If you’re scheduled for surgery, you’re probably wondering what you should do to prepare, and whether or not you should wash your hair. While it’s important to arrive at the hospital with clean hair, you may be unsure of when to wash it, what products to use or avoid, and whether to blow dry or air dry your hair. In this article, we’ll answer all of your pre-op hair prep questions so that you can arrive at the hospital feeling confident and prepared.
When Should You Wash Your Hair?
The general rule of thumb is to wash your hair on the day of your surgery. However, some surgeons may recommend that you wash your hair the night before your surgery instead. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions, as they may have specific protocols based on the type of surgery you’re having.
Why is it Important to Have Clean Hair?
Clean hair is essential for a sterile environment during surgery. When you arrive at the hospital with clean hair, it reduces the risk of infection at the surgical site. Additionally, a clean scalp makes it easier for the surgical team to see and access the surgical site.
What Products Should You Use?
When it comes to pre-op hair prep, it’s important to use mild, fragrance-free shampoos and conditioners. Avoid using any hair products that contain oils, gels or hairspray, as they can interfere with the anesthetic and surgical tools. Here are some recommended products:
- Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo (for dandruff)
- Free & Clear Shampoo (for sensitive scalps)
- Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo (for oily scalps)
You should also avoid using any hair coloring products, as they can irritate the scalp and cause an allergic reaction during surgery.
What About Hair Extensions?
If you have hair extensions, it’s important to notify your surgeon. Depending on the type of surgery you’re having, you may need to remove the extensions beforehand. In some cases, surgeons may trim or remove hair extensions during the surgery to ensure a sterile environment.
Should You Blow Dry or Air Dry Your Hair?
After washing your hair, it’s best to air dry your hair naturally. Avoid using blow dryers, as the heat can dry out your scalp and cause irritation. If you must use a blow dryer, use the cool setting and keep it a few inches away from your scalp.
Can You Style Your Hair Before Surgery?
Avoid using any styling products, such as mousse or hairspray, before surgery. If you have long hair, tie it back with a soft scrunchie or hair tie. Don’t use anything too tight or that may cause discomfort during surgery.
Pre-op hair prep is an essential part of preparing for surgery. By following these tips, you’ll arrive at the hospital with clean and healthy hair, and reduce the risk of infection at the surgical site. Remember to follow your surgeon’s instructions and use mild, fragrance-free shampoos and conditioners. With a little bit of prep, you’ll be ready for your surgery and on your way to a speedy recovery.
- Can I wash my hair the day of surgery?
- What if my surgeon recommends washing my hair the night before?
- What kind of shampoo should I use?
- Can I blow dry my hair?
- What should I do with my hair extensions?
Yes, it’s best to wash your hair on the day of your surgery.
Follow your surgeon’s instructions. They may have specific protocols based on the type of surgery you’re having.
Use mild, fragrance-free shampoos and conditioners. Avoid using any hair products that contain oils, gels, or hairspray, and avoid using hair coloring products.
Air dry your hair naturally. If you must use a blow dryer, use the cool setting and keep it a few inches away from your scalp.
Notify your surgeon if you have hair extensions. Depending on the type of surgery, you may need to remove them beforehand.