When can I go swimming after a hair transplant?
By Prof. Dr. Soner Tatlidede 2019-12-05
Can I go swimming after a hair transplant? How long after my hair surgery can I exercise? Thanks to the prices of hair in Istanbul, more and more people is going every day to Turkey to get a hair transplant; many of them exercise regularly, so these are very common questions among both patients and people thinking of receiving a transplant.
In fact, a hair transplant is a surgical operation, after all; so it requires subsequent care and we must respect both deadlines and precautions before resuming our normal activity. Maybe you like to swim, or going for a run, or you just like going to the gym and do some weight training; whatever is the case, we will explain in this article what activities can be done, when can be done, and how must be done to avoid any harm for your new hair.
How long after a hair transplant can I exercise?
After a hair transplant with FUE technique, the implanted area will be covered by thousands of micro incisions where new follicles would have been implanted; these tiny incisions must heal before we can do any physical activity that requires an effort. Usually after 10 to 15 days after the surgery the healing process will have finished, so there is no risk for the new follicles and you can do exercise after that period, provided that it´s of low or moderate intensity.
It´s important to underline that in case you start doing exercise after your hair transplant, it must not involve excessive sweating or any contact with the head, as this would increase the risk of infection or injuries to the new implanted follicles. E.g., two weeks after the operation we can go for a run or do some weight training in the gym, but at moderate level. And after a month has passed, we can resume our normal physical activity as usual.
In addition, we should avoid the sun from directly hitting our head during the first month after the operation, as sun's rays can damage the grafts. Besides, do not forget that during the first 1-2 weeks you won´t be able to wear any hat to cover your head, or any other garment that may cause pressure on the operated area.
Can I go swimming after a hair transplant?
Some doctors think that in certain cases there is no problem for your hair if you go swimming 15 days after your surgery, as the healing process would have ended at that time; however, the general recommendation is that you should avoid going swimming during at least one month after the operation, due to the presence of chlorine and other substances in the water. This is especially important if you suffer from dermatitis, as chlorine may aggravate it, indeed.
It is also not advisable going to a sauna or spa during a minimum of a month after the hair transplant. Also, do not forget that these recommendations and timelines also apply to sea water, since salt cause harm to the implanted follicles by drying them.
Does chlorine affect hair?
As we mentioned before, chlorine is harmful to the skin and follicles because it dries them. Besides, chlorine eliminates natural oils that protect the bulb, therefore hair becomes more fragile and it eventually may fall out. In summary, chlorinated water is a major cause of damage to our hair.
So, in order to avoid any harm to our new grafts, besides taking into account the aforementioned timelines, a good practice to protect both our scalp and our new hair after a transplant is to wet it and apply a hair conditioner (and don´t rinse your hair) before bathing in a pool: by doing this, we create a protection layer over our hair that prevents it from being attacked by chlorine.
What about swimming caps? Well, the truth is that as long as we don´t use it during the first weeks after the operation, using a swimming cap for the pool contributes to create another barrier to protect our recently implanted follicles from chlorine action, so our recommendation is to use it.
And for last but not least, always wash your hair and rinse it after bathing in a swimming pool, since we´ll need to eliminate as soon as possible any chlorine remnant in both the scalp or the hair to avoid its chemical action on our skin and follicles. And... do not forget that all these aforementioned advices are also applicable for saltwater pools, as they may not use chlorine, but surely other chemicals maybe present in the water.
Other things to be done after a hair transplant procedure
In addition to the already mentioned advices and recommendations, let us remember you other useful tips that you should not forget after getting a hair transplant procedure:
- Wash your head delicately and with a gentle massage without rubbing it, and use a neutral PH shampoo.
- Do not touch or apply pressure on the grafted area during the first 1-2 weeks after the operation, and do not use caps, hats or other clothing to cover your head.
- Do not drink alcohol or smoke during the first two days after your surgery, as they may cause bleeding. For the same reason, avoid medications such as aspirin.
- Do not perform sudden movements with your head during the first days after the operation, or any other action that generates tensions in your scalp.
- All advices regarding physical activity (avoid excessive efforts, excessive sweating, and so on) or for example about not touching your head, are also applicable to sexual activity.
Anyway, our main recommendation is always to follow the medical guidelines of the doctor that performed your hair transplant, as he/she is the most appropriate person to tell you when you can go swim or do another exercise. And of course, always choose a trustable clinic with experienced and skilled professionals, like our Hair Transplant Centre in Istanbul, Turkey. Contact us now for your treatment, or use or online consultation service, totally free.