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buzzcut13

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About buzzcut13

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  1. 3 Week Update Hey everyone - thanks for your comments! It's been about 3 weeks now (Day 20), so I wanted to post a quick update. I've attached pics from Week 1, Week 2, and now Week 3 below so you can see the progression. I've started shedding some of the grafts, but probably only about 10%. There are also a decent percentage that are laying flat on my head, and the donor hair has stopped growing in line with my native hair for the most part. You can't see much redness in the pictures or in person, but I think part of that is due to my hair growth. If you inspect closely, you can still see some redness, but the only place that it's more than faint is at the hairline, particularly at the temples. Nothing too crazy, and certainly not really noticeable at this stage with so many of the donor grafts left. I met friends this past weekend, and while they were shocked and loved the buzzed head, no one gave it a second thought because I had pretty much 100% of my donor grafts left. It was great to be out with friends again...once I was with them for 5 minutes, I didn't give my hair a thought the rest of the night, and no one mentioned it again. We'll see how their reactions progress over the coming weeks as I shed the rest. I also went to the gym for the first time yesterday (Day 19). I just kept it to a fairly easy lifting regimen of about 45 minutes. I'm planning to do some light lifting a couple more times this week, then hopefully by the end of next week (about 30 days out) be back to my regular routine of lifting and cardio. The main reason I bring this up though is because in my day-to-day life, I don't really notice that I've had a surgery. There's no pain or soreness or tenderness -- although I still don't really touch or mess with the recipient area other than when I'm shampooing it in the shower. But lifting weights for the first time, I did feel my recipient area a bit. Nothing touched it, mind you, but when doing some lifts and having some more blood flow in your face/head, I could feel it tingling a bit. Just an odd sensation, but it's still healing, so I understand. I'll probably get a haircut sometime in the next 10-14 days as well, so I'll post pics after that. Cheers!
  2. Hey Mikeey - I certainly don't speak for or represent Dr B, but what I was referencing was the guidance to avoid sunburn for 6 months on the head, which came from Dr B. But that's probably pretty good advice for any time!
  3. Thanks everyone! Here are pre-op and immediate post-op pics from the clinic. I'm currently at day 16. Still haven't shed any grafts and everything looks pretty much the same as the day 12 pics I've previously posted, but with a little less redness and a little longer hair. My grafted hairs still seem to be growing in line with my native hair. As I'm past day 14, I'm no longer on a regulated post-op regimen, although I'm still following the guidelines for the next 6 months regarding sun, swimming, physical activity, hair products, etc. I'll probably return to the gym next week with some light lifting and short jogs, hoping to get back to my regular routing once I'm about 4-5 weeks out. I returned to work this week. Not only was it completely normal, only two people even commented on my haircut! This is probably because I work with different people each day of the week, so I don't necessarily see the same folks all day, every day. But I think it's important to note, because one of the biggest fears we all have (or at least I had) is getting this shaved head and subsequent ugle duckling look and then returning to see our co-workers and friends. In most of the other posts I've read, there isn't too strong of a reaction to the haircut, the lack of hair after the grafts shed, or the redness. And we probably all think (or at least I did)...that won't happen for me, I KNOW people will notice. Trust me, every tiny thing that's noticeable to you is not noticeable to everyone else. No one spends as much time looking at you as you do. At least that's been my experience so far, pre-shedding. I'm hoping the positive attitude carries forward during the ugly duckling phase! I'm meeting some friends out for the first time since the surgery this weekend. I will be just shy of 3 weeks post-op. I'd prefer to wait until I've shed some so they don't notice a stark difference later, but, to be honest, since the surgery and shave, I just worry about my hair so much less. If they notice that I've shed hair down the line, my plan is to just tell them I stopped taking some hair loss meds and I'm trying some natural supplements to get the hair back. We'll see how it goes once that time comes...but for now, I'm positive!
  4. Stinger - thanks, I've followed your posts as well. Looks like a nice clean job by Dr B. Best of luck - I will certainly be following you to see how things progress! I've attached pics of my donor below from Day 13. Unfortunately, I don't have any pics prior to this because, as I've mentioned, it was very clean and I haven't had any problems other than the typical post-op side effects noted above. I've been applying a mix of hydrocortisone cream and aloe vera twice daily every day, just to be safe. But I haven't had any pain in the donor since about day 6. I did have itchiness from about day 3 or 4 through day 10...but nothing too bad. I'll probably begin applying just the aloe vera once or twice a day going forward to speed healing/redness reduction.
  5. BUSA, I will get the pre-op pics up as soon as I get them from the clinic.
  6. Hello everyone. First, I just want to say that the reason I'm posting is because this forum has been unbelievably helpful to me in the course of making my decision to proceed with FUE surgery as well as in the weeks following. Particularly the posts and threads where people discuss not just their results, but everything else that goes along with the surgery, how it makes them feel, what their day-to-day experiences are, etc. Thank you so much. Guys like JohnnyDrama on this forum are incredibly helpful. Thank you. My experience, like almost everyone else I've read having gone to Dr. Bisanga, was very positive. From what I've read, it seems like most people experience the surgery itself relatively similarly. No real paid other that some pinches during the application of the anesthetic. I had the same experience, but let me point out that the application of the anesthetic is dozens of tiny shots. They aren't terribly painful, but they're definitely uncomfortable in the moment. A small price to pay of course. Others have discussed their discomfort sitting in the chair for 4-6 hours per day, for 2 days. This wasn't really an issue for me, as the Valium they provide kind of zoned me out each day. Also, they flip you around on all sides so as to reach each area of your head. One thing I should point out is that I'm generally not great giving blood and I don't do well with hospitals. I was a bit nervous/anxious at the start of the procedure...actually it was worst before the procedure even started. The nurses were great at calming me, and once the procedure actually started, everything was very smooth and I realized I had nothing to worry about. I typically sleep on my stomach, so I was quite concerned about how much sleep I would get post-surgery. You're told to sleep at a 45 degree angle on your back, using a travel pillow if you have one. I did this, and - probably due to the Valium still in my system - actually slept fairly well each day after the surgery. It probably also helped that my head was still almost completely numb and I had gauze taped to the donor area. Day 1 post-surgery I returned to the clinic so they could remove the bandages and clean the donor area. The nurses cleaned the donor and applied hydrocortisone cream almost aggressively it seemed. I felt no pain at all due to the numbing agents still working. I was a bit shocked at how hard they went at it (really, it was just some firm pressure and wiping), but it gave me the confidence when I was cleaning it to be gentle, but also firm. I think this was good for me, as I tend to worry a bit too much at times about recovery, etc (more on this in a bit). Like others, I did experience swelling post surgery. To be honest, the day after my surgery, the right side of my face, near my eye socket seemed to have grown an inch, and the tops of my ears were pushed down and out. If you've ever seen the movie The Goonies, I kind of looked like Sloth (to me, at least). After that, I noticed it mostly in my forehead. It did trickle down into my left eye socket as well, leaving the impression of slightly black eye. I would say the worst of the swelling was well over by day 4 and by day 6, it was almost untraceable. As you can see from the pictures posted below, I've been monitoring my recovery quite carefully (as I'm sure everyone does). I've tried to take pictures at the same angle and light each day to eliminate variables. Many people do a great job on this forum posting pics, but I think the first 10 days are really nerve racking, so I wanted to show what my progression was like. I've posted one picture from each day, day 0 through 12, in order. I'd say my recovery was pretty "normal" but let me expand a little. My hairline, where a higher density was placed, seemed to do the "traditional" crusting over. Behind this, however, there was less of a traditional scab and more of just a hardening. It's difficult to explain, and there was definitely a crust/scabs, but to the naked eye, it almost looked like there wasn't much there...until you felt it. When I returned to the doc for a check up on Day 8, the nurses even commented on how "clean" it was, even though none of the hardening/scabs were gone yet. The first 7 days, I followed the clinic's and Stephen's post-surgery regimen exactly. Never, at any point have I had any pain or real itchiness in the recipient area. In the donor area, around day 3 or 4, it was tender on the back left of my head. And I was experiencing a lot of neck stiffness in the evening, presumably from sleeping in an unusual way and trying to keep my head from touching anything when sitting. I hadn't heard too many people discuss the neck stiffness, but it seemed normal to me. And on the nights when I would get more/better sleep, my neck would feel a lot better the next day. All of this was mainly occurring between days 3 and 6 and after that, those effects pretty much stopped. Also, days 1-7 I pretty much did not leave the house. Not that I felt I couldn't but I wanted to rest as much as possible and keep my head away from any elements that might harm it. Honestly, I'm not sure what effect cold temperatures, rain, limited sun, or sweat have during this period, but I wanted to limit the variables. I've also tried to eat as healthy as possible (with plenty of slip-ups, mind you), with as many anti-inflammatory and iron-filled foods as possible. I've also avoided alcohol until a glass of wine here and there after day 10. As mentioned, I scheduled a one-week follow up with the doctor on day 8. This is not required or even suggested by the clinic. But, as mentioned above, I can be a bit of a worrier about this stuff. And I was very concerned about when the grafts will have "rooted" and was it really okay for me to start gently shampooing the scabs away in the recipient area. The doctor assured me that everything was going very well, and the nurses commented that my donor looked great and cleaner than they'd expect. The doctor mentioned he likes to have all scabs removed by day 10, typically, and (as I've seen posted elsewhere) suggested that if I was nervous about removing them, I should soak my head in a bath for a few minutes to soften them up. One other note about the scabs on the recipient. I've seen a lot of talk about when to start removing them and why not just leave them on, etc. The doctor clearly made the point to me that scabs are just dead matter and they can cause infection if left on too long. I'm sure there is no magic day that is perfect for everyone to begin removing them, but it seems clear that they shouldn't be left on too long. Regardless, after getting the vote of confidence from the doc, on Day 8, I came home and soaked my head for a few minutes, then used the shampoo treatment suggested in the post-op instructions and gently massaged about 70% of the scabs off. Day 9, I had about 95% off, and by day 10, they were all gone. I didn't seem to lose any/much of my grafted hair during this process, which gave me the confidence that the hairs had taken root. However, I'm certain that they had taken root and had some fell out, it would have been okay. After Day 8, everything was pretty fantastic. There is redness of course, but that is decreasing each day. As of Day 12, I have yet to lose almost any of my grafted hair, but of course I know this will begin in the coming days. That being said, it's been such a relief to not have to worry about waking up and how much of my receding hair line is concealed. Or if it will rain. I've been out and walking around numerous times, and even though with the redness it is still evident that something has happened on my head, it's not really noticeable unless you stop to look at it. Which basically no one does. It's already been a very positive and freeing experience. I know in the coming months I will revert to my pre-surgery look. I think I've made my peace with that. I don't plan on wearing hats or concealers, but of course, who knows how much my confidence will be shaken. I fully realize that at about day 12, I'm in the post-surgery "glow." But I am already beyond pleased with the decision, and hopefully my results end up meeting my expectations. One note about the donor area: I haven't posted pictures of it for a couple reasons, but mainly out of a bit of laziness. If things looked badly or I had concerns, I would share them. But I can honestly say that it pretty much just looks like I buzzed the sides of my head...there isn't much/any evidence of the procedure at the moment. I also have not experienced any noticeable shock loss to date. Here's hoping that continues. As for meds, I am on 1mg Finasteride. I've also been taking a Hair & Nails vitamin supplement (all the B's, A, C, E, Biotin, Zinc, etc), as well as 3,000 mg MSM. The doctor recommended applying Minoxidil after day 14 to increase blood flow to the area. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to do this for a few reasons: 1) I've never taken it before and Fin has been a good DHT blocker for me. 2) It typically doesn't aid in loss in the frontal region (although I realize that's not why the doc recommended it). 3) I'm not sure I want to apply something topical 2x a day for the rest of my life, and if I'm going to eventually stop taking it...I'm not sure I want to start. As I said, I haven't decided yet, but currently I'm thinking no. If anyone has questions, feel free to ask. As I've said, this forum has been beyond helpful to me. I'm not sure how much I'll continue to post, if at all. But I think these first two weeks - particularly week 1 - are quite stressful at times. Hopefully this helps someone else down the line. Again, the pictures below are day 0 through 12, in order. Cheers!
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