Hello all. I have decided to document my hair...
Hello all. I have decided to document my hair transplant journey with this community as so many journeys on this site have inspired me throughout my experience searching for the right doctor or hair transplant professional to help with my situation.
I have followed and analysed various members reviews and have been rooting for great results for everyone.
I will tell you a bit about my case. Up until the age of 26 I had a full head of thick hair and I would regularly go to the barber shop. I'd time my hair cuts at every 4 weeks and within that 4 week period my hair would grow thick and grow out of shape until the next cut when the barber would shape me up again. This went on for years until when I reached 26 and started to notice my hair slowly thinning in places and the hair cut that I would get every 4 weeks on the same day slowed to about every 8 weeks. By the time I was 28 my hair was thinning alot on top and my barber had to use certain techniques to disguise the thinning areas.
By the time I hit 30 the thinning got so bad I decided to stop going to the barber shop and brought my own clippers and started to learn to manage my hair myself. I stopped going to the barbers because I felt slightly self conscious of my thinning locks and the drastic change that had occurred over a 5 year period. By no means am I a vane person it was just my hair routine and from the culture I come from the barbers and styling the hair does play an important role. When this is taken away prematurely it does affect you a little.
I started to use rogaine, I think my barber introduced me to it before I stopped going to the barbers. I used it for over two years and hated the smell and the white residue it created. Then I stopped using it and my hair got thinner. I then started taking biotin supplements and hair fibres to cover the balding hair. The hair fibres I found to be a big hassle after a while as they would take 10 minutes to apply and then would leave marks on bedding.
At 32 I decided to research hair transplants. At first I looked towards America as being from the UK the hair transplant prices were way out of my league. I researched HT techniques and looked at many HT docs in the US. The biggest stumbling block for me was the huge difference in price between fut procedure and fue and I wasn't interested in fut procedure. Also the fact that I have afro Caribbean hair type and I read that my hair type was tricky when it came to hair transplants.
I then started to research in Turkey and came across websites like this and others. I encountered the same issue when looking for HT doctors in Turkey. Most said they did not deal with my hair type whilst one who is very well known on here told advised me they only work with Somalian hair. I have Somalian friends and know their hair is not that different in texture to afro hair.
I then expanded my research further and found a HT organisation in Turkey that works on afro carribean hair called Astethica. They assured me they have done numerous HT fue procedures on my hair type and they even put me in touch with a patient with my hair who was having the procedure done.
I am now 33 and feel it's the right time to have the procedure done. I am looking to have the fue hair transplant in April. Astethica examined my photos and advised that I needed 4000 graphs below is a picture of how they worked this out.
I hope you all can follow me on this journey and I'm documenting this to help others like me who are looking to have a hair transplant. Feel free to contact me about anything you'd like to ask
pictures of my thinning hair
I thought I'd upload pictures of my thinning hair to give a perspective of where I am now and what changes or improvements could take place in the future.
why I have decided to have my HT with estethica
My choice in the HT organisation I have chosen for my fue transplant was not one that was made on just one factor alone. Some of you may be wondering why I have decided to go with estethica than elsewhere. Three main factors have driven my decision, the first is the fact estethica have informed me they perform numerous surgeries a month on my hair type. They also have their own technique of follicular extraction that makes it possible to perform fue on my hair type known as the perkutan technique.
The second factor is that estethica is a private hospital and is not a boutique style HT organisation and is properly regulated by the Turkish government.
Thirdly, the price is good and hotel accommodation and transfers are included. I have also found the examination they did with my photos and the interaction with me has so far been good and they have answered all my questions.
All of this will only be put to the test once I have the HT, so we will see.
preparing the follicles for good growth
I haven't updated this review in a while. At the moment I am just waiting for the days to pass and the hair transplant to happen. At the moment I have now started to take one 5000mg of biotin per day. Biotin, as some of you may know is a b vitamin, it aides in the way our body burns carbohydrates and gives our muscles energy. It is also said to be good for skin, nails and hair growth. I will be taking biotin everyday until a week before the HT and then resume them once the HT is done.
I want my hair transplant experience to be an organic one as best as possible so that means I won't be taking fanasteride, propecia, or using minoxidil.
I will also be using natural aloe vera, argan oil and other natural hair products.
Anyway I hope to update again soon. If you have any questions get in touch.
Finally got my HT done at Estethica
I finally did it and got my hair transplant done today with Estethica. The intire procedure was suprising and somewhat predictable at the same time. The predictable things were the taking of bloods the meal halfway through that everyone talks about, but nothing can prepare you for the initial anesthetic injections. The first three or four are excruciating but you just have to grit your teeth and bare it. Then the extraction of the grafts begins and this is relatively calming. The incisions the technicians make in the recipient area you can't feel but you can hear every incision. The techs work at a steady pace and are wonderful at what they do. They all work as a collective team and everyone has a role in the process.
From the man who changes you into your operating gown to the women who takes bloods to the techs who perform most of the extraction to the doctor who comes in to check everything is going smoothly.
The entire process took about 6 and a half hours. I was collected from the hotel by my private driver at 8am and driven to Estethica and greeted by the Estethica representative Gale who is a very nice and friendly person. Then I was taken up to get ready for the procedure.
The docs took pictures drew a hairline in consultation with me and everything went from there. Right now I am pleased and shattered at the same time so this is kind of rushed but will update again. Attached is a pic.
I also forgot to say I got 3800 grafts and they say I may need to come back to do the crown as all of the grafts were put in the front and middle to get as much density as possible.
A closer look
A closer look at the grafts and hairline.
A great experience in Turkey
I had a wonderful experience in Turkey. The country is beautiful and the people are extremely welcoming and friendly. I am back home in the UK now as I write this just landed 2 hours ago. My journey started on 12th April when I flew out to Turkey morning flight took just under 4 hours. When I got to Ataturk Airport I was greeted by my driver who was a very polite guy. He took my bags and drove me all the way to my hotel. I stayed on the Asian side in the Atehesir Palace which is a four star hotel. There was a lot of traffic getting there but the sights you will see on the way make up for it all. The architecture is amazing juxtaposed with new modern skyscrapers and old buildings and the streets are so clean.
I was booked into the hotel and then picked up the next day at 8am, though before this I had a great breakfast at the hotel. I was driven to the Estethica hair transplant centre which was five minutes from the hotel and was greeted by Gale the representative who looked out for me the whole day. I was introduced to the techs and doctor. Bloods were taken and then pictures and the hairline was set. Then I was taken to change into my operating clothes and my hair was cut low by a very nice gentlemen. After that I was taken into the HT operation room. As stated before they all work as a team and everyone in it has their value. I had three beautiful tech girls working on me throughout the time and they each had their role. One did anaesthetic one removed the grafts one injected me with PRP which I initially did not think I'd be getting. Then after a break for lunch the doctor came in to insert the grafts. The entire process took over 6 hours. Even though the tech girls don't talk much English they did answer my questions like how many grafts were extracted and if I was feeling pain they would know when to inject more anaesthetic.
After the procedure i was bandaged up and given all my medications and told how to use them. I was driven back to the hotel but then decided to explore the local area and went to the mall which was five minutes walk from the hotel did some shopping and has some food. After a while the pain around my hairline started to kick in and there was a little blood dripping down my face which I had to keep on patting with tissue but still no one really batted an eyelid. I headed back to the hotel and rested up.
The aftercare discussion
Today I was picked from the hotel by the driver at around 9am taken back to Estethica and was explained more about what to do to protect the grafts and how i should wash my hair. There was some surprising do's and don't's about how to get best results. I was told it's a 50/50 partnership and that 50% is down to me about how i treat the follicles initially with shampoos and creams.
At this moment in time I would recommend Estethica to anybody who is suffering from hair loss and especially those with afro hair like mine.
The aftercare discussion
This morning I was picked up from the hotel at 9am and driven back to the Estethica centre for a discussion on how I should look after the follicles. There was some surprising do's and don't's in there.
I also had the first wash also.
Overall I am pleased I chose Estethica and would recommend them to anybody and those with Afro hair like mine but time will tell if the results come through.
First proper look at grafts
Took this pic as I got back home to the UK. My head is a bit swollen but hoping this will go down in a few days.
Shampoos and lotions
I was given these two products to help the healing and washing. Seamed shampoo and Bepanthol lotion. I was told to use the shampoo everyday for 10 days, not sure I'm going to stick to that as with afro hair we don't wash hair every day. I was told to put lotion on the recipient afterwards. Then on day eleven put lotion on the donor area for 1 hour and then shampoo and repeat this for four days. Will see if I stick to this regimen or modify it just a little.
A look at the recipient area
Two days post procedure and this is how my recipient area looks. It is tender to the touch but is not painful otherwise. The white flecks you can see are bits of the gauze I had to pull off. The recipient area does leak fluid which I think is a mixture of healing white blood cells and the anaesthetic coming out but I was given a special covering to prevent leakage on bedding (sorry to be so graphic but I want to explain every situation so others know what to expect)
I got up took off the gauze and wiped the recipient with a wet warm towel. After it dried I put some Aloe vera gel on the recipient area. I also rubbed Aloe vera gel on the grafted area. I should do this every day I think. I will also be using argan oil as I'm told it is rich in vitamin E and helps skin healing.
I'm using these two products. Tomorrow I will do my first tentative wash :)
First wash 3 days post op
I had my first hair was today. I was being over cautious with patting the donor area with the shampoo. I used the shower head on its lowest heat level and made sure the water was just drizzling out. The donor area feels hard not sure if this is normal?
So I decided to make up my own watery lotion with two parts water one part argan oil put in a spray bottle and sprayed it like a mistake over the grafts. Hope that helps :(..???
Anyway this is all such a learning curve for me but I'm just trying to be positive with it all:)
Here is a pic after the first wash.
Not happy right now
I'm beginning to wonder if my hair transplant was totally unsuccessful. Right now I am getting a lot of the individual hairs falling off with a hard black crust. I was wondering if this is normal. It is seven days post op
The hairline that was created is now being peeled back as the hairs fall with the scabs. Even brushing my hand gently over them causes crusts to fall off.
Is anyone going through the same..
One month post HT
Well it has been an eventful month in this hair transplant journey. In the first seven days the top of my head was full of crusts and i had to keep washing it every day with the shampoo that the doctor supplied to soften the crusts. As every day passed more and more of the crusts came off with little hairs attached.
By day 10 post HT, all of my crusts had gone and i was left with fine hairs. I'd say about 50% of the transplanted hairs fell but the others remained. At the same time i was using aloe vera gel on the donar area and then five minutes after it dried in rubbing argan oil into the donar and recipient area.
Right now at this early stage i am quite happy with the results so far as i now have a hairline that before i did not. Even now the hairline is faint with small pimples as you can see in the pics i have at this stage.
Right now i am still using aloe gel and argan oil and take 5000mcg of biotin daily and a multivitamin. The hair growth is slow but hopefully in the coming months with the nice warm weather the hairs might respond nicely.
I was also told the hair grows best when you are sleeping, but with the work i do my sleep pattern is a bit all over the place and i tend to sleep for about 6 hours at best. Anyway we will see.
Next update in another month.
2 months post HT
I am now entering my third month after my HT. The second month has been fairly steady progress but not huge changes. The shedding i believe has now stopped and hairs are starting to slowly grow. I think the mid scalp is growing the fastest but at this stage i am a little disapointed with the growth in the hairline. I still see loads of pimples and follicle dots that have not sprouted hairs in the hairline so im hoping in the coming months these will start to grow. I'm still taking biotin and multivitamins and using argan oil on the scalp. I think that the left side is growing better than the right at this stage but this may change in the coming months. I have added pictures of my current progress.
Next update in another month
3 months post HT
Between my last update and now i have seen some steady changes to my hair. The shock loss has stopped and in say the last 3 weeks more hairs have started to sprout. The hairs that are growing are thin and are growing at strange angles but hopefully jn time this will sort itself out.
I do hope that my hairline gets a bit stronger and more hairs grow there that is my only reservation right now but i am only at the third month stage.
I have stopped using argan oil and am now using a hair pomades that seems to be thickening up the hair when i apply it. A friend of mine told me to use coconut oil pomades but i havent tried that yet.
Also the tightness of the scalp in the recepient area has reduced alot now.
Attached are some pics of my progress so far.
4 months post HT
Hello everyone! In the last say four weeks i have seen some great progress. The hairs that have come through have started to thicken and darken in colour. The hair now seems to be growing faster. More hairs have come up along the hairline and i'm hoping there will be more to come in the coming months.
I can tell you that at just 4 months i am very pleased with the growth so far. I did not expect to have such coverage at this stage so if more growth happens in the next 8 months i will be extremely happy.
I have so far stopped getting pimples in the last 3 weeks so whether this is a sign all hairs have come through i am not entirely sure. I have also been using coconut pomades and another one which i believe have helped nourish my hair. I only wash my hair once a week also. This is just my regimen and will differ from person to person.
Anyway that really is it for now. If you have any questions get in touch.
5 months post HT Have all the follicles popped up?
Hello everyone! It has now been five months since i had my HT. Time really does fly! Since my last update nothing much has really changed. I still contine to take biotin, a multivitamin, and nourish my hair with coconut oils and another product i mentioned in my last update.
In my last update i wondered whether the pimples stopping was a sign of all the hairs coming up but low and behold after that two pimples came up and i had to burst them as they visibly looked gross. Now i wonder if the follicle came out when i popped them? I still believe or hope more hairs are laying dormant and will pop up in places but time will tell if that happens.
I had to cut my hair a few days back as it was growing alot and thicker than the pics you see. I decided to shape it myself and i think i made a hash of it lol. Next time i will go to the barbers who actually know how to properly fade.
People and friends have commented that they can see a difference now. Even one co-worker said to me "you was going bald a few months back now your hair is back what product did you use" as i could not be bothered to go into the whole HT thing i just said i was stressed at that time and now it is growing back. He couldnt believe it. I could have told the truth but it felt so good just saying my hair is just growing back.
Thats about it for now im just wondering if i have more follicles waiting to sprout like grass on a football pitch ????
6 months post HT.. i want another but trying not to be greedy.
It is now 6 months since i had my HT at the Estethica clinic in Istanbul and from my results so far it was one of the best decisions i ever made.
Although the growth has been slow, the recipient area has continued to flourish. Although i am happy with it so far there are parts of my scalp where id like the hair to grow thicker like portions of the front and right side.
I was told at the clinic that to get exceptional results a second HT might be an option. As im just 6 months so far i will wait until the full 12months to decide if its something i would consider doing again.
I have included a pic of the donar area as someone asked to see it. This pic was taken in bright natural light and my hair is cut fairly low so makes it look patchy but in reality its fine.
I havent had any pimples for the first time during the previous 4 weeks so this might be a sign that all the hairs have come up? Im not entirely sure? I continue to take biotin, wash my hair once a week, and use good hair products.
Looking at my pic before the ht to now i am surprised by the difference and if you showed me this pic 6 months ago i would have never believed this was possible. To all those guys looking to get it done i'd say go do it. However i'd warn some that complacency might set in and you might want more. Im trying hard not to fall into that cycle... its not easy.