Reasons Why You Should Stop Smoking Before and After Hair Transplant

Reasons Why You Should Stop Smoking Before and After Hair Transplant

We will not start by telling you the hazards of smoking on your health since we assume you are already aware of it.

But did you know that smoking before and after hair transplant is one of the main reasons that puts the success of the operation at stake and leads to its failure?

Yes, you heard it right!

Smoking and hair transplant cannot fit under one roof and that is because of the effects associated with smoking. Its damages go beyond increasing bleeding or interfering with the effect of anesthesia during the operation. 

Hair transplant experts are keen to provide tips and instructions after hair transplantation, including avoiding smoking.

In this article, we will reveal the negative effects of smoking either before or after hair transplant. We will also talk about when you should stop smoking and for how long.

At the end of this article, you will realize that refraining from smoking for a couple of weeks is worth it after all.

Smoking Before and After Hair Transplant: What Does It Do to Your Hair?

Smoking has a two-fold effect on hair transplant either during or after the operation.

During the operation, it could prolong the duration of the surgery and afterward it has many negative effects on hair growth and the scalp.

Here are the reasons why you should stop smoking before and after hair transplant:

Effects of Smoking Before Hair Transplant

If you don’t stop smoking before hair transplant you run the risk of:

1. Excessive Bleeding
Smoking before hair transplant increases the risk of excessive bleeding during the operation due to the nicotine content. 
As a result, the duration of the operation is extended which increases the time hair grafts are kept outside. Grafts must not be left outside the scalp for more than 6 hours.

2. Hindering the Effect of Anesthesia
Another risk associated with smoking is the interference with the effect of anesthesia. Normally, smokers don’t get numbed quickly that’s why it could take more time for the scalp to be numbed.

So, if you don’t want to experience any pain, we urge you to stop smoking at least 2 weeks before the operation.

Effects of Smoking After Hair Transplant 

Continuing smoking after hair transplant is even riskier than before the operation. You will be compromising the results of hair transplant and the survival of the new grafts.

These are the potential consequences associated with smoking after the operation:

1. Poor Blood Circulation

The nicotine present in cigarettes or hookah hardens and narrows the blood vessels. Consequently, this results in poor blood circulation and reduces the amount of blood that reaches grafts.

Since graft survival is dependent on the nutrients it receives from blood, a shortage of blood causes the grafts to wilt and eventually die.

2. Smoking Reduces Oxygen

Smoking increases the amount of carbon monoxide which decreases the amount of oxygen in the blood.  Less oxygen in the blood slows down the wound-healing process.

When the incisions on the scalp take a long time to heal due to lack of blood and oxygen it results in infection. Making it easy for microbes and particles to penetrate the skin.

Moreover, if the skin and wounds take too long to heal, scabs will stay on the scalp longer covering the grafts. This increases the chances of developing scars.

3. Necrosis

Necrosis is when the tissues in the skin die due to a lack of blood supply. As we have mentioned above, toxins in cigarettes disrupt blood circulation; thus, insufficient blood is flowing into the scalp causing the cells to die.  

Skin Death (Necrosis) After Hair Transplant

You might also be interested in reading more about: The Dangers of Sunlight After Hair Transplant

Recommended Time to Quit Smoking Before and After Hair Transplant

In an ideal world, we would like to see everyone quit smoking. However, we are not asking you to quit smoking forever because that’s up to you. But you must refrain from smoking for a few weeks before and after hair transplant. 

We advise our patients to stop smoking at least 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after hair transplant. However, if you are a heavy smoker and cannot stop for 2 weeks then we recommend you avoid it for at least 1 week. 

But remember, if you’re looking to achieve a successful outcome and don’t want to risk your grafts you must try hard. 

How Can I Quit Smoking Before and After Hair Transplant?

It would be great if a month before the operation your start cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. 

When your surgery is approaching, you will find it easy to avoid smoking for the recommended period.

You can also consult your doctor to prescribe a medication that can help you reduce smoking slowly. This is a proven way with some patients, and it worked very well. 

Finally, keep yourself busy with more important things and try to avoid going to areas where you will be tempted to smoke. 

Especially if you come to Turkey for hair transplant it’s easy to find hookah cafes everywhere and you might want to try. 

But always put in mind that you came all this way for a specific goal and that is to restore your hair. So, is it worth your efforts and all that money you paid for one or two cigarettes?!

Even mild smoking after hair transplant could affect your results adversely so don’t underestimate it and completely avoid smoking.

Replacing Traditional Cigarettes with E-Cigarettes

Many people think that if they switch to vaping after hair transplant or use e-cigarettes instead it’s less harmful.

In fact, all types of cigarettes and hookah including electronic ones such as vaping and hookah pens are prohibited before and after hair transplant.

Electronic cigarettes, even if they contain less nicotine, they still affect the results of hair transplants negatively. 

Whether the effect is mild or not you must not switch to them believing it causes less harm. 

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