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  1. #1
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    Default Shock loss

    Hello all,

    I am new to the forum and have a question.

    I had a trasplant about a month ago. I went to Bosley in Atlanta. I just discovered this site so I guess I am an ignorant balding 29 year old.

    I started Propecia about 5 weeks ago and had the procedure the following week. I am experiencing quite a bit of hair loss in addition to the transplanted hairs.

    I have read that many men will experience non-transplanted hair loss. How long should I expect the hair to keep falling out? I used to find about 3 hairs in my hand when I showered. Now I find upwards of ten to fifteen. Is this something to be concerned about or is this normal? How long should I expect this to last? I have read that I should grow this back but I am really starting to notice thinning at a rapid rate at the middle and top of my head.

    I am 29 and really started to thin over the last year but it wasn't very obvious. I just wanted to jump ahead of the loss before it is obvious in hopes of others not finding out. I had about 1500 grafts to fill in my front which is where most of the loss occured and scattered throughout my middle and top.

    Overall I am pleased with the recovery. My scar is not noticable so I am happy about that. I did experience swelling but it went down after about 5 days.

    I really appreciate this forum.

    I look forward to the responses.

  2. #2
    Administrator SpencerKobren's Avatar
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    Arrow Hair Transplant Shock Loss

    Quote Originally Posted by Denver Mint View Post
    Hello all,

    I am new to the forum and have a question.

    I had a trasplant about a month ago. I went to Bosley in Atlanta. I just discovered this site so I guess I am an ignorant balding 29 year old.

    I started Propecia about 5 weeks ago and had the procedure the following week. I am experiencing quite a bit of hair loss in addition to the transplanted hairs.

    I have read that many men will experience non-transplanted hair loss. How long should I expect the hair to keep falling out? I used to find about 3 hairs in my hand when I showered. Now I find upwards of ten to fifteen. Is this something to be concerned about or is this normal? How long should I expect this to last? I have read that I should grow this back but I am really starting to notice thinning at a rapid rate at the middle and top of my head.

    I am 29 and really started to thin over the last year but it wasn't very obvious. I just wanted to jump ahead of the loss before it is obvious in hopes of others not finding out. I had about 1500 grafts to fill in my front which is where most of the loss occured and scattered throughout my middle and top.

    Overall I am pleased with the recovery. My scar is not noticable so I am happy about that. I did experience swelling but it went down after about 5 days.

    I really appreciate this forum.

    I look forward to the responses.
    Hey Denver Mint,

    Welcome to the forum! Shock loss after a hair transplant procedure while distressing, is very common. I’m assuming that your surgeon over at Bosley explained this to you during your initial consultation. The good new is that most if not all of your lost native hair should return within a year.

    It sounds to me like you really didn't have too much hair loss to begin with, so I’m curios to know if your surgeon might have recommended that you wait to see how Propecia worked for you before considering surgery?

    As far as how long the shedding will last, it’s hard to say for sure, but it shouldn’t last more than a few weeks or so.

    I’m glad that you're happy with your scar and I wish you a speedy recovery.

    If you’d like to post some images showing your area of shedding and where your grafts were placed, our members and myself will be glad to comment more specifically on your situation.

    Hang in there, sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.

    Here’s some interesting reading about hair transplant shock loss from the IAHRS Info Center:

    What Are The Possible Complications of Hair Transplant Surgery?

    Female Hair Transplant Shock Loss - Will My Hair Grow Back?

    Concerned About My Hair Falling Out From a Hair Transplant Procedure
    Spencer Kobren
    Founder, American Hair Loss Association
    Host, The Bald Truth Radio Show

    I am not a physician. My opinions and knowledge concerning hair loss and its treatment are based on extensive research and reporting on the subject as a consumer advocate and hair loss educator. My views and comments on the subject should not be taken as medical advice. Always seek the advice of a medical professional when considering medical and surgical treatment.

  3. #3
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    Hey Denver Mint,

    Can you share with us a little bit about your transplant experience with Bosley? I had an initial transplant with Bosley in the year 2000 (the "dark ages"), and I was just curious to know if they have changed or anything? How was the consultation?

    Best of luck for being on your way to an awesome head of hair! :-)

    TeeJay

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I guess I probably wasn't a typical hair transplant candidate in the fact that I have quite a bit of hair to lose but I started to notice my scalp was showing at the middle and top of my head. It is hard to swallow when you look at pictures just 2 and 3 years ago and then look in the mirror. Like I posted previously, the front has been thinning for a while. I will post pics later on.

    I was actually very impressed with Bosley. I did not experience any pressure whatsoever. I met with the consultant and the doctor on the same visit. The doctor explained to me my balding category, which is 5 or 5A, I can't remember. I left on my own terms and negotiated a reasonable price. I realize the fees are inflated but the total price was about 20 percent less than what the fee schedule indicates.

    I was a little disappointed in that the doctor does not implant the hair. He performed the incisions and the nurses and techs put the hair in. I think they did a good job but I thought the doctor would do that as well. I couldn't see but it seemed like he used a scalpel to cut little incisions all over my head. It was not like the John and Kate plus 8 procedure where they punch holes in your head. He did not explain that I could possibly experience shock loss. I just wanted to get ahead of my hair loss and put a few hundred grafts in the area that was starting to thin, however I am anticipating the re-growth of my hair lost and new hair in the middle and top of my head. I think I will need to have a second surgery to fill in the rest of top of my head and I am hoping that will be all that I need. Like many others, I am nervous in how the end result will look like but there is nothing I can do but wait and see.

    In looking at other pictures, I don't think I have alot of surface area to cover because the balding area is relatively small compared to many of the pictures I have seen.

    Everyone was very courteous and they did everything I asked. For some reason the anesthetic did not numb me very well so I had about 100 shots. It was crazy but the middle of my scalp did not respond very well at all.

    My biggest fear about hair loss is that I have wierd shaped head and I think it will look funny bald. That is my main motivation in trying to curb the shedding.

    Like I said before, this forum has really encouraged me because I am able to read about others experiencing the same anxieties and worry as I am experiencing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member gillenator's Avatar
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    Denver Mint,

    The good thing is that it does not sound like your shockloss was substantial because for some, it can be, especially those with a diffused thinning pattern, commonly seen in women with MPB.

    First let me inform you that I am not a doctor, but I do have nearly three decades of clinical observations and did work on the inside before.

    I see and hear of many younger patients having surgery at roughly the same time they are starting Propecia. IMHO this is not the ideal approach because as you found out, some guys can experience a massive shedding just from the active ingredient. This usually occurs in the first 90 days of starting the drug IF the patient responds to the meds with shedding.

    The problem is that the recipient incisions cause trauma to the scalp and the scalp often will respond with some level of shockloss to the exisitng native hair and you end up with a double whammy of loss, both from the meds and the trauma! Thankfully most of it does grow back. Your native hair and transplants should start breaking scalp at 3-4 months post-op.

    The primary reason that a patient wants to wait on surgery is to see if in fact Propecia stabilizes one's hairloss. But let's say for example it does not work and the patient continues with a rapid progression of hairloss. Having surgery at that point IMO can do far more damage than help as far as any visual benefit is concerned. Surgery at that point can in fact ADVANCE the rate of loss. It's so unpredictable. But whenever a new patient arrives with advanced hairloss at a young age, and then also states he/she is losing at a rapid rate ARE CLEAR INDICATIONS that this particular patient is at higher risk of shockloss, and even permanent shockloss. And let us remember, women cannot take Propecia, only minoxidil. But for these younger men losing fast, moving them right into surgery IMHO, is inappropriate. The medicinal route should be tried first for the reasons I have mentioned, again my opinion, and you do not have to be licensed in medicine to see the prudent sense in that and act responsibly in the patient's best interest.

    For the most part, those individuals who have family history of the advanced levels of MPB, and do not respond favorably to hairloss meds, should think twice about surgery because there is a good chance they will regret it should they move forward. Something to think about.

    All in all, I wish you the best in the months to come!
    "Gillenator"
    Independent Patient Advocate
    more.hair@verizon.net

    NOTE: I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice nor are they the opinions of the following endorsing physicians: Dr. Glenn Charles, Dr. James Harris, Dr. Bob True & Dr. Bob Dorin

  6. #6
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    Shockloss is something that can be experienced when transplanting into existing hair although highly unpredictable. Shockloss occurs when the native hair is weak and isn't strong enough to resist the trauma thats going on around it. More often than not the hair that has gone into shock will grow back but after 3/4 months - after the resting phase
    Hair that goes into shock and doesn't return is hair that was inevitably on its way out anyway and wasn't strong enough to return.
    Increased trauma to a localised area will increase the chances of shockloss
    Shockloss is unpredictable and there is no hard and fast rule to avoiding it - especially if you are transplanting into existing hair.

    There are risk factors that either heighten or lessen someone's risk. Diffuse thinners seem more prone to shockloss than receders because the hair in a diffuse area is often less stable than that of a receder. Very often, a lot of the hair in a diffuse area is "on its last legs" and in the latter stages of the miniaturization process.

  7. #7
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    Default I can relate

    Hi Denver Mint, my situation is EXTREMELY similar to yours. I am 26 yrs old and went to Bosley in Atlanta and had a transplant done (prior to doing enough research). I feel after doing my research on the back end that I would have not had a hair transplant had I seen all the threads that I have now seen. The hair transplant procedure that I experienced in Atlanta went well and the staff was very nice. I do however feel that I WAS somewhat pressured into the procedure and the possibility that I was not a candidate because I was so young was not even brought up. Nor was the possibility of shock loss, which I am experiencing. However I fear this loss may be more serious than shock loss. I had the procedure done in October 2010 and it is now February 2011 and I am noticing some disturbing loss of hairs that don't appear to be transplanted hairs. This is very frightening for me and I am concerned that I made an awful decision because I am a student living off of loans now and I do not have any cash to fix anything that ends up looking awful. I did not start taking finasteride until approximately 1 week prior to the surgery and was not notified that I could have waited 6 months to see if the hair loss would subside. I also feel that the doctor may have given me false hope in how low he could bring my hairline and provide adequate thickness at the same time. I am currently using minoxidil and finasteride as well as taking an SSRI to help with the anxiety I feel over the possibility that I have made the worst decision of my life. Maybe not... I surely hope not but all I can do is wait and see what my 1 yr results look like. Denver mint, how do your results look now? I think we had very similar situations and I'm trying to decide what to plan for in the future. Thanks

  8. #8
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    Codeman:

    I can feel your pain and sorry you are going through this. My anxiety was like a roller-coaster for a long time. With that being said, there is hope. I actually quit taking propecia and haven't done so for about a year and half. My shedding slowed down significantly and I don't really notice much shedding anymore...even less than before I had the procedure. I think the shedding prior to the surgury was my hair pattern finishing out my "island patch" in the front.

    That being said, I can share with you what I have went through. The back 2/3 of the top of my head still looks worse than before the surgery and I have come to grips with it. It was a long emotional journey and I still feel the emotional remnants of it and I just passed my 2 year anniversary of the procedure. My hair was too thin to wear any longer than a 5 guard without feeling self-conscious.

    In May of 2009 I really started researching strip-scar revisions because I came to the conclusion I could not afford another surgery so my decision was to go shorter...ironically the reason I had the surgery in the first place because I didn't want to shave my head. The problem is, you can't shave your head with a huge scar covering the back of your head. The scar was concealed but I couldn't go lower than a 5 guard without it being noticeable. So I was stuck with overly thinning hair on top or risk everyone seeing the scar and knowing I had the surgery.

    I am not sure if I can recommend surgeons on this site but I will mention who I went to. I researched and found Dr. Cole in Atlanta. I believe it is IHTI. From what I read I had to put faith because I had nowhere else to turn to resolve it. I went and had an FUE procedure which pulls individual grafts out without scarring. There is supposedly a little scar that is left but unless you shave your head completely you will not notice it. I had 200 grafts placed in the scar area...doesn't sound like much but it has made a huge difference.

    I am now able to shave my head all over with a three guard and the scar is undetectable. With it down to a three, the thinning on top is not nearly as noticeable. If you can get strip scar surgery I really think it can buy you some time. It costed me $2,000 for the surgery but it was worth every penny, imo. It is not perfect, but I can go anywhere I want without people seeing the scar.

    Another thing I discovered while I had the surgery was Toppek. You may want to look into this. The Toppek fibers work pretty well. I used it when my hair was longer when I was still nervous about shaving my head and it really gives pretty good coverage. It is a fiber that sticks to your hair. The one thing to keep in mind is that it usually doesn't match your hair perfectly. I have dark brown hair and if I over-applied it, it looked closer to black. Because of fighting with putting Toppek on everyday, I decided to shave it. I still use Toppek to fill in some thin spots with my 3 guard shave but I use a little spray nozzle which makes it very easy. I have been able to shave the top of my head as low as a 1 guard and my side and back I can go as low as a 2 guard but I have to use Dermatch to put on the scar area. Don't get too bogged down in the dermatch stuff, I was just experimenting with ways to see how low I could go.

    All that said, I decided to put grafts into my scar and go shorter. If nothing else it has bought me time to if and when I would like another procedure. If I do decide it will be with FUE procedure, not Bosley. If I wouldn't have had the scar in the first place, at least I would be able to shave it and move on. I regret the decision to go and if I had it back I would've rather flushed the money down the toilet...that stinks to live with that kind of regret but I have to move forward. My regret is because I have the scar, not for the hair thinning. As I said before, the hair did stop falling out. I would have had an FUE...if only I had done a little more research prior to them putting the knife to the back of my head.

    Hope this helped. Hang in there and stay strong. Alot of men have been through what you are going through and we have survived.

    I wanted to add that the front portion that really needed the implant looks pretty good. It is not as thick as I would've liked but I can't complain about it. I actually have turf over my entire head and nobody knows or at least has looked at my funny or made a single comment about my hair looking different.

  9. #9
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    I just looked over my post and wanted to clarify if I had to it over again I would not have transplanted in the thicker hair. I indicated it wasn't for the thinning but obviously that is what concerned me.

  10. #10
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    So you would recommend guys thinking of surgery just to accept thinning and balding?I'm 32 next month and I really can't stand my thinning hair,especially windy days or rain/swimming,seeing hairs on my shirt,etc.....I feel like its holding me back from doing things in life at my job and women,and other things. I keep looking in the mirror and comparing myself to other guys.

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