I over plucked my eyebrows as an early teenager and they never grew back quite right. My right eyebrow filled back in well except for the arch. But my left eyebrow stayed shorter and thinner.
While searching online for ways to stimulate eyebrow growth I found eyebrow hair transplants. It peaked my interest. I read about it and after a year of debating the idea I decided to go ahead and try it.
I found Dr. Epstein in Miami and Marc Dauer in LA. Although originally leaning towards Dr Epstein to do my procedure because he is also a plastic surgeon and claims to have done over 10,000 hair transplant procedures. I went with Marc Dauer because he is only a short 1 hour flight from where I'm live in SF and it's hard for me to schedule concrete dates in advance since my work schedule can change last minute.
At the time I thought how hard could the procedure be? It's only a hair transfer not a rhinoplasty or breast augmentation. And if he's charging so much money he must know what he's doing.
I was wrong.
First I'd like to say while talking with receptionist over the phone they have very little factual information about procedure past how much it cost and when they can schedule you. I also never could get a straight answer out of any of Marc Dauer's staff as to how many eyebrow hair transplants he's actually performed since opening his private practice. Only vague answers such as "oh thousands" or "we average one a day." BS. Most surgeons take days for consultations and other days for procedures. Finally after speaking to a lady that deals with procedure follow ups I found out that Dauer doesn't tell his staff a statistical number because it's 'constantly changing.' BS. Anyone proud of there work would tell the honest truth. We dont need up to the minute numbers but since January of 2016 how many eyebrow transplants have you actually performed? And how did they turn out?
Anyway I had a face to face consultation with Dauer in the spring of 2015. He checked my hair density on my head and said I would be a good candidate and then I didn't see him again until my procedure in April of 2016. When I finally decided to go ahead and try it.
The day of my procedure I showed up, was put in a room to go over paperwork informing me of possible nerve damage to the scalp/doner area. And other info I think on after care. I originally was scheduled for a strip harvest FUT but was concerned about scarring and changed to the FUE procedure. I asked Dauer how large of an area would need to be shaved and he showed me a small fist. So figured a small square would be shaved, they wouldn't need many hairs as I was only wanting minimul adjustments.
One of his staff collected payment from me and then after that I was able to speak with Dauer about what I wanted to do about my eyebrows. He said I should draw them to look they way I wanted them to. Funny thing was he didn't even have an eyebrow pencil on hand. And the pencil he did find for me was much thicker than I would think appropriate. I drew a line showing how I wanted to bring out the length of the brows and extend the arches. I had early arches instead of an even natural line. He then said that what I drew was much to big and the eyebrows would be to low and close to my eyelids. And I should be concerned about aging and my eyebrows drooping into my eyes. What!? Excuse me? At this point he is appearing to be rushing. He takes the pencil. I wipe off what I drew so he could draw what he thinks would be appropriate. So he does and I look in the mirror and he literally just drew an outline around my existing eyebrow. At this point I'm feeling very uneasy and anxious. And I should've followed my gut. And left. Hello I'd like my money back. This guy doesn't know what he's doing. He doesn't even understand basic eyebrow shape yet is performing eyebrow hair transplants!? He didn't even have a cosmetologist or someone with experience shaping eyebrows to draw on the shape!
I told him what would be the point in getting hair transplanted if I wanted my eyebrows to look the way they already do? My eyebrows are naturally thick, I didn't need them thicker. I wanted to change the shape not thickness! And also I told him I didn't want to put hairs where I already have hair not only because it isn't necessary but I didn't want to have shock loss. I asked him if he wanted to place hairs all over the eyebrow because the transplanted hair would be thinner or thicker and not match the natural eyebrows and if that was a strategy to create an even? I was trying to understand his logic. He replied no, but that most his eyebrow clients want an overall thicker eyebrow. So he tells me to draw the lines I want and just pop the pills and I can look at it and tell them my suggestions during the procedure. He hands me the pills and leaves the room to attend to some other patient waiting to start their procedure in the other room. At that point I'm torn. Here I am, I came all this way, I was sure about this a minute ago. He has all those great photos on his website. I already paid. If I want to back out now's the time. But unfortunately I didn't. I swallowed the pills and started the procedure.
Another note I'd like make is that. Marc Dauer doesn't do the entire procedure himself. He only harvest the hairs, and creates the holes that the hairs go into. He lets his assistance do the rest of the work. Numbing, shots, separating the hairs, inserting the hairs. Which I do believe Dr. Epstein does all of the work himself except the hair follicle separation just too speed up the process. And he is the same price as Dauer except apparently much more experience. And an actual plastic surgeon.
That day it sounded as though the main girl working with me was traingthe other girl. Or I assume since I head her asking many questions. I also over heard the main girl comment about how if the other girl is starting to get a "migraine" she should go get some pills from the other room and told her don't wait for it to get bad, she waited too long the other day and her "migraine" was soo bad. This as I was waking up I don't think she realized I could over hear them talking about popping opiates from the office. How professional huh?
So once the procedure began and they started poking my eyebrows everything swelled up. Like huge. And I was medicated so it wasn't an I deal situation to be making adjustment and trying to shape straight lines. Lumps and bumps don't make for a great canvas. I mentioned again during the procedure how I want the left eyebrow to mirror the right one and that the left needed to be thicker and Dauer sounded reluctant and annoyed. The entire procedure felt very traumatic. Lots of poking, and needle pricks. There was a point where it actually felt like Dauer was intentionally pressing on my eye sockets. I know that sounds weird but it literally felt like he was only pressing on my eye sockets. I understand the idea of making the skin taught for needle insertion. But my assumption would be if you pulled the eyebrow upward away from the eye you would achieve that while not effecting the eyes. Overall it felt like it wasn't a gentle, meticulous, well thought out procedure. But a rushed, aggressive, annoyance for Dauer.
At the end he asked me if I liked the shape and I told him I'm very swollen, tired, and medicated it it's hard to tell.
The swelling wasn't too bad for the rest of the day. It wasn't until the following morning that my eyelids ballooned. I stayed swollen for 6 days and bruised for 8. The swelling continued to increase every day until abou the fourth day. My eyelids, and under eyes, and bridge of nose and eyebrows were all very swollen.
I also had a very sensitive and swollen bump on the back left side of my head for 2.5 weeks where I assume they must have given me a shot.
I avoid washing or scrubbing the eyebrows until 10-14 days later to prevent accidentally pulling out the hairs. Eventually the skin becomes flaky and gentle scrubbing is necessary to remove the dead skin.
Once the swelling went down I could see how poor of a job he did. And that he didn't place the new hairs below and next to my existing hairs but on top of and in with my natural hairs. Well what a waste and an eyesore! The left eyebrow needed to be thickened on the far side at the thickest point, and I was expecting that to get new hairs mixed with the existing natural hairs. But the right eyebrow was actually good the way it was and only needed supplemental hairs on the arch and a few at the very front to make it slightly longer. But they placed hairs all throughout the front. The new hairs were obvious from the natural ones because they stuck nearly straight out from the eyebrow instead of laying against the skin and also the blunt tips looked much thicker.
He didn't place very many hairs, looked to be about 25 hairs placed on the right eyebrow and about 50 on the left. Nor did he place them very close together. If I would have known how far apart the transplanted hairs were going to be placed a part; well that alone would have stopped me from pursuing the procedure. It just looks SHABBY. Nothing like his pictures on his website. And the final shape of the eyebrows were definitely not symmetric. The left eyebrow still has an early arch thats thick to quickly thin. I was wanting a straight line that gradually peaks to the arch.
And now over four weeks later I'm still losing hairs. Not the transplanted hairs they tell you will fall out but my natural eyebrow hairs! I'm experiencing shock loss wich wasn't told to me verbally, I think it may have been mentioned in the packet of paperwork they handed to me before the procedure and I had read about it a bit online on my own but no one ever told me face to face that it's normal or common to experience shock loss and to expect it. Dauer never said anything about it to me or his assistants. You would think a professional with experience would go over these type of things with their patients with full honesty.
Anyway I have about 55/60 percent less eyebrow hair now then I did BEFORE the procedure!!!! The areas where he placed holes and inserted new hairs over & in with my existing hair created trauma. Imagine that! And now my eyebrows are very sparse in the beginning of the arches. And there are complete bald lines where the hairs were placed in my natural eyebrows. I have bald line on my right eyebrow where the arch was. And a bald line on the left arch to outer line. My eyebrows currently look like thin emaciated lines with pink raw skin. My right eyebrow now looks worse than my left eyebrow and orinally it was the good one! I called and complained to one of his follow up assistants who said those hairs should grow back in the next few months. But from what I've read online that is not necessarily the case. Sometimes they don't grow back or it could take months to years depending on the resting phase.
Currently I'm applying avocado oil to my eyebrows daily and taking a multi vitamin. It's embarrassing to have to go out in public like this. And even more embarrassing that I paid someone a whopping $8000 dollars to do this to me.
More than the price of a rhinoplasty or a breast augmentation. Procedures where true medical expertise and skill is mandatory.
Overall I would not recommend Marc Dauer. Avoid him like the plague.
And also, after this experience I honestly doubt this procedure being refined enough by anyone. The transplanted hairs that I received are not the same thickness of the natural hairs, have blunt tips, and stick out from the eyebrow giving it an unatural and shabby look. Perhaps if you had absolutely no exsisting eyebrow hairs or very few this procedure could possibly be helpful. In that case I would suggest finding a different 'Doctor' first and foremost. Perhaps an actual Doctor like Dr. Epstein not just a board certified hair technician. And go over the design you want thoroughly and have them go over with you how close they will place the hairs and in what directions and come to an agreement on shape prior to paying. Get a sense of wether or not they genuinely care about you, your experience, and the quality of their work.
Otherwise I suggest looking into feather touch eyebrow tattooing, eyebrow tinting, and eyebrow extensions. All much cheaper options.
Be careful deciding on your operations and surgeons! There is a lot of false advertising out there!
That's my two cents.
Best of luck to the rest of you!