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Newbie goes to Belgium


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  • Regular Member

FIrst of all... thanks to the mods, the reps and the regular posters for providing some amazing information on this forum. It is a treasure for anyone researching all things related to hair loss and hair restoration! I've been a long-time lurker here even though I've stayed silent. Next week I will have my first face-to-face consultation with a hair restoration surgeon - Dr. Bisanga - and I think I've picked a really top one on the basis of your help!

 

About myself... I'm 32, started noticing my hair loss very gradually about 7 years ago. It's been very slow, and to be honest with how I style it you would only notice minimal loss, if at all. My dad has a full head of hair and his dad had a pretty decent patch when he died. My mother's side is a different story, with quite a bit of baldness there. All my uncles have lost at least some hair, though nobody is beyond NW4 I would say. Apart from a few comments here and there nobody seems to notice my own thinning spots.

 

But the psychological damage of hair loss has been really severe, if I'm honest. This never seems to get picked up on - every time HTs are in the news its because someone made a 'cosmetic' choice or something to do with vanity. This is all complete BS if you ask me. I mean, I go out, I have an active social life, it doesn't seem to affect me with the ladies in the slightest, and I am determined to put myself in the firing line and get on with things, with work, everything really. I don't shy away from it - but as I'm sure a lot of you understand my hair loss weighs on my mind all day, every day. It has really, seriously affected my capacity to just move on with my life.

 

So... I've tried a few regimens, been on and off minoxidil for about 2 years now, I've recently added saw palmetto, tried Biotin, nizoral, I take my vitamins, a multivitamin with pygeum extract and nettle root and emu oil, argan oil, etc etc... I don't think I've seen too much of a change with anything, save for perhaps the minoxidil shredding my hairline a little! My current regime is minoxidil 5% foam 1-2 times daily and Nizoral 2% once per week. I will give minoxidil another 6 months and if I still think it's been either useless or detrimental to my hair then I will give it up. I'm scared of propecia, I've followed the mass of debates from the pro and contra camps and I am still undecided whether to take it or not.

 

So next week I'll meet with Dr. Bisanga. I'm quite comfortable with this decision because of his results with similar barnets to my own, and also because of the amazing help of Stephen. I have not made up my mind about a transplant yet, it really is such a harrowing and agonising decision, and in my correspondence with Stephen I really felt that he gets that and understands. So I am really looking forward to meeting Dr. Bisanga and hearing what he has to say, whether I have realistic goals and what would be the best plan for my bonce.

 

I've attached a few recent snaps and I'd welcome some comments as to what might be a realistic expectation. I'd guesstimate that I am about a NW2-2.5 at the moment and I would love to be able to secure my hairline at NW1.5. I deliberately took photos under very bright daylight and also with greasy hair, slicked back, as I think it's easier to judge that way. My crown, while a little bit thinning, doesn't look nearly as bad in reality as in the photo, for instance!

 

I also have a few questions that I'd love some insights on - I'll be sure to ask Dr. Bisanga next week but I'd like to ask you guys, too.

1. What NW am I?

2. What do you guys think of sticking a few hundred grafts into the crown?

3. Will I be able to slick back my hair and have the transplant remain undetected?

4. Is it possible to shave down to Blade 2 or 3 after a transplant and have it remain undetected?

5. Can I style my hair whatever way I want after a transplant or do most people tend to sweep it forward to cover the hairline?

6. In short - can it remain undetected? ;)

 

anyways sorry for the long post, I'll be sure to keep it all short and sweet from now on.

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  • Senior Member

Nice first post BeardedOne........at the very least you seem well-educated on the whole thing and this is of huge benefit. If your research has been as extensive as I'd imagine, you've more than likely come across my thread/threads, so you'll be aware that I recently had an OP with Dr Bisanga. He will certainly give you a very honest appraisal of your situation and won't sugar coat things to you. A lot of it will come down to his assessment of your donor.

 

I can completely relate to your comment regarding confidence. Like you, I reckon I have always come across as a confident kind of bloke to my mates etc, and (thankfully) have always got on quite well with the ladies. However, my hair was beginning to have a serious detrimental effect on me, unbeknownst to others. I was becoming far less of an out-doorsy kind of guy, as wind and rain was my enemy. Concealer began to play a big part but then decided enough was enough and had to go the HT route.

 

Regarding your questions:

 

1. What NW am I?

Like you said, probably between a 2-3.

 

2. What do you guys think of sticking a few hundred grafts into the crown?

To be honest, I wouldn't touch your crown right now, and I have a feeling Dr Bisanga will recommend the same. If you had more advanced loss there, then maybe, but I don't think a few hundred grafts to anyones crown will achieve a great deal, without more work being needed within another few years. For now I would concentrate on the front. I'd hazard a guess that you may need between 1500-1800 grafts. Of course this all depends on your goals etc, but I reckon that would be ball-park about right.

 

3. Will I be able to slick back my hair and have the transplant remain undetected?

One thing you have not mentioned, even though your post was quite detailed......is what procedure you favour! Do you intend to go with FUE or FUT, or are you open to either? This decision play a BIG role in exactly how 'hidden' your work will be.

 

4. Is it possible to shave down to Blade 2 or 3 after a transplant and have it remain undetected?

Again, this depends largely on the type of procedure you have. I got FUE and have shaved to a 1.5 blade and nobody has batted an eye-lid.

 

5. Can I style my hair whatever way I want after a transplant or do most people tend to sweep it forward to cover the hairline?

Again......this depends on your type of procedure. If you go with FUE.......I'm sorry to say you will likely have little hair to sweep anywhere except into the clinic bin :) as they buzz the donor entirely and sometimes it's just best to match the top with the sides and back! With FUT, you may get away with the strategy you mentioned a little easier.

 

6. In short - can it remain undetected?

I'm almost 3 months post op and would like to think at this point my work has been pretty much undetected. I've gotten plenty of comments about what the hell was I thinking shaving my head etc, but nothing by way of a comment towards a HT. A big factor in this I feel was me having spent the first 3 weeks post-op abroad.

2,200 FUE + PRP with Dr Bisanga - BHR Clinic, 22-23 August 2013 - http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/171950-my-fue-2-200-prp-dr-bisanga-bhr-clinic.html

 

Current Regimen:

- Rogaine 5% Foam 2x daily

- Jasons Restorative Biotin Shampoo 2x daily / Nizoral 2% 2x weekly

- Nettle Root 500mg, MSM 1500mg, Biotin 5mg, Multi Vit, Omega 3

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  • Regular Member

Hi JohnnyDrama, thanks for your reply. I'm familiar with your journey, it was a great help in providing more info on Dr. Bisanga! I can't believe I forgot to mention above - I'm opting for FUE!

 

About shaving, etc - my questions relate to how I could style my hair once all grafts have grown in. I am strangely fascinated by the requirement to shave my head. Haven't done it since I was 16 so it will be a pleasant change for myself, if nothing else! I'm also factoring in a career-break into my HT... I'm still really paranoid about being 'found out', even though I know I shouldn't be and I have nothing to be ashamed of.

 

Again, thanks for your help and have a good weekend!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Senior Member

Hello BeardedOne,

 

I would consider your hair loss pattern to be a class 3 and a potential class 3V based on the photos. The current location of your hairline is appropriate for age thirty-two but the recessions on both sides should be grafted to balance the front. I see no reason to lower the frontal hairline. You have maintained the frontal forelock well and both temple peaks look evenly defined. The conservative approach would be to only add hair where it is currently missing.

 

 

The crown may not change anytime soon, but you could sprinkle maybe one hundred grafts in there to improve the quality of the hair. Placing grafts in the crown should be done at a specific density not to traumatize the native hair that currently exists although it appears as if you’ll lose a percentage of them anyway. Your crown can’t be filled by adding grafts on top of grafts or in the space occupied by existing hair. Once you graft a crown like yours, you may not see a drastic increase in density or the result you want. You run the risk of causing more shock loss by adding higher density. It can be difficult to create the illusion of dense coverage with just one pass. I suspect that you would see an improvement by adding conservative density in the crown. The transplanted hair would provide more coverage value than the native hair. The crown is a whorl which has hair growth angles in all directions.

 

 

Don’t go to a hair restoration clinic that hasn’t produced natural looking hairline results on a consistent basis. The purpose of a hair transplant is to cover the scalp and create natural, aesthetically pleasing results. Not all well-known clinics are reputable so do your due diligence before deciding on one clinic. Going to a reputable clinic will allow you to wear your hair slicked back without detection. A significant other shouldn’t be able to detect the procedure, much less the person standing in line behind you.

 

 

Clipping your hair down to a 2 or 3 blade should be no problem with a minimally invasive surgical method. You have lighter skin so I don’t suspect that you would experience any issues with pigmentation and healing. Some patients can experience changes in pigmentation in the areas of extraction in the donor zone.

 

 

From my observation with patients who’ve had hairline work performed, they tend to style their hair upward. I have seen few patients cover the hairline after it has been restored.

 

 

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My opinions are not necessarily the opinions of Dr. Patrick Mwamba.

My opinions are based on my beliefs and are simply my own. I am one representative of the WHTC clinic.

Free Consultation Dates & Cities for Dr. Patrick Mwamba

 

Brussels, Belgium - Available

London, United Kingdom - Available

Zurich, Switzerland - Available

Bologna, Italy - Available

Follow us: Facebook - Youtube - Pinterest

 

Dr. Patrick Mwamba is a member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians

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  • Regular Member

Hello WHTC,

 

many thanks for your viewpoint on my loss and for the great information, it all definitely helps to get a more rounded understanding of what is happening on my head! The more viewpoints the merrier, really.

 

I know that some experts consider the crown a black hole for hair grafts, but it is nice to hear that you agree that perhaps a sprinkling of grafts may help to give the illusion of greater density.

 

I recently attended a consultation with Dr. Bisanga and we decided to delay talk of a HT for at least a year, and in the meantime to begin a course of finasteride. I have roughly 15% miniaturisation going on from zones 2-4 so I am hoping to stabilise (and hopefully regrow!) these areas first before looking at a plan of action.

 

Have a great weekend!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Senior Member

Stabilizing your hair loss by medical therapy is a very intelligent course of action. Dr. Patrick Mwamba would have advised you to do the same. Your doctor took a very ethical approach in devising your treatment plan, but this, in my honest opinion is critical for all patients. Hair loss has a progressive nature. I hope that you respond well to the medication and maintain your positive attitude. You're saving money and donor resources until the appropriate time comes.

 

It is difficult to predict what you will see in terms of results so you may want to snap off a few photos for memory sake. Typically, the results from finasteride climax at about twelve months from the date the medication is started. I look forward to seeing any posted updates. Thanks for sharing.

 

New - London consultations with Dr. Patrick Mwamba - Sat., Feb. 15th, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

My opinions are not necessarily the opinions of Dr. Patrick Mwamba.

My opinions are based on my beliefs and are simply my own. I am one representative of the WHTC clinic.

Free Consultation Dates & Cities for Dr. Patrick Mwamba

 

Brussels, Belgium - Available

London, United Kingdom - Available

Zurich, Switzerland - Available

Bologna, Italy - Available

Follow us: Facebook - Youtube - Pinterest

 

Dr. Patrick Mwamba is a member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians

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  • Regular Member

Hey man,

Just had a consult with Bisanga myself. Bisanga decided not to do FUE (or anything for that matter) on me , cause my donor area was too weak.

 

You still have more hair than me and especially , your hair is thicker.

I have a combination of my mom and my dad ... my mom has insanely thin hair and my dad is mpb bald ...

 

Check my pics : http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/172941-need-your-advice-thinking-about-going-hair-transplant-route.html#post2371695

 

Did Bisanga comment on your donor ? Looks pretty thick from the sideways pictures that you have put up.

 

Just got off the phone with Feriduni office ... earliest they have a free date is August 12, 2014

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  • Regular Member

Hi ChemicalBrother,

 

sorry for the late reply, I was out of the country for a while and didn't think to login to the site.

 

Dr. Bisanga measured my donor and found it to be 75 per cm sq, medium fine hair. I also have roughly 15% miniaturisation happening on top of my head. While it kind of sucked to hear I wasn't a good candidate yet, at least it forced my hand about finasteride, so hopefully that can stabilise the loss.

 

I saw that you are taking meds - how do you feel they have worked for you?

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Obviously there is no 100% scientific way to say if I would have been bald by now (or long time ago) if I hadn't decided to go on fin 10 years ago , but I can say with 100% conviction (so , not science) that I would have been bald for years now if I hadn't gong on fin.

 

How about that for a statement.

But like I said. Fin no longer is powerful enough to stop my loss ... my facial appearance is changing too much due to serious loss in the temples so I want to start fighting it with more power... hence the fact that I purchased Regaine foam. Still figuring out what to do with it ... dermaroll or not...

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Senior Member

@ChemicalBrother

 

Hi. Have you tried Dutasteride? Dutasteride is almost three times as potent as finasteride at inhibiting the type 2 5α-reductase enzyme and over one hundred times as potent at inhibiting the type 1 5α-reductase enzyme. Of course there are precautions to take and some possible side effects as with Fin or other prescription medications.

 

 

I've seen it work. The difference might show to be more effective for you if you've tapped out on finasteride. I thought you might consider trying it for fit. Happy holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

@BeardedOne

 

 

Hi. We are currently articulating our greatest efforts to evolve a donor doubling procedure. How is everything coming along with the medication? I hope that you have a very prosperous new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free London consultations with Dr. Patrick Mwamba - Sat., Feb. 15th, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My opinions are not necessarily the opinions of Dr. Patrick Mwamba.

My opinions are based on my beliefs and are simply my own. I am one representative of the WHTC clinic.

Free Consultation Dates & Cities for Dr. Patrick Mwamba

 

Brussels, Belgium - Available

London, United Kingdom - Available

Zurich, Switzerland - Available

Bologna, Italy - Available

Follow us: Facebook - Youtube - Pinterest

 

Dr. Patrick Mwamba is a member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians

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  • Regular Member
@ChemicalBrother

 

Hi. Have you tried Dutasteride? Dutasteride is almost three times as potent as finasteride at inhibiting the type 2 5α-reductase enzyme and over one hundred times as potent at inhibiting the type 1 5α-reductase enzyme. Of course there are precautions to take and some possible side effects as with Fin or other prescription medications.

 

 

I've seen it work. The difference might show to be more effective for you if you've tapped out on finasteride. I thought you might consider trying it for fit. Happy holidays!

 

 

 

Hey.

Thanks for the input

Yes, I have actually done a couple years of Dut too (3 or 4 I believe) , stopped because I wanted to have kids - but that plan went south - so now back on Fin ... might go back on Dut because of the exact reasons you describe -> potency.

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  • Regular Member

 

@BeardedOne

 

 

Hi. We are currently articulating our greatest efforts to evolve a donor doubling procedure. How is everything coming along with the medication? I hope that you have a very prosperous new year!

 

 

I hope you don't mind me replying to this part too.

While I speak reasonably good english (I like to think so) I'm not quite sure I get the nuance of this statement.

 

Are you able to provide more data about the donor doubling procedure?

Would this be a potential solution for people like me where donor area was deemed unsatisfactory (by Bisanga) and foremost: is it too soon to estimate timings of when this procedure would become commercially available ?

 

thanks.

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Hi Chemicalbrother, hi WHTC, I'm about 6 weeks into 1.25mg of finasteride per day and I seem to be able to tolerate the drug okay at present, I hope it stays that way. I can't say I've seen much difference yet but I'm aware that any results will take between 6-12 months to be really visible. In fact I have probably had a significant shed, or at least it appears that presently my hair and especially my hairline are very thin. So basically my regime is 1.25mg fin per day, 1 x rogaine 5% foam every night, and a 2% ket shampoo 1/2 times per week. THE BIG THREE.

 

I think that going on medication is, for me, a very positive step. At the end of the day, after I have allowed enough time for fin to do its work - however successful that may be - I will know where I stand as regards non-surgical solutions. Taking that quarter pill every day relaxes me somehow, basically tells me that I'm doing what I can at the moment, and I really want to give it loads of time to make sure that I have arrested my loss or that I have tested how far the drug can take me. If it manages to at least stabilise my loss, then great - I can plan a restoration strategy around that and move forward. If not, well, at least I know that I have done what I can.

 

Guys, I really don't know anything about dutasteride. Is it a much stronger version of fin? Is it available by prescription? I come from a medical background and so I am very tentative about signing up to a lifetime of prescription drugs, so I will give fin at least a few years before I move towards anything stronger, but does dut produce much better results?

 

All the best and a happy new year to everybody! WHTC I wish you and your team all the best with developing a donor doubling procedure! If and when you are successful please PM me! ;)

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