Do I need to take medication with hair surgery?

Published 25 June 2024

Hair transplant surgery is an effective and popular solution for men experiencing hair loss or baldness. However, a common question among many considering this procedure is whether medication is necessary to preserve existing hair post-surgery.

While hair transplant surgery offers a permanent solution by relocating healthy hair follicles to areas with thinning or no hair, it doesn’t prevent further hair loss in untreated areas. Therefore, using medication alongside surgery might be recommended by a surgeon to maintain existing hair and prevent further thinning or balding.

The Role of Medication:

Two primary medications are often prescribed for hair loss:

  1. Minoxidil :  Minoxidil can be either a topical solution is applied directly to the scalp or an oral tablet to be taken daily.  The role of Minoxidil is to stimulate hair growth and prevent further loss by prolonging the hair growth cycle. It’s generally used in areas where hair thinning is occurring.
  1. Finasteride (Propecia): This oral medication is primarily aimed at men and works by reducing the presence of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a key factor in hair loss among individuals with a genetic predisposition.

 

Benefits of Using Medication Post-Surgery:

  1. Prevention of Further Loss: Medications like minoxidil and finasteride can potentially slow down or halt hair loss in areas not treated by the surgery.
  1. Enhanced Results: Medication can complement the surgery by improving the overall appearance of the hair and providing a fuller look.

 

Alternatives to Medication:

Natural alternatives might be considered for those hesitant about pharmaceuticals:

  1. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): PRP are hair growth Injections to strengthen, thicken, and improve the health of the hair. They are also very popular after a hair transplant procedure to help the health of the new hair roots and encourage thick strands. By taking blood and placing it in a centrifuge, the aim is to extract a concentration of growth and repair factors which positively affect hair health and hair growth. These come from our own body, so they are natural and there is no allergy to this treatment.
  1. Saw Palmetto : Saw Palmetto is a natural supplement that is considered a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) inhibitor which works by trying to block the genetic action of male pattern baldness.
  1. Nutritional Supplements: Certain vitamins and minerals, like biotin, vitamins A, C, and D, as well as zinc and iron, play roles in hair health. Supplements or a balanced diet rich in these nutrients might aid in maintaining healthy hair.
  1. Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): This non-invasive treatment involves using light energy to stimulate hair follicles. It’s available in various forms, including combs, helmets, or caps.

 

The Decision-Making Process:

Deciding whether to use medication alongside hair surgery depends on several factors:

  1. Individual Needs: Each person’s response to medications and the extent of their hair loss varies. Consulting with a hair doctor helps determine the most suitable approach.
  1. Risk vs. Benefit: Medications might have side effects or contraindications, which should be weighed against potential benefits.
  1. Patient Preferences: Some individuals might prefer natural or non-pharmaceutical approaches due to concerns about side effects or long-term medication use.

Medication can play a critical role in maintaining existing hair after hair transplant surgery, and your doctor should discuss with you the benefits vs. any risks. Natural alternatives exist and might be appealing to individuals seeking non-pharmaceutical options. Ultimately, the decision should be made in consultation with a hair doctor, considering individual needs, preferences, and your desired outcome.

Click here to book an appointment to discuss restoring your hair and how to save your existing hair via medical or non-medical treatments.

AUTHOR

Bianca Shaw

A well-respected surgical stylist, Bianca Shaw has worked in the hair loss industry for 28 years, educating and supporting patients, and working alongside many of Australia’s leading surgeons. Qualified in Trichology and Hairdressing, Bianca was initially trained by a leading hair transplant surgeon and can perform a range of procedures including hair line design, placement of grafts for maximum density, and the dissection and implantation of hair follicles.

Having worked for leading hair loss companies, and managing a number of successful hair transplant practices, Bianca is committed to helping patients understand the treatment options available, ensuring they make the best decision and get the best results to improve their appearance and quality of life.