Swimming After Hair Transplant Surgery: Patient Guidelines

August 15, 2018 — by Robert True
Tags: Hair Restoration Recovery

Snorkeling in the ocean during summerIn case you haven’t noticed from the heat and the humidity, we’re in the muggy part of summer. When the air is so thick and sticky out, nothing says relief like a dip in the pool or a quick wade in a body of water. However, if you’ve undergone hair transplant surgery, you will want to wait on taking a dip.

Our New York, NY hair transplant surgeons understand that great results from hair loss treatment are dependent on proper aftercare. With that in mind, let’s look at the risks of swimming too soon after hair restoration surgery. We’ll consider the dangers of pools, the ocean, and fresh water, and offer some general timelines on when you can finally take a refreshing plunge.

Giving Your Hair Grafts Time to Heal

After hair transplant surgery, it’s important to make sure your hair grafts heal properly. Disturbances to the hair grafts early on can lead to problems with hair growth and hair density down the line. Because of this, it’s important that you not subject your scalp to unnecessary stress, or expose the hair grafts to harmful substances.

Given all of this, it’s important for patients to avoid swimming until they’ve been cleared to do so by their hair surgeon.

The Dangers of Chlorinated Water

Chlorinated water may help keep bacteria and viruses in the water under control, but they could have a ruinous impact on your grafts. There is some evidence that chlorinated water damages hair grafts following surgery. Rather than risking the results of surgery, it’s best to abstain from the pool.

The Dangers of the Ocean and Fresh Water

Fresh water has a number of potential contaminants in it, making the risk of post-surgical infection quite high. In the past, some surgeons would have recommended a dip in the ocean not long after surgery since the salt water was thought to improve healing; however, the ocean is not as clean as it used to be. Like pools, patients need to stay away from lakes, rivers, and oceans for a little bit.

When Can I Return to the Pool?

Generally, patients should avoid swimming in pools for two to four weeks after surgery. This will give the hair grafts and donor portion of the scalp ample time to heal. The chlorine won’t damage the grafts once a few weeks have passed.

When Can I Swim in a Lake or the Ocean?

As far as returning to fresh water or saltwater for a swim, patients are recommended to wait until the scabs along the scalp have all fallen off on their own. By this time, the scalp will be healed enough to avoid infection from a simple dip in the lake or the ocean.

Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions for Proper Aftercare

As with any kind of surgery, it’s important that you follow your surgeon’s instructions closely. Before you head in for a swim, be sure to ask your surgeon if it’s okay first. These topics and others can be discussed during followup visits at the practice, which will help ensure problem-free recovery and positive overall restoration outcomes.

Contact True & Dorin Medical Group

For more information about hair transplant surgery and how you can have a full and healthy head of hair again, be sure to contact our hair restoration surgery specialists. We are here to help you regain your confidence, look younger, and feel more vibrant.