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Everything posted by LaserCap

  1. Meticulous to the core! AND he does his own extractions which is awesome. Most clinics will have someone else other than the doctor do them. A shame. I am aware the Doctor has a new location and, based on the photo of the reception area, I am sure it is amazing and welcoming. I've met with the doctor plenty of times and his work is outrageously good. Nice work Doc!
  2. There can be a HUGE difference between 6-12 months. First, did you do PRP with the procedure? This helps bring the grafts in sooner and can also help reverse the miniaturization of the native hair. Typically, when hair starts coming in, it is NOT the quality of the hair that is in the donor. The hair will be very thin, almost like vellus hair. It is not uncommon for patients to say, "I don't see anything, I just lost all my money." On top of that, not all hair come in at the same time, it can be staggered by several weeks. Then the hair starts maturing and taking on the quality of the hair from where it came from. How many times I have patients call at 12 months to say, "I can see a huge difference." Transplants do not propagate. Where the grafts were placed, that's where you will see new growth. This does not promote growth elsewhere. NOTHING regrows hair. Medical therapy, and I hope you are doing something, (Propecia, Rogaine, Laser and PRP), can help halt or slow the loss and sometimes can help enhance the hair that is dissipating and going away. I am under the impression that when patients go through the process, do a procedure and add the meds, they will see very positive results because of the patient is being proactive and doing everything he can. At that point you are really taking advantage of everything available to you. With regards to a 2nd procedure, this can be in the same area or on a different area, (say farther back into the pattern or in the same area to add density). This was and still is, very common in the industry. The universal belief is that grafts compete for blood supply. Some doctors will leave a separation in between grafts to make sure everything survives. Months later, typically 12 for most doctors, you can return and work around the separations and "fill in the gaps." By that time the first round is "in" and can not be damaged. The other reason why you want to wait is to allow the donor to heal before harvesting again. BUT now I have seen techniques that I call 3-dimensional. I think this has to do more with how the incisions in the recipient site are made. Instead of being 1 dimensional, (doing the apertures side by side), now they are done in such a way that the hair shingles and works together to allow for more density. It is now not uncommon to achieve great density with just one procedure, all pending on how many grafts you decide to move forward with. You bring up a good point. If you are completely bald and have nothing, the first procedure, again pending graft numbers, the change will be dramatic. The second, not so much because there is hair there already. Take a ton of photos and put them away. 6 months later do it again, and another set at 12 months. If things go right, you will see the change. If you started with some native hair, you better be on medications because eventually you will lose that hair and will have to return to do another procedure to replace what you just lost and not raising the bar of density.
  3. Keep it up Blake! Nice results, It even seems it has helped you in the front. Impressive when you consider that the most results, in addition to just retaining, are typically seen 1 year after you start taking the medication.
  4. Dr. Arocha has developed advanced techniques that allow for great density in a single procedure. Think of a 3 dimensional drawing. It is truly unbelievable. With regards to the shampoo, and I am very much aware of TSA and their antics, you can use baby shampoo. I am surprised to hear the crusts were up there for 3 weeks. Typically after 7 days you can scrub all that off. I realize how some patients are quite gingerly about this. You've just spent X amount of money and do not want to harm anything. The fact is, grafts are under the skin and you will not harm anything after the 7 days. I am curious, did you do PRP at the time of the procedure? This will typically help reverse the miniaturization of the native hair and will help grafts come in sooner. With regards to Propecia, I have been on it for 20+ years. No issues. And, if you never did experience anything, you never will. Generally, and most believe, that there is more testosterone with the medication than without. When I take it I think of it as a "benefit" to me. If you start thinking negative about it, for whatever reason, something will come up eventually, at which point you will blame the med for whatever you are experiencing.
  5. LaserCap

    My Hair Loss Journey

    Melvin, nice video. Well done. It would be nice to know when you started Propecia and if you've done any other medical therapies. Seems you had a lot of miniaturized hair and it is likely that the use of non surgical modalities is contributing to your overall density. I particularly like the staggered hairline, very natural. And, to have a bit of thinning on the hairline, since it is a transition zone, I think also adds to the naturalness. Not sure if you were really a class 6, perhaps a 5+ as there were still remnants of a bridge in the mid-scalp and not too wide a pattern. Regardless, nice work and awesome results.
  6. Every time you have a consultation, ask. How long does it take the hair to start growing. It is typically 3-4 months post op. If it took a week, how come the hair does not start growing right away? Think of a tree. it takes time to root before it gets going. I realize that as soon as the graft is in place, it is in the system, per say. Just semantics.
  7. LaserCap

    sun spots

    Not sure, call around. Many offer dermabrasion which involves a skin-resurfacing rotating device to sand out layers of skin. I recall my wife getting this done months apart to remove spots that she got after pregnancy. It was effective. You need to check what it will take to get it done. I am certain they can offer a lot more than just chemical related treatments. Or, perhaps, they can guide you in the right direction.
  8. Must have been very early when I replied to the original post. Inadvertently started writing about SMP. Time will tell, very marginal results. Not sure if this needs to be done at a specific interval, say once every three months and is it done under local?
  9. Nice article. In most recent years I have seen some doctors achieve unbelievable density in just one procedure. It is truly amazing. When I began my career the general thought was that a separation was required in between grafts to allow for grafts survival. They were, and still are, in the belief that grafts compete for blood supply. So, if you think of graft paper, and draw a dot at the end of each square, that would be similar to what was being done. Some do would do a random placing for more naturalness, but the separation would be there. That's why most can not achieve density in a single procedure. This is what a call a 1 dimensional drawing. But most recently I've noticed this changing. I call it three dimensional. Think of a 4 hair graft and placing a 3 hair graft right in front of it so that the hair shingles in such a way that it creates more density. Now, how many grafts? It depends on many factors that have already been outlined. Again, look at results before making any decisions.
  10. I was once offered a job with a company that offered this service exclusively. I was impressed. They were targeting patients that had little to no donor area that anted to have, at least, something that resembled hair and that would frame their face. I think they accomplished that. It is not a tattoo. It is an ink that requires no anesthetic. Since that time, and that has been about 5 years, I've met with a number of doctors that offer the service. It lasts about 3 years and it helps to minimize the contrast of the color of the hair and the color of the scalp. Thus, there can be many different applications. A woman just wanting to minimize contrast behind the hairline, which is typically where they commonly tend to lose hair, an African American that likes to keep his hair short, or the Anglo individual that has no donor left and now wants to address the crown. Where I think it does a nice job is in the donor area. It can help camouflage wide scars in the donor if that's bothersome to the patient. This technique does not help in any way to retain or grow hair or to heal anything. Think of Toppik but a bit more permanent.
  11. LaserCap

    sun spots

    First suggestion is go to the dermatologist. I am sure they can discuss a number of alternatives.
  12. Typically, after 7 days, you are asked to scrub the crusts off. Whatever stub came with the graft, will start growing from day one. Whatever the length of the hair is, that will fall off as well. It is not shedding. Once the graft reincorporates into the blood supply, (3-4 months later), the transplanted hair will begin growing. You need to get the crusts off! Not doing so after X amount of time can result in an infection. Get in the showing, let them soak, and scrub. You can resume Rogaine 7 days post op.
  13. LaserCap

    2 questions

    I gather that you had some native hair to start with. It would be difficult to tell which hair shed. The difference between the hair in the front and top in comparison to that of the donor area is hair quality. The best hair, with the most thickness, etc...will come from the donor. Hair in front and top is typically a finer, and not as thick. This can be easily seen under magnification. I would encourage you to schedule an appointment with your doctor and ask him to scope the area and take photos. Do the same 6 and 12 months post op. This should give you a decent idea of what is happening. PLEASE continue finasteride and, perhaps, add another modality to the mix.
  14. LaserCap

    FUE Everything You Need To Know

    A couple of things I would like to add....... This technique can be done in a number of ways as there are many systems available. Some dry, some wet, ARTAS, etc. Typically it is not the doctor that does the harvesting. Make sure to ask who specifically will be doing the work, and their qualifications. I am always concerned with ARTAS because it uses a punch greater than a .9mm. This will always leave scarring in the back that looks like honeycomb. Typically .7mm or less is ideal, it leaves an undetectable mark, Again, do your research. Ask for photos of the work.
  15. Typically the best result for a beard transplant is to take the follicles from under the chin. It will be an exact match. The question will be, based on what you've written, if there will be enough to accomplish your goals. Dr. Arocha does tremendous work and has a great deal of experience with beards transplants. I would take a number of photos and send them to him. He is in Houston.
  16. A few things come to mind when reading this article. First, if you've never been interested in hair, you will never hear about hair restoration. I'll bet that there are millions out there that have no idea this is even possible. Second, a lot of people are familiar with the old style plugs. They even think that this is the technique being used today! Because of that, in my view, the whole industry suffers. Third, many patients believe they will achieve a full set of hair by doing transplants. As noted in the article, its all about the expectations. To all consultants out there....Read, talk to your doctor, educate yourself. Become indispensable so that when you meet with a patient, you can guide him. Don't just sell the transplant for the sake of making a commission. We are representatives of the company but also of the patient. At the end of the day it is our responsibility. Take it upon yourself to be honest and ethical.
  17. Throughout my career I've worked for a number of doctors. Some unbelievable work and some not so good. Some brilliant doctors with horrible bedside manners and others that would have patients eating out of their hands but would put grafts in a broomstick if they could. One of the latest doctors I worked with was truly a nightmare. When I reviewed notes in the system I noticed, without fail, failed procedure, re-do. Why? who knows. This brings up a point, in addition to what has already been posted. You could be the pioneer of hair restoration. But, if you've been doing bad work for 30 years...guess what? PLEASE do your research. Look at hundreds of photos and not just a handful. Don't just call a practice and ask for the price....Go to the consultation and visit with the doctor. Ask him to show you his work. FUT, FUE, ARTAS.Does he do PRP? How does he do it? is he in favor of medical therapy? Just like anything else, the hair transplant industry keeps evolving. Things keep improving and if you are fortunate to find a good doctor, such as the ones listed on this site, you will attain a natural result. We are all limited by whatever donor we have. Can the doctor meet our expectations? Be realistic
  18. Awesome work Doc! and nice set of photos. This much density after only one procedure?
  19. Nice. I particularly like the staggered technique which adds to the naturalness of the work. Unfortunately because of the angle of the photo, I am unable to see the temporal areas and if the doctor blunted the corners. Peaks are common and appropriate with African Americans. Doc, can you post photos of the corners for the review of our members?
  20. LaserCap

    2 questions

    The subject of shedding hair comes up frequently. To most in the industry, when discussing the subject, they'll be quick to point out that there are two types of loss. The hair that you see in the shower, comb, etc.....this is normal. Farther, they'll explain that 100 hairs a day is normal. Simply, and in laymen terms, the follicle gets tired and needs a resting period. After X amount of time, the hair will return. And you will not shed all hair at one time. It is random. Some one day, some the next day, etc. To me this is shedding. The second type of loss is the one you don't see. Hair dissipates and miniaturized. Eventually it is hair you can hardly see and does not seem to grow. Eventually this hair disappears. This is hair loss. Now. let's address the two questions you have, Prior to the follicles being harvested from the donor area, the area is shaved, This is for all types of transplant procedures. Typically a small stubble is left and this is what is used to transport the graft to the recipient area. Days after the procedure tiny crusts will begin forming in each of the sites the doctor created during the procedure, (and where the grafts were placed). 7-8 days later, depending on the post op instructions the practice gives you, you will start washing the hair normally and some, if not all, of the crusts, will fall off. By this time you may be able to see a bit of growth of the native hair that came with the graft. The falling of the crusts/hair---sometimes patients feel this is shedding. It's not. 3-4 months later, once the follicle has had the opportunity to reincorporate into the system, the grafts will begin growing. At that point the grafted hair retains a memory and will continue acting as if it was still in the donor area. Now, does this hair shed like it did at one point? I believe so...but the hair returns. I've never seen miniaturized hair int he donor area except for patients that become 7s. And even in this patients, they will typically keep a strong donor area in a small section in the back. Unfortunately it is so little that not much can be accomplished in these cases. Other patients that have issues with the donor are women. They tend to be global thinners, meaning that they tend to lose hair all over, including the donor. Medical conditions, such as a self immune system can also have an effect on patients. With regards to the second question, When the graft is transplanted, it comes with the gland. The gland does not know what to do and it blocks the hair. It typically turns into a zit that you drain and clean. Half dozen about 3 months post op is normal. This just means that the hair its on its way. The doctor can give you a cleanser to help minimize this.
  21. Nothing wrong with being young. In the hair restoration world, however, it is somewhat of an issue. Typically, at that age, there is little to no notion as to what the pattern is going to do. Let me explain. Say an 18 YO comes with a very juvenile hairline, (in the middle of his forehead). The patient is freaking out about the slight recession he is experiencing in the corners, (maturing hairline). The doctor agrees to move forward with a procedure and fills in the corners. 10 years later he has two horns, (the two tufts of hair that the doctor placed years ago). The patient is now a class 5 with a well receded hairline. The best approach in this case is to educate the patient and explain the various options including all medical therapies. The fact that he is young and just starting to lose, will help him. Therapies can help with retention and enhancement of miniaturized hair. A yearly visit with the doctor is advisable to see what changes, if any, the patient has experienced. And, while realize this is a long term decision, of course it is worth it. Most agree that when you are born there are about 100,000 hairs in the head. By the time you are a teenager, you lose about 1/2. At that point the patient does not realize he has hair loss. It is truly an optical illusion. Say the patient has 7-8K hair follicles available in the donor. You are asking this number to do the job of 50,000. If your goal is to have a full set of hair, it is imperative you keep as much as you can of the native hair. If losing hair is not important, shave.
  22. Interesting concept. It reminds me of the use of balloons years ago. All seems logical but, I am guessing, in that particular part of the body you are not going to gain "inches" worth of laxity. Perhaps milimeeters. And, when will it happen? when should you schedule the procedure? All has to be so well coordinated......What a waste of time. There are stretching exercises you can do to help elasticity issues. These are wel documented and you should be able to find lots of info on the internet. Ask your doctor, he should know.
  23. What length hair are you keeping? Perhaps grow it out, say 1 inch or more. Then visit with a doctor and see what you are told. Despite the length, if you can still see through and see scalp, perhaps you are experiencing global thinning as others have indicated. Let's bring in hair quality, thin vs thick and everything in between. What caliber hair do you have? What color is it? Just curious. Lastly, medical therapy. (Propecia, Rogaine, Laser and PRP). Talk to your doctor about them. See if he feels they would be of benefit to you. Try them for 1 year and, based on the benefit, you can decide if you should continue doing them. Once done, and if it is DUPA, you may want to consider SMP with or without hair. Not a bad option.
  24. If the patient had realistic expectations, you met the expectations and the patient is happy....Nothing else to say. The patient seems well demarcated in the back so doing grafts back there I guess it's OK. Hopefully he is doing all kinds of medical therapy to help him with retention of the native hair. What size punch did you use? It would be nice if you could comb the hair up so we can show what the result of an Artas procedure is truly like. Lastly, what percentage transection do you believe you experienced with this patient?
  25. I'll give you my 2 cents regarding meds and research...I am certain others will be quick to correct me if something is incorrect. Since we are dealing with the population, tons of studies are done before the FDA gives its approval. And, the company is to outline all possible side effects of the medication. Have you seen daily commercials about different medications? Some can even cause death. Proscar, the parent medication of Propecia, has been around for a long time. Millions of people take the medication. Side effects? Of course. Some more than others. Some non at all. We are all human, we are all different, and some things affect us more than others. Genetics, our surroundings....probably many factors that have yet to be discovered. During the ISHRS meeting in Las Vegas 2 years ago more negative news about Propecia came out. And it seems that every year it's more of the same. Months, maybe even years later, another report comes out refutiating the original findings. And this goes around and around for years. Eventually, as patients report side effects, trends allow for more education and research. I was helping a practice out in the East recently and had a lengthy conversation with the doctor about this same subject. He had written a thesis on Propecia. He is under the belief that the medication will eventually lead to dementia. I guess we'll have to wait and see if this is the case. For me, and I am not trying to be funny, I rather be crazy than having no hair. I am in agreement with you about many things. Leave the crown for last, make sure meds are working,.....etc. The crown is the spherical area of the head. If you draw a point and draw a cross intersecting the point, you will notice that every hair is doing its own thing. Not working together as in the front and top where the hair all grows forward and shingles. It would take many, many procedures to achieve any type of density. Everyone by definition, has to be thin in that area. Honestly, I would leave it alone. Talk to your doctor about adding another modality to the mix and give it a year.