Since being younger I was self conscious of the...
Since being younger I was self conscious of the size of my forehead. Later in my adult life I realized I was wrong...its no so much the size of my forehead its just that my temple areas went back way further than where my hairline started on my forehead. As I got older and from wearing braids I slowly noticed my temples were saying bye-bye. :) Now at the age of 31 and while in Thailand I decided to try to get some hair transplanted. I recently went natural (relaxer/chemical free) as of 02 Jan 2014. Yahh me! That relaxer was really starting to damage my hair. But that’s a different story and can be found on my blogs.Anyway lets fast-forward to the day of the surgery, 28 June 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. My appointment was at 0800 and they didn't finish until 1700 (5pm). They actually had me lying on the back the entire time until I had to ask to go to the bathroom. I have never been so mad during a procedure in my LIFE! I have to be honest that was the worst! Don't worry ..please don't let that deter you… this post gets wayyy better. I just had to get that out of the way. :) I will break the important topics down to make sure this post is not all over the place. :) Procedure Start Time: 8:00am
Procedure End Time: 5:00pm
Number of Grafts: 1500
Price: 91,800 BHT = $2,828 USD
Price per Graft: 60 BHT = $1.84 a graft (Cheap Right? I know, pray for me lol)
Doctor Name: Dr.Kongkiat Laorwong, MD
Type of Procedure: FUTNumbing of the scalp and donor area: This begins the start of the hair transplant. This is the only pain you will definitely feel. Its feels as though somebody is pinching your skin with their fingernails. So take your fingernails and pinch the back of your scalp. But the pain is short lived. Once it’s numb you will have no worries.Now they will place you on your back and get you ready for the strip removal of the donor area. I do not remember hardly any of this because I was sleep or in and out...Donor Area: Honestly this was the best part of the procedure. I was so gone off the pills they gave me and was asleep (in and out, mostly out) for the entire stripping of the donor area. I did not feel any pain and woke up when he was about 75% complete with the sutures. They woke me up to reposition me I think. Making the holes for the transplanted hair: Mind you I did my research but I am a not a professional. So I am not going to get technical but instead break it down in "Barney Terms" so some can relate :) At this time the doctor and the nurse were on both sides planting the holes while 3 nurses prep the hair from the strip. As the doctor and the nurse planted the holes I felt no pain but a little pressure. It felt like my forehead was BIG and HEAVY at this time and I could feel the tightness at the back of my head from the stitches on the donor area. Placing the hair in the holes: :) Or some will say...the actual transplanting of the hairs. By this time I was getting very annoyed because my back was starting to hurt from lying in the SAME position for hours with no break or breakfast. Towards the end the doctor gave me a pillow and the nurse gave me some orange juice Really? Y'all couldn't imagine how mad I was... I had to finally ask to sit up and I just broke down and started crying because I was tried of lying down for so long. By this time I guess the doctor left for a few. The nurse keep telling me 30 more minutes because my curl pattern or something was difficult. So 30 mins turned in 2 more hours. Also I was crying because the donor area was starting to pain badly! They had to inject a needle in two times one on each side of my head and yes I felt it. But shortly after I felt good again and stopped crying lol. I felt like a baby. Y'all I truly hate pain and when I start thinking about what’s going on at the time it makes it worst. So please don't let me scare you... I am just not a fan of ANY little pain. I just want to be honest and tell me story. So moving on...after they finished I was so happy and mad at the same time that I did not have any words to say to them. Just like a 4 year old I hated everybody. The guy I believe was a gay nurse (love gay guys) was actually the sweetest to me. He told me how to care for the area and gave me some pills and shampoo and informed me to come back on 30 June 2014 for them to shampoo my hair. They warned me the girl who would do it would speak no English. I am like REALLY? But they did sugar coat it by saying she will call them on the cell phone if I had any questions. You get what you pay for right? :) Its ok...right now I am happy I just pray this turns out good. Because a US doctor quoted me $8500. Anyway I am getting off track. Morning of 30 June 2014: I woke up and my fiancé informed me my left eye was a little swollen. I went to the bathroom and yes it’s swollen. It looks like fluid settled in the bag of my eye. Now I blame this on myself..because I was so tired last night I slept on my side elevated on two pillows instead of sleeping up. Also I read that after 3 days or so swelling would probably occur. However I am okay with that. My fiancé said he woke up and saw me with my head in the pillow, lol. But through all of this I made sure to definitely not to let my grafts touch anything except this black thing I am to wear over my head. Once I go to my appointment today at 4pm I will give another update if not tonight in a couple of days. I hope you enjoyed reading my story and I hope it was helpful. ? Also very big special thanks to a poster here. Her name is lynn0826. She is also an african american woman who shared her review and answered my questions. So be sure to check her out too :) Good luck to anybody who is thinking about it. Think about it like this we only have one life to live. We are all naturally beautiful in our own way but there is nothing wrong with enhancing it. :)
Here are some better Quality comparison pictures
You all know from my previous posts I am BIG on pictures. So here are some real before and after the procedure. Today I went back to the clinic to get my hair washed. Let me tell you it felt really good and relaxing. The lil Thai lady was very sweet but did not speak a hint of english....but I was warned in advance and if I had questions she would call her boss.
01 July 2014 - Swollen Eyes
Woke up this morning and my eyes are very swollen.. Haha and I thought I was going to be one of the lucky ones! My fiance is callin me "Rocky Dennis" lol. I read some reviews saying I can apply a warm towel from the microwave to my eyes and keep my head elevated so I will have to try this. Also my forehead swelling is reducing so I'm guessing the fluid has to go somewhere. What better place than the bags under my eyes lol. This sucks but if the end results are good it will be better than worth it! Staying positive
03 July 2014 - Swelling under Eyes Going Down / Wash Day / Crust
As today goes by the swelling in my eyes has went down a WHOLE lot...so I am happy about that. I think the swelling in my forehead is about 90% gone. And right behind the grafts closer to my original hair line is a little sore. I think this is from me wearing a lace front wig behind the hairline with a head wrap. Also I know a lot of ppl say that you should not wear any wigs after the surgery but I have been wearing my lace wig behind the transplanted hair with a head tie and so far so good. So for the women out there who love to wear wigs and want this done I will be the test dummy :)
Now on to the scalps..they are crusting up a lot and it looks white when I wash it. I can't wait to see what it will look like once they start to fall off. Oh my donor area where is the stitches are still feel a little tight. I am supposed to get them removed tomorrow on 04 July. I pray that it does not hurt. I feel like I should be using some ointment back there or something but the doctor says no...
Anyway here are some pictures.
Sutures Removed - 04 July 2014
Got my stitches removed and man my head never felt so good! I thought it was going to hurt but I didn't feel any pain and it took them less than 30 mins to remove them. Now my head is itching like I have lice, lol. Omg y'all the itch is REAL, lol. But I will stop updating now for a couple of days and I will definitely be back to post updates. I don't want to overload y'all. :)
06 July 2014 - Scab/Crust Finally Falling
It seems like today the transplanted area scabs just started to fall off at one time...which I'm happy about. The donor area is feeling ALOT better.
08 July 2014
Scabs are still falling. I am still only using the shampoo and patting the transplanted area with it and pouring water to rinse it out. After day 7 I was in the clear and didn't have to do this anymore but I am going to do it for a couple of more days since I don't wash my hair everyday.
Donor Area is feeling ALOT better but a lil itchy so I know its healing. The top of my head is still a lil sore too. I got my external flash fixed for my camera so the pictures will be a little brighter than usual. One other thing I would definitely suggest that if you get this done make sure you have a method to camouflage the area until it grows out. Tho I hardly ever wear my hair out I would be in a bad place right now if I didn't...because of the length of my hair there is no way to hide it.
12 July Update
Hello, I havent forgotten about you "Sonta" :) I am back at my camp now and able to take better pics. I still have a lot of scabbing . But for the most part the front feels like a beard if you rub your hand across it. My donor area is still a lil sore and I sometimes find it hard to sleep on it for long periods of time. Also if I "pick" my hair out you can NOT see the donor area at all. But if I part my hair you can definitely see it. I am back to applying (natural) products in my hair and Rogaine but I am not messing with the transplanted area except with Rogaine. It feels to good to return to moisturizing my hair because it was REALLy dry from not being able to apply anything to it. If you have 4c type hair like me you know what I mean lol.
28 July - End of Month Pic
Just a quick update. Now I am in my "waitttt for it" phase. I can see the little hairs breaking through surface. I see a big difference from what my hairline looked like before. My new hairline is more flattering to my face. So I am VERY happy about that even though the hairline "hairs" are in the short phase.
12 Aug 2014 - Update (Mini)
12 Aug 2014
2 months post
Nothing much has changed in the last 2 weeks. I got a BIG scalp pimple one day but it has went down a lot. I think I may need to wash my hair more... As for the growth I can see its trying to come in. Its coming in thin as he said it would but hopefully it will thicken over time as he said it would too.
21 Aug Update
21 Aug 2014
2 months post
I will be glad when the hairs start to get thicker. On 28 Aug it will be two months since I had the surgery. I am hoping by month 3 and 4 I see a big difference. Later on today or tomorrow I will post a comparison of how my hair was before. Oh and thank you all sooo much for your kinds words and motivation. This is really a great site! :)
Comparison Pictures...B4 and After
24 Aug 2014
2 months post
I think I said this b4 but I never posted a before pic...Here is a "not so clear" pic but you can see I had the 5 head thing going on. You can see the sides are different and thats the area I wanted him to concentrate on.
01 Oct 2014 Update
Here is a small update. I can actually see the hair coming in! After I wash my hair it is very noticeable. I cant wait until month 8. Its a slow process but its worth it in the end.
Update with Better Clear Pictures
... These pictures were taken last night. You can see where the hair is really starting to show now. Its still thin. I think they say month 8 is where it will thicken up. I cant wait but so far I am SOOOOOOOOO happy with my results and glad I did this.
21 Oct Update
21 Oct 2014
4 months post
I know I am probably posting too many pic's but I am so happy with my progress. I still can't believe its actually growing. It takes patience tho.
27 June 2014 (Before) Compared to 27 Oct 214 (Now)
28 Oct 2014
4 months post
I keep finding before pictures but I think this has to be the best comparison I have. Man I am so glad I went thru with this. I am about to send the doct BIG thank you email.
18 Dec 2014 - Small Update
19 Dec 2014
6 months post
So I have been slacking a little on using the Rogaine and taking pictures because I am at different base now but here is a small update. The area is growing and thickening up a lot. If you look at my before areas you will see that my temple areas were pushed back like a man's. Now they are even and gives my forehead a softer look. I still say this is the best decision I ever made.
13 Jan 2015
13 Jan 2015
7 months post
Yahhh my 1st update of the New Year. My hair is coming along.... Now you can really see the difference in the density of the new hair vs. the old hair. It's like I have a mini fro in the front, lol...but I am loving it. I think this is month 6 or 7th for me. Also 02 Jan was my 1 year of being natural completion. Yahhh!
9 Months After Update :)
19 Mar 2015
9 months post
I will continue to come back and post until my year is up. I know there is limited pictures out there of African American women who decide they need a hair transplant. I am not ashamed to document my journey here so it can help. :) If you have any questions feel free to PM me. :) Now on to my update.....
So my doc said around month 8-9: "Hair is groomable, but transplant appears thin as hair continues to grow and thicken. Slight textural change in hair is occasionally present. Patient is evaluated for a possible second procedure."
In my case this is true. The front does look thin from these pictures...I also believe the flash on the camera is making it worst... BUT I am still very happy with my results and I will make my final decision on my 1 year mark on 30 June 2015! :) The March 2014 picture is a couple of months before I got the transplant. I posted it so you can see the big before and after difference.
Whats up with my donor area? I don't know why but for some reason I thought there was not going to be any proof back there, lol. I can still see the area...but ONLY when I part my hair. The hair is growing back tho...but for you relaxed ladies...and depending on how thick your hair is....that may be a concern. So think ahead of how you will need to style your hair.
If you are thinking about getting this done remember you have to be willing to wait on your results. It will be worth it. :)
10 Months After :)
25 Apr 2015
10 months post
The front is still growing. Its at the "visible" short hair phase now. That means I can see the difference between where the transplanted hair meets the old hair. I have to brush the hair back so it will blend. So as the transplanted hair gets thicker it will blend better without me having to brush it back. I hope? lol. If it doesn't I am still happy with the results. I can wear a puff now so I am glad. I hope that makes sense. In other words its like a bunch of short fuzz balls of hair at the front of my hair and right behind that the hair is longer hair...??? Yeah I may have confused myself , lol. Hopefully you understand. I will try to take a picture of that next update.
The gap between the transplanted area and my old hair....
22 May 2015
11 months post
Remember in my last post I said something about there is a gap where the transplanted hair meets the older hair. I know this is because of the length difference. I will be happy when it grows out though because I do not like having to slick back the area. But its cool. I am just glad its growing. Also here is how much the hair has grown. HTH someone :)
04 Nov 2015
Thanks so much for your personal messages. I am fine... I have been transitioning from overseas back to the states for some months. I am still LOVING my hair. It has filled in very thick and the texture is coming in curly! It is still the BEST decision I ever made and I would advise anyone who is thinking about it to do it....but definitely do your research on the doctor first. You do not have to go to the most expensive doctor for the best results. If you have been keeping up with my story you will know I went to Thailand and paid about $2,500 and my results came out just as good as some who paid $10,000. In no way am I insinuating anything but you get my point. :) Do your research and go with what works best for you and your budget. The doc I went to was great. The nurses didn't speak a lot of English but they knew the basics. lol :)
Anyway back to this new hair :) It took a while for it to thicken up but when it started it took off. I have calmed down and hardly used any growth aides. I just keep it simple with a cream/ liquid moisturizer and an oil to seal. The less you do to your hair the more you will see it grow. When you first get your transplant I would advise you to not really bother the area...just let it do its thing. I wore lace wigs but I would make sure the hair hairline on the lace wig sat away from my new hairline. Does that make sense? I wouldn't advise you to slick it back or wear it in tight ponytails. Thats all I can think of now. I will be back in a few months with another update. Thanks for the reminder Jill :)