View Full Version : New thought on fighting baldness

09-20-2010, 08:44 PM
I am a 23 year old just finishing up his last year of college. MPB runs in my family (my moms dad was receding at 19) and it has always been in the back of my head that it could happen to me so I always kept an eye on it but never worried too much. The day I looked in the mirror and thought I could see a little more scalp than usual was really stressful and it has been a stressful couple of months since then. I spoke with my dermatologist and he prescribed me propecia which I have been on for about a month. I also have an appointment to meet with a hair restoration surgeon in about another month. I am definitely not a candidate for surgery but I would just like to have someone help me track my loss over the years. The reason this has all been so stressful to me is that I recently became certified as a personal trainer and am planning on making fitness my career. The fitness industry can be very superficial and losing my hair is definitely one big strike against me. Lately, I have even been getting some work doing some fitness modeling and was considering pursuing that further when finished with school. So with all this on my mind I have really been doing my homework and luckily I found this forum. It has been a big help and a great source of information.
As I have been doing research, the idea of a hair transplant (in the future) just doeesn't sit well with me because I have not seen a lot of results that really look great. A hair transplant also means that you can no longer shave your head (right?) I came home from work one day overwhelmed with the stress of this all and decided to just take care of it right then and there and shave it off with my hair clippers. I surprised myself because it actually doesn't look that bad. It was a huge relief. I still feel like there are things that I could do to improve my appearance and lately I have been looking more into plastic surgery to strengthen my facial features to compliment my bald head. The prices of the surgeries (plastic vs. hair transplant) are actually very comparable and with plastic surgery it seems like the results are a lot more tangible and cosmetically beneficial. Wouldn't it be better to look good without hair than to look bad with hair plugs? I don't say this to offend anyone. I just wanted to post the idea on this forum and see if anybody here has tried anything like this or has an opinion on the subject. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

09-20-2010, 09:38 PM
I think it is good that you are doing what you want to do. If you want to explore plastic surgery, that's your choice. Don't let anyone tell you what you want to do. I wore a hairpiece when I first began losing my hair and it helped for a while. Whatever makes you comfortable, well, all power to you. You own your body and it's your right to do what makes you happy. Besides, look at all the stuff that women do to look the way they want to:plastic surgery, hair die, pumps, push-up bras, fake tanning, you name it.:)

09-22-2010, 08:27 AM
I think it's great that you're happy with the result of your shaved head. I would encourage any male struggling with hair loss to try this because, should you be content with your resulting appearance (as you seen to be), you can save yourself a lot of time, money and emotional unrest.

However, I will say that the industry has come a long way since the days of hair plugs. A lot of posters on this site have had some great, natural results with hair restoration surgery (and you can certainly still shave your head post-surgery). However, hair transplantation certainly is not for everyone and I would never encourage someone who is content shaving their head to start down that path. I think it's always best to work with what you have and resort to elective surgery only when you've exhausted all other options.

09-22-2010, 09:53 AM
Thank you for the response! I have been under the impression that scars in the donor area make it unlikely that anyone would want to shave their heads after a hair transplant. Is that not necessarily the case?

09-22-2010, 10:01 AM
Thank you for the response! I have been under the impression that scars in the donor area make it unlikely that anyone would want to shave their heads after a hair transplant. Is that not necessarily the case?

I've seen pics of people who had scar grafting done, and they can go to very short hair (1/8 of an inch) and the scar isn't really noticeable. I am going to have some sort of scar treatment done (a friend who has helped me through the HT process... applying bacitracin, etc, tells me my scar is really minimal and won't be visible at all once the hair around it that was trimmed a little short grows out) even though I may not need it. I would prefer to have to option to shave my head if I choose to

09-22-2010, 10:24 AM
Following hair restoration surgery, your donor region will likely not look quite as 'pristine' as a completely untouched scalp would, but there are varying degrees of scarring depending on the procedure you choose, and the number of grafts you have transplanted.

Strip surgery will leave you with the linear scar (which looks a bit like a smiley face) on the back of your head. Physicians have come a long way as far as making these as thin as possible but there is always a possibility that they will stretch over time. The more procedures you have, and the more area of scalp that is taken, the greater the likelihood that the scar will be larger or stretch. Some men really don't mind having a strip scar, but others will come to be very unhappy with them and are uncomfortable wearing their hair short or shaved- which will expose the scar. At our clinic, we see a lot of patients coming in to have repair surgery (generally scar grafting) to try and conceal their strip scars.

The thing is- hair loss is a lifelong process and a lot of men grow tired of trying to keep up with the loss by continuously transplanting more hair. You'll see a lot of accounts, on this board, of posters who just wanted to 'give up' on the whole transplant process and shave their heads- but can't without exposing tell-tale strip scars. (Just check out some of the user 'DontDoIt's' posts.)

In addition to strip, there is another method of hair restoration surgery- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)- which does not leave the linear scar. However, with FUE, there is a possibility you will develop tiny white dots in the extraction sites, which we refer to as hypopigmentation. These may be visible upon close insepction if you shave your head down to the scalp, and would likely be more apparent when larger numbers of grafts are extracted.

So, you certainly can shave your head following a hair transplant procedure but you're definitely right that many HT patients may not want to depending on the appearance of their donor region post-op. In your particular case, if you KNOW you are going to want to keep your head shaved, I would advise you not to even get started down a HT path. You're actually extremely lucky that a shaved head suits you- I personally think it's a great look for guys, especially very fit ones. Just keep in mind that hair transplantation will always be there as an option, but there's no going back once you start down that road.

09-22-2010, 02:50 PM
Thanks again for the help. I have another question that maybe you could help me with. It is regarding the timeline of MPB. My mother's father was significantly receded by the age of 19. My mother has a half sister from her father who has several sons that were also significantly receding by about the same time as my grandpa. I am 23 (turning 24 in about a month) and have always had thin hair but have never noticed any significant receding and even now my thinning seems to be more diffuse throughout the top (if it's happening at all) I was thinking that I had dodged the bullet, but now I am starting to understand that I was being a little naive. Is there any information on family members inheriting the same gene for baldness and starting to thin at different times? I was also wondering if there is any reliable information on your odds of inheriting MPB from your maternal grandfather. While researching this on the internet I have found answers everywhere from 100% to 50% to there is no proof that MPB comes from your paternal grandfather. Any info would be great!

09-22-2010, 02:52 PM
Correction on the last sentence of my last post. I meant to say "maternal grandfather"

09-22-2010, 03:09 PM
There's still a lot we don't know about the genetics of hair loss and it is very hard to accurately predict who will go bald and how rapidly. Simply the presence or absence of balding in your parents or grandparents is not necessarily predictive of your likelihood of balding. If a number of your close relatives are completely bald and you were seeing very early and rapid hair loss, it would be a safe bet that you would eventually have extensive baldness. However, your case doesn't seem that straightforward. If you are concerned because it's your MATERNAL grandfather, don't be- it's no longer commonly believed that hair loss genes come from your mother's side- rather, it seems to be some combination of both.

So, in summary, I can't give you any sort of odds as to your likelihood of following a certain hair loss pattern. However, one thing you can do to increase the likelihood that you will keep your existing hair as long as possible is consider getting on Propecia.