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  1. I'm almost 29 and my hairline has gotten to the point where I'm starting to feel like my receded temples are beginning to limit my styling options. Over the last year or so, I've noticed my hairline has gotten worse to the point that I started to realize I was receding. I always noticed very minor recession at the temples but didn't think much of it and just assumed it was just a normal hairline. The last year though with all the WFH stuff, all my terrible procrastination/playing catch up habits have really manifested and it's taken a toll on my hair due to missing sleep and whatever else. If not for the last year, I think my hairline would still be decent enough to try all the hairstyles that I was doing before. Anyway, I did a consultation with a local surgeon in Toronto as well as an online consultation with Hasson & Wong. I signed up for a consultation with Dr. Rahal but his sales guys feel like the type of people would try to sell you a hair transplant at a funeral if they thought it would get them anywhere. Dude called my phone at like 10 Saturday morning to ask me for photos of my hairline. So I talked to the local surgeon and he recommended 1200 grafts to fill in the temples. No hairline lowering or anything. Just temples only. And it would give the appearance of mild thinning I believe he said. Overall he seemed really conservative and his estimate though he did tell me that my hair donor density was about average while my hair thickness was a bit above average thickness. I also did an online consultation with Hasson & Wong and I was basically told that I'd need 3000 grafts. I'm assuming the reason H&W said 3000 and my local surgeon said 1200 is because my local surgeon is very conservative and Hasson & Wong are more on the aggressive side and are capable of achieving some ridiculous hair density. I don't believe H&W recommended to lower my hairline either though I was only thinking like half a cm at most. Not that any surgeon recommended lowering my hairline Recently, I've been looking into Dr. Rahal because the hairlines on his site are jawdroppingly good and I've just been super impressed overall with all the photos I can find. Obviously, they're his best work, but to have a gallery of hairline results probably means you're doing something right. I haven't got the opportunity to consult with Rahal but it'll happen soon. So I've been trying to decide between Dr. Rahal or Dr. Hasson. For Rahal, I really like his gallery and he seems to specialize in hairlines. He's supposed to be a bit cheaper than H & W which is very nice bonus assuming all else is equal. Also he has an office in Toronto and it would be nice to be able to just go to see him in person for whatever issues after the hair transplant. The one reservation I have about Dr. Rahal is I'm unsure about his consistency/techs. I haven't done much research on them but I was wondering if his techs were experienced and had been with him for a long time. For Dr. Hasson, (I'm leaning towards Dr. Hasson over Dr. Wong since Dr. Hasson seems to work with hairlines more), what draws me to him is probably his reputation and what I feel is the closest thing to a guarantee out there. I like the crazy density that H & W can achieve (not sure if Rahal attempts the same?) and he's got a few patients in his gallery that have left me impressed. But he doesn't have the sheer quantity of great hairline results. Especially since it seems like Dr. Hasson does just about everything well. H & W seem like they've got the entire process down to a T so I'm not too worried about their techs or their consistency. Also, H & W are a bit out of the way so followups after the transplant seem like it would be difficult. Right now, my personal feeling is that Dr. Hasson is all but guaranteed to do a good job. But Dr. Rahal might be more likely to hit a home run and do something jaw dropping. I'm not sure how much density Dr. Rahal will get however I know Dr. Hasson dense packs with the best. Anyone have experience with one or both of them? How did you guys feel about Dr. Rahals process? Any personal recommendations for one or the other?
  2. Background: 28 years old with a NW2 type recession and very mild thinning in the crown. Family history: Mother’s side has great hair genetics (her father and brother had a full head of hair well into their late years), MPB present with my father and his late father, however, slow and gradual loss, my father is 65 and has more so thinned throughout the top rather than lost hair. I don’t have siblings, and my first cousin who I share my grandfather with from dad’s side, is 36 years old and shows no signs of thinning. * Important to note - I believe that looking at family history could be relevant to some extent, but should not be relied on. If you have experienced hair loss, 95% chance it is from MPB. It's due to genetic variations, your genetics are complex and unique, and MPB is progressive. It is wishful and naive thinking to believe you may “stabilize” one day or try to determine your final form so to say. Prevention: Propecia - Currently 1mg/ED (every day) - Started January 1, 2020 at low dosages, and worked up to 1mg a day. Experimented with 0.25mg EOD (every other day) and gradually increased the dose as I felt comfortable. - More time is necessary to judge entirely how efficacious finasteride has been for me, but I believe it is maintaining my hair. My hope and goal at the core is prevention, any added density or regrowth would be a blessing. Minoxidil - Rogaine 5% Foam 1x per night ED - Started about 1.5 years ago - Love/hate relationship, does occasionally irritate my scalp and other times its fine. The application itself is not a hassle as it takes a couple of minutes to apply, however, I'm not a fan of how it leaves my hair feeling clumped and greasy. - Hoping for the minoxidil sulfate test to come out asap to determine whether or not topical minoxidil is ultimately effective for me. (Might switch to oral) Microneedling - 1.5mm 1x a week, no topicals for 24 hours after session. - I use Dr. Pen microneedling device - Apply it all over my scalp other than my recipient area for the time being. - Takes me around 10 minutes, and I rather enjoy it oddly enough its therapeutic for me Shampoos - Nizarol 2% ketoconazole, Regenpure DR 1% Ketoconazole, Selsun Blue 2.5% (extra strength). - I alternate the use of these. I aim to use nizarol only once a week at most as it drys my scalp, Might use Regenpure once a week on a different day, and will only use Selsun Blue when my scalp feels irritated/itchy, I find this shampoo to be the best at clearing up dandruff and dermatitis. - Otherwise I use some mild organic shampoo without sulfates, that includes all the fancy ingredients like biotin, nettle, tea tree, etc etc & currently using Herbal Glo EOD. Hair Mask - - Occasionally I put on a hair mask, not for prevention towards MPB (will not do anything to address androgenetic activity), but to moisturize my dry scalp. - I use coconut oil, castor oil, pumpkin seed oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil & I use 1 egg yolk that helps bind all the ingredients together so it's not dripping all over the place. Supplements - - Not super important in my opinion, as I have tested my blood levels for deficiencies for many years even before I realized I had hair loss. My Iron, B12, folate etc levels have always been intact. - Still I recommend anyone to test for any deficiencies as they could be hindering healthy hair growth. - I take Vitamin D, MSM, a collagen powder that contains biotin ED. - Cleaned up the diet and started exercising more consistently Considering: Oral Minoxidil - 1 - 2.5mg ED - Still searching for a doctor willing to prescribe it to me Dutasteride - Topical or Oral - 1x a week added to my finasteride regimine CB-03-01 - Topical Anti-Androgen to address remaining androgens in the scalp including testosterone & DHT Restoration - 2,401 FUE with Dr. Rahal on September 9, 2020 My search for a surgeon was narrowed down to Dr. Hasson, Dr. Bisanga & Dr. Rahal. I told myself I would be comfortable going to any of the three as each were very capable doctors for dense hairline work and had over 25+ years of specialization in the industry. Ultimately I made a decision to go with Dr. Rahal as the pandemic offered a unique opportunity for me in terms of timing to get my hair transplant. Being in lockdown meant that I would have the luxury to recover at home for at least the first 4 months, and likely further to 6 or 7 months as well. Dr. Rahal’s clinic offered a date in September that really worked for me, and being the first surgery after a long holiday period that meant 5 days of rest for him and his staff, while also being the only patient they operated on that day were big bonuses for me. Day of Procedure - The surgery went better than I could have hoped for, we started at 6:00 am and finished around 1pm, time seemed to fly by with some conversation with Dr. Rahal and his staff who were all friendly, and I felt little to no pain. Initially I was booked for 2,500 grafts, after drawing up a hairline and doing measurements, they determined they would aim closer to 2,200 grafts. They extracted 2,200 grafts and during the incision process, Dr. Rahal determined I would benefit with 200 more grafts added in for density, they flipped me over and extracted again; to total 2,401 grafts. I was returned the difference as I originally paid for 2,500. Dr. Rahal had two main techs who extracted and implanted the grafts, and I believe I counted 4 other female techs who were under microscopes sorting and analyzing the grafts. The team worked very efficiently and one of the women came over to tell me that “my grafts looked very good”, which was nice for me to hear at that moment and hopefully it wasn’t just something she was saying to make me happy. Dr. Rahal checked into the room once in between extraction and placement, and it seemed he had a lot of trust in his staff. Dr. Rahal’s demeanour is calm and soft spoken, and also gets straight to business. I spent the night at their guesthouse, and my family and I expected to find accommodation at a hotel in Ottawa the following day as I didn’t know what to expect in terms of recovery, however, to my surprise I felt nearly no pain and we left immediately after the post-op the following day (4.5 hour drive back to Toronto from Ottawa). Fun fact, their clinic in Toronto is a total 7 min drive from my home, but the date they had available in Ottawa that week worked much better so we made the trip instead, which we rather enjoyed anyway. Everything considered, I was very happy with my experience on the merits of the work and attention I felt I was getting, minimal pain & swelling, and overall the immediate recipient area looked clean and dense and the donor looked good and healed quickly. My recovery was standard, I took a high level of precaution for the first two weeks, followed their instructions to the T and the post-op rep was always available to answer my questions. Why I chose FUE - For a few reasons. Every doctor I consulted with, including Diep, Zarev, H&W (consultant), Pradeep Sethi, Bisanga and of course Rahal told me I was a great candidate for FUE. I was told my donor had a fairly high capacity that I could tap into in case there was some more recession even on medication. The extracting tech ended up telling me he suspected I could achieve approximately up to another 6k, so in total 8k grafts. The other reason is that ever since I started getting haircuts as a kid on my own, I always kept my sides very short, I’ve always faded my hair and there may not have been a time since I was like 13 that my sides were longer than a 3 or 4 guard. So it was important to me to have this option. Lastly, I felt that FUE may offer a greater exit strategy if down the road things didn’t go according to plan and the Norwood Reaper wins the battle. It might be easier to shave down having done an FUE vs FUT, however, I don’t believe it would be easy with either. Surgery Details: Total grafts: 2,401 Total hairs: 5,458 Average hair per graft: 2.27 Graft break down: Singles - 407 Twos - 1,034 Threes - 857 Fours - 103 Recipient area size: 43cm^2 Recipient graft density: 55.8cm^2 Photo Dump: Clinic Photos: Day 3: Day 10 Day 14 1 Month 2 Months Month 3 This forum helped me get through this process and I'm grateful for it & I wanted to play it forward. I'll try to update month to month, any feedback is appreciated and welcomed. Special thank you to @Melvin-Moderator & @Raphael84 who were very helpful answering the many questions I had.
  3. Amazing final results bro. Top notch hair, truly looks like you've had a perfect hair line your whole life. This is possibly Dr. Rahal's best result for your norwood level. Congrats!
  4. 11 Month and Final update Tomorrow I turn 29, almost a full year since my HT and probably about 3 years since hair became life's greatest problem. So what better gift to myself than to give my final update and flip this page at least for a little while and focus on developing other things in my life. I don't see Dr. Rahal until late September to have my final check and discuss the result; see if any additional work should be planned in the near future and most important for me is to have him assess my donor after surgery and hopefully get a good estimate of what I have to work with in the future. I am very fortunate that the pandemic took some weight off of my recovery as Canada was under lockdown for most of sep 2020 to early 2021 and I had a whole 8 months in-between having any real obligations to see anyone in person. That being said, I don't have any "shame" having done the procedure, thats none-sense, anyone in our place would do this as well and I remain open to talk about it when it is brought up as it ends up helping others more than it does falsely protecting my ego. To any first timers considering surgery soon, the first 4-5 months will be tough. You will shed, you will likely have some shock loss, you will look worse than you started, and even though I believed I was very prepared for the recovery after doing my research, it was still a daily battle of the mind. There were periods during the ugly duckling phase that I questioned my decision in getting a transplant and other times I questioned whether Rahal's clinic was able to deliver results I wanted. I replayed the process of the surgery and my recovery in my head over and over to figure if something had gone wrong. I can't stress enough that if you don't choose a clinic you're absolutely sure of, this period post surgery will be hell and likely over time it won't do much to bring you back the confidence that you're striving for. Always aim to get it right the first time, current hair transplant procedures are a delicate numbers game. Its my opinion that its absolutely crucial that you only go through with this surgery if: - You have the financial ability to go to your top surgeon picks - You have consulted with multiple doctors (in person if possible) to understand if you are a candidate - You have exhausted all options with a prevention regimen ** . For me prevention comes first (will make a separate post to talk about prevention) - You have really truly understood the expectations of surgery, really understanding what the 'illusion of density' entails. My Final results: It feels amazing to have finally come to this point and be able to reflect on the result positively. I feel the result is very natural and a good overall density. I believe Dr. Rahal did a good job transplanting up until my native hairs and fortunately I didn't suffer any shock loss in behind the recipient. In certain situations, if I'm going out or I know i'll be exposed to a lot of light I'll put in some toppik to make it look fuller, but otherwise for the most part I leave it the way it is. I often wash my hair and use a blowdryer on a cool setting to style it and I'm on my way. I should mention that it took sometime for the transplanted hairs to begin to behave like the rest of my hair, and that will also likely improve with a little more time. I'm very happy with the flow in my hairline as it really matches the style I've had forever and that speaks volumes on Dr. Rahal's artistry and ability to recreate a natural look. I'll try to find a starting photo and I'll make a before and after post as well to highlight the difference.
  5. Nice. I saw your result and TorontoMan's too. I was really impressed by Rahal but his reps just ruined it for me. I filled out some form on Rahal's website and the guy called me on a Saturday morning trying to get my photos. I think he sent like 2 or 3 follow up emails too. Just couldn't go to a clinic like that. Rahal's reps really stuck out to me as a bit unprofessional imo. It almost felt like they were trying to sell me a timeshare instead of a medical procedure. I had really great experiences with Dr. De Freitas's reps as well as H&W's so shout out to those guys. I'm actually in the process of going with Dr. De Freitas. I've just about reserved a spot but I just can't figure out how to earn credit card rewards on a bank transfer lol. But once that happens, I'll probably have a date set. I figure if I'm spending ~11k or so, I might as well get some points out of it. I thought about posting a thread but I'm like 9 months out at this point
  6. Hi there. First time posting, so let me just say that this is such an awesome community. I have learned a lot on this site over the years, so thank you to all of you who answer questions to those of us trying to make an important decision. I live in NYC and have been thinking about a HT for the past 3-4 years. Over that time, I had consultations with 3 doctors near me (Drs. Wesley, Dorin, and Bernstein). I also had a remote consultation with Dr. Rahal in Canada. I am 46 years old and Norwood 3 and am really focused on trying to restore my hairline and get density in the front and top of my head. It's a balance of having my hairline back, but also wanting it to look natural and appropriate for my age. Here is my take on them and would love to know if others agree/disagree with my assessments and if there are other doctors I should also consider: Dr. Bernstein. Nice guy. Met him 3 years ago. Recommended 1500-2000 grafts and to mostly fill in the front hairline and said that if needed, I could do another procedure down the line. The pictures I saw of his hairlines didn't look very natural to me. They looked like they were almost a straight line, like they were drawn with a ruler, and seemed to lack the single hairs that one would expect in the front. On his website, he now has pictures that show better, more natural hairlines. Maybe he has gotten better? Dr. Wesley. Met him in late 2019 right before the pandemic. He was also recommending a similar number of grafts. I liked him a lot, and I thought his hairlines were better than Bernstein's. Some were excellent. But he was pushing FUT and I sometimes wear my hair short. Dr. Dorin. Also met him in 2019. I didn't like his work. Dr. Rahal. I first spoke to his office in 2020 right before the pandemic. It was less personalized service than the other doctors and was really hard to speak with him. In fairness, I don't happen to live in Canada whereas I am local to the other doctors. Maybe if I lived near Dr. Rahal, my experience would be different. Maybe they get a lot of not-so-serious people and so they are careful on having Dr. Rahal speak to everyone? Anyway, I sent photos and talked to the patient coordinator. She sent me his recommendations. I had to ask a few times if I could speak with him, and I eventually did, but it was almost like I had to really convince them that I needed to speak with this person who might be performing a surgical procedure on me. He recommended 2500 grafts which he said would give me a hairline as well as density. He said I might need another procedure down the line if I had more thinning on top or in the crown area. I initially reached out to Dr. Rahal based on positive reviews here and pictures I had seen of his hairlines (which were really amazing). But the reviews are mostly older threads from a few years back. I know others have posted about this recently (why no new Rahal posts?) and some have pointed out a couple of newer threads where people sing Rahal's praises, but I am concerned there aren't more Rahal patients posting here. My thoughts / questions: 1. Of the group above, who would you say is the one who has better results? The best track record / reputation for great results? 2. Is my experience with Dr. Rahal indicative of how it would be if I were a patient? Is it going to be pretty impersonal across the board? Will I just see him for 5 minutes and then techs will do everything? 3. Since I am willing to travel, are there other doctors I should consider who are outside of my geographic area (but still in North America)? Basically, who else should I consult with? Hasson? Baubac? Konior? Shapriro? Parsa Mohebi? Are there others who are really amazing that I haven't spoken with? Who is on top of their game right now, especially when it comes to hairlines? Thanks so much for your advice. It is greatly appreciated.
  7. Looks incredible Ian, it’s my understanding you had surgery over 10 years ago with Dr. Rahal, what did you look like before any surgery?
  8. Hi Everyone, Long time lurker here. This forum has helped me gain knowledge all things related to hair loss and I just wanted some opinions. I'm 27 years old - my hair started thinning at around the age of 23. I've been on 1mg/day finasteride since March 2020 and Rogain 1/day since March 2019. I'm consistent with my medication and I "think" i've stabilized. Typically i style my hair up in the front, comb the back over and i use some toppik to hide the thinning. I've been wanting to do surgery for a while now but im reluctant because of my age. Ive consulted with many doctors, all of whom said I'd be a good candidate (Dr. Feller, Dr. Diep, Dr. Rahal, Dr. Ferreria, Dr. Bisanga to name a few). My plan for hair transplant is to reinforce my hairline and add density from the front to midcrown. Do you think i'm too young or should i wait a few more years? Ideally, i'd like to have it done before my 30th birthday. Keep up the good fight fellas! Thanks.
  9. Hello everyone ! I went to get my 3003 graft FUT done at Dr.Rahals clinic last July, the experience was amazing and i cant say enough great things about the team there ! Highly recommend to anyone thinking of getting the procedure done. Here is my month to month progress. I will post pre op to now in order (currently 4.5 months post op) thanks everyone 🙂
  10. Hey everyone, I'm about two days out from my ~2300 graft FUT procedure with Dr. Konior. As often happens with Konior, he initially quoted me 1500 grafts but wound up going all the way up to 2300 to pack everything in more densely. It was one of the smoothest and most painless medical experiences of my life, and the whole thing took about 12 hours. I'd take a hair transplant over getting cavities filled at the dentist any day. I'd like to start by thanking the past Konior patients who have documented their procedures so thoroughly. Spanker, Reyes1, SamSpade, and the various Matts (among others) posted incredibly detailed threads that helped make my choice of surgeon very easy. I hope that I can continue in their tradition with another well documented write-up. Pre Surgery I was 28 and probably a NW2.5 or 3 prior to this surgery, and my main goal was to restore my receded hairline and fill in the temples. I've been on finasteride and minoxidil for several years and they've definitely slowed things down, but there are a few spots that have slowly continued to thin (including in back...but it looks worse in one of the below photos than it really is). I plan to continue both meds for the rest of my life, and will likely have additional "tune up" surgeries down the line to maintain what I have. Dr. Konior actually suggested a low dose pill version of minoxidil for those who find the application of Rogaine to be tedious (I only apply the foam once per night because it's such a pain in the ass). I spent months reading about hair transplants and researching doctors until I finally narrowed it down to Konior, Rahal, and Hasson (I had already decided to stay within North America). There's no question that all three are hairline masters, but there were a few things that stood out about Konior that steered me in his direction: 1. His relative conservatism and focus on long term strategy would be a great check on my own desire to be as aggressive as possible. 2. If you look at his cases, it's pretty clear that he is often able to do with 1500 grafts what most surgeons need 2500 or even 3000 grafts to achieve. Konior's ability to make every graft count really speaks to his artistry and perfectionism, which is of course another big advantage for young patients like me who need to use every single graft very judiciously. 3. He performs one surgery a day and as others have pointed out, does virtually the entire surgery himself -- donor extraction, lateral slit incisions, and graft placement. I do think one or two of his techs placed some of the grafts, but he supervised them meticulously and I overheard him tweaking anything that didn't look perfect. This isn't to say that technician-heavy clinics are inherently flawed -- many techs at other clinics have years of experience and are truly skilled workers -- but ultimately, I felt that a tech-heavy approach would add another level of risk that I'd prefer to do without. 4. Konior's year long wait list and relatively high price speak volumes, especially since he does minimal marketing and is pretty selective when taking on new patients. These things may seem like "cons" at first glance, but over time I came to see them as major "pros." A hair transplant is something that will affect your appearance for the rest of your life, and I knew that 10, 20, or 30 years from now I'd care a lot more about having picked the right hairline than saving a few thousand dollars. More often than not, you get what you pay for -- and plastic surgery is not an industry where you want to look for a bargain. 5. Konior's immediate post op photos have a really clean and distinctive look, with very little blood compared to most other surgeons' graft zones after surgery. I've always found it very satisfying to look at his post op photos and notice the precision of the graft angles and placement. The Surgery One thing that isn't often discussed on here is the feeling of oh shit that kicks in as your surgery date approaches. As soon as I realized my surgery was a month away, the reality of the situation hit me hard: was I seriously about to fly to Chicago and undergo surgery just to give myself better hair? Eventually the excitement started to outweigh the fear, but it was for sure an emotional rollercoaster until I finally arrived at Konior's office at 6:30 AM. Once I checked in with the doctor's staff, I finished my paperwork and wrote down my lunch order. Everyone was very kind and conscientious, and at around 7 the doctor came in to discuss the surgical plan. As Dr. Konior and I settled into our initial conversation, I immediately felt my anxiety begin to fade. He really took his time to discuss his hair loss philosophy, crack a few jokes, and field a few questions that I had. He seemed totally relaxed and in no hurry to push things along, and by the time we moved on to drawing the hairline I felt totally at ease. Helping a patient feel comfortable during that first meeting is a genuine, underrated skill and it really helped to set the tone for the entire day. He then had me draw my version of a hairline -- I wanted it lowered just a bit with my temples filled in, and I asked him to pack it as "densely as he thought would be ethical". Konior took one look at the hairline I drew and said something like, "yep, I know what you want" as though he'd seen it a million times before. He then spent about 45 minutes drawing his own version of the hairline, erasing and re-drawing parts of it over and over again until he thought it was perfect. He took pictures from several different angles while doing so, and every now and then he'd pause to stare at my hairline the way a painter looks at his work while trying to get those last brush strokes just right. It was easy to see how Konior's artistry and surgical precision are a super effective combination. When the doctor handed me a mirror to look at his proposed hairline, I was ecstatic (the hairline he drew is visible in the pics I've attached). I had worried that he'd push for something more conservative, but what he drew turned out to be pretty much exactly what I'd hoped for. So I basically told him I wouldn't change a thing and the process continued. I felt even more relief when I learned that he would only have to shave a small portion of my existing hair to create the new hairline. I've seen a lot of Konior cases where patients went for the full shave, and I really hoped I wouldn't have to go down that route and thus experience a much longer "ugly duckling" phase. When he wound up just shaving a few useless miniaturized hairs in front, I felt pretty confident that in another week or two I'd be able to cover up the work without wearing a hat. As someone who wanted to get back to work and my social life as soon as possible, this was a HUGE weight off my shoulders. With my last major fear assuaged, I was genuinely excited to get started. They gave me some valium and had me lay face down while the doctor got ready to remove the strip. I have a pretty low pain tolerance and a very strong fear of needles, but I have to say that the numbing shots were the least painful shots I have ever experienced. They used some sort of vibrating device on my skin next to the injections, which made the actual shots feel like nothing. I barely noticed when the strip actually came out, and then they gave me a bathroom break and got ready to start the incisions. I was given more valium throughout the day and for the most part I felt restful but awake. I dozed off a couple times and woke back up mid-snore, but for the most part I just chilled out and focused on staying perfectly still while Konior and his techs did their thing. Occasionally I'd feel some soreness in back and they'd have to re-numb me -- the re-numbing shots were actually a little more painful, but that's probably because I waited too long to ask for them (the doctor was really in the zone so I was hesitant to interrupt). As mentioned earlier, he did have two techs present during graft placement but I'm pretty sure he placed most of them himself while the techs would pass him the grafts that had been dissected. It definitely sounded like he placed the most important grafts himself, such as the 1s along the hairline. At around 6:30 PM, the surgery was finally complete. Konior and his team put in roughly a 12 hour day in total: 2 hours of conversation and planning the hairline, followed by 10 hours of performing the surgery itself. Compared to what I was expecting, the entire day felt like a series of best case scenarios -- I got exactly the hairline I wanted, felt close to no pain whatsoever, and was able to keep enough existing hair to (hopefully) cover up the procedure after another week or two. Konior's staff was nice enough to give me a ride to the Comfort Suites that evening, which I really appreciated because I was not looking forward to interacting with strangers in my post surgical state. In fact, I didn't end up having to interact with anyone -- the Comfort Suites have a back entrance you can open with your room key, and my room was right next to the back door. So yet another small anxiety was eliminated. I don't think I could have asked for a better experience. Immediate post op pics are below (I circled a small mole in the final pic for added perspective):
  11. Hey @dotdashdashdash and @deeznuts! My first surgery was done by Dr. Torgerson 1.5 years ago now. I don't recommend him at all but rather suggest people look for more serious clinics internationally, or if staying in Canada and okay with higher price, look at Dr. Rahal or Hasson and Wong. I've made a deposit with Eugenix for late November. I'll be starting a new thread for that. Here's my latest thread with updated pics:
  12. Hi there. New member, excited to be here. I post on Hair Loss Talk from time to time. I'm approaching 5 months after a ~2200 FUE to my frontal third from a lesser known clinic in the Toronto area. I made the plunge after meeting a colleague in person who went to the same clinic and seeing his results. I'm disheartened to say the density so far is lacking. I had suspicions from day 1 as the grafts seemed a little spaced apart compared to other results. Now that I'm halfway through I think it's pretty much confirmed my transplant won't be that great. I'll likely be looking at a second procedure after 12 months, maybe with Dr. Rahal. People on other forums have mentioned a "top up" is possible, where they fill in a transplant and make it more dense. Can somebody describe to me how exactly that works? Wouldn't incisions run the risk of damaging nearby transplanted grafts? Thanks in advance. The pics are today at almost 5 months, at 4 months, and pre and post-op.
  13. Unless things have changed in the last year, there are basically zero good doctors in Toronto except Dr. Rahal. You are in excellent hands.
  14. Hi, This is my first post to this site. My situation: I have made a non-refundable deposit of $1,500 to book my surgery date, a month from now. As I review this site, concerns have arisen for me. I have chosen a surgeon, Dr. Rahal, who is more than twice as expensive as any other surgeon in Toronto I have consulted with. I did this as Dr. Rahal specialises in hair transplants, is well reviewed (in my elementary research), I have a suspicion that you get what you pay for, and I was impressed by the sales representative. I was ready to invest this much as it is very important to me that my hair transplant be undetectable and good. Upon reading threads related to "Rahal" here I have discovered, 1) that Dr. Rahal's patients haven't been posting as frequently as they used to, 2) some have had major complaints with Dr. Rahal, 3) my expectations of an undetectable hair plant may be too high, and 4) it may be that Dr. Rahal is in the business of restoring hairlines to full youthful vigour, which would be unnatural in my case (I am 50). Is Dr. Rahal old fashioned and obsolete (out of date with modern techniques and contemporary expectations)? One thread suggested excellent results can only be expected 1/10 times, and 2/10 times were failures. The remaining 7 out of 10 were, on average, middling (which is the same as a failure for me, for fear of being detectable). Two other quotes for me (from SpaMedica and Dr. Asaria's Face clinic) came in at $9,000, vs. $22,000 for Dr. Rahal. Does this make sense? Even with the loss of the deposit, I would cut my costs dramatically by going elsewhere, and I am far from rich. Also, is 3,000 grafts too much for a single sitting (this was in my quote)? Your responses would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
  15. Hey Rob, any update? Did you go for the second appointment with Dr. Rahal?
  16. Hey everyone new to the forums but have been a long time lurker. Have a scheduled 3000 graft FUE procedure in November with Dr. Rahal to rebuild my hairline. 60cm squared total area being covered at 50 grafts a cm squared. I am 29 yr old NW3 with deep temporal recession and with a U hairline recession and am looking to rebuild my temple angles and lower my hairline some as I have a large forehead now. I have attached photos of my hair loss. I am taking finasteride 1mg EOD and believe I am a good candidate for a transplant as my mothers side of the family has no hair loss and my father is a NW3 in his mid 60’s. He has had the same hairline since he was my age. So his hair loss has stabilized naturally the past 30 years as he takes no medication for hair loss. I have a 200 person wedding I am the best man in next summer so that is part of my reason to get one in Nov, that will give me 9 months from procedure until the wedding. Do you believe that is enough time to see decent results. Just looking to get some opinions on my procedure and on Dr. Rahal as a surgeon. Have read a mix of good and bad on here. As a side note I will also mention I have Ménière’s disease.
  17. I am not sure where you got that statistic of 1/10 or 2/10 ? as for 3000 grafts , i had 3003 grafts in one sitting and it went great ! The success of hair transplants aren’t dependent by age , yet better defined by the quality of your donor area. Going to an elite doctor like Dr.Rahal is an excellent choice and i would personally recommend it. I myself have very fine hair and got an extraordinary result and am throughly pleased that i made that decision. The patients that i have seen come from Dr.Rahals clinic have had amazing results
  18. Dr. Rahal has some excellent recently check out @andrew11 and @TorontoMan i have never heard of the other doctors, but you’re in good hands with Rahal.
  19. While I didn't create an account on this forum over the last couple of years it was invaluable in my research process and I want to pay it forward, especially since I seem to be seeing fewer patient posts with recent dates, at least for Dr. Cooley. Thus I will try to be thorough here in describing my process. Apologies in advance for the length of the post and the variability of the quality of the photos. I know they aren't the best. I am still only a few days/weeks out and will update this with before photos and after photos from the clinic and exact graft count(s) when I get them and try not to disappear throughout the process. My Past Situation I had an ill-advised FUT procedure when I was 21 to address temple recession. I wasn't on meds, it was premature, and I went to a cheap chop shop. CLASSIC, young guy being really stupid. :sigh The procedure (unknown # of grafts) involved putting grafts on the temples and unfortunately also some around the front of my hairline. It did very little cosmetically unless you count triggering massive loss of existing hair (most of which did grow back in fairness). The only saving grace here is that we were talking about a fairly minor temple area and because of my light hair/skin contrast I've been able to get away with a forward brush hairstyle that hid really poor work. Oh and it wasn't big plugs and the scar wasn't horrendous and avoided being in any disastrous region(s) thankfully. No matter what you do STAY AWAY from Samson Hair Restoration in Los Angeles regardless of what doctor they currently have cycled in. Why now Now, 11 years later at 32 with some additional thinning and some recession the previous work was becoming harder to cover, especially when swimming or my hair was wet. Plus, I just wanted it fixed to open up different hairstyles and to get ahead of managing what I believe will be future loss. Almost a gradual "replace" strategy I guess. In terms of meds, I had been on finasteride w/ no side effects for 4 years but then went off for 5+ years (don't really know why). I went back on 6+ months ahead in prep for a procedure and plan to stick with it this time. Not on finasteride or any other shampoos etc at the moment. Picking the surgeon In terms of research this time around I did a lot more homework using this forum as the basis for creating a smaller list of doctors. Ultimately I narrowed my list and research to consults with Lindsay, Bernstein, Cooley, Bloxham, and Nadimi. I felt these were really great doctors that didn't necessarily require a flight based on my East Coast USA location (I was intrigued by Rahal, Hasson/Wong/Kronior and some of the other staple of well regarded doctors as well but with only so much time felt good with my short list). I did not consider India/Turkey etc., not because I don't believe quality results can't be achieved there, but because I didn't want to take the risk and conduct an extra level of due diligence with respect to many of the practices and I was willing to pay $ for that peace of mind. Notes on my Consults During my consult with Dr. Lindsay I felt like he just didn't think I needed a procedure yet. He cited 1200 grafts and it was all relatively cursory. So not a fit for me Dr. Bernstein was a good consult (worth the cost) where I learned a bit and I felt comfortable with him and his work, but ultimately I wasn't blown away by the results I've seen from him either on his website or on this and other forums My consult with Bloxham was really terrific and I got a great feeling from him. He was ultimately my #2 but I did not choose him mostly because he is just relatively newer with fewer posted results. And right or wrong, some of the (rare/older) negative comments about customer service/interactions from Feller put me off. I did NOT have any of this sense from Dr. Bloxham and have never met Feller but the posts are there nonetheless. I will also say, they need to upgrade their facility. Not the medical side hopefully, but the rest of the place was old and run down feeling. Dr. Nadimi was also great (via Skype) and matter of fact but I got the sense she did more FUE than FUT. Similar to Bloxham there are just fewer patient accounts out there that I could find, but based on what I've seen and this consult I was very comfortable and impressed with her Why Cooley Ultimately, I went with the only doctor I didn't meet/ have a convo with directly in Dr. Cooley. I appreciated the consult with Lollie and a deeper understanding of their procedures and liked what I heard about use of Acell, how he preserved grafts out of body, his hands on approach, the tenure of his techs, and so on. But most importantly Cooley's track record of consistent results and patient experiences tipped me over (including one detailed repair write-up by a Blonde haired individual, of which there are relatively few results). I also literally did not find a single negative review (of outcomes) for Cooley in all my research and I valued that apparent consistency. Procedure - Why FUT I knew I wanted FUT as I (a) already had a scar I felt could be improved, (b) wanted to maximize future grafts and survivability, and (c) wanted to minimize recovery time. I am lucky enough to have a lot of Donor and existing hair that can be used to hide a procedure. Pre-Procedure and Day of All things posted about Cooley experiences were true for me. I followed pre-op instructions for scalp laxity. I think this helped as I could feel the sides definitely loosen up, and while the back still felt tight Cooley said it was great and helped with suturing (+ sutures out at 2 weeks vs. 3 weeks). The hotel they set you up in is excellent, easy, convenient and they already know why you are there and what you need. Shuttle drivers, check-in staff, and others there were helpful and discrete and the breakfast and gym is open early enough for day of eating and a last workout. On the day of the operation we met at 7am, had a calm and not rushed discussion where any other questions I had were answered, and re-affirmed my choice of 2500 FUT + PRP/Acell. In terms of hairline we were on the same page to opt for a conservative/mature hairline though Cooley jumped straight to the need for work on the temples which he said he does not always do. This process of agreeing on this was FAST as a lot of it was bridging existing hair and the past work plus a little bit of pulling temples out/down. In terms of PRP, Cooley was candid that for me he didn't know if PRP would make much of a difference as he didn't see a ton of minituraization but (a) I'm paranoid and think there is more than there is/I have very fine hair already, and (b) I am hopeful that it will help somewhat with avoiding shock loss or speeding up recovery. I know there's no real scientific evidence to back that up, but I was willing to spend the $ on the chance it helps. I will say that to make sure you get what you need before surgery begins you should 100% come prepared with your questions. For example in my consult with Bloxham he indicated that my past FUT scar had a small area branching into the danger zone for donor and advised forking the scar near my ear. I really did NOT want to do this, so asked Cooley about it. He decided to implant 10-15 hairs in the end of the old scar as part of the procedure and end the new scar in a safer location. I do not think we would have ultimately done this if I had not asked. H/T to Bloxham for noticing it in a really thorough, caring consult. I also asked about a few grafts poorly placed in the front of my forehead below the 7CM mark we agreed to for the new hairline. He said if I was OK With it that he would remove those with electrolysis which I agreed to and am relieved about as they were definitely not natural looking. Overall, it was a good conversation. I, like most others, felt comfortable and cared for by Dr. Cooley and all of his other wonderful team members. I do think the clinic could get better about having all their pre and post op documentation organized and sent in a big PDF but that's super minor overall and has nothing to do with the in-person interactions I had. One other area that I felt could be improved is in discussing recovery times. The clinic (not Cooley himself) were fairly aggressive in terms of discussing post HT recovery periods and timeline (no redness 5 days, not visible procedure at 8 days etc). It's not that they are totally off, it's just that they are definitely giving the aggressive, "best-case" scenario in my opinion and shaded this as an absolute vs. discussing the potential ranges of recovery times based on patient characteristics. Still thus far in my case it has proven to not be too far off the mark so far (devil's always in the details though isn't it). Procedure itself From the Cooley consult we moved into the procedure. Numbing/valium etc was painless. Unlike others I don't think I really went fully under for the ENTIRE duration of the procedure, I even heard a nice little "ripping" type sound on removal, but no pain whatsoever. By 11:30 the donor was removed, there were 5-6 technicians on the microscopes, I had had PRP and he had done the few electrolysis removals needed. I stopped for lunch and then we carried on. Cooley performed all of the donor incisions, with Brandi hovering nearby, and was present for probably 90% of the graft placement. I know for sure he was doing all the immediate hairline grafts. I believe he left for a little over an hour in the middle of the procedure (basically the length of a movie), but I'm not 100% on whether he popped his head in a few times during that time or not. While he was not actively working on my head Brandi was performing graft placement and I believe Amy also worked on placing grafts. Cooley returned and was essentially there the rest of the day long after many of the other techs had left post dissecting the grafts (easily 4-5+ more hours). It was clear he reviewed and had ample time to change, correct, or ensure any grafts not placed with him in the room were to his liking. Like others have mentioned it was clear throughout the day that this was a well-oiled machine, with team members that had worked together for years (decades even). Everyone was friendly and taking a dedicated and personalized approach to the operation, and I couldn't imagine going somewhere with a doctor doing multiple ops in a day. Throughout the process Brandi was constantly checking Cooley and making sure anything "controversial" about his approach was discussed (a few graft placements here and there, reminders about how many grafts were left etc). All of this was reassuring. I am sure the reverse also happened. Ultimately for the 2,500 graft procedure Cooley was able to get over 3,000 grafts (I will get exact counts later) and we did not finish the day until a bit after 7pm, meaning I was there for nearly 12 hours. This extra time and attention, plus the grafts that were not something I had to pay extra for, all speak to his long-running record of caring about his patients and working tirelessly to get results. I am obviously grateful for this. Post Op - Healing, Pain, and Experience (Week 1) Donor got painful at the end of the day during the operation so I was numbed up again before I went home. I was obviously a bit red and beat up but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting and they had already done a pretty good job cleaning a lot of the blood off. Plus I was wearing Saran wrap + a hat so able to avoid any weird looks. On night 1 I took some Tylenol but nothing stronger--which is good because I didn't get the prescriptions until day-of for stronger meds. Cooley's post-op care uses an ATP spray + saran wrap to increase moisture and prevent any graft damage and antibiotic ointment on the donor scar. You basically spray every hour you are awake and wake up and spray every 2 hours for the first 2 nights along with taking some preventative Prednisone for swelling. I followed the instructions religiously here and I think it really helped calm redness and speed healing. On night 2 I was falling back asleep pretty quickly so it didn't feel too onerous to keep getting up. For sure it kept the itchiness to a real minimum in the first 6 days. I went back the next morning for a post-op clean and got the all good from Dr. Cooley. During this cleaning Amy took time to answer any questions I had about the next week of care and was patient with what I am sure are the same questions everyone asks. In terms of the documentation they gave me to follow, I actually think it could have been a bit more detailed. It wasn't that it was bad, but I felt like an "FAQ" or just more exhaustive detail would have helped. For example, I asked about caffeine / alcohol / ibuprofen which were not listed (Cooley says moderate amounts of both are fine), and it doesn't give you much about how to sleep (when can you sleep sidweays on the grafts) and so on. To give you a sense of how smooth this was, I drove almost 7 hours home the very next day, which was completely fine and painless. Overall I found the post-op regimen easy to follow, the spray and saran wrap seemingly very effective even if I did probably use it too quickly/aggressively to try to get it through the native hair as I ran out a day or two earlier than I think the clinic expects. One curious thing with post-op care from the clinic is that it seems that Cooley's overall instructions,are more aggressive than many other docs (like the timeline to shampoo (next day) and return to regular shampooing (7 days) . I'm sure this is because Cooley is confident in the healing/quality of the grafts and incisions etc and has refined his approach over time but it does make me just a little nervous when looking at the instructions online from so many other places that are much more conservative. But he's my doc and I'm in his hands and so far so good. On night 3 I slept poorly but not really due to pain, I think I just missed exercise. On night 4 and 5 I had more pain when putting the back of my head on pillows (I slept elevated with an inflatable travel pillow partially inflated these nights to help with any potential swelling) and I did take a valium one night and the other pain killer + tylenol combo prescribed drug the fifth night. It almost felt like the donor was a little more stretched these two nights with whatever position I could find that didnt have too much pressure. If this continues I'll call the office to make sure it's normal. Some posters here have mentioned this as the return of nerve sensation but I'm not sure. Otherwise I have had some very very minor swelling which made me break out some ice on my forehead and eye area a couple of times and take ibuprofen periodically as well. It was never uncomfortable or especially noticeable to anyone else however. Last point, I am using the Hair Shake protein. I don't really think it'll do much but I've used protein powder a lot anyway so I don't mind and if it helps at all with speed of growth or minimization of shock-loss, then it's worth a couple months of it for me. I am not planning on using it long term and no one at the Cooley office actually mentioned it directly despite having it stocked there and having it listed as an optional part of the post-op procedure. Post Op Appearance - First Week The scar in the back is perhaps slightly visible with wet hair (first 3-4 days) but completely hidden with normal dry hair. As mentioned it wasn't giving me much trouble the first 3-4 days, although of course everything felt really "tight" there. At night or with pressure on it day 5-6 it actually has felt a bit worse and I've taken some of the prescribed meds just to make sure I get decent enough sleep. We will see of course on final healing and appearance, it is early days. Redness in the recipient has subsided each day, and now at day 6 is not bad at all. It's probably worse in the pictures than in real life. I am fairly pale skinned but had a deep tan going which some say can help. There is definitely scabbing, it is super mild/light and looks like when I return to regular shampooing and rub the grafts a bit it will easily flake off and be gone within the 7-10 day timeframe that they gave. In any case, it's really mild and not that noticeable. I have used their given shampoo and started leaving the conditioner in a bit longer which I think has helped. I have a couple spots of dried blood left but overall it's pretty clean and I haven't noticed anything remotely like grafts falling out. Really, not even many/any hairs yet. The kicker here for me is that I 100% had to hide from the world during this time because I was (a) spraying every hour and (b) couldn't style my existing hair for fear of touching/disloding existing grafts. So you could see the grafts taking hold and small stubbly hair, plus weird caked native hair that was a bit long already awkwardly plastered to my scalp. So all in all, a real lovely mess. Now had I managed this aggressively with a blow dryer on cool or if I was more comfortable touching and styling my scalp in this period I am sure I could have made it look better but I didn't want to take any risks. On Day 6 I did a bit of finger styling and with my existing hair I can make it look decent (see 1 of the pictures). Decent is not invisible however. The temples are harder to disguise and any close inspection things are definitely still visible so I feel I am very much still in hat land. To be fair, my wife says it's pretty hard to tell unless you get up close and personal already. We will see if my extended family at Day 11 notices anything. Summary of first week So far the difference from my first procedure has been remarkable. Basically instead of an immediate "oh shit what have I done" I felt more like a "I'm already looking better than I expected 12 hours later. and everything is going exactly like they said" It's nice to already feel like I made the right choice. The recovery seems to be text book according to their expectations, but I most certainly don't want to be out and about without a hat yet as it would be noticeable. The things I am worried about are (a) appearance at 10 days and masking it, (b) avoiding shock-loss as no work was done in the middle of the frontal third, and (c) continued management of the donor scar pain. All the rest is of course the standard, hurry up and wait, concerns about linear scar etc that we all have but if I can avoid shock loss I feel comfortable looking like I did for 6+ more months. I hope this is helpful and of course any feedback on the pics and actual quality of the work is welcome as well. Again, apologies on the photo quality I will get better ones from clinic later. I will try to post periodically as I hate the posts where people disappear but I also intend to try to live my life and not obsess over the progress over the next few months.
  20. Hello Everyone I am looking for some guidance as I’ve been on the forums for quite some time and am finally taking the plunge. I would like to book the procedure sometime by the end of summer/ fall. Trying to decide what surgeon to use to restore my hairline. I had a consultation with Dr. Rahal a few months back and was quoted 2,000 grafts FUE, however lately I don’t see many results from him and am losing some confidence. I’m based in New York so the travel there for me would be easy. I am also considering Dr. Freitas in Spain. any advise would be highly appreciated. Some background -25 years old -stabilized hairloss - been on finasteride for 7 years.
  21. Hello everyone, Mike Flaherty is not my real name. My first transplant with Dr. Rahal was nine years ago in 2010. I had another one performed two years later in 2012 to lower my temple points and add some hair to the sides of my head. All in all, I believe it was around 5000-5500 grafts transplanted over those two sessions. My hair still felt rather thin and wispy but with meds and thickening products I managed and for a few years was pleased with it. This year my hair has started thinning something fierce - especially on the sides which now appear almost bare. I've developed bare patches on top as well, which were always there but this year they have gotten extremely sparse. By the end of the day, my hair feels extremely thin and almost greasy to touch and I can feel these bare patches. I'm seeing a lot more long hairs fall out in the sink when I wash my hair. I switched to organic shampoo two months ago but that might have made shedding (if that's what this is) worse. My bareness on the sides (right side especially) has now exposed my scar from my procedure years ago. After these two very expensive procedures ($20,000 which I'm still paying off) I'm very disappointed in the quality of my hair's overall thinness, patchy spots and continuing loss. I know I've put on an amount of weight the last few years but I can't see that factoring into my hair loss. I did consult with Rahal this past spring who suggested another procedure - at an additional $7000. I'm amazed at the incredible thick hairlines and work I see from other Rahal patients but mine was not one of them. Pretty much at a loss (pardon the pun) right now regarding this situation.
  22. 12 month update So july 6 was the official 12 month mark i am absolutely grateful for the whole experience the Dr.Rahal clinc has given me in this 12 month journey. The whole team has been absolutely incredible from Dr.Rahal himself to the patient care team , i am so happy to have chosen them as my HT option. I absolutely recommend them to anyone going through with the procedure. I got the comparison from the day of the surgery to now. Thanks a million times to this top clinic for this amazing experience
  23. You have a very similar hairline that i had prior to my surgery with Dr.Rahal ! 3000 is definitely enough , and no doubt you chose the right clinic for the job ! 9 months shold yield some good results but everyone is different!
  24. It's usually variable when you see results as some are late growers and some are early growers. For sure at 9 months though, you probably should have the majority of your hairs sprouted and you'll be waiting for them to mature. I've heard that 12 months is roughly when you'll see the full result, but I've also heard up to 18 months. At 9 months, I think for sure you'll have a fair amount of growth but you might not be at full density. You could probably use some sort of hair fibers or toppik to take care of the density. So in all likelihood, you'll see a partial result which can then be concealed with hair fibers to give the illusion of a full head of hair. Funny enough, I'm also going to a wedding late next year as well... @TorontoMan had a really great result from Dr. Rahal. You should check his thread out.
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