View Full Version : It snuck up.

08-23-2015, 07:28 PM
I had a hair transplant three years ago. I never thought I'd be in that seat but there I was. Let's step back.

My hair always grew quickly but, honestly, I never liked it much. I was curly and wanted to be straight. When I got out of the Army in my early 20's, I kept it short and was happy enough. Perhaps the nicest thing was getting a bay rum rub on the back of my tapered neck at the end of the cut. Ironically, I'd usually ask them to 'thin the top' because it was always so thick and uncontrollable.

In my 20's, I worried about everything- money, status, the sex life I dreamed of, the hot car I wanted but didn't have, career, college, fitness, my skin, and on and on. My 20's were a far cry from easy. Fortunately, hair was the last concern in life.

I can recall unusually large amounts of hair falling out in the shower as I approached 29. I wondered 'should I try Rogaine? Is this really happening or am I just overreacting? If it is, surely it won't go far.'

I finished college and started my career. Meanwhile, my hair was receding badly. Oddly, I honestly didn't even notice. I was so busy all the time.

Then, one day, I looked at a picture and thought, 'OMG! It's gone! How? When?'

I had a child shortly afterwards, had a big move (changed cities) and wondered how bad the problem was. A year later, I looked at Christmas pictures and realized I only had half a head of hair left. I didn't hesitate to go to a hair surgeon.

I waited, then three months later I went in for an FUE: approximately 1800 units (plus ACEL), roughly $9000 US.

My experience:

The doctor was friendly, his staff was friendly, his offices were questionable, but his work ethic and professionalism were outstanding. I was happy he would by my doc. The procedure took three days, all day long, early morning until a little after 1AM. I'd drive home when I shouldn't have- completely drained.

Of course, my family were unhappy having me gone for so long and not doing chores all the time. Complete lack of support.

Of course, it wasn't supposed to be painful- I can't recall anything more painful in my life. I once had a five ton pallet dropped on my foot- the difference is that lasted a few minutes, not three days. Even now I think of it in terms of torture. It hurt so bad I've tried to block it out.

Everyone said it would start looking decent in about six months, it didn't even start looking half-way decent until a year later. I had small scabs for the first three months and wore a shower cap that entire time. It was obvious I'd had a transplant.

When all was said and done, I would say half took and there were areas where he was too agressive (i.e. not as much growth, looks like I'm in the process of balding in those areas- mainly temples).

I need to go back and get at least 8000 more units but can't afford it now.

The first question that some might ask is whether it was worth it?


I've had a lot of time to think about every angle of the hair loss/hair transplant game. In that time I've come to realize a lot.

First, I don't think there will be a better complete hairloss solution, nor one with such positive results. Yeah, 50% out of 1800 sounds terrible, but the other options seem to me like turn of the century snake oil and pipe dreams. Cloning? Still waiting for any good results but even so, the trials? The money to get through trials? The time that might take for approval in the US? Not happening in my lifetime.

Second, people say it doesn't matter to women- ha! I've found that women love hair- and I don't blame them one bit. I liked the way I looked with more hair than I do without much better. They like it, I like it, I don't have it, that's life. Yeah, some like bald, but most prefer hair- it's a genetic factor; that's just life. You can't hate women for liking hair the way you can't hate men for liking the things they like in women.

More important, I've found that hair isn't the end-all deal breaker of any relationship in any way- BUT, it's the key to the door. If a woman doesn't like you at first sight, well, doesn't matter how smart, accomplished, interesting, funny, witty or what- you've lost your chance. Hair plays a big role in that, whether we like it or not. It's the reason we're in these forums and searching for solutions.

Third, I've read many guys worry about telling people they had a transplant. They worry people might think they're phony.

Well, consider it's YOUR hair, no matter where you put it. You're just scooting it up. :D Also, they really don't know what it's like to lose something that makes you feel better. How would any guy with hair telling someone else not to get a transplant feel if his p3nis suddenly fell off? How about telling a child with cancer to not wear a wig or bandanna because it's phony? They have no idea how emasculating, or how differently people treat you before and after hair loss, or simply how hard it is to look into the mirror and think, 'that's not me. I want me back.'

I wanted 'me' back. I'm still fit, I'm not dead yet, and I have way too many disadvantages to not take advantage of getting a transplant. I'll tell anyone I had mine, not that they ask.

But here's another thing I learned: everyone is different.

For some, Rogaine will do miracles, others it helps a little, others (like me) it's about as effective as shampoo in stopping hair loss.

For some, 1800 units make them look very much like they used to, for others (me), it just dents the surface.

For some, shaving their head isn't so bad because they have a great face (the Rock, David Beckham), for others it's enough to frighten their child (me).

I say, do what you can to look your best for yourself. It's your life, your hair (or lack of). If you don't need a transplant to feel like 'you', awesome. If you've on the fence I say go for it. It WILL only make you look better and if you think looks don't count, we'll, sorry to break it to you.

BTW, I'll never look like some super model- even if I had all the hair in the world. I just feel like I have so many challenges as it is, I'd be happy to have a fuller head of hair to get through them.