In the Beginning
I started to truly notice I was loosing my hair at the young age of 17. It was pointed out to me by someone in my high school. Isn?t high school great? As if I didn?t have enough to worry about!! It wasn?t much to speak of. There was only a little bit of thinning in the crown.
Fast forward six years. I was 23 years old and I decided to go to a hair transplant doctor to see what my options were. ?You need to stay ahead of your hair loss?, he said. ?Three procedures and a scalp reduction with me and you?ll be set for years to come.? I was sold. I mean, what could go wrong? He was a doctor that only had my best interests in mind, right? That was the beginning of my own personal Hell.
Within the first year I had two procedures with this doctor. Two strip procedures that when combined gave me ?about? 800 mini and micro grafts. I say ?about? because I really don?t remember the exact number but I?m sure I?m close. When these grafts started to grow in I was pretty happy with my decision. The doc placed all the grafts behind my natural hairline to give me more density. He wanted to wait about another ten months or so before we started the third procedure and then we?d move on to the scalp reduction.
This is the point where the reality of my decision started to sink in. I kept losing my hair. As a matter of fact my hair loss actually accelerated. I went back to my doc and said, ?Hey, what gives??. He told me that I was fine and that once he was done with me then I probably wouldn?t need anymore work until I was 50 years old. My senses got the better of me and I put an immediate stop to any more procedures.
By the time I was 26 years old I had not a single hair left of my original hairline. My hairline consisted of thick, pluggy looking grafts that became a reminder of my unfortunate naivety. Needless to say, my self confidence plunged. I felt horrible.
Well, by the time I was 32 years old my head looked, quite simply, like the head of a ?Ken Doll?. Almost all of my original hair had fallen out over the years and I had almost nothing but the grafts on top of my head. Overhead fluorescent lighting, wind, rain, outdoor events and water sports became my worst nightmares. During conversations with others I would notice how their eyes would drift up to my hairline. God, I hated talking to new people. Everyone knew but I never spoke about it to anyone except my best friend. These situations made my grafts even more noticeable and no amount of time in front of my mirror could hide my grafts.
In January of 2002 I was sitting in my apartment late one night and I saw one of the zillions of infomercials about hair transplants as all of you have. I never paid attention to them because I knew they were all just a little too slick to be credible but something was different this time. I had been feeling especially low at that time in my life due to other unfortunate personal circumstances but when I saw this particular infomercial something clicked in my head. No, I didn?t order the video but I did jump on the internet. HOLY COW!! I never thought I?d see what kind of info was available on the web. After I typed ?hair transplant? in Google I found dozens and dozens of pages on the subject. I eventually found a few sites that listed doctors by region. I immediately looked to see who was available in the Seattle area and that is how I found Hasson & Wong. Their hair transplants looked amazing!
I hesitated. I picked up the phone to call but then I?d hang up. Did I really want to go through this nightmare again? Could anyone help me? I picked up the phone again and actually dialed the number. A booming voice answered, ?Hasson & Wong, how can I help you??. It was Mike Ferko in the Seattle office of Hasson & Wong. We made a Saturday appointment for a consultation.
When I arrived at Mike?s office he immediately jumped to work and started looking at my head. He said that my work was horrible (yeah, I know). He then looked at my donor site on the back of my head. I had not one but TWO wide scars on the back of my head from the previous work. He couldn?t believe what the doc had done to me. By the end of the consultation he told me that Hasson & Wong could fix me up with ?1800 to 2400 grafts? and the scars could be removed and replaced with one fine thin one. Needless to say, I was excited.
Then, I left the office and reality settled in again. Was I falling for another scam? Was I being gullible because he told me what I wanted to hear? I immediately started to do research on the web. I read about every doctor I could find. I read what other people thought of the doctor they went to. I read good and I read bad but I could find NOTHING negative about Hasson & Wong. Could they be the real deal?
About a month after my consultation with Hasson & Wong I got a call from Mike. He asked me my thoughts on our meeting and I told him I was hesitant. He understood why. He then called me later to ask if I was available that coming Thursday. I said sure. When I entered his office there were three other guys waiting as well. They were all there to see ME! They were all former patients of Hasson & Wong. They all had varying degrees of hair loss before they went to H&W and they had different characteristics. The first guy had 1200 grafts in his hairline only a few weeks earlier. The grafts looked great. They were very tightly packed. The second guy was of middle eastern descent and he had received about 1800 grafts to his hairline and the top of his head about six months earlier. His hair was growing in and looked completely natural. The third guy blew me away. He had the same characteristics as I did. He was basically a pasty white guy with thin hair and a balding crown. He had received 2500 grafts in one session a year earlier. It was completely undetectable. All three guys had scars that were almost invisible. I was sold. ?Sign me up!!!!?.
Mike told me there was an opening on March 18th, 2002 so he signed me up. What I want to stress here is that Mike Ferko did nothing but EDUCATE me on the process that Hasson & Wong uses and what the differences were between the mini/micro grafts I received nine years earlier and the FU,(Follicular Unit), grafts that H&W used. He told me that the guys I met earlier were ?virgin scalps? in that they had never had any work done before they came to H&W. My case would be different for two reasons.
1.) I had two prior surgeries so my donor area had already been used and part of the procedure would be to remove the two scars.
2.) My donor hair is not the best. According to Mike, on a scale of 1 to 10, my donor hair is about a 3 due to the scarring and the fine nature of my hair.
What I did have in my favor was a very elastic scalp. This would allow more donor area to be removed to get the larger sessions.
From that point on, "Jotronic" was born and I started my website, www.hairtransplantmentor.com, which was the first real blog about the hair transplant journey.
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