Haven't posted in a long time but because I took the plunge and had a transplant in April of this year I thought I would let you all in on my experience. I will add right now I am delighted with my results thus far
So I am 41 years old (40 when I had the procedure). I first noticed hair loss at 16 with the familiar recession in the temples. I took it really badly. You see, losing hair was just something that would not happen to me. I believed I was immune and i wasn't until I started losing my hair that I realised how common hair loss is. I was in denial. I grew my my hair long and sported a pony tail from the age of 19 to 29. No one in this time ever commented that I was losing my hair. You see it was not really noticeable, it looked like a mature hairline. But the matured hairline was thing where it had receded. I took vitamins every day even to now and I believe this halted the loss to some extent.
When I hit 30 I cut my hair off for a short choppy style, and still you could not really notice the hair loss. But, as I approached forty I think the forlock of my hair started to thin. It was around this time I started looking into transplants. If I had mentioned to anyone what I was thinking they would have thought I was mad. I tried Minoxidil it did nothing, made it worse actually. At teh age of 36 I got on finasteride 1mg. Did it do anything? I don't know.
I consider myself quite clued up regarding health, diet and hair in particular. Studying everyone's hairline I didn't quite understand how under any light my hair looked so bad. It was because the front had thinned so much it was becoming harder to style. I was a bit depressed and shared this with no one. I told me wife who was my girlfriend at the time my concerns. She says she never noticed. My mum, who is my hairdresser for years always said what great hair and hairstyles I had but approaching my 40th she conceeded I had thinned.
I looked into UK Dr's. I know a lot of people have had good results but I felt terrible speaking to them. They did not take my hair loss seriously and I felt I would make a grave mistake if they did my procedure. I liked Dr Diep from San Jose, his hairline work amazed me all over youtube. On this forum, I heard people talking about Dr Lorenzo, an FUE specialist and this was around the time he partnered with Farjo. I looked into this work and was very impressed. I did have a concern that his hairlines tend to sweep back, more on this later.
I narrowed my choice down to 2 Dr's
There were pros and cons with either and I don't just mean the skill. I could not face going to san francisco. I live in London but Spain was doable. I very nearly pulled the trigger on Diep 4 years back and was communicating with him and Dr Lorenzo at this time. For some reason I tried to forget my hairloss and save some cash.
The Final Straw
I was approaching 40. I was married and had a baby on the way. I took a picture with my wife in August at her birthday dinner and my hair looked awful. under the harsh lights I looked terrible. This picture alone made me realise a few things. This hair didn't belong on me, it was wrong and I could not understand it. I was going to be a dad and I wanted to have pictures with my son. I don't want to look at them and notice my hair instead of my boy's smile. The final thing I realised that was every day since 16 I was obsessing over my hair. I'd had enough.
I was anxious about contacting Dr Diep and Dr Lorenzo again seeing as I felt I wasted their time 4 years ago. It wasn't a problem. Dr Diep skyped me again and estimated 1800 - 2000 grafts.
Dr Lorenzo does things over email but went into a bit more detail saying that I had a lot of native hair that he would have to transplant in and around and could give me good result with 2000 grafts but impossible to say without looking in person.
I ummed and ahhed but was steering towards Dr Lorenzo. What clinched it was when I got the letter from Dr Diep, it stated I was a norwood 2. This isn't true I was a norwood 3 4 years ago. Could have been a typo? But I guess what really clinched it was the location. If you're choosing between, in my opinion, 2 of the best in the world location will come into it. Price I won't discuss but either Dr was not an issue from my side.
I called Dr Lorenzo's clinic and spoke to Pilar and booked in for April 2018. This was November 2017.
A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.
I flew to Madrid a day before my procedure to see Dr Lorenzo. Could you imagine if it turned out that I wasn't a suitable candidate in person? It was ok. I really liked him and he examined my scalp and said I needed at this time no crown work but his estimate of 2000 was correct. We did not discuss hairline pattern and he said he would explain why tomorrow. They put me up in a nice hotel with a shuttle service to and from the clinic. I went to the hotel, ate and slept ready for 7am the next day.
I'd like to say I was nervous. I wasn't. I was pleased to put this 20 plus years of misery out of my life. I went in signed some waivers and had some pics taken and had my head shaved. I looked ok with a skinhead, Good head shape when I thought I would look bad. Dr Lorenzo left some of my front that was thinning longer to illustrate the severity of my hair loss. I was depressed. it showed clearly how less dense than the rest of my hair it was. This was why my hair looked so bad it had lost a lot of density in the front and without that density there's not much you can do with hairstyles. He shaved the rest off we took some more before pics.
You can see the attached before pics on how bad my hair was. I can't believe looking at them now. front, partshaved and side attached.
Dr Lorenzo's techs did all the extracting I did not see him in the extraction process at all he just drew on my head prior to going in where to get the grafts from. The techs did an amazing job and we got 2101 grafts out. Does it hurt? No but the injections are unpleasant.
i then had lunch and something strange happened. I felt down and a bit lonely. I got myself together and spoke a bit with Grace who is a tech and she is from the UK. A really nice person and made me feel at ease the whole day actually. I ate my lunch and waited for Dr Lorenzo.
Dr Lorenzo comes in to some heavy metal music! Now, the music he listens to is the exact same music that I listed to as a 16-18 year old angsting over my hair. No joke!
So he draws on a hairline... I don't like it. It sweeps back. I mention this but he told me I was wrong. At the time I thought he was wrong. Today, he was right. He explained we needed to cover the diffuse areas on my scalp. I reluctantly agreed. My hairline was pretty much the same as before but temples closed off and the the corners lowered slightly. Pics attached including the next day pic.
My head was swollen.
The next day I went for a wash and got aftercare advice and went to the airport wearing a hat which I had to remove at security in madrid and heathrow.
I could write forever about what happens but we have all heard similar before. I had a great hairline after 2 weeks. I'm not wolverine in healing but after 2 weeks I was shocked how healed I was and ready for work. See attached. I thought I was the lucky one whose grafts won't fall i was wrong. After 3 weeks they had gone.
And this was the horrible phase. I was convinced it had failed. I just roughed it out.
The surprise came at 5 months when I had a haircut of the back and sides and my mum said "Your hair's thicker!" I had to send pics to Dr Lorenzo at 5 months and sure enough it had thickened. At 2 months I was back to where I started so I was shocked at 5.
We are now 8 months out take a look at the pic from 8 months. To me I love it. Dr Lorenzo was right to focus on the thinning areas rather than lowering my hairline. He said he could do that in the future but he had to get the gaps filled. Let me tell you what a master he is and the angle he injects. I can't tell I have had something done and I feel great.
I feel he has closed a horrible chapter in my life.
I could not recommend him enough.
If there's enough interest on this thread I can elaborate but I hope the pics speak for themselves.