View Full Version : Thinning at 18, surgery at 23

09-15-2009, 08:40 PM
Hi all,

I started losing my hair late during my senior year of high school. I knew this day would come, as my father, both of my grandfathers, and 5/7 of my uncles all suffered from hair loss. I was able to mask it fairly well for a couple of years, but it caught up with me.

I attribute alot of my hair loss due to the following factors:
-heavy genetic influence
-poor sleep patterns
-high stress
-poor adherence to medications

It progressed enough that I started shaving my hair at 20. I tried a few OTC meds here and there, but nothing seemed to work too well, or rather quickly enough. My head was shaved up until 7 months about ago, when I decided to undergo a hair transplant. I searched online for reviews on local doctors and decided that Dr. Epstein could provide the results I wanted.

I met with Dr. Epstein in early Jan 2009 and was impressed with both his team and his patient's results. After much thought, I jumped in and scheduled my appointment for mid June.

I ended up going in to surgery Friday June 6th. The goal was 2700 grafts. Here are some pictures directly before the procedure.

09-15-2009, 08:42 PM
The procedure was mostly painless, although I did end up needing quite a bit of anesthesia to keep my scalp numbed. I must say, the donor area removal didn't hurt, but I could still feel every snip and cut. Easily the oddest feeling I've felt in my mind. The procedure lasted a little over 7 hours, including a break for lunch and processing. The Doc stopped at 2400 grafts and refunded me the balance. I left with a bag full of goodies chock full of meds, bandanas, and a headband.

The following week and half was somewhat uncomfortable. I experienced ALOT of swelling around my temples, neck, and just beind my ears. I was very glad I scheduled my procedure after finishing school, as I felt downright unpresentable for at least the first 7 days. The headband helped out a bit. I started up on a regimen of Proscar (1.25 mg) daily coupled with 5% Minox twice a day. I was also given a bottle of copper peptides to use every 30 minutes for the first 3 days. I stuck to the plan like glue and followed the Doc's orders, although I kept using the copper peptide spray until it ran out.

My recipient area experienced quite a bit of crusting, and was downright solid for almost a 2 weeks after the procedure. I suppose It was my fault for being a bit too gentle cleaning my head. I experienced quite a bit of scabbing in my donor area and I too left this most untouched for the first two weeks.

I really wish I had taken a picture a month after the procedure. I had buzzed my hair down to a #2 and the grafts blended in perfectly! Honestly, I felt like I was back in senior year of high school, minus the whole scar around my neck. The recipient hair gradually started falling off.

Anyway, Its been approximately 3.5 months since my surgery. The donor scar is still visible with anything under a #5 cut. I do think it is improving though, as it used to be clearly visible with a #6. I feel the fact I never tried Finasteride may be helping me achieve quick growth. I am very pleased with my results so far and look forward to seeing more grafts pop out from my head :)

I've kept the rest of my hair at a #5 minimum, as I wanted to keep the scar hidden. Here are some updated pics. I normally have my hair brushed forward, but I propped it back to better illustrate my current condition.

09-16-2009, 09:31 PM
Updated with comments/pics.

Saving this space for future updates

09-16-2009, 09:32 PM
Saving space for updates. :D

09-16-2009, 09:39 PM
Thanks for the detailed post about your hair transplant surgery. Youíre head looks very clean, like you never had surgery, in a good way:) Iím sure your new hair will look great! Keep updating us and good luck!

09-18-2009, 03:00 PM
Finally, someone my age who went through a HT!

Congratulations. I'm a year younger and have been contemplating HT seriously for over a year now. I have some questions...

-Was the doctor concerned about your young age. If not, was there a specific thing that made you a good candidate despite your age (e.g. high scalp laxity, etc)? I'm surprised that the doctor didn't ask you to come back after seeing how you respond to Propecia/Minox for at least a year.

-Out of the 2700 grafts, how much were put in the area that haven't gone completely bald (perhaps as a safeguard "cushion" should further hairloss occur behind the new hairline?).

-Did your doctor strategize with you on the best HT for you by taking into account what further hairloss you may experience? If so, what did he consider?

Everyday I change my mind multiples times over on making that booking for HT. I still have most of my hair (somewhere in the NW2) but I am pretty certain that I will be seeing dramatic balding in the next couple of years if left unchecked. Been covering my receding hairline with long fringe and lots of hairspray to mask the general thinning on top for years now... but I feel like I'm reaching the limit as to how much I can "mask" it...

In any case, you've given me a sense of hope that perhaps, I could live with confidence in my 20s and not feel defeated all the time... I wish you the best of luck in your result and please keep the community posted on your progress!

-FCK (Follically Challenged Kid)

09-22-2009, 09:43 PM
Dr. Epstein was indeed concerned about my age when I contacted him. I had noticed a huge slow down in hair loss in the months before I decided to undertake the procedure. Dr. Epstein took a good look at my existing hair density and deemed a HT surgery to be a great option.

With that said, he did mention that future HT's might be needed to maintain the current hairline. That is something I am willing to deal with. I am hoping Finasteride will do its job to keep existing hairs in place and healthy. An FUE cleanup might be something Ill get done if/when the time comes

I actually only had 2400 grafts transferred. We had planned for 2700, but 2400 proved to provide the density that Dr. Epstein was aiming for. Almost all of the grafts went into recreating my lost hairline and providing density.

The Doc took a good look at my existing hair density during my initial consultation and just before surgery. I don't think the game plan changed at all, as I have suffered almost no vertex hair loss. I don't think he wanted to risk "shocking" perfectly good hair either.

Hope this helps man. Stay positive. I rocked the shave head look for a few years and it was cool. If the hair loss gets too extensive and HT is out of reach, just buzz that hair down and save some change. Good luck.

09-27-2009, 03:00 AM
Hi David,

Thanks for the reply.
I'm going to take a little more time to consider HT (I don't have enough money anyway) for now.

Unfortunately, I don't think I can rock the shaved look. First of all, I have very odd shaped head, and secondly, the industry I work for seem to be more vain than others - I'd stick out like a sore thumb if I shaved my head... part of the reason why balding has been particularly difficult for me.


09-01-2010, 10:11 PM
Curiously have u decided on the HT yet? I'm exactly thinking like u