12-06-2015, 02:05 PM
London/Essex-based hairloss sufferer here. Iíve not posted on these forums for a few years Ė since my last successful HT with Dr Feller in 2011.
However, following kind, expert guidance from Spex (as always) I am very excited to say that I have just booked an HT with Dr Scott Alexander in Phoenix, for this coming Jan.
This will be my 3rd HT. I started losing my hair when I was 18 (I'm 37 now), and had HTs with Dr Feller in 2008 and 2011 (2,000 and 1,000 grafts respectively). Over the last year itís become noticeable that I had still been suffering from some progressive hairloss in the front area, making my hair increasingly difficult to style, so I will be bulking up the front area and possibly having some minor tweaking at the crown.
I keep my hair quite long (Iím a bit of a goth/indie guy!). My hair is also naturally exceptionally fine (nothing to do with the hairloss). The main incentive for opting for Dr Alexander is that he is able to work without shaving down the transplant area, which is massive for me as it means far less recovery time (I work in the media, so small downtime is key). However, that said, I am a little nervous about the shockloss. I guess Iíll just have to wait and see.
The other key thing is pinpointing exactly where the transplanted hair should go. Whereas my previous HTs involved working on effectively a bald area, this time, it will be bulking up areas where there is already hair.
Anyway, expect a full report and pics in Jan.
It always feel positive and exciting when you make the bold step to get the HT booked in.
You are in GREAT hands as you know. Look forward to seeing pics of your session :-)
01-18-2016, 10:54 AM
As promised, here is a full write-up of my surgery experiences with Dr Alexander.
It all seemed to go very well. This was my 3rd HT after 2 successful HTs with Dr Feller in 2008 (2,100 grafts) and 2010 (1,000 grafts), respectively.
I had begun to notice a little progressive hairloss behind the hairline, and my hair is so naturally fine that I decided to want to get it bulked. It had begun to cause me a lot of anxiety and worry. However, because of my new job, I was advised that Dr Alexander is one of the very few doctors who is skilled and patient enough to work without shaving, and his previous results at the hairline have been nothing short of excellent.
So under the guidance of Spex Ė who helped me greatly with my previous HTs Ė I decided to undertake the epic journey from London to Phoenix and opt for a session that would amount to 2,000 grafts (1,600 at the front, with a slight 400 tweaking at the crown).
Dr Alexander was very complimentary of the work that Dr Feller had done (and I have always been extremely happy with the results), but my true bane has been the natural fineness of my hair. As I understand it, with the latest session, the doc was able to bulk up some of my previously transplanted area further, but also went further back into my non-HT hair behind the hairline where I had been experiencing some progressive hairloss. From what I can see in the mirror it does look pretty dense in there.As mentioned in my previous post, I compared it to a Metallica riff! ;)
I have to take my hat off (no pun intended) to Dr Alexander for his endurance levels and patience. Because he had agreed not to shave my hair, it added a good 2-3 hours to the surgery time. And I imagine my hair type made it even more difficult to work with Ė basically itís long, fine and floppy. I can't believe many doctors would have agreed to it or would have paid as much care and attention as he did. I did hear him telling the nurses that "there was so much hair there so was taking a long time"
I did find the surgery a bit more gruelling this time - at least compared to my 2nd HT. I'm not sure how much of that is down to the extended duration (the afternoon part was dead sinple). The 2nd lot of injections at the donor area just hurt like hell, and when the grafts were being extracted, the strapping across my forehead felt quite intense. I tried to remain as quiet as possible though as it's the pain we suffer and I didn't want to upset the work. No pain no gain chaps!
However, the MAJOR flipside is that the post-op recovery has felt far gentler. I have had no ill after-effects (apart from catching a rotten cold) and the donor area is much less uncomfortable with the stitches, which Dr Alexander uses, rather than the metal staples. Those staples were a horror to sleep with! So maybe the more you can bear in the surgery, the better it is after?
The other promising aspect of the surgery was that Dr Alexander was hopeful of being able to improve on my donor area slightly. The scar had been slightly visible at the back of my head and I had been using a little concealer on that area, but Dr Alexander felt that he would be able to tighten it up so that it would be less visible, which was encouraging.
Anyway, I guess itís now all down to playing the waiting game! Once the scalp has healed Iíll be able to report on how different not shaving made the receovery, and how soon I was able to style my hair as normal without needing to wear a hat.
Of course, there is the risk and concern that I may experience some shockloss by not having had the area shaved, but how great that risk is Ė and how noticeable the shockloss would be Ė only time will tell.
Finally, one piece of advice for anyone else travelling from afar: Dr. Alexander usually puts up his patients at the Biltmore Spa and Resort, which is a luxury retreat and is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I canít stress that enough. However, if youíre staying for a few nights due to travel and/or are travelling on a budget, I would warn you that it is pretty expensive and rather impractical given that there are no convenience stores or affordable restaurants nearby. Plus, cabs in the area are very pricey too.
If like me you are travelling on a budget, it would be worth discussing alternative accommodation options with the surgery, just in case there is anything else within travelling distance which might suit your needs better. To be fair, my budget concerns were predominately compounded by the fact the exchange rate isn't so great at the moment. It's about 69p the $ right now, whereas when I travelled before I think it was only about 55p!
I have to say that Dr. Alexanderís staff were incredible and bent over backwards to help me. Crissi, who looked after my booking, very kindly drove me to a convenience store after the surgery so that I could stock up on water, fruit and cereal bars, as well as to a Chinese takaway, which solved all my problems. She also phoned me up the next day to check that I was okay and suffering no ill side-effects from the surgery.
On the whole, I canít recommend Dr. Alexanderís surgery enough. Dr Alexander is a super-skilled tactician who inspires confidence and whose results speak for themselves. As said earlier, itís just a case of waiting for the results to kick in, and rest assured Iíll be brining you updates at the various landmark points.
One last thing to add, I jumped in a cab to Old Town the day before the surgery, and the people there were possibly the nicest and most kindest Iíve encountered anywhere in the world. I went round all the art galleries and befriended 2 of the gallery curators, one of whom offered to drive me around, and the other who even gave me $20 for a cab! Crazy kindness. Suffice to say, Iíll be sending them nice presents from the UK Ė just not sure what yet, although it will surely need to be art related.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed my report. Any questions, feel free to ask!
Great write up SkinnyShaft - Heal and grow well. It looks like Dr Alexander worked his magic yet again with a sweet design. Cant wait to see the outcome in 12 months.
Here are you pics. :cool:
01-19-2016, 04:13 AM
Awesome thanks Spex!
My pre-op crown pic looks like someone has been drawing rude pics on my head with a marker pen ;)
01-27-2016, 01:55 PM
Just a quick update. I'm just over 2 weeks post-op. All seems to be going well. Head's still a bit sore (obv). There was briefly a bit of flaking but to be honest, I can't really see the work because all my existing hair is hanging over it.
I did take some pics of me with my hair hanging naturally, just so I can show what it looks like 2 weeks post-op having not had the areas shaved. I'll try to get those uploaded in due course.
I'm still wearing a hat to work for the time being just while the scalp heals - which is great because it saves me a lot of time in the morning. However, I've got a family wedding in 5 weeks so I'm hoping by the time that arrives, I'll be able to style with product as I was before.
Also I should find out by then whether I've been victim to any shockloss.
Future updates forthcoming folks!