Your Hair Loss Story
“I’m never going bold”,
“No chance of me losing my hair, look at it, it’s like a Lions mane!”,
“If I ever lose my hair I’ll just do something about it”,
“If I ever lose my hair, there’s bound to be a pill you can take and it’ll just come back”.
But when I started to lose it, I started to lose it, the Lions Mane was no more, there was no magic pill and I was going bold, what could I do about it?
I was in my mid thirties when the penny dropped, after a little research I started taking Regaine at night massaging it into the scalp, however I was just delaying the inevitable, there was no magic cure as I had thought years back, maybe if I could delay it for a few more years until the magic cure was found. So a little Regaine at night and life carried on as normal.
Fast forward five years, my hair definitely was receding or maybe my forehead was just growing, having been blessed with a large forward anyway, did I need it to grow any bigger? Alas the hair was definitely receding and where it wasn’t receding it was thinning, to my horror I could see my scalp, I could see the scar that I got from being hit with a hockey stick in my school years, I hadn’t seen it for years! The Regaine had done its bit but was now tired and in the throes of defeat, there had to be another solution until the magic cure was found.
Fibres! yes fibres that when sprinkled on the hair make it look more fuller, now that’s what you call magic! So I stopped using Regaine and switched to sprinkling fibres (Nanogen and then onto Caboki) and then spraying with fixing spray, great solution, BUT will only work if you have something to attach the fibres to. So switched to using fibres for the next 3-4 years, no one had a clue what my real hair looked like, not even my closest friends, even when on lads holidays no-one was none the wiser. In fact the only side effect was the wife constantly giving me earache for staining yet another pillowcase!
Circa 2013, at the ripe old age of 43, the fibres were running out of hairs to attach to, I was more or less sprinkling the damn things onto my scalp, something had to give, was this the time to shave it all off and join the ever increasing band of Duncan Goodhew lookalikes. Did I have a choice? Maybe, time to turn to my old friend Google.
Hair transplants, what is this trickery, is it real or is it just another big internet scam? I know Wayne Rooney (English and Man Utd Footballer) had one done in the Summer but he’s minted and it probably cost in the tens of thousands.
So I looked at UK clinics, with one of the largest and more well known, I arranged for a consultation for the FUT procedure. Over the phone I was quoted about £16,000 but on further research I was a bit weary about having a massive ‘machete attack’ type scar on the back of my head, I probably would keep my hair short so it would have been visible.
However at the same time I came across this site and after reading a few posts, in particular a chap from Australia who had the FUE procedure carried out in India for a fraction of the price I was quoted for FUT in the UK. This got me thinking, the place in India, Chandigarh was quite familiar with me, my parents origins were in the villages in the Punjab that were just about 80km away. I had visited Chandigarh previously on a visit to India, it was quite modern compared to the rest of the Punjab, but then again most places are lol.
The surgeon who carried out the procedure was Dr Tejinder Bhatti, I searched again on the forum and came across a few more people that had the FUE procedure carried out by him, no one had a bad word to say about him, and in fact everyone praised the whole setup from start to finish. Further research revealed that Dr Bhatti was a pioneer in the field of FUE, he had a host of qualifications and was very well networked. At this point I also searched for any complaints or scams (Sorry Dr Bhatti if you are reading this) but one can’t be too careful these days!
I decided to make contact with Dr Bhatti through his clinic Darling Buds. I was surprised how quick the response was and basically this was the same throughout any future contact I made with the Dr Bhatti and his clinic, I always received a response within a couple of hours at the latest. I sent some pictures of my scalp to Dr Bhatti and a realistic photo of what I wanted, at this point I did not want the world, I just did not fancy being bold. Dr Bhatti replied saying the hairline request was realistic, it was type V, I would require about 4000 grafts and that it would take a day. All I had to do was pay a deposit and turn up, I would be picked up from Delhi airport and all hotel arrangements etc would be made.
I decided to go with it so promptly paid up my deposit, there was no turning back now, full steam ahead. I didn’t bother meeting up with the UK clinic, I didn’t bother contacting anyone else, I went with my gut instinct that this was the right thing for me to do. It wasn’t until Oct 2014 that I managed to juggle my commitments to have a week free in which to go to India to carry out the procedure, a close friend Mick insisted on coming with me which was great, party on!
So I arrived in Delhi on Monday Oct 19th 2014, my procedure was for the following morning, a 7am start. I was fully aware that it would take more or less all day so I guessed it was probably for the best that I was jetlagged to the max so I could sleep through most of it. In any case the next 5 hours on the Roadtrip from Delhi to Chandigarh were not going to be much good for sleep unless you can sleep through extreme turbulence. Dr Bhatti’s driver Sachin was there to meet us at the airport, he explained who he was and took us to the car. On a quick inspection of the car, I did notice there were no scrapes, scratches or dents on the car, this in India is usually a credit to the driver. Turned out Sachin was every bit the driver and more, the guy must have had parking distance sensors built into his head. In another life he would have been an F1 Champ! Great guy as others have also commented.
We finally got to Dr Bhatti’s clinic, Darling Buds in Chandigarh about 6 pm for a consultation, a bit weary from the flight and journey. Dr Bhatti was very welcoming, he explained the procedure recommending that I had between 3,000 and 3,500 grafts. He drew the hairline on my forehead which I was happy with, asked if I had any questions or concerns. No concerns so I was ready to rock’n’roll come morning. I went to see the girls in the office; I settled the bill and was given some medication to take overnight.
Whilst at the clinic I had a good look around and couldn’t help but be impressed with the general cleanliness and presentation; it would be wrong for me not to mention this as it puts many surgeries and clinics in the UK to shame.
We were taken to our hotel by Sachin, booked in and told there would be someone to collect us in the morning at 7.00 am. The hotel was the ABS hotel nearby (5 mins walking distance and special rates at 50% off for Darling Buds clients), it was comfortable and all facilities were nearby with a restaurant and bar on the ground floor in which we went for a curry before popping the pills and retiring for the night. There is already a great review of the hotel already completed by another patient of Dr Bhatti, Raj Bains who had the FUE procedure a day after me. Well worth a read at the link below,
The day of the Procedure
I got up, showered and washed my hair prior to the procedure.
The young chap from the clinic came promptly at 7.00am to pick me up and lead me to the clinic. On arrival at the clinic Dr Bhatti met with me, drew the hairline again to which I agreed and then I was asked to get ready for the days procedure. I changed into the robe, had my hair cut and dyed so that it was easier to carry out the various steps. I then had my hair/scalp washed again with special shampoo to prevent infection etc.
Then I was off for the harvesting session which would all be done from the donor area at the back of my head. I had to lay face down in the operating chair, it was comfortable and Dr Bhatti then commenced anesthetising the donor area at the back of my head. I did feel a few needle pricks, but I was fully aware that some discomfort was to be expected, but it wasn’t that bad at all. Once the anaesthetic had kicked in, Dr Bhatti commenced harvesting the grafts using the Punch Tool. Dr Bhatti made it clear that if I felt any pain I should say so and he would apply more anaesthetic. Because of the jetlag I was a bit drowsy during this procedure, on the few occasions I did feel a hint of pain, Dr Bhatti was quick to apply more anaesthetic. The harvesting procedure lasting about 4 hours, it was time to take a break for lunch and then onto the next procedure. Lunch was bought from the downstairs Hot Millions restaurant, a renowned chain specialising in Indian and western cuisine.
Dr Bhatti was pleased with the harvesting procedure, once counted the graft/hair count was as follows
Total 3305 Grafts
Total Hairs 6856
I have looked into this since and it is very impressive.
The next stage was to make the slits in the transplant area; again the area was thoroughly numbed first. I felt no pain during this procedure but I will never forget the crunching noise in my head as Dr Bhatti made the slits, (thoughts of an ice pick did go through my head at one stage lol), Dr Bhatti made over 3,000 of these slits, this procedure took a couple of hours. During all procedures I was constantly asked whether I was Ok, whether I needed a break etc.
So, onto the final procedure, inserting the grafts into the slits. This procedure was carried out by the skilled techs (Parneet, Tina and Pooja), it was somewhat soothing to hear the female techs chatting away whilst carrying out the procedure, almost therapeutic. This procedure took approximately 4 hours in total, Dr Bhatti would routinely pop in and out to ensure that all was going as planned. I had a break half way through the procedure. During the break I was perfectly well to walk around, talk to my friend who was hanging around and my now had almost perfected the hair consultant role himself after chatting with the numerous visitors to the clinic mostly from abroad.
Once the final procedure was complete I was wrapped up and Dr Bhatti gave me instructions on what to do post procedure. I was to return to the clinic the following morning for further instructions on general care including washing the donor area. I would also be given medication for the next 14 days including pain killers. The clinic recommended I took the following medication for the next 6 months (to commence once all scabs etc have fallen out) which I have been doing so religiously since.
I couldn’t fault the whole process at all from start to finish, it was a first class service in every way and I sincerely congratulate Dr Bhatti and his staff for providing such an exceptional service.
I was in Chandigarh for another 5 nights so I did pop over every other day whilst passing to get my hair washed etc, I was always made to feel most welcome. Also at the end of our stay, Sachin drove us back to Delhi airport.
So the procedure was carried out 5 months ago, I thought I would wait to do a review so that the results can be seen in the same post rather than forummers having to come back every month to view. So here are the pics of my results.