Hair Transplant Nightmare

Please don't get this procedure done it has...

Please don't get this procedure done it has permanently scared HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of patients in the last 40 years and ruined so many lives. Don't believe clinics that tell you "that was the old plug transplants but now there are new and improved procedures"

  • You will be left with an ear to ear linear scar on the back of your head ( from a strip procedure), where the hair grafts are taken from, and redness and bumps where the grafts are placed on top of your head.
  • If you get the newer FUE procedure you will have little white scars all over the donor area and little red bumps where the grafts were placed. I have had both types of procedures done. It will never look 100% natural.
  • Don't believe the pictures they show you, these pictures are taken in a controlled environment under certain lighting with hair combed a particular way. Unfortunately we don't live our lives in a controlled environment and wind, rain, strong indoor lighting, and the sun will show that you had a transplant no matter how good the Dr. is.

I had my work done with one of the top Doctors in the country. It can and has ruined too many lives. I am in the process of getting all the transplanted hair lasered out after suffering for almost 10 years now and spending over $40,000. I am also having the fraxel restore done to smooth out the area.

I once thought losing my hair was a big deal now I envy bald people with a normal scar free shaved head. It was by far and away the worst mistake of my life, don't be the next victim. Just do a google search on "bad hair transplants" and remember these are from old AND new transplant procedures being done today, even though the doctors will try and convince you otherwise. It will look unnatural and leave you permanently scarred for life. 

Dr. David K. Zipfel / Dr. John P. Cole

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VJarvis May 15, 2014 I had a hair transplant that I was not happy with. However I just shave my head bald and let the scar show. You can buy some products at the drugstore that you can apply that make the scar less noticeable. Or visit a dermatologist, there are some procedures that can reduce the appearance of the scar. My scar is just a line. I was very insecure about my scar at first but it is like everything else in life you get over it and don't even think about it. I have met many new friends and no one has even ever asked me about the scar. Think about it this way who goes around staring at the back of a person's head anyway? When you meet people and interact with them you are looking at their faces not the backs of their heads. For all you guys who have a hair transplant that you are not satisfied with just shave your head and let the scar show. You will look and feel much better about yourself in the long run.
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What did you do about the receipiant sites???
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I have also bookmarked you for checking out new posts which is related to cheap hair transplant.
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Thank you...most appreciated.
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Indeed, there are some dishonest clinics out there...so we always encourage you to do your research. Many people have had amazing transformations which otherwise may never have happened had they not done proper research and intelligent discernment. Also, find a mentor who was once where you are now in terms of hair loss and has had a successful results. Stay strong...
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Or they could do some research and realize being bald is not that bad, embrace their baldness, save a ton of money and get on with their lives...
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" ...at the end of the day he's still Bruce Willis and you're not."

AMEN!
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Newguy77...

I too will end the discussion here. It's been fun.

I think I coaxed the truth out of you enough. And that was my only goal when you responded to my post. If you hadn't responded, I would have never commented in such detail.

At the end of the day, I'm pretty sure someone reading our back-and-forth posts can decide for themselves the risks they take with this kind of surgery. Which is why said, "If you are a NW4 or higher, shave your head and wait and see."

Ultimately, it's all about degree of hair loss and expectations in the long term, which is what I was originally meant by saying that "on a fundamental level hair transplants don't work."

Because, even from your last post, you admit that you have the illusion of 80% density and not the actual density itself. Which probably means you have 60% of your hair (and that number will keep going down as you age). This is a major point you should always make clear when you comment on your hair transplants. The progressive nature of hair loss is a b##ch and everyone here is married to her.

So, at the end of the day, from reading our posts, a potential candidate can properly evaluate the risk/reward ratio of undergoing the procedure. Long-term: 7,000 grafts with strip; let's say 6,200 with FUE. So with less than 50% of original density you are trying to create the illusion of 100% density. As the hair gets thinner and whiter, that becomes harder and harder to do. As my doctor put it, "What we're aiming for is the appearance of naturally thinning hair." Or I stated in my first post, "It's the appearance that you're perpetually going bald instead of not going bald at all."

You don't have to respond to this post. It's cool. Just wanted to say that I appreciated the debate. And I really hope it informed some people on the limitations of hair transplant as a science.

I would also like to point out one last time that your case (like so many other supporters of hair transplants) would be made much stronger with some pictures. Once again, I find it ironic that people who are for hair transplants don't advertise their pictures more.

I'll let Bruce Willis wrap our debate up...


If you go on Balding Blog, William Rassman answers a question someone asked him on Bruce Willis. Rassman said that his daughter met Bruce Willis at a party back in the 90's when he started losing his hair. Rassman's daughter mentioned her dad's name. Rassman said that he thought Bruce might call, but that Bruce never did. The impudence of this hair transplant doctor to think Bruce would call him up desperate for a hair transplant. Anyway, looking at Bruce's head today and how he went from NW3 to NW5, it's pretty safe to say that Bruce made the right choice when it came to not electing for the procedure. He looks great, he's happy, and at the end of the day he's still Bruce Willis and you're not.

Everyone has a chance to be themselves and be happy, to be a confident and succesful person. With or without hair.

Case Closed.

Here is the Bruce link for those interested:

***removed link*******
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gosh.... so the point is, one should not get his/her hair transplanted, right!!!! guys please wind up quickly i don't hav patience to keep on reading your arguments over the same thing!!!!! :(
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Do you see any risks in using FUE for Eyebrow hair transplantation? Mine have never been very 'present' and I feel that I get a bit more FACE whn I have brows.
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Anon, you're far better off posting that question in another forum where surgeons read and respond to questions. All you're going to get here is conjecture from patients (and non-patients). I suggest researching and consulting with reputable FUE surgeons in order to get your questions answered.
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actually, we do have a large number of surgeons on RealSelf who are considered national experts in hair restoration. For instance, Jack Fisher in Nashville who has answered numerous hair loss treatment questions

Here's at least one Q&A about hair restoration for eyebrows

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Thanks for clarifying Tom. I was actually referring to your Q&A section (or similar forums on other websites) that are set up specifically for doctors' replies, rather than posting in the comments section of a review like this one. I've yet to see any doctors chime in under the comments section of the reviews to which I've posted replies. I have however seen many doctors reply in the Q&A section.
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Hello new guy 77 I read all the bantering and am interested in your surgeons name or a top notch one you can recomend for this procedure and how old are you if you dont mind still considering the procedure...thanks delbert ....
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EVERYONE PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT FUE

NewGuy77...

I'd like to make one final point about FUE, since you keep bringing it up as the "scar-free" alternative to strip. Please read the following pros and cons on FUE. This was taken from Bernstein Medical, a modern well-reputed hair transplant clinic (the website is ***removed link***).

Please don't tell people that FUE is scar-free when even the doctors do not guarantee that.The risk you take with FUE are that after numerous procedures your hair will be pockmarked with thousands of dots as opposed to one "strip" scar. You won't be able to shave your head in such a situation. In addition, look at the warnings with respect to yields which are lower that strip. You risk not having enough donor hair to cover up the balding area.

Maybe you don't know. If your doctors didn't tell you this, then you were lied to. Welcome to the club. If you do know it,then you should inform everyone of the truth.

Here is the information from the website. I am also including the link for anyone that doesn't believe me.

Link:
http://www.removed link*****

From Bernstein Medical:

The following tables summarize the pros and cons of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE):

Advantages of FUE
No linear scar in donor area

•Important for those who wear their hair very short

Decreased healing time in the donor area
No limitations on strenuous exercise after the procedure
Less post-op discomfort in the donor area
Useful for those with a greater risk of donor scarring

•Younger patients
•Very muscular, athletic patients
•Those with very tight or very loose scalps

Useful for repairing donor scars that cannot be excised
Provides an alternative when the scalp is too tight for a strip excision
Enables one to harvest finer hair from the nape of the neck

•For use at the hairline or the eyebrows

Makes it theoretically possible to harvest non-scalp hair

•Beard or body hair


Disadvantages of FUE
The follicles in FUE are harvested from a much greater area of the donor zone compared to FUT

•As a result, the hair in the lower and upper parts of the donor area, where the grafts were taken from, may thin and this can make the donor scars visible
•Follicles harvested from borderline areas of the donor region may not be truly “permanent,” so that over time, the transplanted hair may be lost

The quality of grafts are not as good compared to FUT *

•Greater follicular transection (damage) compared to FUT
•Grafts are more fragile and subject to trauma during placing since they often lack the protective dermis and fat of microscopically dissected grafts
•More difficult to capture the entire follicular unit – resulting in lower density
* This disadvantage is minimized with Robotic FUE

The maximum follicular unit graft yield is lower than with FUT

•Lower quality grafts may not grow as well
•Inability to harvest all the hair from the mid-permanent zone results in decreased numbers of grafts
•The scarring and distortion of the donor scalp from FUE makes subsequent FUE sessions more difficult

With each subsequent session, the scarring in FUE is additive

•For example, if the first FUE session is 2,000 grafts, there will be 2,000 tiny round scars. With a second session of 2,000 grafts, there will be a total of 4,000 scars
•In contrast, with FUT, the first scar is completely removed in the next procedure. Even though the scar may be longer in the next session, with FUT, regardless of the number of procedures, the patient is left with only one scar

In large hair transplant sessions, the entire donor area must be shaved

•This may present a significant temporary cosmetic problem for working patients or those in the public eye

“Capping” *

•Capping occurs when the top of the graft pulls off during extraction
* This disadvantage is minimized with Robotic FUE

Buried Grafts *

•This may occur during the blunt phase of the three-step technique when the graft is pushed into fat and must be removed through a small incision
* This disadvantage is minimized with Robotic FUE

Microscopic dissection may be needed in addition to the extraction

•If the number of single-hair grafts is inadequate
•To remove hair fragments

After large numbers of grafts are harvested, fine stippled scars may become visible due to thinning of donor area
The size of a single session is limited

•Since the extraction process is slower than strip harvesting, large procedures may need to be performed over two days

With FUE, grafts are usually out of the body for a longer period of time compared to FUT

•This runs the risk of sub-optimal growth
•This problem can be mitigated by performing large sessions of FUE over two consecutive days

FUE is usually more expensive than FUT
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In your haste to perpetuate this argument, you have grossly misquoted me. I've never said "scar-free" in any context (nor have I ever said I was taking Propecia). What I have said is "no strip scars", which is a HUGE point to make, and the main reason I urge people not to even consider traditional strip procedures. The visibility of the "pit scarring" that is attributed to FUE varies depending on the patient's skin pigmentation and the total number of donor sites. Personally, I have shaved my head with a zero guard twice since my first procedure, and to the naked eye there is no visible scarring whatsoever anywhere on my head. You would have to be on my scalp with a magnifying glass in super bright lighting to be able to see anything abnormal in the donor region, and even then all you would see is tiny dots that are slightly lighter in color than the surrounding skin. But again, those results may vary.

And you're right, in my numbers I'm leaning more towards the "illusion of density" as you put it. But in the end, that's what we're all after isn't it? I care how thick my hair looks, not what the actual number of follicles is. No one is going to be on the top of my scalp counting follicular groups. I do realize that the "illusion of density" translates to lower numbers in terms of actual follicular density, therefore posing more of a threat in terms of long term thinning...but I'm prepared for additional loss if that's what the future holds.

However I'm still not sure where the opposition is coming from here. You say you give credence to those pushing caution vs. glossing over the risks, yet all of my posts are full of caution. From day one on this forum I have been cautioning people and detailing risks (most of which are associated with strip procedures). I maintain my previous statements that the only risks I see with FUE are 1) going with an unskilled or unscrupulous surgeon/clinic, 2) not having a firm understanding of your future hair loss and being prepared for the need for additional procedures, and 3) electing to proceed even when you're not a good candidate. Yet you somehow still have the impression that I'm trying to mislead people. It's beginning to feel as though you just need to be right (even if it means misquoting me), so with that I will conclude our discussion. Hopefully this discourse has been valuable to interested readers, and someone has gained some valuable info from our time spent.

But one final note for those considering FUE and may be confused by the above post regarding FUE vs. FUT. "Follicular Unit Transplantation" is merely the name Dr. Bernstein has adopted for his own version of a strip procedure. He is without a doubt a very experienced and skilled hair transplant surgeon, but even the very best strip procedure is still a strip procedure. Bernstein claims that FUT produces more and higher quality grafts than FUE. While I will concede this may be true, I have to believe that this difference is marginal, and that it diminishes greatly if your surgery is being performed by one of the nation's top FUE surgeons. Even still, I would gladly give up 15% of my total yield (and pay 50% more) to not have a substantial strip of flesh cut out of the back of my head and a huge permanent scar to remember it by. I can guarantee you one thing...you're never going to encounter an FUE patient who later on down the road says "Man, I really regret doing FUE...I really should have done a strip procedure instead."

Best of luck.
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NewGuy77...

We can argue about this forever and, in the end, we would end up right back where we started. Basically, you are focusing on my one statement when I wrote, "On a fundamental level, hair transplants do not work." That statement I made was to point out the long-term implications of hair loss, which is something that I think those who support hair transplants gloss over. That's why I added a conditional to the statement about NW4 or higher holding off on a procedure until all the hair falls out. This way they can be sure of what is going to happen long-term.

Your analogy about trees is fundamentally flawed. It's not about planting new trees (that would be hair multiplication). It's about moving trees from one location to another. The correct analogy would be this:

You have to cover up a large dying forest (recipient forest) by denuding part of another forest (donor forest). As the trees in the recipient forest die, you have to keep adding trees from the donor forest. You can’t be sure how many donor trees will take hold. You can’t be sure how many trees from the recipient forest will be left, if and when the trees stop dying. In the end, you are taking a chance that the donor forest is damaged and the recipient forest looks only partially filled in. You are hoping that from a distance 50% of the forest filled in will look like 100% filled in. How badly do you want to restore the recipient forest? How far are you willing to go?

Your personal story is suspect to me. The reason I say this is because of the math. There are no pictures so it’s obviously impossible to verify. You say you were a NW4 and that you have 80% of your hair. You also say that you’ve had 2 procedures of FUE for about $25,000. That probably equals about 2000-2500 grafts. You say that this has happened in the last 3 years. From your comments about Bruce Willis, it’s obvious you’re not 50 years old or anywhere near it.

So let me break this down properly and we can compare notes. I was a NW4A. After the first procedure of 2,000 grafts when I was 28, I looked at the Bosley doctor (that did my first procedure back in 2004) and told him these exact words, “But it’s not real thickness. Just the illusion of thickness.” Then you know what he told me? He told me, “What if I told you that in five years, hair cloning will be a reality?” I didn’t know at the time how often a hair transplant doctor will throw that one at a new patient after the first procedure. When I told him, “Well, at least Propecia will hold the hairline until hair cloning gets here.” What did he say? “Oh, no. Sorry. That hairline is going to go.”
It was only then that I had a vague idea of what I was up against. Obviously, I never went back to Bosley. My next doctor was a certified pro. But it was only after my second procedure with him (3rd overall) that he told me the truth. I told him that I would settle for 75% long-term coverage. He got a little upset and finally told me, “You suffer from male pattern baldness. 50%. That’s the best we can do in most cases in the long run.”

You may be confusing the illusion of density with actual density. It is mathematically impossible for you to have 80% of your hair density with only 2 procedures about 2000 grafts if you were a NW4. If you were a NW 4A then maybe it’s possible. Just to show people what we are talking about, I’m going to post up a link to Norwood Scales on yahoo. com. Here is the link:

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=Apewt1lwi.826AFz92NgFL.bvZx4p=norwood+scale&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-701

Look at NW4 on the chart. Look at the back of the head. How much hair can you really harvest from that donor region can you harvest to get the more than 80% coverage you plan to have? It’s mathematically impossible. Again NW 4A is possible. But then you will eventually move to NW 5A. So then you can do the math and see what is in your future. If you were a NW 4A, you go lucky. So did I with being a NW 5A.

But I hate to break it to you. If you are 3 years into the process, you still haven’t seen the part when the the effectiveness of Propecia starts to run out. That usually happens at about the 5th year. And if you went from 3A to 4A and you are somewhere around 30, then you can bet there are more surgeries in your future as you move up the chart. I hope your hair loss stops. Because if it keeps going you will not be able to keep 80% coverage. Again, it’s the issue of the illusion of density vs. actual density. It’s easy to convince oneself of anything. But the mathematics doesn’t lie in the long run.

I’m glad you feel you have had excellent results. One fact does surprise me: After 25 posts on this website, I’m surprised you’ve never posted pictures or a link with before and after pictures. That would help make your case a lot better.

And by the way, the irony is not lost on me that I may possibly have a better result than you, but that my standards are much higher than yours. All my grafts took hold. All my surgeries went well. All I can tell you for sure is that long-term (next 10 years), you won’t be able to keep 80% actual density. Mathematically impossible. You’ll have to settle for the cosmetic benefits of 50% density. (This assumes that you continue to a NW5A if indeed you are a NW4A. If you are a NW4, the you are in trouble.)

And for the record, if you are doing FUE, where the amount of donor hair is less than with strip. An ideal strip patient can get 7,000+ grafts. An FUE patient will get 10-20% less in best cases. In no case, will they get more than a strip patient. So FUE has the benefits of no invasive scar (though minor pit scars are possible) but the disadvantage of lower overall yield.

Finally…

You don’t have to promote a particular doctor or clinic to be a part of the hair transplant industry. You could easily work in the hair transplant industry and be posting on hair loss blogs regularly. It’s hard to know who anybody is on the Internet these days. But I think I’d give credence to those pushing caution as opposed to those who gloss over the risks involved. Especially when there are physical risks and money involved.

But that pretty much sums up the case. I ask anyone considering a hair transplant, to look at the Norwood Scale to see if they are willing to take the chances outlined in our back and forth posts. If they are, then it’s a free country. More power to them. If not, then just feel free to shave your head and live a rich fulfilling life anyway.
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It has been 2 days since I have started doing yoga exercises and "Finger Nail Rubbing" technique twice a day...
RESULT: Dramatic reduction in my hair-fall....
:)
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Excellent article.
Not appreciated by the hairtransplant 'industry', I'm sure, but a very needed wake-up call for anyone considering this kind of surgery!
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I've read balding blogs a million times, this was the first time I ever posted on one. Normally, I would not comment any further than the one post. However, I wanted to make a statement to those that want to truly understand how to view this complicated issue. Particularly, in regard to NewGuy77’s comments.

The first thing I want to do with this post is point out that NewGuy77 writes like someone from the hair transplant industry. The general style in which he speaks and his use of words to justify hair transplants are quite familiar to anyone who has dealt with sales representatives from the hair transplant industry. Maybe it's both. Maybe he had a hair transplant and works for the industry as a sales rep now.

NewGuy says he was a NW4. I say congratulations to him on his results. I hope it holds long term. It all depends on whether the hair is still falling out. If it is, then he’ll need to be ready for a long battle. Propecia is practically useless long –term. And he’s only doing FUE, so if he goes any further down the line on hair loss, he might not have enough to provide good coverage. It’s a chance he’s taking.

That was my point about NW3 or higher was that you won’t be able to predict where the baldness is going to go. You’ll have to keep saving up for another transplant. And after you get that one, you’ll have to start saving up for another. If any one of those surgeries goes wrong and the grafts don’t hold, you’ll be left with not enough hair. Again, the best you can hope for long term is 50% of your original coverage as a “realistic” long-term goal. There isn’t a young man in the world that goes into a hair transplant for a “maybe 50% if you’re lucky” long-term outcome.

To make things clear...

My hair transplant story is a success. And right there lies the problem. I can take a camera and play with the angles and show you how I have a full head of hair. But it's not true. I have some hair (maybe around 50% on a great hair day). I also have a linear scar on the back of my head. I am also short about $60,000 and 8 years of my life struggling with this problem. In the end, I got incredibly lucky that it has more or less worked out for me. There was a point when it didn't look like it would. But I've seen the horror pictures of people who went Norwood 6-7 or just started thinning out in the donor region. I know that I took an incredible chance and that it could have gone horribly wrong. What if it had? What if I had been left with a few weeds on my head? Then I’d be stuck because I couldn’t shave my head and I’d have nothing to provide coverage on top. My life would be a horrible mess. It’s not. I got lucky. I made it. But I would not ask anyone else to take the same risk.

The point NewGuy77 misses is that the risk/reward ratio for hair transplants is limited. In only very few cases do hair transplants really work to solve the fundamental problem: male insecurity. Hair loss is not cancer. My younger brother is completely bald and is a rich New York lawyer. I have some hair and I’m a simple middle-school teacher. In the end, hair transplants did not make any difference in our life paths.

(Let me be a prophet here, and anticipate what NewGuy77 will say to that. He’ll say something like: “Yes. Hair transplants will not solve your insecurity. But if you want a little bit more self-confidence and a little more hair will do that for you then you may be a great candidate. ” Something like that. Straight out of the hair transplant sales handbook.)

The funniest thing I’ve found about balding blogs is that the posters who tout the miracle of hair transplants rarely ever put up their own pictures. But when they read a horror story, they immediately ask the victim to put up his picture. It just doesn’t make any sense. If people were so proud of their transplants then they would post up their own pictures. They would show the world how great it is, instead of just saying it. Talk is so cheap when it comes to something so risky.

As for hair transplant doctors? The funniest thing is that so many of them have good hairlines and no need of transplants themselves. I’ve never seen a transplant doctor turn around and show the strip incision on the back of his head and say: “Look! You see? I did it, too.” Just like drug dealers, they have no need to consume the product they sell.

And as for celebrities? Please. The hair transplant industry wants you to believe every man in Hollywood has had hair transplants when few have. When I had my first transplant, I was told Ed Norton, Steven Seagal, Matt Damon, and, most famously, Matthew Macoughnahey and Nicholas Cage. I’ve even heard people say Leonardo DiCaprio. The funniest one lately is Tom Brady. Please. Tom Brady has a full head of long hair. The man does not need a hair transplant at all.

The hair transplant industry knows no limits when it comes to deception.

The truth is that most hair transplants have limited results long term. In between, you’re going to be left with insecurity and constant doubt as you wait to see what happens long term. Dealing with the progressive nature of hair loss is expensive and time-consuming. And what if you don’t make it? What if the hair transplants don’t take? What will you do if you are permanently disfigured? Will the hair transplant doctor refund your money? Of course not! In fact, they won’t even return your phone calls.

Who has time for any of that? Get busy making money and getting girls. Get busy being alive and being human. Get busy being a man.

Anyway, I’ve talked enough. The final question I have for NewGuy77 is this. Honestly, would you trade places with Bruce Willis if you could? He’s bald. You have a hair transplant. Ask yourself honestly who you think is the more confident, secure, and successful ? Even at his age, do you think you would stand a snowball’s chance in hell of scoring the hot girl in the room against him? The same goes for Andre Agassi, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, or even that Michael Chitklis guy from The Shield. I only mention this because you said the following: “To most patients, getting a hair transplant is about getting a youthful look back in their 20s-40s, so that they can enjoy being young, attracting women, improving self-image, etc.” That sounds like it’s straight from a hair transplant rep.

I am a hair transplant success story. And I’m telling everyone here that you don’t need to risk the life-long scarring (emotional and physical) of hair transplants to be happy. Don’t let people like NewGuy77 talk you into believing that hair transplants are risk-free and will have a definite positive impact on your life.

Be a man. Shave your head. Work out and work hard. Develop your money and body. After all the hair has fallen out, then make the decision of whether or not to have a transplant. More likely than not, you’ll find once you’ve got your priorities straight that you don’t really want to or need to go to such drastic measures to be happy with your life .
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If I were truly an "industry rep", I'd be doing a horrible job of it. If you've read any of my other posts on this forum, you've seen that I consistently bash the industry at large. I have been very clear that I think the industry is full of deceitful organizations and extremely under qualified surgeons who want to steal your money and leave the back of your head disfigured. Secondly, an effective industry rep would likely be trying to sway people toward a specific doctor or organization (most likely by posting fake reviews). To the contrary, I have deliberately kept the identity of my surgeon private for this very reason. I have yet to post an actual review. It's far too easy to dismiss someone's advice as fake when they are advertising (or attacking) someone or something specific.

To be fair, I think we are largely saying the same things...that the industry is essentially out to get your money and has no regard for your well being. However the conclusions we're coming to and the advice that we're trying to give is naturally colored by our own experiences, for better or worse. As stated previously, I agree with you that if someone is going to continue to lose hair, they may not be the best candidate for a hair transplant (at least until they have an idea how much more they will lose). I also agree that if a person is going to continue to lose an extreme amount of hair (i.e. Norwood 5+), then they might consider just shaving their head and moving on. However what I still disagree with is your statement that "On a very fundamental level, hair transplants do not work." To make a silly analogy, that's like saying that planting new trees simply doesn't work, because logging companies will continue to cut down more trees. I would argue that the success of the newly planted trees has nothing to do with how many older trees will be cut down in the future. Unless of course you were told that by planting new trees, deforestation will completely come to an end and will solve the global issue of deforestation entirely. In which case you were lied to, and you have been set up for failure with totally unrealistic expectations. Similarly, if a surgeon tells you that your hair transplant procedure is going to completely solve your hair loss problem, you need to find a new surgeon immediately. Almost everyone will continue to lose additional hair. The questions are 1) how much more hair are you going to lose, 2) do you have enough donor hair to replace the additional lost hair, and 3) can you afford and endure having more procedures done in the future as needed? These are all questions that a skilled, reputable, trustworthy surgeon should help you work through. Everyone should have a very clear understanding of this picture for themselves before signing on to have any work done at all.

I'm note sure how much loss you had in the beginning, and how much loss you have had since, but if you only have "50% of your hair on a good day" and you've spent $60k and 8 years to get to that point, then you must have had an extreme amount of loss (and/or marginally successful surgeries). I was a Norwood 3 (approaching Norwood 4), and after 2 procedures, less than $25k total, and 3 years time I am already close to having 80% of a full head of hair (and no strip scars), and I expect much more growth throughout this year. To be fair, I am also using laser therapy for hair loss (LLLT), but I obviously attribute the lion share of my results to the transplant work. Either way, it sounds like you and I are both very different cases, which naturally means that we would have very different opinions of this type of procedure and the industry as a whole. However I think it's only fair that we try to give as objective and unbiased advice as possible. Warning people of the risks is commendable. But by making a blanket statement that "hair transplants do not work", you are potentially scaring good candidates away from something that could change their lives.

Next I'd like to address "risk" for a moment. You make reference to physical and emotional risk, disfiguring strip scars, and the possibility of hair grafts not taking. I want to make it clear to readers that these are all things that you absolutely have to worry about with an old-school strip procedure from a franchise that employs many questionable surgeons. For the most part these are NOT issues you have to deal with if you go to one of the nation's top FUE surgeons. The risks and possibility of grafts not taking with a highly skilled FUE surgeon are almost nil. But don't take my word for it. As I've said in various other posts, research and read tons of reviews for your surgeon, get a referral list, call patients, and meet some in person. If you find any evidence that a surgeon's past patients are not happy with their results, then move on. By doing very diligent research on your doctor, you will easily be able to determine if you are putting yourself in a risky situation. You mention that you've "never seen a transplant doctor turn around and show the strip incision on the back of his head and say: 'Look! You see? I did it, too.'" There is good reason for that. Doctors don't want to disfigure themselves with a strip procedure, as they've done to so many thousands of people over the years. To the contrary though, I personally know of 3 FUE surgeons in my area who are also FUE patients (2 of which showed me their own before/after pics). I would be surprised if you'd find any surgeons out there who'd undergo strip procedures when they've know about the benefits of FUE for so many years.

Lastly, I'd like to make it clear that I don't understand or subscribe to any exclusionary theories about money, success, happiness, and manliness versus having a hair transplant. "Be a man. Shave your head." ... "Get busy making money and getting girls. Get busy being alive and being human. Get busy being a man." As far as I can tell, you're suggesting that getting a hair transplant means you can't also be making money at the same time, means you're someone who isn't already getting girls, makes you less of a man and less of a human being, and takes away from your quality of life. I really don't understand how you arrived at these conclusions. You make it sound like you have to choose all of the above, or having hair...but you can't have it all. Well I'm here to tell people that you CAN have it all. I am working hard and becoming successful, I am working out and getting in really good shape, I do already have a girlfriend, and I am already very happy...BUT I also want hair. And thanks to two FUE procedures, I now have it. Would I trade places with a bald multimillionaire like Bruce Willis? Well I wouldn't want to be in my late fifties already, but if you picked a much younger bald multimillionaire we might have a deal! Hundreds of millions of dollars versus hair? I'm pretty sure we would all take the money. But since that opportunity doesn't seem to be presenting itself to me, I will take my already awesome non-millionaire life, plus hair.
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I've read balding blogs a million times, this was the first time I ever posted on one. Normally, I would not comment any further than the one post. However, I wanted to make a statement to those that want to truly understand how to view this complicated issue. Particularly, in regard to NewGuy77’s comments.
The first thing I want to do with this post is point out that NewGuy77 writes like someone from the hair transplant industry. The general style in which he speaks and his use of words to justify hair transplants are quite familiar to anyone who has dealt with sales representatives from the hair transplant industry. Maybe it's both. Maybe he had a hair transplant and works for the industry as a sales rep now.
NewGuy says he was a NW4. I say congratulations to him on his results. I hope it holds long term. It all depends on whether the hair is still falling out. If it is, then he’ll need to be ready for a long battle. Propecia is practically useless long –term. And he’s only doing FUE, so if he goes any further down the line on hair loss, he might not have enough to provide good coverage. It’s a chance he’s taking.
That was my point about NW3 or higher was that you won’t be able to predict where the baldness is going to go. You’ll have to keep saving up for another transplant. And after you get that one, you’ll have to start saving up for another. If any one of those surgeries goes wrong and the grafts don’t hold, you’ll be left with not enough hair. Again, the best you can hope for long term is 50% of your original coverage as a “realistic” long-term goal. There isn’t a young man in the world that goes into a hair transplant for a “maybe 50% if you’re lucky” long-term outcome.
To make things clear...
My hair transplant story is a success. And right there lies the problem. I can take a camera and play with the angles and show you how I have a full head of hair. But it's not true. I have some hair (maybe around 50% on a great hair day). I also have a linear scar on the back of my head. I am also short about $60,000 and 8 years of my life struggling with this problem. In the end, I got incredibly lucky that it has more or less worked out for me. There was a point when it didn't look like it would. But I've seen the horror pictures of people who went Norwood 6-7 or just started thinning out in the donor region. I know that I took an incredible chance and that it could have gone horribly wrong. What if it had? What if I had been left with a few weeds on my head? Then I’d be stuck because I couldn’t shave my head and I’d have nothing to provide coverage on top. My life would be a horrible mess. It’s not. I got lucky. I made it. But I would not ask anyone else to take the same risk.
The point NewGuy77 misses is that the risk/reward ratio for hair transplants is limited. In only very few cases do hair transplants really work to solve the fundamental problem: male insecurity. Hair loss is not cancer. My younger brother is completely bald and is a rich New York lawyer. I have some hair and I’m a simple middle-school teacher. In the end, hair transplants did not make any difference in our life paths.
(Let me be a prophet here, and anticipate what NewGuy77 will say to that. He’ll say something like: “Yes. Hair transplants will not solve your insecurity. But if you want a little bit more self-confidence and a little more hair will do that for you then you may be a great candidate. ” Something like that. Straight out of the hair transplant sales handbook.)
The funniest thing I’ve found about balding blogs is that the posters who tout the miracle of hair transplants rarely ever put up their own pictures. But when they read a horror story, they immediately ask the victim to put up his picture. It just doesn’t make any sense. If people were so proud of their transplants then they would post up their own pictures. They would show the world how great it is, instead of just saying it. Talk is so cheap when it comes
As for hair transplant doctors? The funniest thing is that so many of them have good hairlines and no need of transplants themselves. I’ve never seen a transplant doctor turn around and show the strip incision on the back of his head and say: “Look! You see? I did it, too.” Just like drug dealers, they have no need to consume the product they sell.
And as for celebrities? Please. The hair transplant industry wants you to believe every man in Hollywood has had hair transplants when few have. When I had my first transplant, I was told Ed Norton, Steven Seagal, Matt Damon, and, most famously, Matthew Macoughnahey and Nicholas Cage. I’ve even heard people say Leonardo DiCaprio. The funniest one lately is Tom Brady. Please. Tom Brady has a full head of long hair. The man does not need a hair transplant at all.
The hair transplant industry knows no limits when it comes to deception.
The truth is that most hair transplants have limited results long term. In between, you’re going to be left with insecurity and constant doubt as you wait to see what happens long term. Dealing with the progressive nature of hair loss is expensive and time-consuming. And what if you don’t make it? What if the hair transplants don’t take? What will you do if you are permanently disfigured? Will the hair transplant doctor refund your money? Of course not! In fact, they won’t even return your phone calls.
Who has time for any of that? Get busy making money and getting girls. Get busy being alive and being human. Get busy being a man.
Anyway, I’ve talked enough. The final question I have for NewGuy77 is this. Honestly, would you trade places with Bruce Willis if you could? He’s bald. You have a hair transplant. Ask yourself honestly who you think is the more confident, secure, and successful ? Even at his age, do you think you would stand a snowball’s chance in hell of scoring the hot girl in the room against him? The same goes for Andre Agassi, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, or even that Michael Chitklis guy from The Shield. I only mention this because you said the following: “To most patients, getting a hair transplant is about getting a youthful look back in their 20s-40s, so that they can enjoy being young, attracting women, improving self-image, etc.” That sounds like it’s straight from a hair transplant rep.
I am a hair transplant success story. And I’m telling everyone here that you don’t need to risk the life-long scarring (emotional and physical) of hair transplants to be happy. Don’t let people like NewGuy77 talk you into believing that hair transplants are risk-free and will have a definite positive impact on your life.
Be a man. Shave your head. Work out and work hard. Develop your money and body. After all the hair has fallen out, then make the decision of whether or not to have a transplant. More likely than not, you’ll find, once you’ve got your priorities straight, that you don’t really want to or need to go to such drastic measures to be happy with your life .
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I've never seen a bold Jezus ...
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I'm afraid of HAIR TRANSPLANT after reading this post...
Now I'll do Yoga exercises, eat healthy food, and then I'll see the result in an year. If I get my hair back, I'll tell you guys...... otherwise, I'll take the name of God and get my hair transplanted...
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