Amin, FUE patient
My hair started to fall out little by little when I was 18 or 19. By the time I was 24, I had lost a lot of hair. I was so self-conscious because of it. I was going bald from the front and the crown of my head which was awful. I decided I wanted to have a hair transplant at 24, but there were some factors that kept me from going ahead with it until I was 28. I was honestly completely losing my confidence before I had surgery.
Early in 2018 I started to do research to find out how hair transplant surgery is performed, what the potential side effects are, which surgeons do it, etc. After getting a basic understanding, I asked my friends and my hairdresser if they knew of any good surgeons.
Overall, I had consultations with three different surgeons. One was my perfect match and happened to be the one who did hair transplants on two of my friends. The surgeon was really professional. He explained all the details of the procedure to me and I felt really informed and taken care of. I loved it. I scheduled the surgery for a week later.
On the day of surgery, I was really nervous and stressed (obviously, no one likes surgery). When I arrived, they shaved down my hair with clippers and gave me a sedative that made me a bit dizzy but kept me calm and relaxed during surgery.
The surgeon drew guidelines on my scalp, my scalp was numbed with local anaesthetic, and then the surgery started with the four technicians extracting follicles from the sides and back of my head.
The procedure lasted 13 hours. That whole time I was nearly falling asleep but never actually fell asleep because there was too much movement and activity on and around my head. It was a very weird feeling, but I would describe the surgery itself as more annoying or frustrating than painful. In the end, they transplanted 1700 grafts.
After surgery wasn’t really so bad. They bandaged my head and I felt fine. I made it home easily and slept well without pain because my scalp was numb.
My surgeon told me to make sure to only sleep on my back and not put pressure on the sides of my head for a week after surgery. This was annoying because I had to sleep with a pillow on either side of my head to keep me in the right position. I tried to be very conscious not to move too much while falling asleep that week.
All in all, the aftercare and recovery process was very easy. My wife had to help me wash my hair with a spray bottle everyday for a week after surgery. This involved removing the bandages, spraying the grafts, very gently massaging them, and then wrap with a new bandage.
After 2 weeks, I was allowed to remove the bandages. There were a lot of very thin scabs (probably the width of a hair) around the transplanted grafts. I found them to be very ugly and hated how they looked. I felt really self-conscious when I went out because of these scabs. However, two weeks later the scabs fell off, and the scars under them were hardly even visible.
I also felt slightly self-conscious while the transplanted hair was a lot shorter than the rest of the hair on my head. I didn’t like how that looked. This ‘awkward phase’ lasted until I reached three or four months post surgery. By then it started blending much better because it was finally nearly as long as the rest of my hair.
My surgeon told me I was actually very lucky because my grafted hair never fell out. He said usually, around three months after surgery, all the grafted hair falls out and begins to regrow, which means the actual results of the surgery take up to 12 months to be really visible. I was very happy that my hair avoided this step because it meant my hair was looking great after just 6 months. Even though I felt a little self-conscious during this grow-in period, it doesn’t compare at all to how uncomfortable I felt with my balding hair before surgery.
The residual numbness or reduced sensation on my scalp also began to fade away around 6 months after surgery. That’s around when I first got really excited and happy about my results.
It’s been a little over a year since my surgery, and it’s been amazing. I love the results. It was so worth it. I look so much younger now. I feel confident enough to do anything I want. The hair transplant had a huge effect on my life. I’ve been with my wife 7 years, so she has seen first-hand how my confidence has been affected by hair loss and how much it has improved after surgery. Actually, I was motivated to get the surgery because I didn’t want to be a bald dad. I never wanted my kid to point me out in a crowd and say “that bald guy is my dad.” Now I have a full head of hair and don’t have to worry about that ever happening.
If I could do it all over, the only thing I would change is getting it done sooner.
Jon, FUE hair transplant
I started the early stages of male pattern baldness when I was 19 and have been extremely self-conscious since. I researched tirelessly on how to combat this and did the same thing most young men tried – to stop it! I tried the finasteride and minoxidil treatments (I actually tried both treatments twice 7 years apart) and at first, I thought they worked but soon realised I was still losing density and hair health. This was devastating!
Of course, I had researched hair transplants but always thought – ‘what will people think of me? I should just accept losing my hair. I don’t want to go through the ‘shedding/ugly duckling’ phase’ and then last year I saw a photo of a friend’s friend who had it done and I thought ‘That looks amazing! What a full head of hair. You can’t even tell he has had it done.’ Immediately after seeing this I did some more research, had a consultation, and booked myself in.
Leading up to the procedure I was definitely nervous! I kept thinking what if it goes wrong, what if I look terrible, what if I don’t like myself with hair but that is why I chose an experienced surgeon who had proven results. I had 1600 grafts which took a whole day of procedure time (I also forgot to take in-ear headphones or something to read). The night of the procedure my face and forehead became swollen which is normal but it was a bit of a shock. Fortunately, it subsided over the next few days. The donor and recipient area both scab over and it was very difficult not to scratch (never scratch the recipient area as it can dislodge the follicles) but with some determination, I managed to survive the 10-15 days without ripping out the grafts. I wore a hat extremely loosely and was able to cover up the scabs for the most part. To avoid infections I washed my scalp with saline a few times a day.
7 months later (as of June 2019) and I couldn’t be happier with the results so far and I know this is just the beginning. My confidence is back. I no longer feel embarrassed about my hair and my look, and I love running my fingers through my little fringe.”