I love it when a plan comes together
My first post to this Hair Restoration Network was here back on March 16th, 2013:
After the replies there I decided to schedule apointments with Hasson & Wong (VAN) and also Gabel (PDX) who both came highly recommended. I contacted Mike Ferko who is the liason for H&W here in Seattle, WA and he told me to meet him at the downtown office on Saturday the 23rd. This was a special trip for him and outside the normal weekday office hours. Right away I knew there was something special about this. When I called Gabel's office, I had to wait till he was coming to town, which seemed about once a month, in fact my appointment with him wouldn't be till mid May -- they don't have a full time Seattle representative.
I had been out all night clubbing and so when I dragged my ass to see Mike at 1:00pm, I appologized if I seemed hung over. What can I say about Mike to prepare you -- he is a lot to take in. He's a big guy and curses like a sailor. I personally didn't mind that at all, but it was certainly a bit of a shock at first. I started to wonder what had I just gotten myself into and if I would be able to handle an hour consultation with him being so animated. Well, we got to talking and before you know it we had shot-the-shit as they say, for nearly two and a half hours! He is a super nice guy. He was telling me stories of his friend (whom I will not name to respect his privacy) that he used to go clubbing with too. Then later he started calling his friend by his last name. Once I put two and two together, I realized that his friend is the husband of one of my best female friends! Mike then tells me that this guy had a Norwood 3 like me and Dr. Hasson performed a proceedure on him about 7 years ago (before I knew him). I was completely blown away -- not only because of the six-degrees/small-world situation, but of all people, I had always noticed this person's luscious locks, and always wished I had hair like his at our age! Needless to say that instilled an amazing amount of confidence in H&W. Mike then gave me the numbers of two other fellas to contact as references before I left.
I contacted our mutual friend and told him, "I know your secret!" After clarifying which secret I was referring to, we met up the next week and talked about his experience. He had glowing reviews and said he'd referred at least 6 of his other friends to H&W and they all can't thank him enough. He says he still gets random txt messages from his buddies thanking him still to this day. I also called the two other references over the phone and both were very pleased with their results. The one fella was quite honest and said, "realize this is cosmetic surgery and so it will be uncomfortable for a few weeks with the staples and minor pain, swelling, scabbing, etc. but in the end it is well worth it". I appreciated that. I appreciated that he didn't sugar coat or gloss over the reality of how much the next month is probably going to suck realistically. It's something I dread, but embrace at the same time. I'm really not a fan of pain, so I'll post more after the op to tell you more detail on that.
At this point, I was pretty much sold and the process began. I really wanted an early April date because of various events and vacations I had coming up, but I am able to lay low the month of May. Ferko was able to squeek me into Wednesday the 24th of April. I started to crunch the numbers and figure various scenarios from 2000 - 3000 grafts to try and see what I was looking at financially. One thing that was troubling me was the outrageous 12% taxes in Canada. Well it turns out that as of April 1st, they changed their tax laws there. Instead of a flat percent, it is now a 5% flat and SOME things are 7%. I asked H&W how this may affect me and was delighted to see that I would be paying 5% and not 12%!! They also told me that since I'm getting 2000 grafts, they put me up in a hotel for 2 nights. This means I'm driving up Tuesday night after work, stay the night of course, have the proceedure Wednesday morning, stay another night, then see H&W after check-out on Thursday for the first hair-washing and final examination before driving the three hours home. This gives me Friday to work (from home) and the weekend to chillax. Mike said he believes Dr. Hasson can fill in my top without buzz-cutting my hair -- I really hope he is correct. I wouldn't jeopardize a $13,000 proceedure over it, but it would sure make my life a LOT easier. Even if he has to cut it down, maybe he can leave me with 1" or something. I'll let you all know how that plays out.
The other week I went to put the $10,500 deposit on my credit card because I wanted the air miles of course. I had $7k cash saved up already so it was a simple matter of doing the charge and then swapping the cash over to pay it off. The lady at H&W warned me that some credit card companies charge "an international fee" and I should check with mine first. I did and they do. They wanted to charge me 3% -- that's $360 on $13k just thrown out the window for nothing. Needless to say I wasn't pleased about that. The credit card lady informed me that they do have some uber card that does not have the international fees, it gives me 1.5 miles/$1 spent, has unlimited use of all United lounges in all airports, and a ton of other perks, and I don't even have to change CC numbers (so I don't have to hassle with changing all the online accounts that auto-bill to it), but that the card's annual fee was $395. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize the obvious choice here for $35 out of pocket. I told her to switch me over! So now, instead of throwing away $360, I basically re-directed it and now I got all these benefits and WAY more miles. BOOM! One more thing that just fell into place. Oh, and the card came 3 days later in a faux-leather bound box, with the card framed! and a hand-signed welcome letter. The card is made of METAL! it's pretty legit.
So now I'm paid up, I'm booked, I'm freaking out (but in a good way) and I'm starting to tell my close friends what I'm about to do. Last weekend I'm at one of my usual clubs and I'm talking to my great friend who is also the owner. I tell him, "look, just so you know, I'm not going to be coming out till June 8th, and here's why..." Wouldn't you friggin' know it -- he tells me that Hasson did his hair like 8 years ago and 9,000 grafts!!! I was stunned. He says, yeah, he'd be almost completely bald if it weren't for Hasson and he has been actually wanting to get a second proceedure. I've known this guy for a decade and had NO idea! He generally wears his hair very short -- almost buzz cut (ironic since he paid for hair!) but again, I would have had no idea -- no scars visible in the back, it just always looked normal. Thin, but normal. And as if that wasn't enough, yet another buddy of both of ours is standing right there and he pipes in and says that Wong had done HIS hair too and 5,000+ grafts around that same time-frame. They both tell me how amazing the offices are, how professional and smoothly it all goes and how extatic they are with the results.
This makes THREE of my very close friends who have all had this done by H&W and I had no idea all these years. I gotta tell ya' it feels a little bit like being "jumped-in" to a "hair club gang" LOL. Like this is my initiation into some secret world. I'm really REALLY curious to know who else I know that has had it done and specifically by H&W.
In closing, knowing these guys whom I trust completely, and all the finanacial stuff that just fell together, I really feel in my heart and mind that this is the right thing to do. I don't believe in coincidences but rather that everything happens for a reason. I think this is the universe giving me the thumbs up and I'm hopeful and excited for the final results...
I'll keep you posted on the progress with more photos (see my profile for current photos).
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