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LordBaldwin last won the day on October 12 2019

LordBaldwin had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

61 Excellent

About LordBaldwin

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Basic Information

  • Gender
  • Country
    United States
  • State

Hair Loss Overview

  • Describe Your Hair Loss Pattern
    Receding Hairline (Genetic Baldness)
  • Norwood Level if Known
    Norwood III
  • What Best Describes Your Goals?
    Considering Surgical Hair Restoration

Hair Loss Treatments

  • Have you ever had a hair transplant?
  • Hair Transplant Surgeon
    Dr. Koray Erdogan
  • Current Non-Surgical Treatment Regime
    Nizoral Shampoo
    Nioxin Shampoo

Recent Profile Visitors

1,183 profile views
  1. No problem, and thank you. Just out of curiosity, you don't think using the two DHT inhibitors together is a bit redundant? My impression was that dutasteride does the same thing as fin, but more effectively. You're really lucky not to have any sides and I'm glad to hear it. Yeah, I generally agree with you that the use of fin would've likely improved my result somewhat. Back when I did use it, it definitely helped "hold the line," and my hair only degraded very gradually back then as a result. Here's how I generally look at finasteride and other similar medications: 1) They do work, but not forever. I'd be taking them for years, but they'd only slow the inevitable deterioration (and I'd ultimately end up in the same place I would've been anyway about 10 years down the line). I suppose you could make a reasonable counterargument that a hair transplant is not all that different. However, a transplant has much more dramatic and noticeable results over a much shorter period of time, lasts for much longer (since you're using follicles from a DHT-resistant part of your scalp for the transplant), and the impacts to the body from the surgery are well understood (long term complications are basically not a factor). 2) We don't fully understand the long term safety of these medications, especially for people who do experience sides. I understand that Proscar has been prescribed for decades for enlarged prostates, but I'm really uncomfortable messing with my hormones over such long periods (especially given my side effects). 3) One has to consider the amount of money being spent to buy these medications continuously, for years. Given the diminishing effectiveness over time, the cost-to-benefit ratio shifts toward the wasteful end of the spectrum in the long term. 4) It's really hard to measure effectiveness of the drug unless you have an identical twin who's not using it, or unless you're one of the minority of lucky people who actually sees regrowth while taking fin (rather than merely a slowing of degradation). To be clear, I'm not necessarily advocating against other people here taking a DHT inhibitor -- each person has his own unique situation and obviously should make the choice for himself. From what I've seen, I think most people in this community use it.
  2. I can answer this directly. I do not use finasteride, and have not used it since my procedure, because I had significant side effects when I used it years ago (between 2010 and 2014). I did use Minoxidil for a time...can't remember the specific time frame, offhand. I think it was for a few months starting around 6 months or so. That said, minoxidil has appeared to be pretty ineffective for me; I've never noticed a difference when using it.
  3. Thanks! So, to answer your first question, the changes resulting from the procedure have made me feel a lot less insecure about my looks. I was a relatively late bloomer as a kid and thus didn't have a lot of time in my "prime," so to speak... so when I realized I was balding at 21 years old, I was pretty devastated and thought about it almost every day for years. I resented having my good looks, only recently obtained, suddenly stripped away from me again so abruptly. Every time I'd see myself in the bathroom mirror, or in a photo from vacation or with friends, the appearance of my hair would almost always cross my mind. With respect to dating, it's difficult to say because I met my girlfriend (whom I'm still dating) a couple of years before my procedure. During the period when I was still dating regularly (up until late 2015), the appearance of the hair hadn't degraded enough to really hurt my chances (it only started getting really bad in 2017). I haven't really asked for opinions from unbiased female sources since the surgery. That said, I know with certainty that I look better. My friends (who are mostly dudes) and my girlfriend have all commented on the improvement, as has my family. To be honest, most people don't make unsolicited comments about this kind of thing; most of them only said something when I asked them for their thoughts.
  4. 18.5 Months Post-Op: Final Update (Probably) Well, I've finally hit the 18-month mark (a little more, in fact) following my surgery and am ready to submit my final thoughts and photos. First, I'll list a few caveats to keep in mind when looking at these pictures: 1) I've been cutting my own hair for the last few months due to COVID quarantine, so the general appearance of my hair may or may not be all that flattering. 2) As stated in the beginning of the thread, my hair caliber is relatively fine (55 microns). 3) It's extremely hot and humid outside (about 95 degrees F), so sweaty, frizzy hair in the outdoor images was unavoidable. 4) Only the frontal portion of my head received transplants -- not the crown or mid-scalp. As a reminder, here are some images of what my head looked like before my transplant: Here are current images, with natural light, in a semi-outdoor (i.e., back patio) environment: Here are some images taken indoors, with natural light: Here are some images from outdoors: Here are pictures from indoors, with flash: Summary of Thoughts: Customer Support/Experience: My position concerning my overall experience with the clinic hasn't really changed since my procedure. I've been going about my life lately (to the extent that one can do so during quarantine) and thus haven't had many communications with the clinic in recent months, with the exception of sending in my 18 month images earlier today. I'm interested to hear what they have to say. Results: Shape/hairline: My face is now nicely framed and the size of my forehead no longer detracts from my overall appearance. In this respect, mission accomplished. Grade: 10/10 Donor Appearance/Scarring: The donor areas appear to have been harvested pretty effectively and efficiently. I can't see any visible scars and the density of the donor area is still good, though I probably would've harvested slightly fewer grafts from the parietal area of the scalp and more from the occipital region (the occipital area will likely need to be the source of most donor hair for any future operations). Grade: 9/10 Density: The density is...ok (i.e., within an acceptable range for the time being). The transplanted hair generally looks pretty good while indoors, under normal lighting conditions, etc., but seems somewhat less impressive when wet or under direct sunlight. This isn't all that surprising or unexpected, especially for a first attempt and with relatively fine hair like I have, but I think I'll likely need a touch-up of about 1000 grafts or so in the front, at some point in the future, in order to achieve the ideal level of density. Grade: 6.5/10 (I'm weighting this and donor appearance more heavily than the shape of the hairline, given that I had a lot of input on the hairline design; density and donor appearance are probably better reflections of workmanship in my case). Overall Score: ~8.1/10 Conclusions: I'm generally satisfied with my result -- as you can see from the images above, the changes from before surgery up until now have been dramatic and I no longer feel depressed and full of dread every time I look in the mirror. I've met my primary objective of setting back the clock on my hair to approximately 2014 (the last point at which the hair was aesthetically acceptable). The density of the transplanted area still seems a bit lackluster under certain conditions, but it's tolerable for the time being. In the next few years, I'm likely to get another transplant to fill in the crown and mid-scalp area (which had not been touched this last time around); when I do this, I'll likely ask the surgeon to reinforce the front a bit as well. ASMED had estimated that I'd need about 2000 more grafts to fill in the crown and mid-scalp. If I use another 1000 to touch up the frontal area, I should theoretically have about 2000 grafts left in "reserve," though I plan to get a few other opinions on this. As previously stated, I did have a positive experience during my visit to ASMED in December 2018. That said, I'm still going to consider multiple options when planning a follow-up surgery in the next few years, as the conditions of my life, the state of my hair, and my financial situation will likely change over time.
  5. So I think I can speak for all of us here when I say we know how you feel. I started balding at 20 and it was f***ing terrible, so I totally get what you're going through. Hair loss is a slow, torturous, and emotionally exhausting experience that takes a massive toll on confidence as your appearance seems to erode before your eyes. I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this as well. Now, concerning what you mentioned above: - If you're not experiencing any negative side effects from finasteride, you may as well stay on it. If you stop, you'll definitely lose a lot of hair. For me, finasteride did slow the loss substantially, but I had to stop because of side effects; when I did end up stopping, I experienced significant catch-up loss. Now, I also think it's important to mention that finasteride will not work forever; as you indicated, it loses effectiveness to some extent over time, though the time span over which it holds the line varies from person to person. In the end, short of going nuclear (i.e., hair transplant), everyone ultimately loses this battle. - There's also really no downside to continuing your use of minoxidil (and ketoconazole shampoo if you weren't using it already). They're generally a lot less effective than finasteride, but they have very low side effect profiles. - Talking to hair loss surgeons is a very good idea, in my opinion. You can get a sense now of the level of work that would need to be done to restore your hair enough to make you feel more comfortable, and you can start saving money and weighing various factors that will likely play a role in your final decision (including logistics). I finally pulled the trigger on an FUE procedure at the end of 2018, after nearly 10 years of hair loss, and I don't regret it one bit. - Some people (and doctors) argue that one should wait until they're a bit older than you are (30+) before deciding to move forward with a hair transplant. For people with very early stage hair loss (like NW2), who don't yet know how their pattern will develop, I'd agree. However, if your hair loss is already sufficiently advanced and you think you know how it'll ultimately play out, you may as well get ahead of it now. One factor you should probably consider is the loss of quality of life in your youth... honestly, we really shouldn't have to worry about things like this in our 20s. We should be in our prime, enjoying the hell out of life. If you feel like hair loss is hindering your ability to do this, then waiting may not be in your best interest.
  6. Thanks, Melvin. Appreciated. Truthfully, I can't even remember what it was like to have full density...it was so long ago. My goal going in was to dial back the clock at least 6 years (to the point before my forehead really began to expand) and reestablish proper framing of my face... this goal was achieved. I no longer feel that sense of panic when I look in the mirror, and that's really what I cared about most.
  7. 15 Months (+8 days) Here are my 15 month and 8 day photos. Apologies for the delay, but, to be honest, I wasn't sure if I was going to post again; I've been feeling pretty good about my results lately and didn't really want to jeopardize that by subjecting myself to possible negativity. That being said, I prefer to finish what I start and didn't want to leave people hanging. Also, I thought it was really important to show proof that slow and steady improvement, even past the 12 month mark, is plausible (this is how it has worked for me). I feel like I've seen some continued thickening, even now, at this late stage. While the result still isn't perfect (especially by the standards set in this forum), I feel like the clock has been dialed back about eight to ten years and I'm satisfied with that. I will most likely only make one more update at the 18 month mark to sum up any closing thoughts on my experience and results.
  8. Thanks. Yeah, I think that's a good tip and plan to do these things; I'd actually been doing them prior to my procedure but hadn't been doing microneedling or nizoral since... But yeah, the baldness is fighting tooth and nail. This is like some WWII, Pacific Theater, fight to the last man sh*t on my scalp...
  9. Here are some pics fresh out of the shower, wet and dry (I'm at about 12 months and 3 weeks). I'm generally happy with things at this point in the transplanted area, and I'm still seeing improvement. I think my biggest concern right now, however, is continued thinning of my native hair in the midscalp and crown -- these two areas had not been transplanted yet. I was hoping to squeeze in a few more years without having to do any more procedures, but unfortunately I may have to take further action in the near future.
  10. 12 Months Here are my 12 month photos; I used some styling spray.
  11. Thanks. Yeah, I actually think my progress isn't quite done yet. I've seen a bit more improvement in the front since my last update, and the area behind the hairline has filled in relatively nicely. There are more days now when I feel like it looks good (especially right after I get out of the shower and it dries). Also, the clinic told me, based on some pictures I sent them, that I should expect more thickening. It should be noted that that Hasson and Wong patient had 3462 grafts -- about 13% more than I had (3051), and in a smaller area.
  12. You look great, dude. Just out of curiosity, do you think you've seen any improvement since the 12 month mark?