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SKIP TO “*******************” FOR RESULTS LONG BACKGROUND STORY WARNING My journey began when I saw the reddit post: https://i.redd.it/0k9i3r8myk001.jpg . In the comments, I found the link to a poster (who I won’t link, but you could find it yourself) who mentioned that results like Elon had are not only possible, he had one. I went down the rabbit hole. I saw the results that are possible, and common. Quick background: My hairline was receding since I first noticed it at ~15. It wasn’t bad, but I never felt comfortable with my hair short. I noticed acceleration into my early 20s, but I knew it was too early to do anything about it. All of the common advice was to let it develop, and worry about it then. I researched HT when I was 22/23, and google showed me horror stories of 19-year-olds mutilating their scalp with an aggressive hairline and constantly adding more after the fact. I resigned to waiting and seeing. After a few years, the recession stabilized when I was 25/26. I had not known about this site, and so I tried to use Nioxin and minoxidil from Costco, hoping to permanently slow and possibly reverse the hairloss. It didn’t do a great deal. Minoxidil did function like a hair product that kept a shape. I was content to brush my hair to the side, and as long as my SO said I looked fine, I didn’t think much of it. I was never in denial about my hair loss, but like I said, it didn’t seem that bad. My view completely changed when I was at a tailor for a suit. Looking at an angle in that 3-pane mirror, I saw myself from the side. My hair looked like it was drawn on top of my head, rather than coming from my head. I felt vulnerable and embarrassed. I decided to seriously look into a HT. After researching FUE vs FUT, I saw the clear benefits of FUE (very similar to LASIK vs PRK in my opinion) I researched the most recommended doctors, and contacted him. Long story short is: He wanted to do a mix of FUT & FUE. I told him I only wanted FUE. He insisted but conceded. He gave me the quote for 2500 grafts. I view HT as a permanent body modification. Anyone that has ever gotten a tattoo knows that it isn’t the price you pay for a tattoo, it is the artist you get the tattoo from. No one brags about how much they spent, it’s about who the artist was. After brooding on the uneasy feeling of “convincing” an artist of my perspective HT to do an art piece he didn’t want to do, I researched more FUE-only doctors. This is the search that led me to Dr. Bhatti. Long story short again: He told me I needed ~2500 grafts as well. I was contacting both doctors in May 2018. I know that great artists are in high demand, and before I asked if he was available (NOT how much it cost). I told my SO that I was willing to pay double (my local price) for an artist whose portfolio I could see, and whose name I could trust (thanks to this site) if he had availability in Dec/Jan 2019. I was planning on using this time away from college to take a “vacation” where I could get the surgery and recover. Dr. Bhatti said he was available during early Jan, and I immediately booked an appointment with a deposit. Dr. Bhatti’s quote was less than the first quote I received. This was a bonus, not the reason I went to Darling Buds. Obviously I chose to go abroad for the procedure due to costs. I don’t want to compile “unnecessary” costs. I want to be clear that it was a choice of artist. I watched airline prices, and eventually booked my tickets. Booked Lax to Del in September for $456.31 and Del to IXC for $78.01, $534.32 USD round trip total. I am pretty good at finding deals, and am happy to write a post about it if enough ask, if it hasn’t been posted elsewhere. I’ll skip the common details most posters make about travel etc. When I arrived to Dr. Bhatti’s office, I felt that I was at a safe and clean environment. I thought it was all very professional and systematic in following the procedure of bloodwork, paperwork, etc. I really appreciated the one on one time with Dr. Bhatti in drawing my hairline and him giving me time to reflect (no pun intended) on the new hairline. I thought his hairline was ABSOLUTELY natural, and matched completely what I thought would restore my ~12 year old self’s hairline. I told Dr. Bhatti that I was considering lowering it further, (because why not?!). After years of hearing forehead and balding jokes, I think we all get a little defensive and never want to be in that same position, if we can avoid it. HT seems to be the best place to ensure it doesn’t happen again. So I told him what I though, and he said it may not look natural, but he would do it if I wanted it. He told me to consider it, and he would redraw the hairline the next day, the day of the procedure, and we would decide then. I showed my mom what I was considering and she said that I should go with the marker, Dr. Bhatti’s proposal. I arrived the next day and in full conviction, happily chose Dr. Bhatti’s recommendation. ************************************** Single: 271 Double: 1268 Triple: 1013 Front transplanted: 2193 Left temple: 186 Right temple: 173 (I am happy to have it broken down to me in that manner. Temples exposed expedited my HT journey, so it is nice to see how many went to that mission.) I always followed the post care instructions Dr. Bhatti’s office provides. The procedure didn’t hurt. When I felt uncomfortable, I told Dr. Bhatti. He then gave me more local antiesthetic. Side note, I only took a few of the pain pills for post op. My scalp was numb, and I didn’t need it. I had no issues in the 3 days post op. I flew on the 4th day. My face swelled during the air travel, not too horrifying, but pretty bad. I was worried about being questioned by US customs when I arrived in LAX. No problem. I was worried about a rental car I rented later in the day, again, no issues. I didn’t take photos. The swelling went away gradually, but was gone after 3 days, no problem (I expected this thanks to this site! I always checked on here to see if others had similar issues). Picture curation is mostly chronological (I hope). Orange Line is "generally" what I was thinking. Just a rough idea of an "aggressive approach" I ultimately did not pursue. Last photo is 72 hours post. Didn't take a post donor pic due to not trying to make myself contort as well as not making my SO look at the carnage!