After 4 Years of Skepticism and Reluctance, I Am Finally Going to Get a Hair Transplant

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Hello everyone, This is my attempt to document my...

Hello everyone, This is my attempt to document my journey into the process of getting a hair transplant. I have read many peoples experiences as well as seen other peoples pictures of their procedure, both good & bad. I have done my homework & understand that hair transplants have improved in the recent years but nevertheless there are still those who unfortunately have problems with their procedure. Some of the things I read sound watered down, or don't feel genuine and its quite hard to tell the difference between a genuine story and a fictional one. I am not here to talk anyone into getting or not getting a HT nor am I vouching for any particular doctor or clinic. With that being said I want those who read this to use it as guidance and to see my progress and join the journey with me whether it be a good one or bad; This is my story…

I have always had a pretty big forehead, being that it runs in the family, and somewhat accepted it. It didn't really bother me before the age of 15 but however thanks to mother nature, (& my dad) my hairline began to slowly thin and recede over the years. Thanks to Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) combined with my already big forehead, it has made my forehead to appear massive (at least thats what i think). After years of stares, teasing, ALWAYS wearing a hat, stupid hairstyles (male bangs), isolation, and depression I am finally going to get a HT at the age of 21.

Like many people who first hear about hair transplants I was immediately opposed to the idea thinking that doctors still used the "hair plug" procedure. A little before I graduated HS, (2009-2010) I read more into FUE, FUT, Hair stem cell transplant…etc, and got more into the idea. It was always in the back of my mind but since i had long hair to mask my forehead/receding hairline it was easy to pretend like the problem wasn't even there. I was still wearing hats everyday and only took it off when i absolutely had to (fancy dinners, parties, weddings…). I can't even count how many times Ive stood home instead of going out and having a good time in order to keep people from seeing how my hair looked. Those really closest to me said that my hair looked fine but i only felt that they were just trying to make me feel better about myself.

It was only recently that I began to be more open about my hairline/forehead to my girlfriend and how deeply it negatively impacts my everyday life. She also urged that my hair looked fine and it didn't look so bad and that i should accept it…yada yada yada. I agree that I should be more accepting but I am not and i am tired of having to hide from people because of my insecurities. With the help of my girlfriend, my first step in trying to accept was shaving my head on Feb 28, 2014. I admit, at first I did feel a bit of relief but being that i have almost no facial hair besides a tiny patch on my chin, it looked terrible and what made things worse was that my mother absolutely hated it and again i felt the same way i did about myself with my semi long hair. Only in this case there was no hiding it. What made things even more worse was that I went to South America in late Jan of 2014 in the heat of the summer and got really tanned (more than what i already am haha) and I wore a hat 90% of the time i was over there. Having my hat on obviously my head in general did not get tanned, and in shaving my head, my forehead and scalp was almost pale looking compared to the rest of my skin below my eyebrows and still looks that way.

I was completely fed up with my situation and it was at this point that I felt I was at a dead end and all hope was lost. When i mentioned hair transplants to my mother a few years back she wasn't opposed to the idea but felt i was too young to undergo such a procedure. I also felt the same way and thought that no doctor would see me because I'm so young and that its a something older people do. This time around my mother mentioned it to me again and said that she and my sister will completely support it 100% if I decide to do it in the hopes of seeing me happy. Reading more about HT and its advances, a lot has changed from 2009 and i believe that successful hair transplants were becoming more of a reality. Of course in different forums i read about people unhappy with their results and how i should stay away and that its a scam and blah blah blah. Im at a point where if something goes wrong or the hairs don't grow, I'm back at square one right in the same position I'm in right now. I have a "nothing to lose" mentality, but above all a positive one.

My pictures will show you how much has changed over the years and hopefully you can see what I see when i look in the mirror and tell me I'm not crazy when I say that my forehead has gotten bigger over the years...and yes it is really me.

Im hoping i made the right choice and one that i won't regret. At this point I just want to get it over with and thursday can't come soon enough. Feel free to ask me any questions I will be more than happy to answer them. And also feel free to share your stories/progress with me! I want to communicate with as much people as possible about this and anyones input will be much appreciated! Thanks!

Day 1 Post op

Before I begin let me point out that I'm mad at myself because I left in such a rush yesterday morning to beat New york city traffic that I accidently left my phone at home and could not take any pictures right before and after my procedure so sorry for that :/...

Anyway, The procedure went extremely well. Everyone was really helpful and made sure that I was comfortable and at ease before starting. At the start of the procedure the doctor was applying local anesthesia which kind of hurt but nothing crazy just like a few strong pinches. After waiting a while for it numb up enough, he began to apply anesthesia to the "donor" area and again we waited till it was numb enough to begin the surgery. Since i was given valium I was not all there in the head and began dozing off in and out but i did feel the doctor basically removing my skin. It was not painful what so ever and before i knew it he was stitching it back together. Once that was done he began puncturing my scalp and forming my new hairline. It was basically painless but there was some places where the anesthesia didn't completely numbed and i DID feel it clearly. It wasn't a very strong pain but it did cause a bit of discomfort…I kinda think of when you are getting a tattoo (for those of you who have them know what i mean) but he applied more anesthesia and it helped a little. However there were some spots that still hurt and the doctor performed something called a "Nerve Block" in which he gave me with stronger anesthesia and injected a big needle right above my eyebrow (you can where he injected it in my pictures) and I'm not going to lie that hurt quite a lot but it did the job and COMPLETELY numbed my entire forehead.

At this point afterwards I was mostly asleep. They started the procedure at around 9:30, 9:45 or 10am (not really sure since i didn't have my phone lol). The technicians woke me up to ask me something and before i knew it it was already 1pm. Time flies when you're on the chair! After dozing off again the doctor wakes me up and tells me they are done and that it was 3:30 pm. Waking up, the only thing that i felt was a lot of pressure in the back of my head. Im not going to sugar coat it and saying it didn't hurt but the truth is it did. When i was younger I slammed the back of my head so hard on the concrete from falling off a hammack and the pain i was feeling was similar to that. Im not trying to scare anyone but it did hurt, not the worse pain in the world but since this is something I've wanted for so long and knowing this would change my life completely the pain seemed to cease after I weighed the pros and cons.

Sleep was probably the most inconvenience of this whole thing so far. You have to moisturized your scalp every 2 hours so that really interfierd with my sleep cycle as well as taking the prescribed pills every few hours depending on what they give you. Another thing is is that every Doctors recommend you sleep at an angle and have your head raised as to prevent more swelling. Resting my head on a raised pillow was another task in itself being that I still felt pressure.

Overall I woke up fine and the swelling seems to be going down and i don't feel sooo much pressure behind my head like i did yesterday. My transplants are still red but look stable and in good shape so I'm happy about that and confident about a successful outcome. I will keep everyone updated as the days go on and again please don't hesitate to ask me any question what so ever! Till next time...

Day 3 Post Op...More Swelling?

What's up everyone. Well I hit the 3 day mark today and Im feeling good aside from the sore throat and minor cold i think I'm about to have. One thing that has really caught my attention yesterday (2nd day post op) was that I'm starting to swell a bit on my face. I know that swelling is to be expected but It seemed to subside after a few hours and for some reason just started to swell again but much more. My father woke me up today to ask what I wanted for breakfast and told me that my face is really swollen especially under my right eye. He was concerned (my father never really shows his emotions so this made me feel uneasy) and told me to eat and put ice on my face. Only question i have is, does swelling usually get worse following the first few days after a HT? doesn't swelling happen a few months after?...I'm not sure, i figured the swelling was only on the first day but then again it is still very early to jump to conclusions. I will read more into it and I'll call my doctor first thing in the morning on Monday just to be safe. Another thing that starting to become annoying is sleeping. I'm still sleeping at an angle as suggested by the doctor but when i wake up, the back of my head where the statures are hurts from obviously sleeping on it. Im not really sure how else to sleep to avoid that pain and I can't sleep on my stomach nor on my side for fear that my hair grafts will be damaged. Speaking of the hair grafts, they are starting to itch. It sucks knowing that you can't even touch them but the itchiness can be quite unbearable at a point but i guess its normal. but overall my hair follicle are intact and the redness is slowly going away. Only time will tell and hopefully my doctor can provide me some answers and clarification. You will see in my new pictures how my face looked on the yesterday (2nd day post op) and how it looks today (3rd day post op taken about an hour ago). Hope everyone has a good Sunday!

Going into day 5 Post op...Dry blood?

Hello again everyone...I'm feeling better and better as the days pass and I am in no real pain. Scalp is still a little itchy but less than before. The hair follicles are still intact but while I was washing my face I saw little hairs on the sink...? Im not sure if they were from my implant or from my regular hair but i was a bit on edge but didn't really make a big deal out of it. One major thing however that is really bothering me is the dry blood on my scalp. I know I'm not supposed to pick at it but i was gently touching it and i don't feel any hair?... maybe its under the dry blood? I'm not sure and while touching it I think I accidentally pulled out a hair follicle. There was a but of sliminess at the end of the follicle and i was not sure if it was the bulb. This made me extremely nervous and I was scared that I had pulled out the hair with the bulb all together. I know it was probably just 1 but now it has made me extremely paranoid about losing more...Can anyone relate to this or am I getting ahead of myself? The dry blood is also starting to get to me and I'm not really sure how to go about it...Should I wait to remove them? or have the doctor do it? Do they eventually fall out? I'm not sure but where the dry blood is, its starting to sting just a little. Not sure if thats what I'm feeling or maybe I'm just a little scared something might be wrong... I might just need to relax haha. You will see in the pictures what I mean. I need a doctors perspective on this one or anyone who's had this similar concern. Now that we are on the topic of concern, you will notice in one of my picture that my right eye is still swollen and has not gone this normal for swelling around the eyes for 3 days straight? It has even started swelling around a little bit on my left eye but not as bad. Im looking forward for peoples input. Hope you guys have a good week...I know I will because baseball is back on :)

2 Weeks Post Op...Things are looking great.

Hello everyone! I wanted to post on exactly 2 weeks after my procedure but was unable to do so. Today marks 15 days post op and I still can't believe how fast time flies. So where do I start? Well last post I was complaining about the dry blood and scabbing that was bothering me. I was reading article after article and other peoples input and suggestions about crust and scabbing and every post seem to say that this is normal and I should not be alarmed. As many posts and articles suggested, it was just safest to let the scabs fall out on there own or be massaged off when showering with shampoo. Over the course of the week things were normal, no pain or complains (except my stitches) and as the days passed, my scalp was gradually turning a bit pinkish and not so dark looking. After every shower I took the scabs would fall out when i shampooed over the grafts. You will notice in my pictures how it lightened up since my last post, and how it looks today. Although I read that the grafts should be almost all fallen out, I still had a bunch of little hairs visible and that have yet to fall. Hopefully I'm one of the fortunate ones who start to have growth from this stage :) haha I wish. Finally I hit the 2 week stage which in other words meant my statures would be removed! My main complain about this whole process is sleeping on the statures. As I mentioned many times in my previous posts, sleeping is a hassle and can be a bit painful when sleeping on your statures, so having them removed meant no more pain when sleeping, at least thats what I hoped for. The appointment was early and as soon as I walked in one of the techs who I remembered from the procedure was the one who would be removing my statures. I was nervous and expected to be sedated or something because I figured it would hurt. She reassured it would be painless but it did in fact hurt quite a bit. It kind of felt like she was using a plier to rip pieces of my hair out. She told me it was the dry blood that hardened on the statures which was making it hurt a bit (It was actually my fault for not adequately cleaning the blood and scabs when showering). Once they were off, the back of my head was stinging like crazy but no real unbearable pain that required a painkiller or anything. After that the doctor walked in and greeting me he then proceeded to examine my hair and statures and assured me that I have no infections and that everything seems to be going good. One thing he pointed out however was that he was a bit surprised that I still had quite a bit of transplanted hair follicles that did not fall out yet. He said that its normal and theres no risks of anything going wrong but that the longer it takes to fall out the longer it'll take to grow...But other than that he said everything looked fine so far and the only thing in my way now was time. I'm just glad that I'm at a point that i can finally go out and wear a hat with no problem and be at work with no problem. I have even grown a little confident enough to not wear a hat. The other day I drove without a hat and had the windows open and let the air just hit my head (although it may sound silly, I am not used to that at all being that I always wore a hat). I happened see my friend on the drive home and he didn't even notice what I had done. Only a few select have seen me without my hat and an even fewer amount have EVER seen me with my hair cut really short in the recent years. So it felt good knowing that he didn't suspect a thing FROM FAR. Obviously one would notice up close but as the pinkness slowly fades, my grafts just look like my hair cut shorter than my "native" hair. This has boosted my confidence in way that would not be possible before the procedure. Like I said before it is still early to be jumping to conclusions but Its better to have a strong and open mind than a skeptical one. Till next safe everyone.

Finally updating after 2 years Post op

Hello everyone! Wow where do I begin? First off i want to apologize for not keeping through with my promise of constantly updating my posts. Its been just under 2 whole years since my last update on realself and i want to get back on track and speak about my endeavors and hopefully communicate with others who are thinking of getting a hair transplant.

So, since my last update i have had a rollercoaster of emotions regarding my transplant. Cut to the chase, i loved it at first. My confidence was through the roof and i felt really good about what i did. No one really noticed (to my knowledge?) and i was able to mask it from everyone.

About 3 months after post op i noticed the hairs growing in and you can imagine how happy i felt. My scar seemed to be healing well but deep down i felt it to be a bit thick. Anyway, The hairs grew slowly but surely but one thing i noticed was that they appeared to be thin. I thought this was normal and didn't think nothing of it being that they JUST started growing. Months afterwards the hairs grew but were still a bit thin? I was still optimistic that it would take time to thicken and was patiently waiting for my year post op follow up from the doctor. A year passed and no call or email? Not once has the doctor called to follow up and not that i was particularly worried, but i was just confused as to why? Afterwards I pretty much put it to the side and began wearing hats again because i felt like it wasn't growing the way i wanted it to.

Now I'm not here to scrutinize my doctor but i find it weird how he hasn't even called or checked up, Sure i could have called myself but it felt like i was just a customer and been forgotten of. Im sure he's a great doctor and he has the credentials to prove it but i can't shake the feeling that i could have perhaps found a better doctor, or not have done the procedure at all.

I don't want to say i regret what i did but I'm certainly not 100% happy with it either. One thing you have to understand is that the hair does indeed grow. Its embedded in your scalp and you can cut, wash, gel it however you want. My dilemma is that its not as thick and full as i thought it would be. Maybe its just me or my hair? maybe its the way the doctor did the procedure? maybe it thinned out over time? Im not really sure why it is the way it is...As you will see in my pictures, the last of which was taken today, there is a gap where hair seemed to not grow. It annoys me because certain times its clearly visible and it makes me feel very uncomfortable when i feel the wind hit it. I just don't know what else to do with my hair anymore. I can't even shave it before i have that scar clear as day in the back of my head.

I have however found an alternative solution which i want your opinion on. I have recently stumbled across scalp micro pigmentation. Some of the results i have seen look great and i was seriously considering getting the treatment done to fill in the blanks of my hair and to cover up the scar. I just feel I'm at the end of the road so this is the last hope. What do you guys think? Let me know and thanks.
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