the scalp. This is why patients must take care of themselves from the moment the treatment is complete.
The day after a follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplant surgery is an important part of the recovery process. Here is what you can expect on this day:
- Follow-up Appointment: You will likely need a follow-up appointment with your doctor to check the progress of your scalp’s healing and ensure everything is going as planned.
- Washing Your Scalp: Your doctor will provide specific instructions on how to clean your scalp, and you may be able to wash your hair gently for the first time since the surgery. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to avoid damaging the newly transplanted follicles.
- Assessing Discomfort: You may still experience some mild discomfort or tenderness in the donor and recipient areas, but this should improve over time. Your doctor may provide pain medication or other recommendations to help manage any discomfort.
- Avoiding Certain Activities: You should still avoid activities that could cause trauma to the scalp, such as heavy lifting, bending, or exercising. Your doctor will provide specific instructions on what activities to avoid and when you can resume normal activities.
- Following the Aftercare Plan: It is important to continue following the aftercare plan provided by your doctor, including any medication, ointments, or special instructions in caring for your scalp.
- Monitoring the Healing Process: You should monitor your scalp for any signs of infection or other complications. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice any signs of infection, like increased pain, redness, or discharge from the donor or recipient areas.
- Preparing for the Future: Your doctor may guide you on what to expect in the coming weeks and months, including when to look for new hair growth and what to do if you experience any unexpected complications.
- Maintenance: As we age, it is likely that our hair will continue to thin. Your doctor will advise you on how to slow down this thinning process, so that you can enjoy your new thick head of hair for as long as possible.
The day after an FUE hair transplant surgery is a necessary time to monitor and jumpstart the healing process. Following your doctor’s aftercare plan and taking proper care of your scalp can help ensure a successful recovery and achieve the natural-looking hair growth you desire.
Recovery After Surgery
While we talked about the general timeline of recovery, there are some specifics we should get into to put your mind at ease
What to Expect
- Use of ice packs and cold compresses: Swelling is a common side effect after a hair transplant surgery, and ice packs or cold compresses can help reduce swelling and discomfort. Applying ice packs or cold compresses can also help minimize the risk of bleeding or bruising after the surgery.
- Use of Bandages: Bandages protect the scalp after a hair transplant surgery and promote healing. They can also help reduce swelling and prevent infection. Depending on the doctor’s preference, they may use a specialised compression bandage or wrap to help reduce swelling and promote healing.
- Scabbing and crusting of the scalp: Scabbing and crusting are a normal part of the healing process after a hair transplant surgery. As the scalp heals, the transplanted hairs will begin to grow, and the scabs and crusts will fall off on their own. It is crucial not to pick at or scratch the scabs, as this can cause damage to the newly transplanted follicles. Your doctor may recommend prescribetopical ointment to prevent infection, or a shampoo to help manage the scabbing or crusting and promote healing.
- Antibiotic use: Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection in the donor or recipient area of the scalp. Bacterial infections can occur when bacteria enter incisions or wounds on the scalp, leading to complications and affecting the healing process. Antibiotics prevent or treat these infections by killing the bacteria or preventing them from growing. The specific type of antibiotics prescribed may vary depending on the individual patient and their medical history. Some common antibiotics used after a hair transplant surgery include curam, amoxicillin, cephalexin, or doxycycline.
- Painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug use: In addition to antibiotics, your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter pain medications such as panamol and arcoxia to help manage discomfort or pain after the procedure. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as danzen, ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be recommended to help manage pain and reduce swelling in the scalp.
As with all medications, it is crucial to follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to dosages and any mixing of drugs. If you are experiencing unusual side effects like severe pain or a consistently high fever, you should seek urgent medical attention.
Contact us for your FUE Hair Transplant Treatment
The patient journey for a FUE hair transplant in Singapore includes thorough follow-up appointments and careful aftercare. An experienced doctor can advise your suitability based on your health profile and needs.
With our qualified doctors, SL Aesthetic Clinic can help you get the most out of your treatment . Before a hair transplant, we’ll make sure to do a detailed scalp examination,talk through your options with you and provide you with complete information about the treatment procedures and what to expect.
Contact us today. You can also call us at 6235 3246, or Whatsapp us at 9850 7112.