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Let me first say that Dr Umar administers the fastest head-shaving in the history of grooming. In about 8 seconds, he and I were virtual twins... view his portrait at his website and I'm sure you'll see the similarity.

 

At the outset, it was nice to be in a clinic where everyone had a great sense of humor and a positive energy. That has been a consistent theme for every clinic I have been to, and the Fine Touch facility in Redondo Beach is no exception. They're fun, caring people.

 

As you can see, my closely trimmed dome is pretty much a roadmap for all that has come before.

 

In the eighties... several plug sessions and two scalp reductions

In the nineties... the first repair effort, a very conservative strip session

2008... a very competent repair effort (aggressive strip, de-plugging)

 

Having been through it all, I have to say that even though it was my only option, the FUE method would have been my choice whether this was my first procedure or a last ditch repair.

 

My planned 3000 grafts were scheduled for two days. Since I was filling in on a couple of rare open days, day one was a Monday.... day two was a Friday. In hindsight, it was nice having a break in between, but not essential.

 

Day one, the plan was for 1500 grafts to be harvested mostly from my beard (around 1000 I would guess), and the rest from the scalp. This day was a total dream. I can't stand needles, and the numbing shots were not something I was looking forward to. I can honestly say, I don't even remember getting them.

 

The session lasted all day. The recipient area was the crown, working from back to front. My ancient scalp reduction probably was good thing at this point, although Dr Umar astutely noticed that after two reductions many years ago, my hair was asymmetrical and he adjusted his design accordingly.

 

Recovery from day one was an absolute breeze. Very little swelling. My chin had some very minor discomfort, no ill effect further down my neck. Things were off to a great start.

 

Day two was on Friday. With another 1500 grafts planned, Dr Umar's plan was to exhaust the scalp of its remaining donor (all 1500). The original plan was for him to continue working his way up the crown/vertex, and end the new hair just behind my imperfect, yet livable, hairline. I would deal with correcting the hairline at a future session... but Dr Umar took a different approach and it not only will serve my appearance, but it will also make my next and final session easier.

 

He suggested to build a horseshoe from where we left off on Monday, and make the hairline more complete. It was a great piece of adapting to the flow of the procedure and I am very grateful for it.

 

It leaves a small oval area with no transplants, but even with a moderate length haircut, it should cover quite well. I've lived with way worse for years, so it shouldn't be bad at all. You may not be able to tell from the photos, but there is some hair that will return to at least a thin density... better than nothing.

 

Of course, the frontal area is more sensitive (at least for me). The procedure went very smoothly. Recovery was no fun.... a lot of swelling, a black eye. But all returned to normal within a couple of days and was not unanticipated.

 

My follow up session with Dr Umar will probably take place within the year and will be 100% beard donor.

 

Dr Umar and I visited at length during one of my off days. He is an innovator and the consummate professional. He finds himself working with the worst of us.... the severly botched jobs (which he himself experienced, he walks in our shoes) the patients that have had no options and feel hopeless. He understands the powerful emotion that is within us. He offers realistic hope. He makes no promises, but he is doing pioneering work.

 

His U-Graft procedure is technically designed to ensure the highest survival rate as possible for the grafted hair. It's a clever and well thought bit of engineering. And his track record with body hair sources continues to expand.

 

And the extra 100+ grafts were a nice icing on the cake too.

 

If there is interest, I would be happy to continue the updates and of course, answer any questions I can. This board was invaluable as I sought a means of repairing my poor unfortunate head... so I hope it can be my turn to return some insights and thoughts to those of you that are traveling the same road.

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Here's a series of photos for the 4 week update.

 

Shedding began in earnest at the two week mark.

 

A side note; For many of us, strategic covering with hairstyling is a way of life. So getting it all buzzed off is quite an adjustment, but I must say that it is an enlightening experience for getting to know the true status of your scalp... and I say this probably more to those of us who have gone through less-than-positive procedures in the past.

 

I knew I had scarring of course, and obviously I had thinning... it was beneficial in some respects to be able to see it all completely unfiltered. If nothing else, it exposes the lay of the land so to speak.

 

Anyways... I'm very pleased at this stage of the game.

 

Post op, Dr Umar has me on a semi-gel based Minoxidil, which I'm supposed to use for 4 months. Can anyone enlighten me on the benefits of the 12.5% foam? I'm definitely going to use the OTC foam (5%) after the 4 months, but curious about the more powerful recipe.

 

Note: These photos look very similar to the earlier ones.... Yes, I have been sitting in the same spot for two weeks.

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Edited by Northwest-Hairline

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The inevitable, albeit... slow process of regrowth is underway.

 

Here is a photo set at week nine. I'm very pleased.

 

There is still some lingering redness in the frontal area... but not atypical for a fair skinned patient. There is no swelling or irritation, and it continues to improve, so no cause for concern by either myself or Dr Umar at this stage.

 

Nothing like the sensation of 3000+ hairs fighting to emerge.

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Can't wait to see this grown out. Congrats. Looks good and I look forward to your updates.

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Northwest, thanks for the great posts and updates. It looks like you will get a great result. A couple of questions for you. Without any procedures where would you rate yourself on a Norwood Scale, 6-7? If you fast forwarded to today's progress in hair transplanting how would have done each session and how many grafts do you think you lost in donor hair with the plug technique? The reason I am asking is there was a recent post stated" is transplanting worth it for a 50 year old guy at a Norwood 6-7" Your a great example of why I posted yes. You're gonna look great with this last procedure. Thanks, Tom

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Thanks for the reminder for Pre Op photos Spanker... it's much more useful to follow things when you have a starting point for reference.

 

It is also worth noting that these pictures are among the set that I provided to Dr Umar for his online consultation.

 

More update photos within the week which will represent the three month mark.

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NH,

Great documentation. Wishing you all of the best with what is a very interesting and exciting restoration procedure. Things have definitely improved over the last few months. I really hope that the achieved results are what you envisioned. Im sure they will be, I have seen some amazing transformations from Dr Umar. May I ask, at what density was that hairline planted at? Good luck moving forward with this, I for one will be following with fingers crossed!

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Hey Raphael... I wish I had an answer to your density question.

 

Relatively speaking, I think I can say the hairline was grafted at the same density as the crown, perhaps a bit more.

 

The hairline is definitely taking a little longer than the crown to show visible results, but on very close inspection, there are many grafts beginning to emerge. I would guess that in another 4 to 6 weeks it will be easy to see the density at which they were planted.

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Hey Raphael... I wish I had an answer to your density question.

 

Relatively speaking, I think I can say the hairline was grafted at the same density as the crown, perhaps a bit more.

 

The hairline is definitely taking a little longer than the crown to show visible results, but on very close inspection, there are many grafts beginning to emerge. I would guess that in another 4 to 6 weeks it will be easy to see the density at which they were planted.

 

How exciting, happy growing!!!

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Hi gang... it's that time once again when you get to check out my progress. I sort of feel like an expectant mother... it's 18 weeks and I'm starting to show.

 

Very pleased with the developments. For those that have been following, I experienced some stubborn redness (but no swelling) along the frontal recipient area. It has definitely diminished.

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That looks damn good for only 18 weeks.

 

Atticus

 

Happy growing

 

 

Hi gang... it's that time once again when you get to check out my progress. I sort of feel like an expectant mother... it's 18 weeks and I'm starting to show.

 

Very pleased with the developments. For those that have been following, I experienced some stubborn redness (but no swelling) along the frontal recipient area. It has definitely diminished.

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Progress marches on. The front hairline is remains comparatively sparse to the eye... but this is due at least in part to the fact that there are many very fine hairs that are just getting with the program. I'm guessing in another 8 to 12 weeks, it should be catching up with the rest.

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hello

would you have any updated pics about this surgery ? 

thanks 

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It was sparse and then what happened?  Did you get a result that looks natural indoors and outdoors?  Or it didnt work out?

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