Hello - long-time lurker here. I've been following this website with great interest ever since I started more earnestly planning a hair transplant.
Current concern: I wonder if my hair loss is still too premature for an enduring result from hair transplant. I use 2x/day rogaine, 1x/week dermaroller, and 4x/week LLLT (custom 272 diode laser helmet). No finasteride, as my side-effects were intolerable (sexual and cognitive).
Clinical history with hair loss: I first noticed recession when I was 19; I used finasteride for about 8 months when I was 20, then started rogaine 2x/day when I turned 23. Have added dermaroller and LLLT - I am currently 31, with NW 2-3 (see my photos in my post). I have continued to lose hair very gradually. I prefer to keep my hair short and neat, and last year, for the first time, my hairline recession and crown/vertex thinning became more apparent in most lighting. Previously, it was relatively well-disguised.
Current plan of action: I have a 3 month break between jobs, and I'm currently planning to head to Turkey while I'm traveling in the region for an FUE of ~2500 grafts to improve density across the scalp and dense grafts to repair my hairline. *Because my native hair has decent coverage, I am hoping and assuming my shock-loss will be minimally apparent, and I will be able to look OK in an office setting within 8-12 weeks*.
1) Is my hair loss too premature to get long-term benefit from a hair transplant? I think my hair loss is very slowly progressing, and I wouldn't "plateau" for several more years, but I am already frustrated by the appearance of my hairline, and my shrinking hairstyle options. I don't want to bother with the procedure, however, if the risks outweigh the benefits (especially since my hair already looks "OK" - if the potential benefit is low, I don't want to risk this!). Does anyone have insight into this?
2) I have a lot of native hair, even if it is slightly miniaturized. Will the FUE and subsequent shock-loss knock out a lot of this hair, as well? Or can I expect it to grow out without an effluvium, prolonged anagen phase, etc.?
3) Am I simply being crazy and should I cancel the whole thing...
Thank you all so much for your input - we all know how much anxiety this causes, and simply posting on this forum is slightly relieving. Looking forward to contributing to the community.