2013-06-27 Two Months After
Most of the feeling in my head has returned. The back isn't really numb anymore, although it does have a "sensation" that I can only describe as "tightness" when laying it against my car's headrest, or couch, or even on a pillow in bed. It's not tight though as there is plenty of laxity. It's just kind of that feeling -- but only when pressed against something. The top part seems to itch a little bit every once in a while. I'm assuming that means things are percolating under the skin and it's a good sign. The weird part is that when I go to itch it, I really don't feel the satisfaction that a good itch/scratch provides. I find that using a brush to semi-gently itch the area helps more than using my fingers. The buzz-cut area is about 1/2" or so long. Still too short to style or do anything with, so I continue to wear a hat. That has it's own side-effects however, mostly I notice pimples happening. Most likely because of the heat/sweat/oil of wearing a hat all the time. On the plus note, the pink/red fades more and more every day. I REALLY thought it would have been long since gone by now though. It's pretty frustrating that it's been two months and it's still so visible. Also, I notice that my "tuft" does not seem to be growing back as densly as it was before, possibly related to below...
Here's the part that is freaking me out though... I seem to be losing a LOT of my own hair. All the little transplants have since shedded, but these are the long ones. I see about 15 - 30 hairs on my fingers and in the bottom of the shower every day! It doesn't take a mathematician to figure that if I'm losing 30 hairs per day, that's 900 per month. If the average person has 100 hairs per square inch, that's nine square inches of my head! I can visually see that my whole head is thinner than it was last month. There is also still a fairly definitive "outline" in my hair where the scar is -- like a "dent" if you will. When I called H&W with my concern, they said it is "normal to lose 100 - 150 hairs per day"!! That makes no sense to me. That would be 3,000 - 4,500 hairs per month. My entire transplant was only 3,262. Not to mention that your hair only grows about 1/4" per month and these hairs are at least four times that length, so there is a desparity of growth vs. loss -- not in my favor. I could see maybe that many hairs over your entire body, but over just my head seems excessive. I asked if this could be the dreaded "shock loss" and they said it certainly could be and that it can take up to a year or more for it to stop. WTF?! I'll be friggin' bald at this rate. I was absolutely not prepared for this side-effect. I just hope and pray that this "shock loss" stops very soon and starts to reverse itself and my normal hair grows back...
I got a reply from Joseph Tillman at Hasson & Wong today regarding my blog post and concerns here...
Thank you for sending the links. To be honest, you are not experiencing anything unusual. This is the typical "ugly duckling stage" that a lot of patients go through. The state that your hair is in now will soon begin to reverse. You stated in your blog that you are experiencing some pimples and it is from wearing a hat so much. If these pimples are forming in the recipient zone then this is not the case. The pimples are forming due to the activity going on under your skin. Some of the new hairs are starting to form and it is irritating the skin and some of of these new hairs forming are simply trapped and will cause such white head pimples. You can squeeze them out and it will release the hair. You might have to do this a few times as it heals but eventually it will be ok. Don't worry about damaging the grafts either. You can't hurt them as this stage unless you get a severe sunburn on your scalp.
Regarding the amount of hair you are losing, this is simply part of the process. Even on a normal day when you have not had a procedure you are losing at least 100 to 150 hairs per day. You are not actually "losing" them per se but they are falling out. In a few months they are being regenerated and replaced. This is happening every day all over your head. The actual number of hairs you lose per day will vary depending on whom you speak with but in general it is an accepted fact that at least 100 are lost per day with some estimates being at up to 200 per day. You can read more about it on the link below.
If you have any further questions about your post-op recovery feel free to call me anytime. My # is below.
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