View Full Version : HT here I come
02-13-2009, 10:22 PM
Hi all, Burnsy here. I've lurked on this site for quite a while now, and I don't mind telling you that Spencer Korben and all the rest of you have been an enormous help to me in finding out the real deal on HT's and hair re-growth treatments. I can't thank Spencer enough for putting this all together - like the rest of you, I felt really alone with my hair loss demons before coming here.
So here's my deal - I'm 37 years old, have been slowly losing my hair in a diffuse manner since I was about 23 or so. It became noticeable around the age of 28. I shaved my head. It looked ok - but more hair fell out. I let it grow back in and started camouflaging it slightly (derma match). I moved away for a year and decided to "start fresh" by shaving it all again. But this time, it looked like crap. I let it grow back in again and then had to camouflage it big time (derma match and toppik combo everyday). I've been on and off propecia and minoxidil.
Although the thought of a HT has been alluring for many years, I've never liked the examples I've seen and frankly, I felt that to spend money to get a HT would be giving in to vanity. But about 6 months ago I realized that I have stopped doing things I like -- swimming, biking, tennis -- because I couldn't be out in public when the sweat brought the whole facade down. I realized I hated going to the doctor, dentist etc. because I knew they would be looking closely at my head. It dawned on me that, for whatever reason, I could not get past wanting hair again, and that if I could get a HT that looked good, it would be the best investment I could make for my personal happiness.
So, I have found an IAHRS doctor in the Portland, Oregon area where I live and am going in for a HT a month from today. In my consultation he told me that he could get around 3500 grafts to repopulate my lonely bald areas. I am looking forward to this like very few things I have looked forward to in my life (if that makes me a vain ass***le then so be it!)
All of you on this site gave me the confidence and education to get to this point! So now I ask you HT vets and informed souls, what are the hair regrowth stages, and when can I get past having to color and dust my head everyday? I realize a picture is very helpful to see where I'm at -- and if anyone could help me with my above question better with a picture, then I'll gladly get one uploaded.
Thanks again to Spencer and the whole Bald Truth nation!
02-14-2009, 10:48 AM
Welcome to the forum and thanks for the kind words!
I’m assuming you’ll be having hair transplant surgery with Dr. Steve Gabel since he's the only physician performing surgery in Portland that’s been accepted into the IAHRS. Besides being very skilled, Dr. Gabel is a very honest and ethical guy. I think you’ll be in good hands.
I look forward to following your journey and feel free to post any questions or concerns that you might have. You can also call the show to discuss your experience with Dr. Gabel or if you need any pre-or post surgical advice.
Listen/Watch The Bald Truth Live (http://www.thebaldtruth.com/watch-live/)
02-14-2009, 11:40 AM
Your story is nearly EXACTLY like mine,in fact, we're the same age!The only differance is that I did nothing to combat my hairloss over the years or my appearance, I just hid my feelings by staying in touch with other balding guys(group support) and lying to myself that it didnt really bother me all those years.It sucked that most peaple needed sunglasses to avoid the sun glare off my head in the summer.Anyway, Im only 3 and 1/2 weeks post op now and Im so glad I did it.It appears that some of my transplanted hairs have jumped ship,but the grafts under the skin are entacted so I just have to wait for the new growth.My donor area on back of my head is still irritated as well,but the scar is not visable at all.I have seen TWO photos of patients on this site who had mega sessions performed,4 to 5k grafts, and the "after" photos are only 6 months post op, but they look 100% full.I dont get it!Its like an absolute miracle in my opinion to see those before and after's with just short period in between when others will wait a year to 18 months for maturity.Now Im not sure if they were doing propecia as well,which is suppose to be a huge boost for someone getting the HT.Whatever the case,I just have a total wait and see attitude right now.I wish you luck with your procedure,and hopefully you can keep us informed of your progress on the site.
02-14-2009, 03:42 PM
Hi Spencer -- the thanks all go to you. And I'm sure you've heard this many times, but the work that you have done has had an incredible positive effect on me! And you are right, I am having my HT done by Steve Gabel -- my consultation with him was great. Up until he showed up on the IAHRS list, one of the issues I was having was trying to figure out the logistics of having the HT done out of state (travel, accomodations, etc -- and I have two kids!) So having Dr. Gabel here in Portland is just awesome. I really like and trust the guy, and he had very nice things to say about you when he saw that I heard of him through your site. I will certainly keep you and the BT nation updated on my procedure and post-procedure.
One last question if I may...is there any material out there that gives the general post-HT progression of hair re-growth? (ie. "One month out expect... Three months out expect... etc.) I know every case is different, but is ther any generalized expectations timeline?
You're the best - keep doing what you do!!
02-14-2009, 04:09 PM
Thanks for your quick reply! Nice to see I wasn't the only one who waited! But it sounds like you waited until there was a way to make an informed decision on getting the HT. The fact that you haven't been "camofluaging" as I have makes your decision very interesting to me, since one of the issues I've had with getting an HT is how soon, if, and how much more camoflauging I'll have to do when I return to work. Obviously, you went back to work and it was obvious you had something done - that's great that you didn't care about what people would think (or did you??) I'm having my HT done on a Friday, and then will be flying back east for a week to visit family, so I won't have to return to work until about 15 days or so after the procedure. I'm wondering what my head will look like at that point. My doc says he will likely get 4K grafts out of my donor area. I plan to get on the propecia again as well. Are you taking it now?
So what did it look like when you first walked out of the doc's office -- what does it look like now?
Thanks again for relating to me and my story - I look forward to keeping in touch!
02-14-2009, 06:44 PM
As far as timing,most guys will tell you take as much time off work as possible after your HT,but I had my HT scheduled on a Wed and unfortunately had to be back at work the following Mon.To complicate the matter,I work outdoors for a Landscape/construction company so I was a bit concerned that I might easily have an accident and bump my head,or over strain myself and cause damage to the donor site which was stapled shut.Plus the weather here in NJ is COLD in January. Thank God it all worked out ok for me,I took it easy and I didnt have any problems.As far as appearance,I was told NOT to shave my head prior to the surgery,although I have seen photos on this site of guys who show post op photos with no hair at all..I dont know why they would shave close because it would be very obvious that work was done for weeks and months after the HT(maybe they didnt want to hide the fact).For me,the monday I returned to work,I had what looked like a buzz haircut(a clean head ,no obvious surgery marks) that lasted the last three weeks.All the transplanted hairs stayed in place and I LOVED THE APPEARANCE OF ME WITH AN ACTUAL HAIR LINE,but sadly,some of them have flown away since.Through this entire process,I have actually kept my little bit of native hair so I guess that might be what you call "Camouflage"? No one at work asked me about it so I didnt have to explain.Even my immediate family doesnt know I had work, except my wife.The thing that bothers me now that Ive learned more is that I could of had a larger session done(I was told I had 1800 grafts inserted),but the doctor I went to didnt discuss the option of a larger session with me. He only told me that I would need probably need two seperate sessions to gain a full appearance.I know only certain qualified physicians perform the larger 3 to 5K or more sessions and I would of had to travel a bit to find someone to perform that.Overall, I am satisfied with what I received for what I payed,and time will tell my true results.When I first walked out of the doctors office, I had a black knit cap on that HAD to stay on for two straight days.Once I removed it, my head cleaned up nicely.Than the scalp skin scabbing lasted another 7 days and I flaked a huge amount of skin.
I never took propecia and dont plan on it because my feeling is that once you stop taking it, all the money you spent on it goes down the drain along with any native hair it was keeping on your head,not to mention any new growth it was creating.Just a temporary illusion is what hair drugs create. IMHO, Propecia and Rogaine should offer some type of one-time payment lifetime refill deal.I wouldint hold my breath waiting for that though.
All the best to you Burnsy
the B spot
02-14-2009, 09:29 PM
Hey Burnsy---your in fine hands with Dr. Gabel--who does excellent work and has a great, caring staff. Dr. Gabel has continued to impress and I have no doubt your results will be impressive as well.
I hope your share your journey with us---now that you have given us your story--we demand photos!!!!!!!! :D
Good Luck and Happy Growing!!!!
02-15-2009, 08:03 PM
Hi Jason - thanks for your reply and the encouraging words regarding Dr Gabel. I was incredibly impressed with his work and with him as a person. That being said, it's very comforting to hear from a third party that I have made this incredibly important decision with the right doc! I will definitely get some pics up -- I'm hoping that some HT vets, and vets to this site who have seen alot of people pre- and post-op, will be able to tell me more about what to expect once they have seen what I'm starting with in terms of scalp coverage.
As I noted in my intro, I've lurked on this site for quite a while now, and I have noticed you have given lots of people great advice and encouragement, so I appreciate your response to me, and I selfishly hope I can get even more advice/encouragement from you as I move forward!! It's an exciting prospect for me, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't incredibly nervous as well.