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  1. #1
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    Default transplant nightmare

    I am a 33 year old male who began to thin in my mid 20's. I really didn't notice at the time (I was in the military and kept my hair very short). When my mother saw me for the first time in 4 years she was shocked at how thin my hair had become and immediately pulled out a bottle of toppik which she uses for her very thin hair. I was not interested but she sprinkled some into my hair anyway. I was amazed. I liked it. I hadn't realized how thin my hair had become. I really, really liked the way my hair suddenly looked so thick. That was when the whole horror story began. For a while the toppik was a miracle. I sprinkled a tiny bit on, used a little hair spray and it looked great. My gf at the time who hadn't seen me for a few weeks said "wow. your hair got so much darker!" I told her of course, but she was still shocked at how well it worked. There would be a little greenish colored sweat coming from my head when I sweated profusely but other than that it was a real miracle. Needless to say my hair continued to get thinner and I was now using tons of the stuff along with this scalp paint. I was not happy with the situation. I saw commercials for hair transplants and jumped at the opportunity. WORST decision of my whole life!!! I must say that the doctor pretty much did everything to steer me in another direction. He was very moral about the whole thing. It was only after months of persistence on my part that he relented and performed the graft. It was ok at first. I kept using the toppik and now I had a little more of my own hair to work with, but I did have to keep my hair much longer b/c the scar was a million times worse than I thought it would be. Soon, however, the thinning got worse and worse and toppik and couvre were simply not an option. I was too thin on top to use concealors so I just decided to bite the bullet and shave my head (not with a razor - with a # 1 guard). I thought it looked ok - except for the really huge scar at the back. I didn't look good but I didn't think that I looked bad. I showed up at work the next day (almost exactly 1 year ago) and aside from some days in the army it was the worst day of my life. I had never been made to feel so bad about myself. People said the most unbelievably hurtful things imaginable. I was the butt of everyone's jokes, people stared, gaped, laughed, and asked "Why on earth did you do that?". Nonetheless I said "they'll get used to it" and kept on keeping on. It did not abate. Weeks went by and then months and the ridicule continued. I couldn't believe it but I was starting to become seriously depressed. I had always been a very proud man and very self-confident. Now I was becoming a recluse. I was miserable. I didn't want to face the world anymore. A female friend approached me and said "jack, you've got to get a hair piece. A shaved head is fine but with your scars you look very scary and unattractive" I basically said that I would sooner die, but after months of misery I finally relented and got a rug. I've been wearing a rug for close to a year now. I hate it. There's not a day that goes by that I don't want to tear it off and just shave my head. Sometimes it looks ok, but most of the time it looks like a ridiculous joke. The thing is it placates the people at work. They know I'm wearing a rug, but its easier to look at than my bald horribly scarred pate so nobody says anything positive or negative. The rug is such an unbelievable pain in the neck - every aspect of it. I hate it so much. I hate the fact that I have to wear it to conceal the scars from the worst decision of my life. All I want is to shave my head and be free of this but I saw what happened when I did that. People did not get used to it even after months and as far as women were concerned - forget it. That sugery ruined my life. I try to think of the rug as if it were an eye patch, something to conceal what's underneath not to fool anyone into thinking that I have hair. I will never blame the doctor b/c he basically did all he could to talk me out of the procedure. It is my fault completely. My vanity did this to me. All those sites that say "just shave your head. everyone will get used to it in a couple of days" Please! If you're young, losing your hair and thinking of a HT STOP!!! Talk to the doc. about every aspect of the procedure - how thick the donor area is, what to realistically expect, how HUGE the scar will be. Honestly, don't do it. You'll end up like me - can't shave my head, stuck in a frickin rug, social life gone. I curse myself everyday for my rash decision that has basically ruined my life. I am more miserable than I could ever convey in words. Going bald sux, but the "solutions" just make it all worse. As I said the doctor did virtually do everything he could to convince me not to do it. He made me wait months, talk to patients who had undergone the procedure, showed me that my donor area was not ideal, told me NOT to expect anything like full coverage. What can I say? I am an absolute idiot.

    This is before with toppik





    This is when I still had hair but shaved it



    This is the only pic I could find of myself with my own hair and no concealers



    And this is right now with the rug


  2. #2
    Doctor Representative mattj's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear about your plight. Have you never considered propecia for your hairloss?
    I know you wish you'd never had surgery, but have you considered that you might be repairable?

    Lastly, does your mother always have a bottle of toppik on her or were you just lucky that day?
    I am a representative and patient advisor for Dr Rahal. All opinions are my own.

    Dr. Rahal's website.

    To contact me: matt@rahalhairtransplant.com

  3. #3
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    I am sure my mother would love to know that you are knocking the fact that she suffers from alopecia as well. I did in fact try propecia. I used it for years - while I was using concealers, but stopped when I realized that the battle was lost i.e. when there was more powder and paint on my scalp than hair follicles.


    Quote Originally Posted by mattj View Post
    I'm sorry to hear about your plight. Have you never considered propecia for your hairloss?
    I know you wish you'd never had surgery, but have you considered that you might be repairable?

    Lastly, does your mother always have a bottle of toppik on her or were you just lucky that day?

  4. #4
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    Oh, sorry, I didn't consider that your mother might use it herself. And I was replying to this:

    When my mother saw me for the first time in 4 years she was shocked at how thin my hair had become and immediately pulled out a bottle of toppik. I was not interested but she sprinkled some into my hair anyway.
    Which probably amused anyone who read the post before you edited it. So if you felt your words originally lacked vital context it wasn't exactly reasonable to be so touchy.

    I only wanted to help. So it seems that you have lost a lot of hair, and have areas that are too far gone for concealers, and propecia lost effectiveness or didn't do anything at all.
    Without knowing how much hair has been lost in total we can't tell if you could still benefit from a transplant, but if not there are options to improve the scar. The scar can be re-opened and closed so that it is thinner. You can have grafts taken via the FUE method and then used to help disguise the scar. It is also possible to have the scar tissue covered with tiny dot tattoos which mimic stubble, but you'd need to research thoroughly as the results probably vary a great deal. There was a thread somewhere which showed this and the results were surprisingly good.

    I don't know if you do have any interest in trying to minimize the scar as I'm sure you know you won't be able to make it disappear, so perhaps yours is just a cautionary tale, but a lot of guys have gone from looking truly shocking to normal, so you might be surprised.
    I am a representative and patient advisor for Dr Rahal. All opinions are my own.

    Dr. Rahal's website.

    To contact me: matt@rahalhairtransplant.com

  5. #5
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    You are quite right. As originally worded it sounded a bit funny that my mother just happened to have a bottle of toppik at hand. I did not explain that she suffers from female pattern baldness and has been using it for years. Sorry about being so touchy. This is just a touchy subject.

    I actually would be interested in minimizing the scar. I have researched dermabrasion (sp?) and "stubble" tattooing. I worry, however, that doing anything else would just make things worse....not that they could really be any worse. Can you tell me more about the possibilities of minimizing the appearance of the scar?


    Quote Originally Posted by mattj View Post
    Oh, sorry, I didn't consider that your mother might use it herself. And I was replying to this:



    Which probably amused anyone who read the post before you edited it. So if you felt your words originally lacked vital context it wasn't exactly reasonable to be so touchy.

    I only wanted to help. So it seems that you have lost a lot of hair, and have areas that are too far gone for concealers, and propecia lost effectiveness or didn't do anything at all.
    Without knowing how much hair has been lost in total we can't tell if you could still benefit from a transplant, but if not there are options to improve the scar. The scar can be re-opened and closed so that it is thinner. You can have grafts taken via the FUE method and then used to help disguise the scar. It is also possible to have the scar tissue covered with tiny dot tattoos which mimic stubble, but you'd need to research thoroughly as the results probably vary a great deal. There was a thread somewhere which showed this and the results were surprisingly good.

    I don't know if you do have any interest in trying to minimize the scar as I'm sure you know you won't be able to make it disappear, so perhaps yours is just a cautionary tale, but a lot of guys have gone from looking truly shocking to normal, so you might be surprised.

  6. #6
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    There's a lot that ca be done to improve widened scars. You should post some images of the scar so some of the experts here can give you advice. Also did you ever use couvre or demmatch on the scar?

  7. #7
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    Thanks for sharing Jack, I hope one day soon they figure out a solution or release hm so people like us can get our life s back

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston View Post
    There's a lot that ca be done to improve widened scars. You should post some images of the scar so some of the experts here can give you advice. Also did you ever use couvre or demmatch on the scar?
    I'll do that. Post photos of the scar that is. I did used to put couvre over the scar for a while, and it did disguise the scar. When there was just not enough hair left on top, howeve, I really had no choice other than to shave my head. The scar is not visible when my hair is long enough like it is now but I wear a damned rug on the top. I suppose that I could grow out all my hair, but then of course I would look like my grandfather - thick on the sides and almost bald on top. I am pretty much stuck with this rug or finding a job where I can wear a hat.

  9. #9
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    im so sorry to hear what happened in your case... have you tried a real short cut that would sufficiently cover the scar, while not let you have too much of a differential between the top and the sides ?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnasdfd View Post
    im so sorry to hear what happened in your case... have you tried a real short cut that would sufficiently cover the scar, while not let you have too much of a differential between the top and the sides ?
    I have tried that. I look less frightening as the scars are not visible but I look like a 50 year old man b/c the difference in density at the point where the scar is no longer visible is very great. I could go in that direction I suppose. I would just be very ugly rather than frightening. I used to be a decent looking guy. Even for men - shit even for old soldiers - its tough to go from being a decent looking guy to being an ugly, old looking guy.

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