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Old 12-21-2016, 11:12 PM
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Default baldlivesmatter transplant experience with Dr. Jim Harris

Hello fellow Norwoods.

You’ve been very informative and helpful to me throughout my hair loss experience so I thought that the least I could do would be to document my transplant experience to “pay it forward” to other sufferers. My goal is that at least one person is helped by my write-up, regardless of how they ultimately decide to treat (or not treat) their hair loss. Although I don’t necessarily think that my hair loss has held me back in life in any significant manner, it did cause a tremendous amount of anxiety and reduced the joy that I experienced on a day-to day basis. I have a wonderful life, which I am extremely grateful for, though I was having trouble being happy due to my hair loss.

I am a 28 year old male. I am currently using the big three of Finasteride, Minoxidil, and Ketoconazole and have done so for the last 3-4 years. When I compared my current loss to three years ago it looks to be comparable (i.e., the treatment is helping me maintain). There is a history of hair loss in my family; my granddad is a Norwood 5/6 at 80 years old, my father is a Norwood 5/6 at 60 years old, and my younger brother has similar loss to me (though not as extensive as he jumped on Finasteride earlier). I initially noticed my hair loss when I was 23, though looking back at pictures I can see thinning and recession as early as 21.

Below: Me at 25 years old


When I initially hopped on Finasteride I was 24 and was not considering a hair transplant. My thought process was that I was still young and that by the time I was old (i.e., 30 lol) I would probably not care at all about my hair and just stop taking Finasteride. Well, as you all probably know, life doesn’t end at 30 (or 40 for that matter) and it’s only natural to want to be happy with the way that you look. The turning point for me was when my work was offering free, professional portrait photography and I elected to skip it as I didn’t want an updated photo showing my excessive balding (was living in the past with a three year old photo lol). Consequently, I began researching hair transplant options.

Although I had consultations with many of the elite doctors recommended on this site, I ultimately decided on an FUE procedure with Dr. Jim Harris in Denver, Colorado. I know that there is not one “best” doctor, but based on my situation, as well as Dr. Harris’ extensive experience with FUE, I decided that he was the best choice for my procedure. After communicating through email for several weeks I booked my procedure and was quoted 1500-1800 grafts.

Leading up to the procedure I was a ball of anxiety (as my wonderful girlfriend can attest to). Two days before the procedure I gave her a “free pass” to make all the baldy jokes she wanted to, which helped to lighten the mood a little bit. However, I still remained anxious and thought about cancelling up through the night before my procedure. As Spencer Kobren repeatedly says “Once you’re cut, you’re cut”. I was well aware that after my procedure there was no going back and that I would be committed to treating my hair loss over the long-term. It’s possible that ten years from now I may look back at this time of my life and think “what was I thinking?” however, it’s better than living a sub-par life and always wondering “what if?”

Leading up to the procedure I followed all of the pre-op instructions and then some. I researched pre-op instructions from other reputable clinics and decided that, in addition to my normal pre-op instructions, I would avoid alcohol and caffeine for roughly three weeks before my procedure. Although I’m aware that this likely had no measurable effect on my procedure or my future results, it gave me a peace of mind knowing that I was doing everything possible on my end to ensure solid results.

On the day of surgery I arrived at 8AM and had my pre-op consultation with Dr. Harris. I was undecided on whether temple points were a good use of grafts so we briefly discussed the placement of temple points and decided that as they are only 30-50 grafts per temple, that this was a good use of grafts. After this brief consultation Dr. Harris began extracting the grafts using the Harris SAFE system. During the extractions Dr. Harris mentioned that I have really good donor characteristics which was a surprise to me as I pessimistically thought my donor was somewhat thin. Further, one of the techs mentioned that I probably had the record for most three-hair grafts, which made me feel like I was on cloud nine.

Ultimately I received 1,779 grafts into my frontal third and temple points with a transection rate of 3.7%. My graft breakdown was:
1-hair grafts: 200 (11%)
2-hair grafts: 568 (32%)
3-hair grafts: 924 (52%)
4-hair grafts: 87 (5%)

On the day after the procedure I began washing my head by pouring a cup of water over my entire head (as per the post-op instructions). I looked into the sink and couldn’t believe what I saw…ALL MY HAIRS WERE FALLING INTO THE SINK!!!! I frantically called Dr. Harris’ office and explained the situation. Laura kindly suggested I come in for an examination. As I had figured out on the car ride over there, the hairs that I was seeing in the sink were simply stragglers from my pre-op haircut. Dr. Harris explained that if grafts were falling out they would be much longer, have a bulb, and likely cause bleeding. Despite having received a 3.9 GPA in my master’s program, I wasn’t smart enough to remember that they gave me a haircut before surgery lol! As soon as my blood pressure returned to normal I happily went on my way.

I’ll do my best to update on a monthly basis though I’m not expecting much growth in the next 3 months. I will be sure to post my picture at 10 months to show the final result. As of now I am very happy and optimistic regarding my future growth.

I’d like to specifically thank Spencer Kobren, FredtheBelgian, Rawtashk, Peapoddy and Spex for sharing their experiences as these experiences provided support throughout my journey.

Here are some of the photos:
Pre-op pictures










Post-op pictures








Last edited by David - Moderator; 12-22-2016 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 12-22-2016, 03:54 AM
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Thanks for sharing your story and your experience with Dr. Harris! the work looks excellent. I hope you'll continue to update us on your progress!
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Old 12-22-2016, 04:39 AM
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Congrats on your recent procedure, and I like the user handle name as well! lol

Although I had consultations with many of the elite doctors recommended on this site, I ultimately decided on an FUE procedure with Dr. Jim Harris in Denver, Colorado.

Which elite doctors did you have consultations with?
Curious as to why not choose Dr. Diep or Shapiro or even Dr. Konior, as they are the prominent FUE surgeons in N. America.
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go dense or go home

Unbiased advice and opinions based on 25 plus years of researching and actual experience with hair loss, hair restoration via both FUT & FUE, SMP, scalp issues including scalp eczema & seborrheic dermatitis and many others

HSRP10's favorite FUT surgeons: *Dr. Konior, *Dr Hasson, Dr. Rahal
HSRP10's favorite FUE surgeons: *Dr. Konior, *Dr. Bisanga, Dr. Erdogan, Dr. Couto
(*indicates actual experience with doctor)
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Old 12-22-2016, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David - Moderator View Post
Thanks for sharing your story and your experience with Dr. Harris! the work looks excellent. I hope you'll continue to update us on your progress!
Thanks David!
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Old 12-22-2016, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsrp10 View Post
Congrats on your recent procedure, and I like the user handle name as well! lol

Although I had consultations with many of the elite doctors recommended on this site, I ultimately decided on an FUE procedure with Dr. Jim Harris in Denver, Colorado.

Which elite doctors did you have consultations with?
Curious as to why not choose Dr. Diep or Shapiro or even Dr. Konior, as they are the prominent FUE surgeons in N. America.
Thanks hsrp10! Good question, I actually contacted all three of the doctors you mentioned.

Dr. Diep -- Great doctor. I actually requested an in-person consult with Dr. Diep but he was unavailable when I had my PTO so the logistics didn't work. Further, a lot of the posts I saw on here appeared to be on ethnic hair (e.g., black, asian, indian). My hair is about as Caucasian as it gets (i.e., straight and medium brown) so that wasn't a big selling point to me.

Shapiro -- SMG was the clinic I was initially leaning toward. Had a consult with Matt who was super friendly and very informative. Given my age and family history of excessive balding he was strongly in favor of FUT over FUE. He may be right, and most FUT scars are not noticeable, but I didn't want a linear scar in case I decided to just buzz my hair when the rest inevitably falls out.

Dr. Konior -- Also a great doctor. Quoted me 2500-3000 grafts which was quite a bit more than all my other quotes. This was for a dense-pack so it may be comparing apples to oranges, but I was a little anxious to use up half my donor supply on just my hairline since I'll likely continue to lose hair.
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:56 PM
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Sounds like you did your research man, good luck and hope all is healing well
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go dense or go home

Unbiased advice and opinions based on 25 plus years of researching and actual experience with hair loss, hair restoration via both FUT & FUE, SMP, scalp issues including scalp eczema & seborrheic dermatitis and many others

HSRP10's favorite FUT surgeons: *Dr. Konior, *Dr Hasson, Dr. Rahal
HSRP10's favorite FUE surgeons: *Dr. Konior, *Dr. Bisanga, Dr. Erdogan, Dr. Couto
(*indicates actual experience with doctor)
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:58 PM
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Cheeky username I like it, happy growing.
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:44 AM
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Hey man! Congrats on your surgery and just wanted to let you know that your handle is an absolute winner!

Stay clever :-)
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My regimen includes:
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Old 12-23-2016, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
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Cheeky username I like it, happy growing.
Glad you like the username HTsoon. I took a pass through your thread and i'm jealous of your hairline! Hoping mine comes in like yours!
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Old 12-23-2016, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richter101 View Post
Hey man! Congrats on your surgery and just wanted to let you know that your handle is an absolute winner!

Stay clever :-)
Thanks Richter101, glad you like the handle.

How was your experience with the ARTAS? I almost went that route but decided in favor of the SAFE system due to slightly smaller extraction sites (though I'm not sure there's any cosmetic difference). Your front looks good, how does your donor site look? Would you recommend the ARTAS?
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