Although our country is one that promotes multitasking, efficiency, and timeliness (who else is guilty of ordering take-out on your phone while simultaneously doing laundry, working on the computer, and watching Netflix? We see you), we also enjoy children’s stories cautioning against rushing into things (remember the Tortoise and the Hare?). Some things, however, are just too good to wait on—but hair transplant surgery isn’t one of them.
Once you have decided to undergo surgery, the excitement about returning to a full mane can lead to delirium. This is especially true if you have been battling hair loss for a long period of time. After you’ve talked to your doctor and made your decision, you’ll want to consider a few things before you make your appointment.
There is a right time and a wrong time to get a hair transplant.
Much like winter is the easiest time to recover from plastic surgery, there is a right and a wrong time for hair transplant surgery. Depending upon where you will be recovering, your daily routine, and the current season, your ideal time may be drastically different than your neighbor’s.
Since hair transplant surgery is largely an outpatient procedure that is completed within a few hours, the main concern is recovery. Like most other surgeries, the incision needs to be kept clean and free from infection. The first two weeks are crucial to healing. Within six to eight weeks your routine will have returned to normal, and your results will be fully visible within a year.
To ensure the recovery process is the easiest possible, we’ve compiled a timeline with the benefits and downfalls to recovery in each season:
Especially in Oklahoma, summers can be brutal with temperatures soaring well into the 100s—making things hot and miserable. Many families take vacations to new destinations or spend their weekends camping, fishing, and swimming out on the lake. It isn’t uncommon for some days to be especially windy, either, since summer sees the end of tornado season.
Pros: A lot of foods that encourage strong hair growth are plentiful in the summer, including apricots, watermelon, avocados, and berries. While hair growth won’t be tremendously impacted by your diet choices following a transplant surgery, even the smallest changes help. If you vacation to a cooler climate, you can use the time to give your hair a break from the hot temperatures. If you are one to experience extreme shedding following surgery—which is normal but doesn’t occur for everyone—you may be out of the office so no one notices.
Cons: The heat is not your friend. In addition to drying out your hair, your scalp can become sunburned. The incision site may become infected if you don’t avoid public pools of water for at least the first six weeks or until the site heals. On windy days, your hair needs to be protected with an adjustable cap. Excessive washing and styling to combat sweating can strip your scalp of essential oils. Your vacation plans may be interrupted with return trips to the doctor to check-up and remove your stitches, not to mention minor levels of pain.
Autumn in Oklahoma is best described as spring in reverse: the soaring temperatures slowly begin to plummet, before dropping off around October. Storms are somewhat common leading into winter, and it’s back to school and work for most.
Pros: The change in temperature means your scalp has less to worry about: if you’re not sweating or exposed to direct sunlight, it gets a break. Foods that encourage growth are still relatively easy to find, like peanuts, whole grains, and pumpkin seeds. If you celebrate Halloween, your incisions could be used as part of a cool costume. And, due to the projected recovery time, your locks will be ready for debut along with the flowers in spring!
Cons: The drastic change in weather could be a shock to your locks if not cared for properly. If you return to work soon after surgery, your coworkers are likely to notice the incision scar and scabbing. Shedding may also be noticeable. You’ll need to keep a hat or sunscreen on hand if the weather changes too quickly for your hair to be protected.
Just like summers soar into high temperatures, winters in Oklahoma tend to plummet below freezing with a short period of mild weather both before and after. Snowfall can range from a few flakes to a small blizzard, and freezing wind isn’t uncommon.
Pros: Due to it being the holiday season, you will likely be spending time at home—perfect for recovery. With the cold weather, exercise is limited to short gym sessions that won’t endanger your recovery. You won’t have to worry about your scalp being sunburnt, and the cooler temperatures provide a relief from over-washing your hair and scalp.
Cons: The cold weather will take a toll on your strands: the cold, dry air sucks the moisture out of their strands, making them susceptible to breakage. Snowfall and other moisture still present a risk of infection to the incision site, and beneficial foods are in shorter supply. While vitamins may help keep your body healthy, there is also a risk of too much vitamin A that leads to weak hair.
With the snow melting, the flowers growing, and the sun coming out, it’s hard to be unhappy in spring. The temperatures stay relatively mild, although there are frequent thunderstorms with heavy rainfall. Wind comes sweeping down the plain, and weekends are usually spent enjoying the outdoors.
Pros: The foods you (and your hair) love so much are back—salmon, seafood, broccoli, and spinach. The moisture in the air makes it easier to style your hair without damaging it. Since the weather is just starting to lighten up, you don’t have to worry about venturing too far from your doctor’s office for check-ups. The start of the new year could be a new start for you!
Cons: The rain and wind pose minor threats to your incision sight until it’s healed, and require extra precaution. Unless you vacation during Spring Break to heal, most likely your co-workers will be privy to your procedure. Once the season starts warming up, your scalp may become sensitive to the sun and require sunscreen. Finally, your new hair growth won’t be visible until closer to the fall and winter seasons, leaving you bare on top for the vacation season.
You’ll have a bad time if … While each season has its drawbacks, there are some things to consider regardless of when you receive your hair transplant surgery. To ensure the best possible experience, try to avoid:
- Getting a transplant too soon is possible. If you’re too young and you haven’t fully completed your hair loss cycle, you may require multiple hair transplant surgeries to correct the damage done.
- Pregnancy or any other underlying medical condition can have a tremendous effect on how your hair grows. Be sure to disclose any conditions and medications to your doctor before scheduling the surgery.
- Outside factors like extreme amounts of stress or scalp resistance can be contributing to the weakening and loss of your hair. This surgery is to improve the new you—you don’t want to waste it!
Although a hair transplant surgery is largely cosmetic, it is still a serious surgery. For the best recovery, carefully consider recovery time and how it may impact your lifestyle before scheduling your surgery date. If you have questions or concerns about hair transplants, contact us! We’d love to help you.