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Old 12-01-2014, 07:47 PM
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Default 23...Need to do something

I'm 23 years old, and have had a pretty-rapid receding hairline for the past 6 years or so. I've tried rogaine, shampoos, etc. consistently for the last 3 or so years with no results in even slowing the loss. I've attached pictures of what my hairline currently looks like.

At this point, I've been financially successful (more so than most my age) and know that I could (and I want to) look into FUE. I've discussed with my wife and extensive medication regimens, as well as scarring caused by FUT, are both pretty much out of the question.

Doing research over the past two years, I've noticed a pretty consistent warning that I should NOT look into transplants of any kind. However, I feel strongly (obviously) about doing something to not only stop the loss, but restore my hairline somewhat.

That all said, has anyone tried the FUE procedure successfully at a younger age, or would anyone have recommendations at this point that I may try? Please let me know.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:16 PM
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Look, I was in the same spot you are 10 years ago, with a similar balding pattern. I waited and waited for a better solution than HT. I do feel that HT made big strides during that timeframe (particularly by going to bigger sessions of grafts, adding density and more natural hairline evolution) but there is still a pretty big risk of poor results. It is an invasive process, not everyone's body responds the same, and clinics vary in skill and performance. Ultimately, I decided HT was the most natural solution for me as it just did not seem a better, non-invasive solution was going to come available in my lifetime.

For FUE, #1 in the world is probably Lorenzo. There are a number of great FUT docs in the U.S. But you need to study this site a lot to find their work. FUE is becoming more available in the U.S. but it seems most U.S. docs prefer FUT. Many laws in the U.S. do not allow techs to do graft extractions, so the surgeon in the U.S. has a big burden with FUE sessions that are large. This is one reason you see FUE popular overseas in places such as Turkey - techs do most if not all of the extractions and placements and the Dr. is supervising.

It's not an easy decision. I finally made the leap at 40+ years old. I am in the resting period for my grafts, so my results won't be known for a while. Best of luck on your decision.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:24 PM
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One more thing, since you are 23 and receding rapidly but still have a lot mid scalp and on the crown, if you do an FUE now, I guess I would expect you will need another one later unless you go on finasteride and it is successful in stopping the loss of your remaining native hair. A better option, IMO, is to wait a few years until you lose even more hair and then try to do a one-and-done large session. It will not bring back your 16-year old hair, but it will be pretty good for a long time. I think the best one-and-done opportunities are for NW5 people who have a large session with a top clinic/surgeon where they plant follicles from hairline all the way back to the upper crown.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:56 PM
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You're a perfect candidate for finasteride.
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:43 AM
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As KO says at 23 you need to stabilise your loss, whilst it won't do much for the frontal area I doubt, you will be a much better candidate for surgery. If you can hold the mid scalp and the crown for the next year with medication then it will be less of a risk restoring the frontal third of your scalp. Speak to your Doctor about getting hold of a prescription if you have concerns.
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:52 PM
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What then, if anything, would be available options for someone my age with the type of hair loss? Is it typically against industry standards to do transplants over fading follicles, or to fill in gaps that exist now and then do more later in life as the loss progresses?

To give a little bit more of my expectations, if it matters right now- I'm not looking for an immaculate, 16-year old hair line, but I'd at least like to stymie the loss and hopefully increase the a little bit.

I just have a hard time believing any surgeon of high regard would tell me "tough luck" in that situation. So again, do I have any other viable options?
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:11 PM
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Default Quick Update

Consulted with SMG and agreed to start a propecia regimine, and also pursue a modest hairline FUE procedure. On Tuesday I had a 1750 graft FUE procedure with Dr. Josephitis. It went really well, and I am feeling quite optimistic about it. I was also informed I still have significant donor area left, should I choose to get another procedure done in the future.

These are the pictures of one day post procedure.

I really think, based on my hair loss, I'll have achieved my goals with this procedure and continuing with a propecia regimine going forward.
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:12 PM
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Default Donor area...

Donor area one day after
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:10 PM
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Looks like a good start, a conservative hairline placed, and not too many grafts. Should be good.
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:26 AM
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I'm glad to see you started the Propecia and found a doctor willing to work with you. The general consensus on the forums and in the HT transplant community is that getting a hair transplant at such a young age is almost always a bad idea - the primary reason being that the hair loss hasn't been stabilized and will continue to progress, so there's no way to know how to plan the transplant/placement of the grafts. However, I spoke with Dr. Mohebi recently about this very thing and he has a different opinion on this.

Following the strict guidelines of the past of always waiting until you're older to get a transplant doesn't apply as much today as it used to due to a couple of factors: Medication (such as Propecia) allows us to stabilize the hair loss in advance, so we don't have to wait for nature to stabilize it for us. And not only that, but we have better diagnostic tools today at our disposal. Most doctors can do microscopic evaluations that can give us a map of sorts about where the hair loss will be heading in the future and what will most likely be their final stage of hair loss. So we don't really have to wait until they look completely bald in order to know what their final stage will be.

I think this is very good to consider, and it seems you found a doctor who considers this as well and has taken a very responsible, conservative approach with you. Men in their early 20s suffer the most when it comes to hair loss, so it's encouraging to see technology advancing in such a way that we can start dealing with the hair loss when it's most important instead of the old "just wait it out and deal with it later" approach of the past.

Looking forward to seeing your updates!
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