The photos I've attached to this blog demonstrate my hair before any surgery and then 4 hair transplants later. What the above doesn't show is that all of the natural hair I had left in the "before" photos is also gone. Thus, without hair restoration surgery, I'd be completely bald on top and most likely a full Norwood 6.
Below is my story.
At age 27, I decided to start doing some actual research about hair loss and one of the first sites I found was the Hair Transplant Network. It was Pat Hennessey himself who inspired me by reading through his blog to get a hair transplant.
After some research, I chose to have my first transplant with Dr. Katz in Philadelphia, PA. I chose him firstly because he was recommended on this site AND he was local. Whereas today I always advise people not to let location determine which surgeon one decides on, it WAS one of my decisions back then. I admit that I was not heavily researched when I went in for my first hair transplant - though I believe Dr. Katz set me on a good track as far as expectations. Here are the statistics:
Hair Transplant 1 - September 2004, I was a NW5A (Dr. Katz of Philadelphia, PA)
I received 1600 grafts (800 in the front half and 800 in the crown area). I unfortunately do not have hair counts.
For the small number of grafts on a NW5A, this gave me a surprisingly natural (though very thin) result.
Hair Transplant 2 - July 2005, I was a NW5A borderline NW6 (That is, if I never had surgery) - (Dr. True of NY, NY)
I received 2249 grafts mostly in the frontal half of the scalp, with some going back to the crown - though not completely back. I do not have hair count breakdowns at this time.
My hairline was reshaped a bit and gave me some more density in the frontal 2/3rds of my scalp which really helped improve my appearance.
Hair Transplant 3 - October 2006 - I lost enough native hair at this point to be considered a NW6 - (Dr. Hasson, Vancouver, BC, Canada)
I received 3701 grafts all over the scalp to add density in all the areas of my scalp. I do not have detailed hair counts available at this time.
Overall density and appearance improved significantly.
Hair Transplant 4 - April 1, 2009 - After restoring a large portion of my hair, I decided to go back for more density - (Dr. Hasson, Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Grand Total of Surgeries: 9618 Grafts
Considering I'd be a full NW6 without surgery, I have come a LONG way. It is typical to multiple one's NW level by 1000 (on the conservative side) or 1500 (on the liberal side) to determine approximately how many grafts one needs to create an illusion of density. I'm somewhere in between.
I have no immediate plans for future work. However, I'll never say never :-)