View Full Version : Red scalp after HT ?

08-04-2012, 04:31 AM
I have been looking at a lot of after HT pics recently and keeping an eye on peoples progress in time .
In some cases scalp in the recipient area is red for long periods of time .
(2-3 months ) This is more obvious with people that have lighter tan .


1 - Why does it happen & are there ways to prevent/reduce the redness ?

2- Are there any skin/scalp treatments that will help speed up the healing process after HT.

I am looking for HT in 2 months time and before the op my hair will have a number 2 cut all over. About 18 days after the HT i will go back to work ,although its not going to be a secret that i am having an HT ,i would not like my head to look like a red orange :(

08-04-2012, 05:56 AM
Vinny, I'm 15 days post surgery and, although I wouldn't say the redness has totally gone, I certainly don't have that sun burned look I think you're concerned about. Also, I have dirty blonde hair and a pale complexion so even with a fair complexion it's not certain that you'll be bright red for months.

08-04-2012, 06:16 AM
Any chance you can post pictures of your scalp ?

The condition i am on about can be seen in these pictures.

38 days post HT




08-04-2012, 06:55 AM
Redness is normal. This is SURGERY. Blood vessels are being cut and reconnecting.

HT Info Tricks/Tips:

Here are some general tips -

Before Tips

1. Stay local to the HT clinic

2. Get to the clinic early in order to not be rushed as this will allow you ample time to go through everything with the Dr.

3. Have a list of questions for the Dr that you want answering.

4. Take 2 loose hats with you. (one might not fit)

5. Take a travel pillow, very handy. Especially on the journey home.

6. Get to bed early the night before. Aided sleep is advisable.

7. Get a massage the day before. Loads of places down in China Town(NYC)

8. Wear a buttoned up shirt for the day of surgery. Easy to get on and off.

9. Avoid - Alcohol, vitamins, minoxodil, MSM 7 days pre op. Can thin the blood.

10. Wash hair the morning of the surgery and wear lots of deodorant. Its a long sweaty day you don't want to be stinking out the place

11. Make sure you have made your story clear to various people that you are away for the next 2/3/4 weeks

12. Make damned sure you've filled your Vicodin prescription BEFORE you get re-haired (de-balded?), as opposed to waiting until the night before because "hey, this is New York, of course I'll find an all-night pharmacy...)

13. I would advise taking the pain killers regularly, even before the pain starts

14. Have the clinic take lots of pre op pics in order to have a controlled
comparison for post op

Additional tips from other guys:

1. My tip to anyone travelling long distances is to fly home the day after surgery! At one day post-op I had no swelling and no pain because my head was still totally numb! I flew home four days post-op and my head looked like a balloon and the aneasthetic was beginning to wear off which made for a long and uncomfortable flight home!!!!!

2. Have the doc wash your hair the day after surgery...it reduces scabing and you won't spend the next two weeks looking in the mirror waiting for them to fall off.

3. If you are going to do zero percent credit card, sign up the month before the procedure not the month after. they don't like 10K balance transfer and won't give you a high enough limit.

4. Sun screen on the graft for the first four months. Otherwise if you get too much exsposure you'll peel really bad and have redness for months.

5. Read the post op instructions before you have the HT. Write down any key questions and tick them off before you leave the surgery. Its easy to forget to ask, what with the injections etc.

6. Use a bandana - its more comfortable than the baseball hat and covers more of the head.

7. Bring button-up shirts - easier to take off.

8. Figure out your communications strategy. I decided to tell people on a need to know basis which meant that I told only a few.

9. Do not watch comedy DVD's during the procedure - It can result in you laughing and moving your head at the wrong time!


11. Take a MP3, IPOD or CD player

Airport Security

The best way to do it is to make sure there is nothing on you to slow down your smooth passage through security. Remove all items such as watch, keys, change, bangels, chains, ...anything that could cause a bleep..
As you walk through remove your cap casually and calmly. They will not specifically be looking at you head at all... you will be ultra paranoid They will maybe glance and then once your through that vital 10 secs just casually pop the hat back on.
You will never ever see the sercurity guy again so who gives if he suspects..and the people behind you will be too stressed out taking all their crap off and sticking into the machine for scanning.
Another alternative is you can always ask for a private room........ but to be honest , just not needed!!

Immed After Tips

1.Never underestimate the recovery time needed. Get the absolute max amount of time off work. You will feel fine after a couple of days but you will look terrible. Its not so bad if you can wear a cap.

2. Remove all mirrors from your house, car, office etc Seriously!

3. Sleep upright /45degree angle to aid swelling

4. Apply huge amounts of Aloe Vera to both donor and recipient area 5 days after. (2 x a day minimum)

5. Distilled witch hazel helps with redness (apply 7/8 days post op)

6. Get on MSM (makes hair grow faster)

7. Drink lots of water / fluids

8. Bend at the knees for first 3/4 days

9. First 3/4 days just put shampoo in a cup and pour it over the recipient and donor area. Then build up to a shower but shield your recipient with your hand and dab on shampoo.

10. Have a couple of beers and soak your head in a hot bath prior to Staple removal

11. Rest as much as possible

12. No physical activity for 10 days then build it up.
2 weeks post op........

1. Stop staring in the mirror all the time

2. Start up physical exercise gradually

3. Start Minox if you want to help speed up growth

4. Stop inspecting scar/ donor area all the time! Its takes months to fade.

5. Put the HT on the back burner now for at least 4/5 months

6. Take some clear pics to compare you situation at various stages

Post op Redness

Post-op redness will occur both in the recipient area and the donor area. The degree and length of time in which both areas will remain pink or red, will largely depend on the individual's skin tone. Redness in the recipient area occurs due to the presence of newly formed blood vessels and inflammation from the placement of the new grafts.

Redness in the donor area occurs where the strip was removed and is basically a wound that will eventually heal. Once the wound has fully healed, the scar should appear as a pencil thin, white line that is difficult to locate provided the surgeon skillfully applied the latest techniques when removing the donor strip and closing this area.
For individuals with a higher degree of hair loss, the redness will be more apparent than with those who are able to partially camouflage the area with existing hairs.
Suntan (avoid burning) a few weeks prior to surgery. After surgery and once the grafts have shed, cosmetic attempts can be made to mask the redness in the recipient area.

The hair surrounding the donor area can be cut as low as a #2 razor guard (1/4"), and still conceal the donor wound. Depending on the thickness and density of the individual's hair. Typically 1/4" - 1/2" of existing hair, is sufficient enough to assist with covering the area.


Pimpoles may occur on the recipient area. This is normal and should not cause any discomfort. To the touch, a pimple may be a bit sore (as with a pimple anywhere else on your body). If pimples do appear, they typically do so a month after surgery. Many patients have reported pimples appearing for months after surgery. It is thought that pimples occur due to fragments of skin or hair that may have been caught beneath the skin's surface.

I have recommended Tea Tree oil to a couple of recent HT guys who have experienced little pimples post op and it seems to have resolved their situ's - Also a very hot flannel applied to the recipient area can help draw them out and help!

Scabbing and Shedding Grafts

Once the grafts are placed into the recipient area, the grafts are held in by fibrin, produced by a chemical reaction in serum when the graft sites are made. Typically, the grafts will become fully secure by the eighth day. Scabs will begin to form the day after surgery. On average, scabs will remain present for up to 10 days.

If a scab falls out and there is a hair present in the scab, this is completely normal. As long as blood is not present and tissue does not appear around the hair, assume the graft is fine. Once the scabs have completely disappeared, you will have the appearance of a buzz cut. Within the next 2-6 weeks, these hairs will begin to shed and the recipient area will appear as it was prior to surgery. The grafts are merely in a resting phase and will begin its growth cycle in approximately 3 months.

The next phase of post-op surgery, is the most difficult; waiting for your new hair to grow in.

Staple/Sutures Removal

The staples or sutures (depending on the surgeon's technique) typically remain in place for approximately 10 days post surgery. Surgeons encourage that you come back to the clinic to have them removed, but will provide you with instructions for removing them should a visit to the surgeon not be possible.

The scar that will remain once the staples or sutures are removed will become less and less noticeable as months pass and will eventually turn into a pencil thin, white line.

Prior to having the staples removed or sutures removed (this tip is more applicable to staples), have a long shower and soak the donor area. When scabs are dry, there tends to be a tiny pinch when the staples are removed. Soaking the donor area will moisten the scabs and minimize any discomfort.

08-04-2012, 11:21 AM
Great advice Spex...

For the redness, you can apply a good quality aloe vera gel to the area of redness. I does help reduse the length of time your scalp is red and helps with the healing.

08-04-2012, 01:55 PM
Great advice Spex...

For the redness, you can apply a good quality aloe vera gel to the area of redness. I does help reduse the length of time your scalp is red and helps with the healing.

Thanks to you both for the replies .

Can you recommend a good quality aloe vera gel?

08-09-2012, 12:51 PM
Contact your surgeon. Many times they will advocate the use of a topical steroid to help minimize the redness.

Best wishes to you! The new growth is showing!:cool:

12-11-2012, 08:54 PM
great advice spex.

It has been almost 4 weeks for me and the pink is starting to fade. All of your points were spot on.

12-12-2012, 02:19 AM
No worries. Another little trick of the trade ( which i found helpful) is Distilled Witch Hazel.

Try that also as it can really help ! :cool:

04-16-2013, 09:05 AM
This time off work is my issue too. I'm thinking of fue and taking 2 months unpaid leave, will that be long enough for all signs of surgery to have gone?

04-16-2013, 12:45 PM
The scabbing and outward signs of the procedure should well be gone after two months. It is always possible to experience some lingering redness, however it is rare, and post-op treatments are also discussed in this thread.

How many grafts will you be doing?

04-16-2013, 01:34 PM
Hi thanks for the reply.

After years of research I've decided on FUE. I need approx 2000 grafts in the frontal areas. I'm from the uk and have narrowed my research down to iether Dr Feriduni or Dr Bisanga both in Belguim and highly regarded in Europe.

I'm going with the idea of taking 2 months unpaid leave. Firstly have the HT then if time allows after the initial healing do a bit of travelling. I planned to shave my head a month prior to going on leave, then keep it shaved a few months after my return to work, before then letting it slowly come through. Or depending how it looks let it grow back sufficient prior to my return.

That's why the reddening concerned me, I thought two months should be more than enough but wasn't sure.

Do you think you could get only with 4 weeks off work, or maybe 6?

04-16-2013, 02:08 PM
Hope this helps. In my opinion 6 weeks is a very good "downtime" window however good to have more time at your disposal IF needed. Rather have the extra time and not need it, than need it and not have it..

Handy daily updated FUE healing process 1032 FUE:

Imed post op
Day 14:
Donor area:
Imed post op:

04-16-2013, 02:12 PM
Down time!

A very common question associated with getting a HT and one of the most common reasons for not getting a ht sooner in many cases. Many guys know which Doc they are going with after much research but then need to wait months, sometime years to get an appropriate window of "Down time" in order to pull the HT off unnoticed by family, friends, work colleagues etc...Down time is a pain in arse - NO DOUBT!!!

Downtime is definitely an element of the whole HT procedure you need to consider when embarking on your HT journey.

Depending on the size of the session obviously some patients down time is less than others: ie smaller sessions can get away with a shorter down time period compared to larger session sizes.

Healing is only half the battle - Many guys heal up with no real evidence of surgery in as little as 10 days and some can still have lingering redness for quite a prolonged periods of time - especially fair skinned patients. There is also the factor of having to have the recipient / donor areas shaved down.

The answer to the question of "how much down time do i need?" is an impossible one to answer but i recommend that you give yourself as much time as possible - a MINIMUM of 3-4 weeks ideally 5-6 (especially larger sessions.) If you can wear a hat to work then you are laughing and could literally be back to work within days if you wanted to but for the vast majority wearing a hat at work is not an option and the appropriate amount of downtime post op needs to be considered!

I have received a number of sessions over the years and never once have i been able to back at work within 2 weeks and i know all the tricks - Some are below, please feel free to add any handy minimising "down time" hints.

1. Apply Aloe Vera gel, Emu oil, distilled witch hazel etc.. to the healing areas to help soothe and speed up healing process.
2. Take MSM (3000mg) to speed up the existing hairs growth since the buzz to get some length back to help disguise.
3. Use concealers in areas once hair is long enough to help bulk up and disguise lingering redness.
4. Wearing a hat to buy you valuable days.
5. Growing hair long pre op to help disguise areas worked on.
6. Buzz hair short pre op in advance so people you see on a day to day basis don't notice the new buzz cut post op.(Especially FUE guys)
7. Take a holiday post op and take yourself out the loop for 3-4 weeks
8. Take sick leave right before your holiday comes to a close - buy you valuable days

Hope all this info helps guys out.


04-16-2013, 02:24 PM
Hi thanks for the reply, there's some really useful information there. So 2 months is good then yeah. Obviously need to weigh up having money saved to cover the time I'm off. I'll maybe try to take more time if I can in that case, like you said it's better to have it available incase you need it rather than need it and be due back at work.

Thank you very much for your help

04-17-2013, 04:02 AM
No worries. All the best.

07-31-2015, 02:39 PM
HELP! I'm losing sleep over this. I just had a FUT hair transplant about 40 days ago and have the same issue you have, same skin tone roughly, in the picture. How long did it take for the redness to be essentially unnoticeable. Is it normal for the skin to be cobblestoned and rough still? thanks.

Any chance you can post pictures of your scalp ?

The condition i am on about can be seen in these pictures.

38 days post HT


07-31-2015, 03:24 PM
bhallic24, I'm 60 days post op and I still have some redness on the scalp. I'm not worried. It's far less red than before and most of the cobblestoning has improved. I'd say it's 20% better than 3 weeks ago and 70% better than the first week. The redness will probably last til about week 12-15 (at least for me).

08-03-2015, 06:20 PM
bhallic24, I'm 60 days post op and I still have some redness on the scalp. I'm not worried. It's far less red than before and most of the cobblestoning has improved. I'd say it's 20% better than 3 weeks ago and 70% better than the first week. The redness will probably last til about week 12-15 (at least for me).

Thanks CaliD for the reply. I guess my main concern is that over the last 2-3 weeks, I haven't seen any noticeable improvement in the color fade. it's still salmon color and rough. I might send you an image when I get a chance. Any reports of people with PERMANENT redness after FUT?

08-03-2015, 06:33 PM
I'm certainly no expert but I haven't personally seen any permanent redness on anyone that I know of. I have however read online about some people who had redness (or pink really) all the way til month 8 or 9. In certain overhead light my head seems fully cleared up but under other light it still looks pinkish. Hopefully it will heal without me even noticing it once the hair starts growing in. I wouldn't worry about it but you should definitely be able to follow up with your doctor if you're concerned.

WHTC Clinic
08-12-2015, 05:59 PM
A concealer will help blend the tone. The pinkness may be there for several more months. Maintaining a healthy diet is key, and definitely avoiding sunburns is too.

08-12-2015, 06:47 PM
Yea I guess waiting is the hardest part. Isn't that from a Tom Petty song?

Does FUE redness heal quicker than FUT? Just curious.

08-13-2015, 02:13 AM
In most of case red scalp is found after hair transplant as incisions made on the scalp recover from injuries.

Dr. Lindsey
08-20-2015, 06:30 AM
Here's a Crocodile Dundy response:

That's not a red scalp...THIS is a red scalp: see pic

Redness occurs after all trauma. Its worse the younger you are and the whiter you are. Meaning an irish guy like this with red hair...will definitely be red in the recipient zone for up to 6 or 8 weeks...and possibly really red requiring concealer. Strenuous activity increases the blood flow and will make it even redder until the person settles down after the activity is over.

A dark person like me would see a bit of pink in the recipient area for a few weeks tops.

But it goes away. See second picture.

Dr. Lindsey

09-10-2015, 05:51 PM
Yea I guess waiting is the hardest part. Isn't that from a Tom Petty song?

Does FUE redness heal quicker than FUT? Just curious.

Post-op redness related to the incisions immediately following the procedure is much different than post-op redness that lingers for months on end.

The redness related to the incisions usually heals and dissipates within a reasonable amount of time (30-90 days).

Lingering post-op redness that lasts beyond say three months calls for special treatment and can be sometimes successfully managed with a topical steroid cream.

Lingering post-op redness should be brought to the doctor's attention for advice and care, and especially before using steroid creams.