How To Prepare for Your Hair Transplant Procedure

Once you and your doctor have determined that you are a candidate for either FUT or FUE surgical hair restoration, you may be somewhat apprehensive. By learning all you can about hair restoration, you will be more confident as you prepare for surgery. This webpage will serve as a guide to prepare you for hair transplant surgery.

Following Instructions

Usually during or immediately following the medical evaluation the surgeon or consultant will review all of the necessary pre-operation instructions with the patient. On the following pages are some of the common guidelines used by doctors to acquaint you with important considerations regarding hair restoration surgery.

The importance of listening to your doctor’s instructions and following the pre- and post-operation guidelines that you will be given cannot be minimized.

The following section is not intended to replace the medical advice or instructions given by your surgeon or hair trans-plant consultant. These are not exhaustive lists; rather they serve as a review of the general guidelines you need to follow prior to undergoing hair restoration surgery.

Prior to surgery, as we mentioned earlier, lab work may need to be completed. Some surgeons offer lab services on the premises of their facilities. Others will ask you to visit a reputable medical laboratory nearby.  

It is important to provide any medical information and test results required by the surgeon to enable your hair surgeon to make important medical decisions and to ensure the quality and safety of your medical care.

Have Questions? Ask Us Here...

In the two weeks prior to surgery

It is essential to avoid being sunburned in the two weeks prior to surgery. Your surgeon will also advise you to avoid vigorous exercise, including running or lifting weights, for the week preceding surgery. Such activity may lead to increased bleeding during surgery.

Medications and supplements

It is important to inform your hair restoration surgeon about every vitamin, nutritional supplement, over-the-counter medication and prescription drug you may be currently taking. Your doctor must also know if you are using any illicit or recreational drugs, e.g. marijuana, cocaine, “club drugs,” and so forth. This is vital information to share with your doctor because he or she must be prepared to address potential drug interactions and make critical decisions relating to your surgery to ensure your safety, comfort and healing.

Your surgeon will instruct you to stop taking substances that thin the blood in the 7 days prior to surgery. Some of the common items to avoid include aspirin and products containing aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen® and Naproxen®, Vitamin E and multiple vitamins which contain Vitamin E, Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba and garlic pills. Tylenol and other paracetamol-based drugs are usually permitted.

If you are on any prescribed medications, you must inform the surgeon of these and confirm that you have conferred with the prescribing physician as to whether the drug or drugs should be continued or temporarily stopped prior to the surgery.

Alcohol and nicotine

Alcohol or nicotine may cause unnecessary problems during and after the operation. Be cautious.

While it is always advisable to limit alcohol consumption, you will be asked to not drink alcoholic beverages for 7 days prior to surgery since alcohol thins the blood and causes more bleeding.

Smokers tend to heal more slowly and occasionally more poorly, due to impaired blood circulation resultant from nicotine.

Minoxidil and hair products

If you are using Rogaine® (Minoxidil) your surgeon may advise you to discontinue its use three days prior to surgery. It is not necessary to stop the use of Propecia®.

Hair color and/or permanent wave (perm) processes must be performed no later than two days before surgery. Some doc-tors recommend this be done one to two weeks prior to surgery. Patients may begin to color/perm their hair a minimum of two weeks after their surgical procedure.

Procedure confirmation

It should be standard procedure for your surgeon’s office to call and confirm your surgical appointment. If not, be sure to con-firm your surgery a few days before your scheduled procedure.


Because a mild sedative and local anesthetic used during surgery, you will not be able to drive yourself home following your surgical procedure, or for 24 hours afterwards. It is therefore necessary to arrange transportation to and from the clinic.

Patients living more than a 90-minute drive from the surgical facility should arrange for overnight accommodations nearby. In most cases, the surgeon’s office will be pleased to provide recommendations for hotels in the vicinity.

The day of surgery

On the morning of your hair transplant procedure, shampoo your hair with an anti-bacterial shampoo such as Hibiclens (Chlorhexidine).   Do not use any other hair products such as hair gel, hairspray, or mousse.

Wear a shirt that unbuttons completely down the front. Do not wear any garment with a close-fitting neck that would be difficult to put on or remove over your head. Wear comfortable clothes, as you will be seated for several hours. Bring a clean hat such as a baseball cap with you that you can wear afterwards. A close-fitting beanie is not recommended.

Before arriving at your surgeon’s clinic, eat a light meal and take prescribed medications as normal. It is important to have an adequate blood sugar level and enough food in your stomach to absorb your medication. You may also be given a light snack during the procedure to maintain your blood sugar levels.

This advice may seem contrary to what has been directed before by other surgeries. This is because hair transplantation is a minor surgery, with only a local anesthetic administered. Patients are most often required to fast only before undergoing surgeries that require general anesthesia.

You may also be asked to avoid coffee, tea and any other beverages or foods containing caffeine. Caffeine, like nicotine, is a stimulant.

Finally, arrive promptly at the requested time, to settle any outstanding payment and sign the surgery consent form. Most surgical hair restoration practices require an initial deposit or full payment to be paid prior to surgery.

By following the suggested guidelines that are outlined throughout this chapter you will have added peace of mind and ensure a safer and more comfortable surgery.

See Also:
Understanding Hair Transplants
Follicular Unit Hair Transplants
Follicular Unit Extraction
Typical Procedure in Eight Steps
Frontal Hair Transplants
Crown Hair Transplants
Facial Hair Transplants
Hair Transplants for Women
Eyebrow Hair Restoration
HT Questions & Answers
Patient Reviews
In-Depth Hair Transplant Info