View Full Version : Young hair transplant victim in depression seeking help in repair options

09-13-2015, 04:29 AM
I am a young hair transplant victim in deep depression, desperately seeking for help and advice. I wanted to share my story so others can avoid the mistakes I did. If it is too long to read but you might be able to help me or to guide me to someone who can help, please scroll down to the part where I describe my present situation. Any help is greatly appreciated. You might literally save me.

My Story

I was around 17-18 years old when I started losing my hair. I always feared this moment in my life, because my brother and father both have aggressive hair loss. I was in denial, I thought this cannot happen to me, anyway, my hair color and texture is different so I will not lose my hair.

But of course I started to lose it. It sent me into a deep depression, it shattered my confidence and I could not focus on my life, I became obsessed with my hair loss. I was the guy, who did not want to go swimming with his friends, who hated the wind when it blew, and got freaked out when someone touched his hair. To sum up, it reduced my life quality significantly. I was always hiding, and not living life to the fullest.

My way of coping with it was to focus on my education, and vision a future when I will solve this problem and become happy again. I think that's when I have decided to have a hair transplant at some point in my future, when it will miraculously solve everything, and life will be great again. WORST DECISION OF MY LIFE.

Fast forward to this year, I am 26 years old, finished university, and not yet started to build my carrier. I thought it was the perfect timing to get the hair transplant done. I thought it will boost my confidence, which is ultimately an investment in myself that will pay off in the long run. I could put some money aside, but obviously not enough to go to a top doctor.

So I started researching, and found a doctor who was highly recommended, an ISHRS member, and affordable. I thought bingo, that is my guy (I don't want to name him yet). I sent him photos of my hair loss - probably was a norwood 3 at that time - and he recommended a FUE surgery of 2500 grafts.

I could barely pay for it with all my savings, but I did not care. Obviously I did not do a thorough research, I was so focused on the envisioned bright future that will come after I repaired my hair. I visited him, told him the family history of hair loss, and that I wanted something that would frame my face better, and that I do not want to take propecia for the rest of my life.

Obviously I was the worst candidate for the procedure. I was 26 years old with a highly receded hairline, and a family history of aggressive mpb. But I was in denial. I still had a fair amount of hair on the top of my head - or at least that is what I thought - which was long so I thought I only lost my hair in the front. But I was dead wrong.

The doctor took a quick look at my hair, and confirmed that I need 2500 grafts to the front, (for which I have already payed for...) He didn't warn me about my ongoing thinning in a norwood 5 area, and neither did he tell me how much donor I have, or to be extremely conservative and careful. He either didn't care, or did not take the time to properly assess me. I don't know which is worse. He drew a new hairline on my head, and rushed me into a decision. Obviously I loved the new youthful hairline (who woudn't) and believed and accepted everything he told me. Yes, I was a fool, but I think it was also deeply unethical what he did.

Just a little add on: the hairline was clearly asymmetrical, I pointed it out, but I was told, that it is just a plan and they will take care of it during the operation. Major red flag, but I still believed it. I looked into a mirror after the operation and it was left asymmetrical, but I was told it just looks asymmetrical due to the swelling. I still believed it..

I went home, and felt happy for a while, little did I know, that the problems will just start to arise. I went through some major scabbing, but I was told it was ok. Then after I lost all my transplanted hair, I started to develop redness, pimples and red spots all over my recipient area. I was told it was ok. At some point I was told to take ciprofloxacin 500 which is an antibiotic against folliculitis, but I was told everything was fine. At this point I have to tell that I am a fairly healthy guy with no problem with healing what so ever.

Days and weeks went by but my situation did not improve, I had red spots, and inflammation in my recipient area, but I was told it is normal. I planned for 3 weeks of recovery time (as it is normal) but the weeks and months just kept on going without improvement. I had to come up with excuses, why I am avoiding my friends, and started to slip into depression from the isolation and the solitude. But the worst was still to come..

As my hair started to grow, for the first time in my life, I could clearly see the norwood 5 pattern which was developing, and I was angry and shocked. How could this happen? Why didn't they tell me? Why didn't they refuse me or at least told me to be very conservative with the hairline and the graft count? If I know what was going on, I would have never had the procedure.


That was it. I fell into major depression. At 3 months after the FUE surgery of 2500 grafts, I am left with an asymmetrical hairline that is way too low with red spots all over, and a butchered donor area. Yes, the donor is also ruined, either the punch size was too big, or the pattern was not careful enough but there are clear signs of overharvestation in certain areas. I am furious at the doctor and angry at myself. Why couldn't I accept the way I looked before? Now I would give everything to undo the whole thing and just be who I was before. As it turns out, I am going to bald in a norwood 5 pattern anyway. I am suffering from major depression, I can't sleep, I wake up every 3 hours shaking and crying. I honestly don't know what to do, I feel like my whole life is ruined. If I didn't have my family to support me I don't know what could have happened...

I am seeking your help in desperation. What options do I have now? How could I repair the damage? Is there any way to return to how I was before? Honestly, I would not mind balding anymore, I just want to shave my head and get on with my life. I probably should have done it years ago. Hair loss is a fight that just eats you up inside, I just want to free myself from it. I just don't want to be scarred for life due to the biggest mistake of my life.
What I have read about so far:

1. FUE punching out the grafts and either lose them or place them somewhere else, maybe back to my donor or to my vertex? Or FUE-ing out the grafts that are placed too low.

My concerns:
How much scarring would that cause? Can you FUE out the grafts without causing wounds around the hairline? Maybe if the punch is small enough? I don't care about transection. When can I do that, I am assuming I still have to wait for wound healing and see how much of the transplanted hair will eventually grow.

My questions:
Who should I turn to, who is the best?
In the meanwhile, what should I do to heal the best way possible both in the donor and the recipient are? Can I avoid hypopygmentation? Should I have ACELL therapy, I am still in the fairly early phase of the wound healing.

2. Electrolysis to remove the hair
My concerns: Wounding, discoloration of the skin?
My questions: Who should I turn to?

3. Laser removal of the hair.
My concerns: Wounding, discoloration of the skin?
My questions: Who should I turn to?

4. Fraxel laser on the recipient (and maybe donor) wounds to make the skin better.
My concerns: Wounding, discoloration of the skin?
My questions: Who should I turn to, who is the best?

5. SMP into the donor scars and maybe to the recipient scars once the hair is removed.
This is probably way down the road and my least concern at the moment. I can live with the donor scars for a while, I am more concerned about the problem in the front.

As I am 3 months post operation, I am healing, Can I do anything to help the healing so the repair will be more successful?

That is the end of my story I wanted to share my story so others can avoid the mistakes I did. you might be able to help me or to guide me to someone who can help me, please do so. Any help is greatly appreciated.

09-13-2015, 10:50 AM
Sorry to hear your story. It can take 18 months before you start seeing any cosmetic results from having a hair transplant. A hair transplant causes a lot of trauma to the transplanted hair follicles and they really need to time recover. So, in your situation, patience really is the best medicine.

Anyone who is giving you advice on what to do 3 months after a hair transplant operation is honestly not giving you the best advice. If your hair loss is worrying so much now, maybe you should consider using some form of hair concealer or just simply wear a hat. A lot of the time, we ourselves are our own worst critics. We perceive that others are judging us in a bad way, when they really may not be. We only have one life, DO NOT let hair loss ruin yours!

Go out and be with your friends, do not get into a spiral of isolating your self, which will only bring on further unhappiness. We are human, we have evolved to be around and enjoy the company of others. It is highly likely that some of your friends, both male and female, will also be undergoing some form of hair loss too.

09-13-2015, 11:53 AM
I feel for you honestly, I'm experiencing something similar but I never had a hair transplant. I do still go out with friends etc but my balding is clearly getting worse by the day and its starting to depress me, hairs that used to be in the middle front bit are falling out a lot now and the right side is completely bald.

I was saying I'm experiencing something similar because a great deal of the baldness is affecting one side, it so asymmetrical. It wouldn't be so bad if it had balded symmetrically. Anyway I hope that your hair actually grows back and you should keep us posted with the results. Have you noticed any lessening of the inflammation which seems to be the problem? Also, maybe there's some available hair for some repair work. I know you said there wasn't enough in the donor area but I've heard of people having a total of 9000 grafts from the donor area. I've seen pictures of transplants where people with hardly any hair around the back and sides have managed to do something with the top.

Can you say who the surgeon was and what clinic he was from so I know for future reference? I'm seriously looking into getting a transplant because a shaven bald head looks bad on me and that's the only hair cut I can go for at the moment.

Thanks, David

09-13-2015, 04:59 PM
Post a pic so we can see what you are dealing with .

09-13-2015, 07:14 PM
If you're only 3 months out from surgery, you probably don't know what your results are going to be. It's also way too soon to actually do anything else yet, except research. It sounds like you had some shock loss (telogen effluvium) in the existing hair in the middle area. Some people think that Propecia helps protect against shock fallout, and some clinics will even ask their patients to already be using Finasteride (Propecia) or Dutasteride (Avodart) before surgery, to protect them from shock loss. Some clinics even prefer a full year on Propecia before surgery.

I don't understand the guys who go for surgery, without trying Propecia first. IMO the surgery is more risky, it is more permanent than Propecia's possible side effects, and if you don't like your results, you have much bigger problems. Propecia and Avodart are best at saving your hair - some guys can get a little regrowth too. Since there's a limited donor supply for transplanting, and since transplants typically never look as good as your original hair, it makes sense to try Propecia whether you get transplants or not, and especially for younger guys who still have some original hair.

If you plan on stopping the Minoxidil, you risk a big shedding phase. There should be a way to slowly taper off, if you plan on stopping Minoxidil. Hopefully that avoids a big shed.

You can't remove the grafts without leaving some scars. It's surgery. There is always some scarring.

It sounds like you are panicking, which makes you vulnerable to making bad decisions. DO NOT PANIC. I think you may have you may have panicked in the first place, when you got the transplant. You need to sit tight for 6 months or more, and see how these grafts grow in. Consider getting on Propecia. Allow yourself time for your scalp to heal properly, in order to get ready for whatever decision might come next. Realize that doing nothing is always an option, especially if you don't really know what to do next. If you're not confident about what to do, then don't do anything. If you can save the remaining hair you have using medication, that would be a big plus.

09-15-2015, 07:55 AM
thank you for the support, it really means a lot, I am indeed panicking and suffering from depression.

I would give everything I have just to go back in time and slap myself across the face and just shave my head, get on with my life. I was always self conscious about my hairloss and I dealt with it the worst possible way.

I am also furious at the doctor that recommended me a 2500 graft surgery, without properly assessing me and my future pattern of hairloss. If I had known that I will be balding in a norwood 5-6 pattern pretty soon, I would have never had the procedure, because then it is a lost case.

If I get the best regrowth that would mean I bought myself 1-2 years of good hair and a lifetime of repair, removal and misery.

I will try to post some photos soon.

09-15-2015, 08:03 AM

09-15-2015, 08:06 AM
I have created an album and uploaded some pictures. What is your opinion? My biggest concern is the skin condition that does not seem to be improving. If I want to shave it or remove it later, I need the skin to be smooth underneath.


09-15-2015, 01:08 PM
First of all you are not butchered by any means. My donor area looked much worse than yours after 3 months and it eventually healed. Give it another 2-3 months. Secondly I did not get temporal points with my hair transplant but my temple points are still somewhat asymmetrical. So are many other people's. That's pretty normal.

I've had electrolysis to remove hair between my eyebrows (uni-brow) and I still have the faint scars to prove it 20 yrs later. Huge mistake. I've had laser to remove a little back hair. It was painful, area looked almost burnt afterwards. It did heal eventually and looks fine now. Do not go doing anything at this point. Let your transplant heal at least a full 12 months.

Your only problems are:
1. You are panicking at 3 months when it just seems you are just a slow healer. Drink plenty of water, keep away from alcohol and stay out of the sun.

2. You won't take Propecia unless I read it wrong. I quickly read your first post so I apologize if that's not the case. Think about taking it at least 3 times a week if you don't want to take it daily. A lot of guys don't get sides taking it 3x a week but still reduce their DHT levels 30-40%. A transplant without Propecia is a huge mistake IMO. Some people don't even start to see growth til month 6 so be patient.

09-15-2015, 06:42 PM
Do you smoke? If you smoke, that's bad for healing (smoking kills capillaries).

You still have a lot of original hair worth saving, and if you can do that (with Finasteride or Dutasteride) that would really make a huge difference.

09-15-2015, 10:29 PM
I used to smoke occasionally but I have quit 2-3 months before the procedure and havent smoked since.

My only concern is being able to undo it sometime in the future, I am fed up with hair loss and the whole industry that is bulit around people's insecurities and misery.

I am really terrified that the skin wont heal smooth and I will be scarred for life.

09-15-2015, 10:50 PM
I think you should seriously just relax and take a breath. I see zero indications of a disaster here and frankly, your healing looks normal. The recipient area looks a bit red and angry but this is from the ingrown hairs and foliculitis that can and often does develop between two and five months. This is the healing phase and many people call it the ugly duckly stage. The extraction pattern is nicely spread out. Regarding your hairline I see some asymmetry on the right side of the image but this is normal for two reasons.

1. The right side normally recedes more than the left (I believe this is north of 90% of all patients).

2. No one's face is perfectly symmetrical so if one tries to make the hairline symmetrical they'll fail miserably.

I've always told patients that the growth isn't expected to even begin till somewhere between 3 months and 5 months. I'm not telling you this just to make you feel better. I've dealt with thousands of patients and I simply think the only real problem here is that the clinic didn't educate you before surgery like they should have.

Try to be patient and give the result the time it deserves to come in.

09-16-2015, 09:37 AM
Exactly what Joe has just said - Early days so try not put the cart before the horse. Long long way to go!

09-22-2015, 10:17 AM
Thank you for the support, but I honestly think that something is wrong with my healing. Maybe it is caused by the poor surgical skills maybe its me, maybe both, I don't know. Now my only goal is to heal the best possible way so down the road I will be able to shave my head after some repair.

My main concern currently is my red and bumpy sometimes itchy recipient area. My recipient never looked good since the operation but I was always told by the clinic that it is normal. I never had trouble with healing before. I can't trust my clinic anymore. (among other reasons, they talked me into a 2500 graft fue to the front, not warning me about my ongoing thinning in a norwood 5 area) I have been hiding from the world for 3 months now and became depressed. I have just read Dr. William Lindsey's post about itchiness and hypertrophic scarring ( Itchy Scalp Post Hair Transplant: Should I Be Concerned? | Hair Loss Q & A (http://www.***************/hair-loss-blog/itchy-scalp-post-hair-transplant-should-i-be-concerned/) ) and became very concerned. My donor also look like crap.

I would like to reach out to the experienced forum members and doctors to get a second opinion. Since I could not upload the high-res pictures, I added a link to my picasa album, please check it.


I also need advice who to turn to for a possible personal consultation in Europe who I can trust and who can evaluate my case and help me heal the best possible way, so I can achieve my goal and put this horrible mistake behind me.

Thank you

09-22-2015, 04:43 PM
I would like to reach out to the experienced forum members and doctors to get a second opinion.
Thank you

Joe and Spex are the most experienced forum members

09-23-2015, 07:10 PM
Thank you for the support, but I honestly think that something is wrong with my healing.

I do too. Most folks don't look like that after three months. Like perviously stated, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist, and be sure to tell him of all medications you have taken or are taking.

09-26-2015, 08:13 AM
if you are not willing to take propecia, don't bother having a hair transplant, it's as simple as that.

that should have been a HUGE red flag to your doctor, he/she should have explained it to you....and in that way I would agree that he/she made a poor medical decision and counseling to their patient..

09-27-2015, 05:20 AM
retrospective I could not agree more. I have consulted 3 different doctors (all respected) I asked all of them about propecia and non of them told me that it is imperative. I think that shows how deeply corrupted this industry is. (I apologize to the exceptions)

09-27-2015, 08:34 AM
None of them told you "it is imperative" because you are a young person who wants to take a medication for an enlarged prostate. I'm sorry, but you have it completely backwards. If the industry was as corrupt as you just said it was, they would be telling you to take Propecia, and would probably have a close relationship with the drug maker.

They are not corrupt if they do not tell you to take a medication that has side effects and is generally prescribed for men past the age of 50.

I'm amazed at how it is generally accepted wisdom that young guys should be taking medication for an enlarged prostate, all because they think it will keep their hair. Use Rogaine foam.

09-27-2015, 04:13 PM
generally prescribed for men past the age of 50.

What are you talking about?

5MG Finasteride (Proscar name brand) has been FDA approved for nearly 24 year for enlarged prostate and is typically prescribed for older men.

1MG Finasteride (Propecia name brand) has been FDA approved for nearly 19 years for hair loss and prescribed for men over age 18.

The corruption is when hair transplant doctors don't tell you to use Propecia because they know you'll be a return customer wanting future hair transplants because you've continued to lose more and more hair. Minoxidil is far less effective and for some guys like me who used Minoxidil religiously for 3 years it's completely ineffective.

09-27-2015, 07:12 PM
retrospective I could not agree more. I have consulted 3 different doctors (all respected) I asked all of them about propecia and non of them told me that it is imperative. I think that shows how deeply corrupted this industry is. (I apologize to the exceptions)

It has nothing to do with ďcorruptionĒ, I think at this point in time itís more about fear. Doctors are afraid to prescribe young guys Propecia because of all the internet backlash and frivolous lawsuits. Itís really a shame. Prepecia works and I do think itís crazy for anyone to have a hair transplant unless he is on Propecia. Heís being set up for a lifetime of playing catch up. Itís not a smart decision.