What is the Connection Between Smoking and Hair Transplant?

smoking and hair transplant

Smoking and hair transplant don’t work together and that’s due to the serious complications it can cause. Smoking can seriously impair the healing process and increase your risk of infection – not to mention the other harmful effects it has on your final results.

So if you’re serious about getting a hair transplant, quitting smoking should be one of your top priorities. Here are some of the impacts of smoking on hair transplant results and when you should stop it.

How does smoking affect hair transplants?

Smoking has a number of negative effects on the body, and hair transplant patients are no exception. Studies have shown that smokers are more likely to experience post-operative complications such as infection and poor wound healing.

In addition, smoking can reduce the success of the hair transplant procedure in different ways. So, let’s talk about some of the effects of smoking before and after hair transplant:

How does smoking before a hair transplant affect the surgery?

Smoking can affect hair transplant in several ways before the surgery, including:

Bleeding

Smoking can increase the risk of bleeding during the procedure. This extends the duration of the surgery and also the time the grafts stay out of the skin.

Affects Anesthesia

One of the most significant risks of smoking is its impact on anesthesia. During a hair transplant procedure, anesthesia is used to help the patient relax and control pain.

However, smoking can interfere with the body’s ability to process the anesthesia. As a result, smokers are more likely to experience pain during the procedure.

How does smoking after a hair transplant affect the results?

Smoking also impacts the results and healing process after a hair transplant. Below are some negative effects of smoking on hair transplant results:

Narrows the blood vessels

When you smoke, the nicotine in cigarettes narrows your blood vessels. This constriction decreases the amount of blood that can flow to your hair follicles. Without a steady supply of blood, your hair follicles can’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow. This lack of nutrients slows down hair growth, and can even cause your hair grafts to fall out.

Decreases the oxygen supply to the hair follicles.

Smoking also increases the levels of carbon monoxide in the blood. This can further deprive the transplanted area of oxygen and nutrients.

Slows down the healing process

When blood flow and oxygen supply are reduced, it can lengthen the healing process and increase the risk of complications. This means that the wounds will not heal fast and the scabs will take longer to fall out. Eventually, this can lead to permanent scarring as well.

Necrosis

Due to a shortage of blood and oxygen supply, the cells and skin tissues get damaged causing necrosis. This is a very serious complication that can be minimized by carefully following your doctor’s instructions.

When to stop smoking before a hair transplant?

If you are a smoker, it is important to quit smoking at least two weeks before your hair transplantation surgery. This will help to reduce the risks of complications during and after surgery.

It is also important to avoid it for at least two weeks after the surgery. This will give your scalp time to heal and reduce the risk of complications. After this point, you can start smoking again but should try to limit yourself to no more than half a pack per day.

When can I start smoking again after a hair transplant surgery?

It’s generally recommended that you wait at least two weeks after hair transplant surgery before smoking again. This is because smoking can constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the scalp, which can interfere with the healing process. Additionally, smoking can increase the risk of infection and scarring.

If you’re struggling to kick the habit, talk to your doctor about ways to help you quit.

Can I replace cigarettes with Vaping and Electronic Cigarettes?

Although vaping and electronic cigarettes are often marketed as being healthier alternatives to smoking, they are not. In fact, some studies have shown that electronic cigarettes can be just as harmful to your health as traditional cigarettes.

Therefore, it’s recommended to avoid any type of smoking to achieve the best results and have a smooth recovery after a hair transplant.

If you’re struggling to quit smoking before or after your hair transplant, it’s best to stick with tried-and-true methods like nicotine replacement therapy or counseling a couple of months before the surgery.


FAQs

Can I smoke one cigarette after hair transplant?

It’s recommended to completely avoid smoking 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after hair transplantation. This way you can guarantee the best results and have a complication-free procedure.

When should I stop smoking before hair transplant?

We advise our patients to stop smoking all types of cigarettes including vaping two weeks before the surgery.

How long after hair transplant can I start smoking again?

After hair transplant, you should wait at least 2 weeks before you can start smoking again.

Will my hair transplant fail if I smoke?

If you smoke after hair transplant you run the risk of having some complications including prolonged healing, more scabbing, and scarring. Most importantly the newly transplanted hair follicles could be permanently damaged to a lack of blood and oxygen supply.

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