Does smoking after hair transplant surgery affect hair growth?
Hair transplant is a surgical procedure that is used to treat various levels of androgenic alopecia both in men and women as well. It is such a surgical procedure where the balding areas are covered up by transplanting hair from the donor area (typically the back and sides of the scalp).
This surgical procedure is typically performed in the surgeon’s office under local anesthesia. So patients can typically return home on the same day of undergoing the procedure. The hair transplant procedure can be performed either by following a Follicular unit transplant (FUT) or through Follicular Unit Extract (FUE).
Undergoing a hair transplant procedure is definitely beneficial since it can improve the overall appearance by boosting up the self-confidence and self-esteem. People normally choose to undergo hair transplant procedure to restore hair that is lost.
Now hair loss can occur for a number of reasons like physical stress caused due to illness, accident, injuries, childbirth, use of some birth control pills, pregnancy, scalp infections, hormonal imbalance, poor diet, excessive hair styling and coloring, genetically influenced causes, other miscellaneous issues and finally smoking.
Complications associated with a hair transplant procedure:
Hair transplant is an overall safe procedure which does not involve any serious side effects. Though the success rate of the procedure depends on the experience and skill of the surgeons.
However, hair transplant is a surgical procedure and any surgical procedure would involve certain side effects like bleeding, infection, swelling of the scalp, bruising around eyes, the formation of crusts and scabbing, numbness on the treated area, inflammation, etc.
Fortunately, these are temporary complications and self-resolving. But smoking before or after undergoing the procedure can definitely give rise to certain serious complications.
The connection of smoking with hair loss:
Smoking is definitely harmful to the body and it is not just limited in damaging the lungs, but it creates an adverse effect on the heart and the mouth as well.
Smoking nearly affects every part of the body from brain to the extremities. Therefore it is confirmed that smoking is hazardous and the case becomes even more critical when the person is undergoing any medical procedure including a hair transplant surgery.
So it becomes a challenge for the patients who wish to undergo a hair transplant procedure because the key to success for accomplishing the best results is avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking and do activities that can optimize their health.
Now obviously leading healthy life does not only include quitting to smoke but it also includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle and an exercise routine.
An overall good health is essential for healing after any surgical procedure since the nicotine content of the blood impairs the healing property by disturbing the blood circulation to various parts of the body including the loss of hair follicles.
There are several other studies who have which have been conducted to determine any chances of connection between smoking and hair loss and in a report published in the year 2017, it has been found that people who smoke up to 20 cigarettes a day can trigger moderate to severe hair loss at an advanced age.
However, they failed to find the exact cause behind it but it has been estimated that smoking interferes the blood circulation which may induce the hair shedding.
Understanding the effect of smoking on normal hair, then imaging its adverse effect on the newly transplanted hair is susceptible. Proper blood circulation is very crucial for the growth and development of the transplanted hair follicles. Therefore, a candidate who is a chain-smoker may experience loss of the newly transplanted hair follicles.
In general, it is the best idea to quit smoking both before and after undergoing any surgical procedure, irrespective of the invasiveness of the procedure.
Hair transplant is pretty much an investment of both money and time and the number of hair grafts transplanted is also limited. So, it is very crucial for quitting to smoke both before and after undergoing the procedure in order to complete a safe recovery and obtain best results.
People who are planning to undergo a hair transplant procedure are highly recommended to quit smoking at least three weeks before and after undergoing the procedure.