How Long After Hair Transplant Surgery Can One Comfortably Go out in Public?

Obviously anyone considering a hair transplant procedure is hoping to improve their outward appearance, but for those of us hoping to do so with discretion without calling attention I'm wondering how soon thereafter can one go out in public without concealing surgery (i.e. wearing a hat) or without visible traces?

Doctor Answers 30


Well, if you have FUE you will have the back of your head shaved with probably no visible marks in a week.  Strip method you will not shave back of head but be left with a permanent scar running across back of your head.  Donor site can be hidden well with longer hair - perhaps immediately.  However, in about 7 to 10 days the scabs at donor site should be gone.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Hair Transplant Recovery Time

You can usually go out in public 3-7 days after hair transplantation. The wide variation is mostly dependent on the amount of hair at the recipient site before surgery, swelling, bruising, and scabbing. Because recovery is highly dependent on the specific patient, an experienced hair transplant surgeon will be able to guide you during your initial evaluation. From El Paso.

You can go out in public the same day.

You can go out in public the same day.  You can wear a hat and it should be fine.  Without a hat, it would depend on if you have enough hair to cover over the transplanted hairs.  In general it takes about 2 weeks for scabs and redness to go away.  Not all patients have swelling.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

How Long After Hair Transplant Surgery Can One Comfortably Go out in Public?

If you have FUE hair transplant, then most likely you would have had the back and sides of your head shaved down. The tiny little holes in the donor heal remarkably fast within 24-48 hours, but obviously your hair does not grow that fast! So if you are happy to have the 'shaved' look for a while, you may feel comfortable being seen after 2 days or so
If you have strip FUT hair transplant, then most likely the site where the donor was taken from will be completely hidden with your existing hair above it. This means that the site is completely hidden immediately after the operation and no one can tell
With both the above methods however, you will have tiny little crusts in the recipient area, probably thousands of them, that you may or may not be able to hide dependent on the amount of pre-existent hair you can style over them. If you cannot hide this area with hair, then expect them to be visible for 1-2 weeks after the hair transplant procedure

Bessam Farjo, MBChB
Manchester Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

How long before you can go out in public without anyone noticing?

As little as 7-10 days, though sometimes longer,  depending upon several things: 

  • How visible the transplanted area is, and how much surrounding hair there is to camouflage it.

  • How much your skin reacts to the surgery--some people's scalps stay redder longer.  Normally, 7 to 10 days should be sufficient healing time for the recipient area. In extreme cases, it may take 10-14 days until the scalp looks back to normal again. 

  • How visible the donor harvesting is.  Immediately following strip surgery by an experienced surgeon, a person who wears his hair more than half an inch long typically has little or no change in the appearance of the back and sides of the head, since the shaved area is gone and the incision (and the remaining linear scar) is covered by the overlying hair; thus, the donor area can be presentable from day one. For someone who wears his hair very short and has an FUE procedure, the donor area should be sufficiently healed to pass for normal in a week or two. If you wear your hair long, and for some reason decide to have FUE surgery, you would either need to shave any other hair on the rest of your head to match the back of your head, or wait until the shaved donor area catches up to the rest of your head.

  • Whether or not you develop any swelling. Though this is a much less common  occurrence than it used to be, some people – particularly those who have had a lot of grafts placed in the hairline zone –  will  experience swelling in the forehead and occasionally down the bridge of the nose and around the eyes, sometimes with bruising. This typically appears on post-op day 3, gets a little worse on day 4 & 5, and resolves over the next few days. 

Jonathan Ballon, MD
Atlanta Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Neograft Recovery and Downtime

This is primarily dependent on the patients comfort level of being seen in public. Each patient will have a pressure dressing applied to the donor area which is to be worn for 2 days. Hats are not to be worn for 2 days either. Once the pressure dressing has been removed patients may wear a loose fitting, breathable hat. Some patients experience moderate swelling of the forehead once the pressure dressing has been removed. Most patients can return to work after 3 days.

David L. Robbins, MD, FACS
West Des Moines Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Post op after hair transplant

Usually the first ten days the scabs are visible. We usually give our patients a post op regiment to make the wound and the recipient area heal faster.  If our clients follow direction, then within two weeks they don't need to conceal the surgery, however, there are cases where patients are reluctant to touch and clean the transplanted areas and therefore the scabs remain longer.  We like to see our patients three weeks after the procedure to clean any remaining scabs, if needed.  

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Downtime associated with Hair Restoration

As a general guideline, we tend to advise our patients to plan on 3-7 days of downtime. Every patient is different in how quickly they recover and what they are comfortable with before returning to the public eye. With the type of Neograft FUE procedure that we use, we find most patients return to their social activities around Day 3-4.

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Right AWAY with FUE!

This is one of our most common questions. 

With the old "strip" surgery there was downtime that was needed. However, with the new FUE procedure and our technique we have people returning back to work that next morning. There is very little downtime and pain free. The FUE procedure does not leave a scar, stitches or sutures and it is not visible to the average eye. Saying this we have patients who return right back to work and no one asking them why they were out. It is very easy to be undetected. 

Good Luck.

Arthur Katona, MD
Oak Brook Hair Restoration Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.