After getting tired of using bangs and side parts...
After getting tired of using bangs and side parts to cover my hairline I realized I needed to do something about it. The procedures I looked into were the scalp advancement, and the FUT and FUE hair transplants. After doing my research I decided a FUE hair transplant would be the best choice long-term. I had a great experience with the actual procedure and am looking forward to seeing the results! I will update as I see changes!
Day 3: Swelling but no pain
The recipient and donor areas seem to be healing really well. I'm surprised how little pain I've felt. The worst I felt was 30 min post-op before I took pain meds. Since then I've felt no pain. Today was wash day #2 and it went really well. My biggest problem is the facial swelling. My face is huge and my right eye is almost swollen shut. I would highly recommend doing this kind of procedure before a weekend so you can hide out for a few days! I definitely could not go to work or social events like this.
The swelling is finally going down. My swelling was the absolute worst day 3 and 4. My entire face was swollen and my eyes were half shut. Today my face is looking more normal but I am noticing yellow bruising all over my forehead and down my temples. The pain still isn't bad. I have the most discomfort in my donor areas. I started massaging those areas gently today and it feels really good! As far as the grafts go I have seen about 5-10 hairs come out but no bulb so I am not too worried-- just very excited!
Day 7-- Bye Bye Crusts
Feeling really good today and swelling is mostly gone. I still have yellow bruising around my eyes and temples but it doesn't bother me. My only complaint is dull pain in the donor areas, especially at night. I was able to easily remove about 70% of the crusts when I washed this morning. It feels so much better not having those thick right crusts making everything so stiff! There are a couple scabs that concern me but they're very small. I wore a hat for the first time yesterday to do some light exercise. It only hurt where I have a scab, but when I adjusted it, it was fine. So far so good!
Day 8-- Soft hair
Today I washed my hair more vigorously with my hands the same way I wash the rest of my hair and it felt so good to get in there and massage and get those crusts out. I have lost many of the hairs (which I realize is normal) and several native hairs too. I'm not too concerned. I'm getting more and more excited about the permanent hairs coming in now that I can kind of visualize what they'll look like.
My scalp is still pretty sensitive in general. My donor areas are sore but I'm not taking anything for it at this point. My recipient area doesn't hurt today. Yesterday it was very sensitive and it felt uncomfortable to wear a hat. I exercised three times last week but I'm definitely not 100%. So far I've lost around 100 hairs. I don't know what was shedding and what was graft loss. Before my scabs began shedding I took close up pictures of my hair and counter 30 something hairs that were just lying on the scalp, bulb and all, so I'm afraid I lost those ones at the get go. Attached are pictures I took tonight. I'm hoping I'm one of the 5% who's transplanted hairs just keep on growing without falling out, but I'm not gonna hold my breath!
I've had several people ask what the donor sites look like. Here's the only one I can find easily. I have six of them and they're all very well hidden by my hair. This is what they look like today, day 11. You can see the procedure didn't leave me with bald spots-- the doctor took the hair randomly so as it grows back you won't be able to tell.
Today is the first day I've felt completely normal. I went on a run today and felt great. Up until now when I would physically exert myself I felt a lot of pressure in my head and around my grafts. I think I've really healed! I still think I've lost 100+ hairs but what's left looks and feels great. I'm excited!
3 week update
Day 24: No pain at this point. I visited my doctor at three weeks and he said I can treat my hair now as if I never had a transplant. I've done a good amount of light massaging since which has felt amazing and helped some of the dead hairs shed. I'm not sure if you can see in these pictures but some of the hairs appear to be significantly longer than others and instead of being course are very soft. I think there is a chance that these hairs actually "took" and have actually begun growing. I'm really happy so far!
4 Week Update
More shedding-- more growth. It's becoming clear which hairs are growing. You can see the longer thick transplanted hairs that get thinner and lighter as they get to the scalp. Happy so far!
Currently looks like this
It's been just over 5 weeks and most of the hair has fallen out, which my doctor told me to expect. You can see that some is growing pretty long. I'm surprised some hairs just started growing right away. I drew arrows to point out some of those longer hairs. The donor areas are impossible to find-- not even my hairdresser found them. The skin in the recipient area, however, looks pink and a little bumpy. I read that people with fair skin can have redness for a couple months post op. The small bumps are either from hairs pushing up and or irritation. I wear hats and headbands all the time and I think the skin gets a little irritated. It's my understanding that as long as I don't get persistent pimples it will clear up on its own.
Nothing new or terribly exciting this week. I aim to provide pictures every week so others can see my progress in real time. I found this website extremely helpful so I'm trying to pay it forward!
Just over two months
25 Sep 2016
2 months post
I trimmed some of the longer hairs because the transplanted hair is much darker and thicker than the new growth and it looked funny. I'm overall very happy and thankful that I already have growth. Looking forward to the three month mark!
29 Sep 2016
2 months post
I'm noticing new hairs. They're short and fine and I'm really excited about it. The only hairs I saw previously were the ones that never fell out and just kept growing. Very excited!
Around the 2 1/2 month mark. I wanted to include these pics because you can see my face shape and what a difference the transplanted hair makes. You can see the hair is starting to fill in and I love how the new hairline frames my face.
22 Oct 2016
3 months post
Hair is filling in... Mostly in the temples
12 Nov 2016
4 months post
The place where I had the least amount of hair before surgery was my right temple, and that area has filled in the most so far. I dyed my hair this week because my new growth is a couple shades darker than my natural hair that had lightened up from sun exposure. It's so weird! As you can see the new growth is darker than my eyebrows. I had my colorist dye the new hair and my native hair so the the new growth wouldn't look so odd!
Almost exactly four months
25 Nov 2016
4 months post
Filling in nicely, especially on the left temple! I am so thankful for Dr. Vories... This procedure has seriously been life changing. My self esteem has never been higher. I also have to say that I highly recommend the FUE-- I have had no hair loss or scalp tightness that people with FUT have brought up, and my donor areas are thick and full. I have always been able to hide them easily. Plus, not a single hair was removed and wasted. I am already thrilled with my results!
Five month update
25 Dec 2016
5 months post
I began bleaching my hair at the 4 1/2 month mark. My skin is very fair and I wanted less contrast between my skin color and hair color. With the lighter color I've actually been able to wear my hair off my face. The new hairs grew 1 cm in the past 3 weeks (based on the dark new growth I measured), and the hair that was shaved down in the donor areas is around 3-4 solid inches now. I'm going to continue to color my hair lighter, at least until the new growth grows long enough to blend with the rest of my hair.
5 1/2 months
12 Jan 2017
6 months post
Loving what I'm seeing so far
So happy with my hairline and it's only been 6 months!
19 Apr 2017
9 months post
It has been almost 9 months since my procedure. The new hair growing in is course and wiry and a couple shades darker than my natural color. I read that it can take several hair cycles for the hair to come in the same texture and color as native hair. I color the hair and use a very small flat iron to even out the texture. That being said, I am glad I had the procedure done. I look forward to the hair growing softer and lighter in color in the future. For the time being I don't mind putting a little effort into styling it. It really isn't that hard. I also love that I can wear my hair back.