A Guy in His Late 30s and His Journey Through Hair Loss - Alpharetta, GA

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First, I am an extremely private person, so I...

First, I am an extremely private person, so I refuse to upload any pictures, identifiable information, and etc., but I wanted to share my journey through hair loss with other people who are suffering and considering taking action. Below is my story and what has worked for me.

At age 29, I started losing my hair, which was a gut-wrenching experience. I was always known for having extremely thick hair, so I thought I was exempt from hair loss. During college, my friends commented on my great hair line and density. At 29 my hair started changing.

It felt like it happened over night. One day I noticed that I was shedding substantial amounts of hair in a number of contexts: showering, brushing my hair, sleeping (pillow hairs), and in my ball caps (they contained numerous hairs).

Initially, I was in denial, so I didn't do anything. I still had tons of hair and no bald spots, so why would I panic? Fast forward two years, and I was panicking. I noticed very thin spots in my crown, and the shedding was not slowing down. At that point, I started minoxidil, and it had no effect, even after one year of daily use. I heard about finasteride, but I was too scared to try finasteride because of the online reviews highlighting the potential side effects.

At 32, almost 33, I decided to get a hair transplant with a top hair surgeon in LA. My crown had become so thin that it was apparent that I was going to have a substantial bald spot. Additionally, I was experiencing diffuse shedding. The LA transplant doctor promised amazing results, and he used the FUE technique. I was excited about avoiding a FUT scar and the promised transformation.

The transplant results were very limited. After a 2,000 follicular unit transplant, only 300 grafts grew, and I followed the post-op guidelines perfectly. After one year, I was heartbroken and poor. I had invested 15,000 USD for results that were almost non-existent. To make matters worse, I continued to lose more hair.

Over the next four years, I tried vitamins, laser combs, and other things with limited results. Finally, I decided to give transplantation one more shot. This time, I researched almost every transplant doctor in the US who had excellent results, and I was torn between Dr. John Cole in the Atlanta area and Dr. Feller. After more research, I contacted Dr. Cole in Atlanta, GA. He was very direct and gave me the good and bad news. His bedside manner was lacking, which made me nervous. But, he and his staff talked to me about stabilizing my hair loss and not just transplanting more hair. As a result, I scheduled a 2,350 graft transplant with a full-scalp Acell and PRP treatment. Also, I started using finasteride, saw palmetto, and switched my shampoo and conditioner to a rotation of Bosley Revive products and Hair Cycle (Dr. Cole's shampoo and conditioner).

The surgery with Dr. Cole was interesting. He was very short and at times cranky with his staff. He was extremely confident, maybe cocky. However, he was honest and respectful with me. He demanded perfection from his staff, which caused the environment to be tense at times. Putting the tension and the bedside manners aside, I was shocked (in a good way) by his CIT process, especially with my post-op recovery. It took less than half the time of my previous FUE session to recover from the procedure and begin normal life. Additionally, his FUE punches were tiny. My girlfriend was blown away by my recovery. After 12 days, I looked normal. She couldn't believe that I looked like I had not had surgery.

Currently, I am 4 months post-op, and I couldn't be happier with my new growth. I did not expect growth that I could groom until six to eight months post-op. My bald spot is completely gone. Even better, the Acell with PRP and/or finasteride has/have stopped my hair loss. My shedding has ended. I am floored. I feel like I have been given a new lease on life. I couldn't be happier, and I plan on returning to Dr. Cole for an Acell PRP (stand alone) follow-up. I now understand why he demands near perfection from his staff. He takes his work very seriously. His work is truly amazing. He knows what he is doing.

A testament to the early success of my procedure was my return to work at the three month mark. I work a job that requires me to travel to different satellite locations every few months. When I returned to my home base (three months post-op), five of my coworkers commented on my hair. They said things like, "Did you get a new hair cut?" "Your hair looks great; are you styling it differently?"
Unbeknownst to them, I am not styling it differently. I just have more hair now, but they have no idea that I've had work done. I can't wait to see what my hair looks like at the six month and one year marks.

Below are my recommendations for anyone who is suffering like I was.

1) Start taking finasteride and minoxidil ASAP, and give them time to work. Don't live in denial about your hair loss. Also, toss saw palmetto and shampoo/conditioner changes in there for good measure.
2) Go to a talented doctor like Dr. Cole for a consultation.
3) Considered Acell and PRP (stand alone), if the doctor thinks you are a good candidate.
4) Don't get sucked in by marketing and crazy promises. I had a bad transplant, and now I've had a great one that is looking better daily.
5) Keep the faith and commit yourself to ending your hair loss. I did it. Hopefully, you can do it, too.
Atlanta Hair Restoration Surgeon

He is very direct and honest. His work is second to none.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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