I had FUE Neograft Hair Transplant 3 days ago, and woke up gently scratching my head. Have I ruined everything?

I had the FUE neograft hair transplant procedure done this past Thursday. I've been following all my post op care very carefully. I was told after 48 hours to remove the bandage and dressing around the donor site and begin applying bacitracin. Everything has been fine, but last night (Saturday night/Sunday morning), I woke up in the middle of the night gently scratching the top of my head (where grafts have been placed). Did I just ruin everything??

Doctor Answers 13

Scratching early after my hair transplant... Have I ruin everything?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
I am sorry that you are having issues about your procedure and thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

Itching is a normal part of healing after your procedure. Once the transplant has happened, the body glues the new grafts in place. Aggressive scratching may dislodge the little tiny sprouts of hair. If you did something to rough, you should have seeing the little transplants in your fingernails. Otherwise, you should be ok. Losing 100 grafts here and there is not significant in the big picture of a mega transplant.

Finally, make sure that your doctor is aware of your process. He should be able to guide you best in your care.

Wishing you the best in your journey

Scratching after hair transplant

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The main reasons that scratching is a potential concern are the possible introduction of infection and the actual mechanical destruction of transplanted hairs (grafts).
Infection is rare after hair transplantation and if your hands are clean  it would seem unlikely to me that  you have raised the risk of infection significantly.
By three days after transplantation the grafts are relatively secure and would require reasonably vigorous scratching to dislodge them.  If you didn't actually get bleeding, nor see any obvious grafts come out, it is likely that you have not done any significant damage to your transplant.

Daniel Berg, MD
Seattle Dermatologic Surgeon

Itching after NeoGraft Transplant

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This is a common question I get with my patients. The natural inclination is to scratch when you feel an itch! When you are sleeping, it becomes extremely difficult (near impossible) for you to control this tendency to scratch. 

While light scratching likely will not harm the outcome of your procedure, it is important to understand why we recommend to refrain from scratching. First, it does increase the risk of infection if you expose bacteria to your scalp. Aggressive scratching can also interfere with the transplants as well. These are especially important the first few days after your procedure.

If you are concerned for either of these, I would recommend following up with your NeoGraft physician so they can better evaluate you.

Vu Ho, MD
Plano Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Scratching after hair transplant

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your questions. Scratching after your transplant is a normal occurrence. As long as you don't see bleeding, etc. you are probably fine. A copper calming spray can help reduce the itching. Try and be patient. If you have any questions make an appointment to get in with the physician who performed the procedure. Best of luck.

I had FUE Neograft Hair Transplant 3 days ago, and woke up gently scratching my head. Have I ruined everything?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If there is no bleeding and hair grafts on your sheets or pillow, I would think you have not harmed the grafts. Try extra hard not to disturb the grafts, although at 3 days they are probably pretty secure. At one week you can do almost anything. No exercising with your head down for 10 days though. Thank you for your question, and best of luck.

Scratching your head

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
This is a good question, and also quite common. From what I have seen from similar cases, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. As long as you didn't see any actual grafts come out, you most likely have not done any damage to the transplant site....and you definitely did not just ruin everything.I always recommend follow-ups with your doctor and make sure to bring this up during your follow-up to just be sure that everything is doing great. I hope this helps.

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Post Op NeoGraft

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It seems that you were scratching during your sleep - an unconscious reaction to the irritation or "itching" feeling caused by NeoGraft. If you were gently scratching, then you probably did not ruin the progress of your procedure, however, you may be able to see the extent of the damages on your pillow or on your bed. I suggest you contact your surgeon for a follow-up appointment and follow the recovery guidelines diligently.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Scratching the recipient area

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
if you just scratched the area without removing any of the grafts with the follicles attached, then there is nothing to worry about. 

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It is unlikely that you ruined a hair transplant by scratching.  It is wise to be cautious, but common sense prevails.  It is a good idea to rinse daily and sometimes spraying the itch with water helps.  If any concerns check with your doctor.

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Itching after Neograft

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question.  Itching is a normal part of natural healing.  You likely did not do any damage if you did not find any grafts laying about.  Having said that, losing one or two grafts here and there is fine, and you will likely never know the difference.  If you continue to have aggressive itching and any oozing, you should check back with your physician whom performed the procedure, as this may be a sign of infection.

Best of luck.

Jesse E. Smith, MD, FACS
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

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.