Can I Wear a Hat After a Hair Transplant?

Wearing a hat after having had a hair transplant procedure can be very tempting. Your head will be covered in puncture marks from the extracted and transplanted follicles and you’d rather not show yourself in public like that. But there are several factors to consider before you slap on that hat to disguise your recent hair restoration. Below we go over the post-op instructions for our Nashville Hair Doctor patients specifically with regards to wearing a hat.

When is it safe to wear a hat after a hair transplant? You should absolutely not wear a hat directly after a hair transplant procedure. Your provider will give you post-op instructions with a list of things to do and avoid after your hair transplant, and it is important to make sure you follow the given advice. We advise all our patients that hats are strictly forbidden for the first 3 days after their procedure. 

After 3 days there are still restrictions on some hats, but not all of them. Here is a timeline for which type of hat can be worn at what time after a hair transplant procedure:

  • 0-3 Days: Don’t wear any hats or ballcaps for the first 3 days to allow the scabs to solidify. 
  • After 3 Days: You may now start wearing a very loose-fitting, adjustable baseball cap; loose-fitting bucket hats are also a good option.
  • After 7 Days: You can now wear any hat as normal, including a beanie; exception: helmets.
  • After 10 Days: You can resume wearing any type of hat, including motorcycle helmets. Some practices recommend waiting up to 6 weeks before donning a helmet again, just to be absolutely safe. 

What happens if you wear a hat after a hair transplant?

Your recovery after a hair transplant begins with your hair follicles needing to “anchor” themselves to their new locations in the scalp. This takes up to 10 days, with the first 3 days being the most crucial. Any type of premature tugging or compression can damage the hair follicles so that new hair won’t grow in that spot.

If you wear a hat, particularly a tight-fitting hat, this can cause tugging and pressuring the transplant areas, which could potentially dislodge some of the transplanted grafts. This in turn could lead to bald patches appearing in those areas later, once your growth cycles set in. To avoid this, it is recommended to diligently follow all post-op instructions with regards to hat wearing.

This might not be intuitive, but the same goes for clothing. For the first week after your hair transplant, avoid pulling any tight-fitting garments like sweaters over your head. Opt instead for zip-up jackets or button-up shirts.

When Is it safe to wash my hair after a hair transplant?

Many patients are very anxious about washing their hair after a hair transplant, but it is actually very straight-forward. Our Nashville Hair Doctor team has put together the following tips for washing your hair after a hair transplant:

  1. Do not wash your hair for the first 48 hours (2 days) after the procedure. You may take a shower but make sure to keep your hair dry.
  2. Starting on Day 3 you may wash your hair, but be very gentle so as not to dislodge any grafts. The best method to achieve this is to put a little shampoo (we prefer baby shampoo) in the bottom of a cup, fill it up with water, and then pour the bubbly solution over your head while gently massaging your head. Add more water to the cup to rinse.
  3. Do not let your head go directly under the shower head. A lot of shower heads pack a powerful punch that could damage the follicles.
  4. If any scabs remain after 7 days, you can apply conditioner to the recipient region. Gently massage in a circular motion to help encourage the scabs to fall off.
  5. After two weeks, you may return to your former hair products and hair washing routine.

Learn more about how to wash your hair after a hair transplant.

What else should I avoid after a hair transplant?

We’ve covered when it is safe to wear a hat after a hair transplant and what kind of hats are preferable at each stage. We’ve also covered how to wash your hair. Additional important topics are how to prevent swelling, how to sleep, and dealing with sun exposure after a hair transplant.

You will find comprehensive coverage of these and more topics as well as a detailed list of “Do’s & Dont’s” after a hair transplant in our Recovery Guide for Making Your Hair Transplant a Success. If you have any questions at any stage of your recovery, please contact Nashville Hair Doctor and we will be happy to help.

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