When Can I Exercise After a Hair Transplant?

Patients often wonder when they are able to resume exercising after a FUE hair transplant. Fitness enthusiasts are eager to get back to their routine post operatively. Most people can safely resume exercising 10-14 days after a FUE Hair Transplant

Risks of exercising after transplant surgery

The two biggest concerns of exercising too soon after a hair transplant include dislodging the grafts and exposing one self to bacterial or fungal pathogens that can cause infection.

Dislodging hair grafts

During the second portion of FUE hair transplant, the harvested follicles are placed into small recipient site openings. These openings are matched carefully to the size of the follicle being placed. Soon after the surgery healing starts and just like a biological glue your scalp tissue starts integrating these follicles into their new location. However it can take many days for these follicles to be anchored securely. During this healing period a rise in systemic blood pressure, or trauma could potentially dislodge the graft. For e.g. lets say you perform a valsalva (bearing down) right before you squat. The increase in systemic blood pressure could be large enough to literally have your newly planted follicular grafts pop out from your scalp. To avoid this complication it is better to hold off on intense weight lifting for 10-14 days after FUE hair transplant

Sweating and Infection

Gyms usually tend to have more bacterial pathogens due to heavy traffic and environment conducive for germs to flourish i.e. heat, sweat and hard to clean equipments. You may have heard about about MRSA outbreaks in training or sports facilities such as the one in this article: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-mrsa-a-silent-danger-lurking-in-nfl-locker-rooms-2013oct18-story.html

Because of this during the post op period, when surgical wounds are still healing, you want to avoid any exposure to these pathogens.

Exercise will also promote increased sweating. Given that for the first few weeks you will not be able to shampoo your head aggressively, this can create an environment conducive for bacteria to thrive putting the patients at an increased risk of post op infections.

Fortunately, scalp infections are very rare, and with basic post op knowledge and compliance, most people will be able to avoid this complication

When Can I Exercise After a Hair Transplant?

Two weeks after an FUE hair transplant, all open surgical wounds have closed, grafts are anchored and normal shampooing has resumed. Most people can return to gym at this time.

Sunlight

The scalp skin harboring surgical incision is particularly sensitive to damage from UV rays in the post transplant period. Transplanted hair follicles lack the melanocyte required to protect them from sun damange. Because of this in the early months exposing scalp to sun can produce damage that can impact the final results. It is recommended to avoid direct sun exposure for extended periods for the first four months.

Sports Requiring Helmet

Patients often participate in sports requiring helmet such as American Football or Lacrosse. For these patients, helmets can be worn after 14 days without any concerns of damaging the implanted follicles.

Managing your Diet After a Hair Transplant

I recommend my patients to eat a diet high in protein (0.8-1g per pound of body weight), and high in anti oxidants (vegetables and colored fruits) to help with healing post operatively.

What If I Have Other More Specific Questions About Post Operative care?

All pre and post operative care is discussed in detail during consultation. If patients have any questions in the post operative period they can contact Dr. Shah directly via email at drshah@bkshair.com.