Hair transplant - my biggest regret - BaldTruthTalk.com
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  1. #1
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    Default Hair transplant - my biggest regret

    Sorry for the lengthy post...but here is my story: :-[
    I have always had thin hair. When I was about 19, people would ask me if I was losing my hair. To many of you who have been in that situation know that it just wears you down. When a man is losing his hair it always helps for someone else to point it out to you. (insert sarcastic tone) That in turn started me obsessing over possible hair loss. I never thought of saying F**k it. Instead, when I was 24, I had 3 small hair transplant procedures (micro-grafts) that the doctor ďthickenĒ the center part of my scalp (because I parted my hair in the center at the time.) Not too long after I had the procedures, I realized they were a mistake. Instead of being overly conscious of people seeing my scalp through thin hair, I was now terrified that people would see the odd bumps and hair tufts through thin hair. So from then on, I began to hide the grafts. In addition to the small bumps on my head I have three short scars on the back of my head (longest is about 4 inches.) Last year I had hairs transplanted into the scars by a reputable surgeon, which filled in nicely and made them less obvious. I have also been using Propecia, for the last 5 years which I am slowly weaning myself off of. I didnít have any major side effects but I donít want to be messing with my hormones any longer.

    Over the past 22 years I have struggled with anxiety and depression because of these surgeries. 14 years ago I began to see a therapist for about 2-3 years, and started taking an anti-depressant and began to feel normal again. For the next 12 years I was fine, then just last October I relapsed. I began seeing another therapist a few weeks ago, who now diagnosed that my depression was not a chemical imbalance, but a psychological one due to prior self-image issues/ low self esteem and is manifesting itself in the hair transplant. In a way this made me feel better since I didn't have some underlying chemical imbalance that finding a remedy was like trying to hit a moving target, and like so many with chemical imbalances they are difficult to treat. On the flip side it made me feel worse since having transplants messed with my life, and not for the better. I did this to myself, I am not a victim just someone who made a terrible choice and has to live with it--or get through it.

    My greatest fear is that I lose all my hair and will have my past mistakes clearly visible. Even though I can have the hair grafts removed, I feel ashamed and humiliated-to the point where I have become suicidal at times. My therapist said that I should confront the fear and shave my head... start slowly and work my way there. Doing so will take away all of the power. Last week I told a close friend of mine what was going on and what I did. It felt great and liberating but another day or two and I was back in depression.

    My friends who were losing their hair have shaved or closely buzzed their heads. I wish I could do the same without my shame being exposed to everyone. Yesterday I cut my hair shorter than I have ever had in my life since I was a kid. I cut the back of my head to a number 4. No trace of scarring. Top since I have thin hair you can see scalp but it looks ok. I just want to know that when it's all said and done an my hair decides to abandon ship, I there are options to make me look like a normal bald dude. **Strange, when I was younger, I was insecure about my friends having their hair while I was losing mine. Now they are losing theirs and I just want to fit in again***

    I may not even lose hair, I am 46 and still have all of it-again itís thin but I never had thick hair to begin with. Since I am going off Propecia there is a chance of me losing any hair retained from the drug, or maybe it didnít do anything. Either way I have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and have a plan.
    Anyone who has hair transplant scars and plugs, please let me know your experiences. Iím ďcoming outĒ to you guys for the first time, so please be gentle. Thank you in advance for any support.
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  2. #2
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    Hi Nomorehtworry ,

    You're being incredibly harsh on yourself my friend .That's the depression talking for you there - I know because I've been there .No one in this thread is going to give you a hard time . Don't keep torturing yourself over a decision you made many years ago - you made the decision for you at that time , and continuously pondering over it serves you no use whatsoever . For what it's worth , I really think your hair looks good .

    I've not been through the HT experience yet , but will be doing so soon , so can't give any practical advice as I don't yet have the experience .

    Are you back on any meds for the depression ? If not , I'd possibly give it a shot on the meds for a while , just to get yourself on an even keel . Veering off topic a bit , but have you heard of Mindfulness ? If not , it's worth checking out .

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    I understand how you're feeling. It sucks. You feel trapped with no options out. I as well want to shave my head, but if I did, I would have to shave it completely bald or the transplants would stick out like a sore thumb. I also have about a 5.5" scar on the back of my head. Every day, I work to conceal the transplants and then put in hair spray. My girl friend now has been with me for 3 months and hasn't even touched my hair. It's humiliating and horrifying and there is not a therapist in the world that will fully understand what you're going through because they haven't themselves. I wish I could give more advice, but I am still learning to cope with this nightmare myself, and it's been 2 f*cking years... The good news is - your scars are very minimal and I couldn't even see any hair "plugs". How many hairs were in each graft? Perhaps you can consider shaving and going with a reputable trichopigmentation or SMP place?

  4. #4
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    A HT is something about half of us who do it end up regretting. I'm about the same age as you, and had my HT's at the same age as you did, and have felt the same way as you do over the years. But there is one huge difference: My hair looked way worse, and even after a fairly successful and expensive repair by Dr. Umar using non-scalp sources, my hair still looks worse than yours does right now. And I do not feel even half of the tension and desperation that you do about my hair.

    It's good that you are seeing a therapist, but I'm of the opinion that sometimes we perpetuate a problem because we become so focused on it over time we actually become comfortable with it. I think your issue has become a kind of security blanket for you. What you need to do is break with convention. You need to start putting yourself in different situations and experiences to change the way you think, and what you think of yourself. Like I've said, I was literally unrepairable for over 10 years. No scalp donor to draw from. Very bald with obvious micro grafts visible. Wore a hat everywhere. Now, outside of the shop where I work, I don't wear a hat anywhere, and no one knows I had anything done. Looking at your pictures I cannot see anything that was ever done to your hair. You have far more hair than I do, and I can almost state with certainty no one would ever suspect you had anything done. Now here is the salient point: Even if they did, so what? You have to understand that answer first, when you do, you will be truly liberated from this.

    Your problem, my friend, is not on your head, it is in your head. You need to find a way to stop obsessing over your hair because there is nothing visibly wrong with it. You've created a problem, mentally, where none exists.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylie View Post
    A HT is something about half of us who do it end up regretting. I'm about the same age as you, and had my HT's at the same age as you did, and have felt the same way as you do over the years. But there is one huge difference: My hair looked way worse, and even after a fairly successful and expensive repair by Dr. Umar using non-scalp sources, my hair still looks worse than yours does right now. And I do not feel even half of the tension and desperation that you do about my hair.

    It's good that you are seeing a therapist, but I'm of the opinion that sometimes we perpetuate a problem because we become so focused on it over time we actually become comfortable with it. I think your issue has become a kind of security blanket for you. What you need to do is break with convention. You need to start putting yourself in different situations and experiences to change the way you think, and what you think of yourself. Like I've said, I was literally unrepairable for over 10 years. No scalp donor to draw from. Very bald with obvious micro grafts visible. Wore a hat everywhere. Now, outside of the shop where I work, I don't wear a hat anywhere, and no one knows I had anything done. Looking at your pictures I cannot see anything that was ever done to your hair. You have far more hair than I do, and I can almost state with certainty no one would ever suspect you had anything done. Now here is the salient point: Even if they did, so what? You have to understand that answer first, when you do, you will be truly liberated from this.

    Your problem, my friend, is not on your head, it is in your head. You need to find a way to stop obsessing over your hair because there is nothing visibly wrong with it. You've created a problem, mentally, where none exists.
    This is very wise, good advice.... but you cannot simply tell him there is not problem at all, because that will never work. It is one thing to blow a problem way out of proportion and another to completely minimize it. Perhaps he needs to find a balance. Yes, you have scars on the back of your head, but you do not need to reveal them yet, you still have a lot of hair. Perhaps, eventually you will feel more comfortable shaving your head, but take yourself out of the mentality of a hair transplant victim... NO ONE is going to be starring into the dots on your head looking for aberrations in your shaved stubble. If you build up the confidence to tell people, "yeah, tried the hair transplant thing, didn't really work" and laugh if they ask about your scars, they will forget about it 15 seconds later. The key thing to remember is - NO ONE CARES AS MUCH AS YOU DO, IF THEY EVEN CARE AT ALL.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesst11 View Post
    This is very wise, good advice.... but you cannot simply tell him there is not problem at all, because that will never work. It is one thing to blow a problem way out of proportion and another to completely minimize it. Perhaps he needs to find a balance. Yes, you have scars on the back of your head, but you do not need to reveal them yet, you still have a lot of hair. Perhaps, eventually you will feel more comfortable shaving your head, but take yourself out of the mentality of a hair transplant victim... NO ONE is going to be starring into the dots on your head looking for aberrations in your shaved stubble. If you build up the confidence to tell people, "yeah, tried the hair transplant thing, didn't really work" and laugh if they ask about your scars, they will forget about it 15 seconds later. The key thing to remember is - NO ONE CARES AS MUCH AS YOU DO, IF THEY EVEN CARE AT ALL.
    This is also excellent advice, especially what you bolded.

    I forgot to mention that the advice of the therapist, while well intentioned and perhaps sound advice, is akin to pushing all of ones chips into the middle of the table and saying "Hit me". It's a fairly drastic approach that I don't think is necessary. It's like trying to get out of debt by putting all your remaining savings on black and hoping it does not come up red. You could be out of debt, or completely broke.

    And I see absolutely no reason for such drastic action, when you have a full head of hair. It's not like the only thing left on your head is micrografts. From the pictures, I can't even see any.

  7. #7
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    When you have a week or 2 weeks vacation , buzz it to a # 2 guard . See how it looks and how you feel about it . If you can accept it then maybe go a little shorter next time , if not in 2 weeks it will grow back, then you will have to re visit your situation.

    Personally I wouldn't part it in the middle . Try combing it back

  8. #8
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    Thank you everyone for the replies and kind words of encouragement. I know I am being pretty rough on myself. I am prone to a certain degree of depression so that only blows things out of proportion.

    My therapist told me not to go completely shaved but rather face the fear in stages; go shorter, then get used to that, then a little shorter, get used to that etc.

    I don’t keep my hair parted in the middle as in the picture, I only wanted to illustrate the placement of the grafts in the center of the scalp. I was told I received about 120-130, but I can only “see” about 60, so about half either did not grow or the “doctor” lied to me. Either way, maybe that is a blessing.

    I have my hair now at a #6 buzz on the top and a #4 on the back and you can’t see the scars, even with it wet.

    When I separate the hair, you can see some slight cobblestoning and a few pits on the top of my scalp with strong overheard lighting when my head is angled slightly forward. However, I believe this can be addressed with some laser resurfacing if need be. There are only about 20-25 that I can actually see. I have some bumps and indentations on my head from a daredevil–inspired childhood so the grafts don’t stick out too much.

    Can anyone recommend a good laser resurfacing resource, on the east coast, if possible? HIS hair?

    Also, I just wanted to say that I have been following various forums for years and have seen great threads turn into a platform for others to use to attack each other. I am glad everyone is being respectful, keeping on topic and offering their points of view—all of them helpful. My intention starting this thread was not only to help myself but to help others as well.

    Suarez are you sure HT is your best option? Please do your research thoroughly. Unfortunately, these internet resources were not around when I underwent my procedure.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomorehtworry View Post
    Suarez are you sure HT is your best option? Please do your research thoroughly. Unfortunately, these internet resources were not around when I underwent my procedure.
    I'm good with my decision to go with the HT . Researched the subject to death and I'm fairly confident I've picked a good surgeon . I have modest , but realistic expectations of what can be achieved .

    You're right about the resources now available for research - fantastic amount of information about if you put the time in to dig about .

    Good luck with any decisions you decide to make .

  10. #10
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    @nomorehtworry: You need FUE Hair Transplantation. Contact any good Surgeon in your locality or contact me for free consultation.

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