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 26

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.

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 2 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 30 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

Healing time after hair restoration

This is a great question.

However, you need to know the exact method your surgeon will use for harvesting the hairs.

If the surgeon is doing the strip method, the back of the scalp will be more noticeable and can take up to two weeks to be presentable.

If the surgeon is using FUE (manual FUE, NeoGraft, or Artas robotic system) then the harvest area is presentable in 6-7 days and the recipient site should be presentable in one to two weeks. If the recipient site has not been cut close, then the recipient site should look presentable one or two days after surgery.

How long until you can go out without concern?

Part of your ability to resume regular life depends on how you generally wear your hair and the type of procedure you are having.  For most men, the main concern is the newly grafted areas.  A small scab will be present at the site of the new grafts for 7-10 days. For men that wear their hair a bit longer or are having fewer grafts, these sites can be covered within a few days.  For men that wear their hair shorter, it may take 7-10 days for the scabs to come off and the grafts to be less noticeable.  By 14 days following the procedure you should be confident about being able to go out and not have any noticeable signs of the procedure.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Social recovery

Of course,the case itself and the method of the hair transplantation is very important for 'social recovery'.

For FUE Method 10 days later you will go out public without any noticeable traces.With a hat on its even possible in 3-4 days.On the other hand you will still have short hair.

For FUT Method if your hair is long enough its possible to go out in public in 3-4 days and there will be no noticeable traces.

For minor cases such as 1500-1600 grafts it's even faster.Just a day after you will be ready to go out in public.

Ilker Apaydin, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

10-14 days after surgery you can go in public

Consider non surgical methods such as Rogaine for now. There are many methods of hair transplantation.  Wanted them RFUE and another can be a surgical flap.  Grafts can be taken with as few as one hair follicle or multiple follicles.  The quality of the hair, the number of follicles per unit and the location in which the hair is to be placed are all important determinants in the final result.  While it is a common misconception that hair can and should be taken from any location, taking appropriate hair from an appropriate location is key to success.  For instance, one cannot always use hair from a beard to replace a frontal hairline.  The orientation in which Harris placed is also important.  If the frontal hairline is being created then it is important to make sure that hairs are aligned in the correct orientation.  The way the hair is also laid down, for example a staggered pattern versus a straight line will also change the quality of the result.  You should certainly visit with a surgeon who does many of these types of transplantations as well as offers multiple options for hair restoration.  The cost can vary by geographic locale.  In general they can arrange from $7000-$25,000.  When you go over consultation ask for before and after photographs.

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.