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My HT's with Dr. Umar - DermHair Clinic, L.A.

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I wanted to post results from my two hair transplants. From reading other people's posts, I notice that a lot will upload images from soon after their surgery, but not as much from down the line. And it's from what comes down the line that's the point of this whole thing.



My Background:


First became aware of losing hair during my late 20's. Since I had long, tangly hair, I attributed this loss each day when showering due to combing out the tangles and pulling some hairs. Really, I was not aware of how much I was losing, since when it's long, you think you have a lot. Eventually I did check out what was going on in my thinning crown using a couple of mirrors and got my reality check.


It was probably around 2007 when I started on Rogaine. It's really expensive in Canada, and the only strength that I've seen on shelves are 2%, even to this day. I don't know if it helped slow down my loss or not, but I've been using it faithfully. Eventually I caught on that there was 5% minoxidil in the US and I'd stock up on cross border trips. I've been using the foam variety for some years.


When I first cut my hair, I started wearing a cap a lot, including at work. When I started to grow it out a bit I began experimenting with concealers. I used both Dermatch and Nanogen fibers. After getting the hang of them I was able to hide my baldness. Stupidly, when I got a job transfer across the company on a promotion I continued with the concealers. The new people I worked with had no idea who I was so I should have just gone with buzzed hair. But for two years I went through the routine of taking 20-30 min a day to apply the two products, and had to shower twice a day - an extra one at the end to remove the stuff from my hair before going to sleep. When I changed careers after that I just went with my natural hair, and short, but it made my appearance too aged.


Back in 2007 I would have found this forum and others like it. Body Hair Transplantation was not much of a proven thing, but I was hoping it would be, as I'd need to utilize a donor supply other than only my head hair. I remember doing an on-line assessment with H&W. The guy who replied, Joe "T", would not answer me when I asked if BHT was a real thing. At that point I dropped my participation in these forums and what not. Really, up until more recent years I didn't have the source of income to consider a HT.


Fast forward to 2014. At that time there were more BHT options, whether in the US, Europe, Turkey or India. I had read the good reviews that Umar had received as he pushed ahead with using beard and body hair to repair bad HT cases, and in it, developed his skill set. So I put out some online inquires. In addition to Dr. Umar, I contacted Doctor "D" in Turkey and Bhatti in India.


From the contact at Doganay's clinic: "Thanks for the pictures, however, we regret to inform you that your donor is not eligible for FUE. Therefore, we wont be able to do the surgery on you. We are sorry." They never answered my follow up so I took my money elsewhere. With Bhatti, it did not appear that he was willing to do a 4,000 to 5,000 graft procedure using at much beard hair as possible. He would only to up to about 1,000. His concern, which is valid, is that he wanted to see how my skin would react to the procedure. I forget the term but in some people they will develop a reaction that removes the pigmentation in the donor area, and if he took a lot of grafts from the beard and that happened the results would be be able to be covered up. As I am of part Asian ancestry, my skin tone is darker and loss of pigmentation would be very visible. But I was not going to go half way across the world for that small a procedure.


My communication with the DermHair clinic went well. I felt confident that with Umar's experience with taking grafts from the beard that I would be in good hands. The trade off, of course, it the price. I booked my first HT for October of 2014. First I scheduled it for 4,000 grafts, head and beard, then I added 500 more, from the chest. I wanted to know if all three types of donor grafts would work in my case, and if so I'd get more down the line. The tentative amount at the end of my procedures would be 10,000 to 12,000.


My case: NW6. I went into this understanding that BHT was not optimal, but since I'd be willing to live with short cut hair, that would camouflage the fact that non head hairs are mixed in.



1st HT:


3189 grafts of head hair

803 grafts of beard hair

602 grafts of chest hair


4594 TOTAL


I was scheduled for three days. The clinic does up to 1,500 a day, so that was pushing things. Wound up taking an extra day, but I'll get to that. Dr. Umar does the extractions in the morning with the assistance of his techs. I took the pill cocktail so that I'd be very drowsy throughout. The needles didn't hurt too bad, but since I had previously hurt my back, spending four days on that table was the worst part. After the catered lunch, he'd make the incision slits through the recipient area. A bit funny to hear the "crunch crunch crunch" as these are made. I recall hearing a click peddle being pressed, so I assume it was a means of counting grafts. The next part was when the techs would insert all the grafts. There'd be TV going, but I often dozed off. One time I shushed two of the techs because they were talking quite a bit and I imagined they weren't focusing on the job.


As someone else has mentioned in another thread, the team at the DermHair clinic does not thoroughly wash down the surgical area, so as to not disturb the work done. Be warned that some of the pictures therefore look rather gory. It didn't hurt nearly as bad as it looked.


The breakdown for recipient areas was my large balding crown area, plus lowering my frontal hairline. Nothing was added for the mid-scalp region in this HT. Dr. Umar wanted do give a result that I could live with if I never had another procedure, but that would set me up for the next stage if I did come back. The first two days were donor hairs from my head and beard going into the crown, and the next two days using chest and head donors to fix my hairline. My nape is a poor donor candidate, so it worked out well that I had included 500 chest hairs, which acted as a substitute.


One problem that arose was that some of the donor hairs on the sides of my head were difficult to extract, meaning it slowed things down. I am glad I went with Dr. Umar, who took the time to get these out carefully and to not wreck them. These grafts were angled sharper that normal head hairs, but with this custom FUE tool he was able to get them. As my surgery was on W/T/F, I asked if they'd come in on Saturday so that we could hit the objective count. The staff was kind enough to come in on a day off, and I am very appreciative.


The four days of needles took their toll though. By the end of it my face looked like it was shaped like a football. When I asked about the time needed for it to go away I was told a week for the fluid to break down.


Rather naively I didn't purchase pain killers. I underestimated the need for it, such that when I drove out of state the day after the fourth day of surgery I was in a fair amount of discomfort. Phoned back and was told to pick up something like Advil. I got Nyquil also, for overnights.


As you'll see in my photos below, it looks like the grafts taken from my beard didn't make much of a dent, I still had a lot for future surgeries. The instructions was to not use hair coloring products for a year, so I didn't do anything for my greying temples in the follow up photos.



2nd HT:


1300 grafts of head hair and beard hair (split unknown at this point)


During the follow up photos that I sent every few months it was becoming apparent that the mid-scalp area was weak. I decided to do a small HT to address this, using head and beard donor. No grafts were used in the crown or to lower the hairline. My appointment for this was in May, 2016, single day procedure.


At this point the clinic had moved into it's new building. Not on the waterfront anymore, but on the upside the new surgical bed was much more comfortable. Having had my 2nd procedure there is little head donor left, and what I do have I want for my hairline. Going forward is to utilize the beard and chest and/or other hairy body parts, of which I have much.


My next hair transplant is this upcoming May, which will be a year between surgeries. The results of the last one will have manifested itself by then. This next one will be another 4,000 grafts. That would bring my total to just about 9,900.


An experiment I have been doing since late summer, perhaps the end of August, has been to let my hair grow out. I'll keep doing so until May. I am curious about the growth rates of non-head hairs. And I wanted to know what my density looks like. My photos with buzzed hair look good. But when I let it grow out then the fact that I lack density is readily apparent. However, if after all my procedures I can both achieve the density I want and if my beard and body hairs grow long enough, then I'd let my hair grow out long enough and tie it back in a loose pony tail. Relive the youth. I could very well fall short and rely on the buzz cut for the rest of my life, but I'd like to go for this.



Pre-Hair Loss


Prior to undergoing hair loss I had a pretty good head of hair. I know it's hard to project what while happen to someone who's under 18, but with some younger people I have a look and it seems like a NW 6 waiting to happen. No idea why it happened to such and extent with me.


The first photo is from around gr. 6. That would be a NW0/1. The next two are from high school. Recession hadn't started, but perhaps some thinning on the last of the two:









Hair Loss - 7 Years Before 1st HT:


At this point, in 2007, I realized how bad the loss was, and I cut off the braid so that I wouldn't have any more hairloss due to tension.









Hair Loss - 2 Years Before 1st HT:


It was in 2012 when I started looking into clinics and preparing photos for assessment. I was pretty much shaving my head every few days to obscure the level of hair loss.









Day of 1st HT:


I took these on the morning of my first HT in October 2014.







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The photos where I have medicated lotion applied are the donor areas. The more ragged areas are the recipient areas.



1st HT - Day 1 of 4:









1st HT - Day 2 of 4:











1st HT - Day 3 of 4:











1st HT - Day 4 of 4:


Since the fourth day was unplanned, I had to switch hotels; I was unable to book an extra day at the first one. After I get back from the last day and head to my room a couple pass by me, with my cap or bandana on. Being L.A. I would have expected to be hit by a car and no one say boo, but the young lady actually asked me if I was okay. Must have looked bad after this many days on the table getting all the injections.







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8 Day Post Op:


Between one and two weeks from a hair transplant is the time, early on, where you will hopefully see what you final result will look like


This is the point where most of the transplanted hairs are still in place, and before they go into shock and fall out and go dormant for several months.




Still a lot of beard donor left and it's healed up quickly.




Can still see some scabs and the red skin in the recipient areas.






Crown is filled in nicely.





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11 Days Post Op 1st HT:


At this point, even early in the process, the transplanted hairs are providing good coverage when I kept my hair buzzed down low. Impressive when considering that that without this procedure I'd be heading to a NW6.


In these pictures you can see some short hairs lying on bare skin. These are grafts that were starting to fall out. When I noticed this happening all of a sudden after showing and drying, I took some photos to remember what I should be returning to.







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7 Months Post Op 1st HT:


In this next set of photos I started to grow my hair about a bit. This exposes the lack of density.










After this point, a couple of days later, I buzzed down my hair again and took another set of photos.










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2nd HT - Day 1:


Returned to the DermHair Clinic for a 2nd HT. This time to add density in the frontal and mid scalp regions. 1,300 grafts from head and beard.







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6 Month Post Op 2nd HT:


3 months after the last update photos I kept growing the hair out. The plan is to keep doing so until the time of the next HT.



















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Your results look really good. Would you mind telling me how much he charged per graft? Or PM me.





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Wow what a journey. Really interesting to see how they did your facial hair and congrats on making it this far. Please keep us updated.

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Ab, any update? How is it coming along?

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