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Everything posted by 7Shel

  1. Wanted to provide a check-in. I’ve decided it’s necessary to move forward with my first FUE procedure to address some weak areas. I’ve attached a few photos which show further loss behind previously transplanted areas (photos 3 and 4). This area in the mid-scalp has created sort of an island effect. It’s not noticeable when my hair is styled, so some may wonder why I feel like I need to address it, but I feel that it’s enough of a problem when my hair is wet, unstyled, etc. Additionally, I’ve attached photos (1 and 2) that show the gaps behind my hairline that I’m concerned about. My plan is to address the gaps and mid-scalp with ~800-1000 grafts. That should hopefully leave me with another ~1000 to fill in any further crown loss (or address any other weak spots that may develop). As mentioned previously, I also have beard grafts available for the crown. I have a consult scheduled in August with Dr. Wesley and have discussed the situation with Dr. K. While all of my procedures have been performed by the same surgeon, I’m thinking I may need a “closer” for the remaining work. I’m at the stage where I need to ensure there are no more wasted grafts. Would welcome any other suggestions or thoughts.
  2. Totally understand what you’re feeling. My take is that it’s a very good result, but you’re going to need an additional 1000 grafts or so to feel content. I would be unhappy about the area you highlighted too. Luckily, seems like a very solvable situation. Hey, I’m about 8500 grafts in and I still have some thin areas that bother me. It’s a long-term game, and reinforces my feeling that one session rarely gets people to where they’re totally happy.
  3. Still curious about transplanting between existing hairs when the existing hairs are transplanted, not miniaturized native hairs. It seems like the majority of doctors still want to shave instead of going the no-shave route. Are the results going to be worse?
  4. Interesting topic. Here’s a question: does the equation change when you’ve already transplanted a decent amount of hair into an area, but then want to add even more density? Is transection still a risk? Would it still be a poor decision to not shave the area?
  5. I’ve not been a huge fan of hair fibers. Used them from time to time, but I always found the application to be messy. I went in for what was effectively my 12 month check, and the doc agreed that it was reasonable to add 600-800 FUE grafts to the thin spots behind my hairline and I’m the mid-scalp. He estimates I can get 2000 FUE scalp FUE total without really depleting the donor area. I’d like to proceed with adding 600-800 to the areas mentioned, but also additional grafts to the temple points. This would potentially be risky. If my crown loss became very significant, I’d have to rely on maybe 500 or so FUE grafts from the scalp and the remaining from beard hair. Not the worst scenario, but I’m conscious of getting to a point of diminishing returns. I’ve obviously spent a lot of time and money on procedures, and you’re right that the results are overall very good, especially considering my starting point. I had email conversations with two other well-known docs, and there were differences of opinion. One suggested 1000 grafts in the crown and then 500 as a spot treatment to the thin areas. The other doctor’s recommendation was very surprising: 1000 grafts to the hairline and immediately behind it and then assess the crown later on. Both indicated they’d want to do a full shave FUE, which is potentially a problem for me because I have a very forward facing job and can’t realistically return to work after a 2 week vacation with a buzz cut, redness, residual scabs, etc. I’d be looking at no shave FUE, but I know that’s less than optimal. I do wonder if a stick and place approach could work?
  6. Wanted to post a few 10 month photos (hit the 10 month mark about a week ago). Not a huge amount of change, but wasn’t really expecting it. However, I’m curious to see if the hairline continues to mature through month 12 and a little past that. I find it tough to see a difference between pre-op and today, but it was such a subtle amount of work that it’s probably difficult for me to see. Crown has filled in slightly more. No photos of the donor scar, but this is what my donor region looks like after a haircut a few days ago. I am a little concerned about shedding. Whether it was a seasonal thing or something stress related (I’ve been working a ton of hours in a very high stress environment), I felt like there was an increase in shedding over the last month or so. I’m probably going to head in for a check in the next few weeks to see if anything else is going on. I also think I’m at the point where my native hair may be thinning in the mid-scalp. There’s a small spot between the frontal and crown work that has no transplanted hairs, so I’m guessing the native hairs are miniaturizing. I know the subject of hair greed has come up, but these small areas of concern still impact me. I think most of us who have experienced hair loss and then had successful transplants can relate to still having some degree of insecurity.
  7. Good topic and presentation! He looks great and I’m sure he’s quite happy. My general approach is similar. I have yet to undergo FUE, but completed my fifth FUT procedure last June. I started in a worse place than this patient and also had more hair loss after quitting Propecia in 2015. I’m now about 8300 grafts in and feel fortunate to have transformed my appearance dramatically. I feel more fortunate that FUE is still available to me, even if it’s not certain I’ll have another procedure. Definitely think this case illustrates the importance of careful planning and having a vision of what you want your end result to be. Good work!
  8. Thanks, I appreciate it! I generally keep the hair at maybe the equivalent of a 3 guard and the scar isn't visible. My barber usually trims with scissors (just preference), so the 3 guard length seems about right. My guess is I could pull off a 2 guard without drawing attention to it. Full transparency, I wouldn't be able to go any shorter than that and the scar is wider than many people might be willing to deal with, but that was inevitable. Five surgeries is five surgeries. I was comfortable taking the chance and wanted to get as many grafts as I could via FUT. Even though I don't necessarily know if I would want to wear my hair shorter, I may still fill in the scar with some FUE grafts just to give myself the option.
  9. Posted a few more photos. These were taken under overhead bathroom light, but I think you can see what I meant about being able to cover my crown fairly easily. I also tried to get a few shots of my temple points. Aside from my initial procedure, temple points have been untouched while we focused on front and mid-scalp. I really think I'm going to go for it over the summer and add some grafts there. AB: I would definitely consider using beard donor to fill in the crown. PlzRespond: I believe about 500 grafts and I'm 36.
  10. Thanks, guys. You’re definitely right about combing over the crown, Melvin. The photos I posted from my last visit purposefully exposed the crown because we wanted to get a better idea of how things were progressing. Normally, I comb it over and you really can’t see the hair loss. I’ll take some photos in the next few days with my normal style, which will give you a better idea of the coverage I can get. Spanker, would you leave the crown alone because future loss is to be expected? I’m kind of torn right now. I want to wait a full year or more to see where I’m at and then add more grafts if I’m not happy, but I also know that it’s a moving target and I don’t want to chase loss in that area when, as I just mentioned, I can cover it for now. Curious what your thoughts are on temple points too. I don’t want to get too greedy, but I do think a little more framing would be nice.
  11. Just checking in with an 8 month update. I saw Dr. Dorin last week and have some new photos to share. Still seeing some thickening in the hairline and there's been more growth in the crown. The crown is coming along at a slower pace, but that was to be expected. Biggest takeaway from the visit was that we'll reassess where I'm at in 4-5 months and then probably devise a plan to get started with FUE. We talked about a few areas to address: I assume I'm going to want more crown work, so the majority of FUE grafts would be dedicated to that. However, I also mentioned I'd love to add some grafts to my temple points, which were previously not a focal point during my initial procedures. Now that I've come this far, though, I'd really like to enhance them and frame my face. Lastly, we discussed the possibility of throwing some grafts into my linear scar. That's probably lowest on my priority list, but could be something to consider. Dr. Dorin mentioned that he thinks I have another ~2000 grafts to use via FUE. We'd probably be looking at a few small procedures if I address all three areas. He also mentioned the possibility of using beard hair for the FUT scar. Curious to see how the next few months turn out, but would love to hear any feedback/thoughts.
  12. Thanks. I just turned 36. I think I would have done the same thing even if I knew ahead of time that I wouldn’t be able to stay on finasteride. I knew going in that I had good donor supply. That made the decision somewhat easier. Having said that, ideally I would have stopped after the third procedure, but I’m very happy with the decision to keep going. It’s the right call for me.
  13. Hi all, I visited Dr. Dorin last week for my 4 month visit. I’ve attached some photos that were taken at the visit. Overall, starting to see growth at the hairline and behind it and think I’m right on schedule with that. The crown probably looks about the same. I can feel some fine hairs sprouting, but I knew going into this that the crown would obviously take more time before we saw significant growth. I also had some shock loss behind my hairline, but that was expected too. Dr. Dorin said my scar was a tad wider than he’d normally achieve, but I can’t expect a miracle after 5 strips. Honestly, it looks more than fine to me and he did a great job getting as many grafts as he did and still having the scar look decent. As we mutually agreed, he won’t perform another FUT on me. We’ve reached the end of the line with that and I wouldn’t press my luck and risk a wide scar. Pending my results, any future work will be via FUE. Looking forward to the next few months!
  14. Here are a few photos that I took this morning before heading to the gym. No product in my hair and a bit of bed head, but you can get an idea of how things look (took a few of the scar too). As I mentioned, my hair certainly looks thinner in areas, which I’ve grown accustomed to post-procedure. It’s my version of the ugly duckling phase. Curious to see how much native hair shocks out in the crown. I think it’s growing back, but still too early to tell. Very pleased that there’s no shock loss in my donor area. After all five procedures, I’ve yet to experience any. I got a trim about 3 weeks ago, so this is a bit longer than I would usually keep the back, but you can get a sense of the donor characteristics.
  15. Yeah, I’d say they have. The first few months were rough, but I don’t notice much of anything now. I guess it’s tough to say if there are any subtle residual effects. Overall, I feel lucky to say worrying about it is not on my mind these days.
  16. 8300 is the new total after this last procedure. When I had my first procedure in 2012, I had been taking Fin for a few years and hair loss had yet to extend to my crown at all. I stopped taking Fin in 2015, shortly after my fourth procedure. The prior four procedures only addressed the frontal and mid scalp. 3500 would have given me okay density, but nowhere near what I wanted. Instead, we chose to build a foundation with the first two procedures and then do some tweaking with the third and fourth. If I had stayed on Fin, my crown may have been fine and I could have been done (minus hairline tweak or temple points). I understood the risk, but couldn’t tolerate Fin anymore. So, here we are. This is my first crown work. I know I’ll need more, but I’m committed to getting the best result I can without resorting to medication again. Realistically, I could have avoided the bit of hairline work we did this time in addition to the crown, but it’s been nagging me. To answer your question, I only have one scar and, through my first four procedures, it’s always healed well. I’ve never experienced shock loss. It’s probably slightly wider than the finest line that someone might achieve, but not by much. I also keep my hair long enough to conceal anything. Even so, no one has ever noticed it, including girlfriends. No complaints with the result.
  17. Hi Bill, Yes, the seventh photo shows the crown placement. It looks like a few of the pictures are out of order. I was attaching them on my phone and had an issue for some reason. I’m going to take a few photos today that show how everything currently looks. Obviously, I still have a lot of hair so I wouldn’t quite call it the ugly ducking stage, but definitely looking forward to the next few months when growth starts. I don’t think anyone would be able to tell that I just had another procedure except for the difference between the front and crown. I had a lot of miniaturized hair in the crown so I’m sure some of that shocked out. I was ultimately okay with that. Dr. Dorin explained the risk of transplanting around that area, but we both decided that the hair there was going to continue to deteriorate and probably be gone anyway. I’m no longer on Fin and have no plans to resume because the side effects became too concerning for me. I am going to rely on my good donor supply and move forward as necessary. As I mentioned, I should at least have another few thousand grafts in the bank via FUE and would absolutely consider using beard hair to fill in part of the crown if need be.
  18. Hi Melvin, Yup, attached a few. I was rapidly heading towards a NW5. Dr. Dorin has done an amazing job.
  19. For concise background, you can check out my profile for a link to my transplant journey. I’m 6 weeks out from my latest FUT procedure with Dr. Dorin, which was my fifth with him. I’ve consistently had excellent experiences with Dr. Dorin and his staff. He’s honest, personable, and absolutely cares about his patients and providing good results. On 6/21/18, he transplanted 1660 grafts, the majority of them to my crown. He also added grafts to my hairline and a few areas behind the hairline that needed reinforcement. After this latest procedure, I’ve received about 8300 grafts total. My hope is that I get nice improvement in the crown and get the last bit of density and softness in my hairline that I wanted. Beyond that, I will wait and see what my situation is after 12 months. I’m fully aware that more crown loss will almost certainly occur, but I feel very good about my prospects to counteract that. I’m extremely fortunate to have excellent donor characteristics and I can get at least a few thousand more grafts via FUE, and there’s always beard hair to tap if things get really bad. Honestly, Dr. Dorin didn’t explicitly rule out getting more grafts via strip, but we’ll have to see. If I get very greedy, I’d probably like to save a few hundred grafts for temple points, but that’s my lowest priority. My hair obviously looks thinner now, as some native and transplanted hair was sacrificed during the procedure, but that seems to already be growing back. I’ll post some photos of that and my crown in the next few days. Otherwise, scar is healing nicely and my recipient area redness is minimal. For now, I’ve attached some morning of and immediate post op pics (a few may be out of order, but pretty obvious which is which). Fire away with questions or thoughts.
  20. I did try minoxidil. Gave it a few weeks and unfortunately experienced heart palpitations. Didn't want to continue after that. Just want to make sure I understand shock loss. I definitely do with respect to the donor area, but is the risk in my crown simply that transplanting around hair that's already miniaturizing would shock that hair out permanently and the grafts that were placed around it would thus not cover enough area? In effect, I would be left with an island of transplanted hair and nothing around it. If I then didn't have adequate donor supply left, I'd be out of luck (barring something like FUE or beard hair)? Otherwise, I would wait and see what happens. If the hair loss looks stable after several more years or only gets slightly worse, I can either choose to leave things alone indefinitely or safely proceed with more work and not risk shock loss? Am I interpreting my options correctly?
  21. 1. I've had four hair transplants, so I was really only anxious prior to the first one. Leading up to it, though, I was busy with work. That distracted me enough to not get super stressed, but I think it's totally normal to feel some anxiety. Once I was done with the first one, there was no anxiety when I got ready for transplants 2-4. 2. I used to take fish oil, which I stopped a few weeks before each procedure. That was my only big no-no. Otherwise, I continued taking zinc, vitamin D and a B-complex vitamin (all of which I take for general health). My doctor didn't mention stopping B-complex. Doubt it's a huge issue. 3. I would say tightness and numbness were the biggest issues. Donor area pain was really only an issue for a few days, and honestly wasn't that bad except for sleeping. Sleeping was tough for 3-4 days, but keep in mind that I didn't take anything stronger than Tylenol after each procedure. Had I taken something stronger, I doubt it would have been that bothersome. The numbness went away by the time I got my sutures removed, which was right around day 10-12. You'll also instantly feel relief with the tightness when the sutures are removed. It's a great feeling. I had a 3 hour train ride each time to see my surgeon, and I always looked forward to the train ride back after suture removal. By that point, I felt totally normal.
  22. Thank you for the responses, Matt and Bill. I appreciate the kind words. I think part of my confusion is knowing when the right time is. I understand the importance of preserving donor supply, but am not quite sure how I judge when my crown becomes very cosmetically significant and it's safe to get more work done. I guess there's no exact answer. I'll take the sound advice from veterans on this board and obviously listen to my doctor if I schedule a follow-up exam to assess my current situation.
  23. No problem at all! Thanks for the suggestion. Absolutely going to consider it.
  24. Interesting. Going to have to check into PRP. Since the last surgery two years ago, I haven't been paying much attention to results/trends. It kind of took the comments from my mom and girlfriend to renew my focus. As for donor shock loss, I didn't experience any at all after each procedure. Very lucky, for sure.
  25. My donor area still feels very thick. The photo above was taken 5 days after a haircut, in fact. It's generally even bulkier. I can barely tell a difference between now and pre-transplant. The hairline is overall solid. I mean, I have dark hair, light skin, and I don't comb it forward at all. It still looks pretty good. You can only see the "stubble" appearance close up. It's not a huge concern, but I'd like it to look a little more natural. I understand what you mean, though. I think the bigger issue is my crown. I need to plan accordingly for that.