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~3000 FUT grafts with Dr. Scott Alexander Feb 22 2017

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Background

 

I am a 34 year old male with light and fine hair. My hair was blonde, but as i have aged it has fallen out and the hair what has remained has turned a light brown. I first was teased about a receding hairline at age 12. My natural hairline was a "W". I noticed hair falling out after towel drying my hair. I went to my doctor at age 16 and was told that it was just genetics. That made me feel self conscious for some time. For at least a decade I have occasionally researched hair loss treatment. I did my best to accept my hair was it was, and for the most part i have felt fine with my hair loss. I am not one of those guys who struggles emotionally due to my hair loss. It turned into more of a "I wish i had more hair" or just the slow sinking feeling in my stomach when i saw pictures. Perhaps that's vanity? I generally just tried not to focus on it. Out of sight, out of mind.

 

 

Finding My Doctor

 

This past summer I had a deviated septum repaired in Beverly Hills. My surgeon, out of the blue, suggested a hair transplant surgeon that he had seen good work from. I did a lot of research and felt comfortable enough with FUE technology advancement that I was pretty sure I wanted to give the transplant a go. I spoke to many surgeons via email, watched countless Youtube videos, frequented surgeon websites, emailed back and forth with Spex, and of course, followed progress on this forum. After multiple skype/phone/email sessions, I decided that Dr. Alexander was the right doctor for me. I thought for sure i could find a top-notch surgeon in Los Angeles, but the doctor i felt was the best was in Arizona. Go figure!

 

 

Why I Chose Dr. Alexander

 

I was 99% firm on FUE. For years the FUT donor scar is what kept me from going forward with a HT. I sent pictures to Dr. Alexander. He reviewed and we had a Skype session. He was upfront with me in that my hair loss was progressive enough that protecting and optimizing the use of my donor hair was important. Due to this, he strongly recommended FUT. My stomach sank, so I stepped back from booking an appointment. For a couple of months I researched donor scars, Dr. Alexander's work, reviewed pictures that his staff sent me, and ultimately decided he was right in that I needed to make best use of my donor hair. This became especially important since I have been very resistant to using Finasteride. Dr. Alexander estimated 2400-2600 grafts needed for the frontal area of my head. He said he couldn't do my entire head in one session, so he suggested we wait on the crown. I wanted a one-and-done, but I trusted him as the expert.

 

I am a scientist with an analytical mind. The other doctors I talked to simply had a "trust me" approach. Dr. Alexander instead was upfront about his techniques. He spoke specifically about: the density he targets, how he projects long-term hair loss and will transplant around that, how he uses smaller blades to increase HT density, and the "lateral slit technique". Why don't other doctors give more specifics on their specialization with this cosmetic procedure? I was impressed.

 

 

Hair Transplant Procedure

 

I flew out the day before surgery. I saw Dr. Alexander and he took a look at my hair. i was pleasantly surprised when he indicated that i had more hair in the center of my head than the pictures indicated. I was told that a total reconstruction would be done of my forward third, as that was the best way to ensure it would look good forever. Dr. Alexander sketched a hairline, we discussed it, and ultimately i told him to do what he felt was best. I went to the Biltmore Arizona Resort after the pre-op visit. This resort was booked by Dr. Alexander's office for me. It is really nice historic landmark. I wish i had more time to enjoy it, but I was there on a mission. The quality of the resort did put me at ease, as I didn't have to worry about accommodations whatsoever.

 

The morning of the procedure went just as I had expected. I woke up eager and anxious, grabbed a protein bar, hit an Uber and arrived at 7:30am. The doctor again took pictures, gave me some (optional) Xanax, sketched a final hairline, and numbed me up. The donor section was removed. This all went relatively quickly, I would say within the first hour. I chatted with the doctor while he worked. The Xanax i was given started to kick in, which made me very sleepy. When Dr. Alexander started making the graft holes he said he needed to focus, so a movie was put on. I lasted about 5 minutes before I fell asleep. I woke up for lunch, which was provided. I was able to take a peek at the team of four technicians dissecting my donor hair follicles. It looked like a true lab, which made me feel at home!

 

After the quick lunch, the doctor sat down with me and explained what was going to happen next. I had an unexpectedly high donor removal of 3000 grafts, despite my thin donor hair. I was going to get a surprise 500 grafts in my crown area. Score! The technicians showed up and began to implant the follicles. I did feel pain, but once I said something they had the doctor numb me up again. Sure enough, once that was done I was asleep in five minutes. I did a very poor job getting through that one movie! I was woken up at 5pm and told all was done. I wonder if i snored?

 

 

Post-Surgery and Recovery

 

I Ubered back to the resort. The staff gave me a bandana which was much better than my hat. I went to my room, ordered room service, kicked back and wondered, "what the hell did i just do to myself?" The pictures i snapped looked good, but I am definitely concerned that I'll have a large embarrassing donor scar. I'm a worrier by nature, so time will tell. I took my pain medication and passed out. I slept a lot in that 24-hour period! The next morning i showered per the post-op instructions and made my way to the airport. I wore the bandana and my hat. Just as Spex advises on his website, I told security that I had a "procedure on my head" and they let me go through without removing the bandana. Super easy and nothing to worry about. Even if I had to take off my bandana, i wouldn't have cared. As i sat at the gate i was my chatty self and told an old couple about the procedure. I didn't feel any shame, but I did keep my head covered. Once home, i went back to my regular routine the best I could. The only real problem I have had has been being comfortable while sleeping. The donor site is very sensitive, so laying on it is still quite uncomfortable. The first few nights I also found myself feeling very itchy. That has subsided quite a bit.

 

 

Plan Moving Forward

 

I have fair skin so I plan to be aggressive with recovery. Spex has advised Aloe Vera and distilled witch hazel a week post-op. I will do that after my stitches are removed. I have been taking Biotin and MSM. I have been gentle with the grafts and will continue to do so. I am working from home this week, and am a bit nervous about how I will look when I return to the office on Monday.

 

I'll post pictures to share progress and thoughts. You will see this progress with me, the good or bad. I generally am very private, but I want to help others on their journey. Let's see how this works out...

Edited by David - Moderator

My HT Journey

The FUT surgery experience and results

 

Disguising my FUT Scar

 

Medications and Supplements

Supplements: Biotin, MSM

5% Minoxidil Foam

Regenepure Shampoo (re-starting 1mo after HT)

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Thanks for sharing your story and pics! Dr. Alexander does excellent work. Hope you'll come back in the future and let us see how it turns out for you.

 

Best of luck!


David - Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant

 

I am not a medical professional. All opinions are my own and my advice should not constitute as medical advice.

 

View my Hair Loss Website

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Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your experience !

Keep us al in the loop over time - Be patient ;-)

 

Regards

Spex


 

Visit my website for my Free Ebook www.SpexHair.com  You can read my regular columns for The Telegraph and The Huffington Post, Apetogentleman and Vitabiotics via my site and you'll find a great deal out about me and the industry there! 

I am patient advisor for The Harley St Hair Clinic, Dr. Scott Alexander, Dr. William Lindsey and Dr. Tejinder Bhatti. I am not a medical professional and my words should not be taken as medical advice. All opinions and views shared are my own. I am salaried by all the surgeons I represent.

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Day 9 is here.

 

I had 2 days of bad scalp flaking. It looked like a really bad sunburn peel. The doc helped identify that it was due to low environmental humidity. An overnight session of antiobiotic ointment seems to have corrected it.

 

The transplanted hair looks pretty amazing. It's a shame I will probably shed these beauties. It's amazing to feel the density that I'll ultimately have!

 

The task now is to figure out how to disguise the strip until my hair grows longer. Monday I return to my white collar office. Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated! ?

2017-03-03_09_55_58.jpg.471b2e1b79894d820d40f4e5f42a5577.jpg

IMG_20170303_085823.thumb.jpg.e2de9494ea749dc54d59564b9128f844.jpg

IMG_20170303_085844.thumb.jpg.54fe6079dfb68aa6607d05a062b684b9.jpg


My HT Journey

The FUT surgery experience and results

 

Disguising my FUT Scar

 

Medications and Supplements

Supplements: Biotin, MSM

5% Minoxidil Foam

Regenepure Shampoo (re-starting 1mo after HT)

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that frontal zone restoration looks great, grafts look tightly packed for good density, and hairline design is very conservative which should serve you well into the future, congrats, heal and grow well.

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Day 11... And I go back to the office tomorrow! ��

 

 

Look how fast my hair is growing! While it is like watching grass grow, I am impressed! I'm praying I am one of the lucky few who don't get a shed. Yep, unlikely but I can hope!

 

Update on the donor area. My trimmed hair hasn't grown over yet, but it's about half way there. Courtesy of the guy who cuts my hair, I have some eyeshadow that will be used to conceal the trimmed area. The "scar" itself is getting super high praise. Both my hair guy (he's not a barber as he primarily does women's hair) and my girlfriend say it looks phenomenal and will not be noticable. I have attached a picture of the "worst" part, and it's not really bad at all. It does look like I'm on track to have a "pencil line" scar. A big step up from the quarter inch scars from a decade ago! I hope to be able to cut my hair at a #2 just as I did before the HT.

 

 

Is this much hair growth typical?

IMG_20170305_154303.thumb.jpg.0e70f50a8e0ee6827fffeb905a4c08a8.jpg

IMG_20170305_154310.thumb.jpg.6c8bc4c45759eb47aa98ce9a4e9ac8f5.jpg

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IMG_20170305_154917.thumb.jpg.00101324e641960d4bb7848bf1b77b97.jpg


My HT Journey

The FUT surgery experience and results

 

Disguising my FUT Scar

 

Medications and Supplements

Supplements: Biotin, MSM

5% Minoxidil Foam

Regenepure Shampoo (re-starting 1mo after HT)

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Day 13 and I stayed home sick. Maybe I picked up an Arizona flu bug.

 

 

I just snapped some pics to look at status. My hair looks awwwwful. I need some help making this look better. I found 4-5 hairs on my cellphone today so I may start shedding soon, but I don't really know. Not this weekend, but the following weekend, I have a trip to Las Vegas with my girlfriend and friends/family. We almost certainly will go to a club, which means no hat. I have an Irish hat (st Patty's) for the rest of the time but I'm stumped on how to make this look better! I think the best option may be to cut all hair really short and just use a cover for the donor line or....? Is this the so-called ugly duckling phase? I definitely underestimated how much this would impact my life.

 

Messy pics attached for update. Great growth but perhaps the beginning of a shed.

IMG_20170307_183237.thumb.jpg.9643b28980161460994af56c5f35c2e7.jpg

IMG_20170307_183234.thumb.jpg.8171f1ee28caeebcc21b274a4756d2b3.jpg

IMG_20170307_183552.jpg.02db73be905ddf5f1796981496d7bf64.jpg


My HT Journey

The FUT surgery experience and results

 

Disguising my FUT Scar

 

Medications and Supplements

Supplements: Biotin, MSM

5% Minoxidil Foam

Regenepure Shampoo (re-starting 1mo after HT)

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The Biotin is part of a Hair-Skin-Nails supplement from Target. MSM I got from Amazon. It was a top rated 1500mg from a company called Best Naturals.

 

I did see that Costco has both supplements in individual form as well.


My HT Journey

The FUT surgery experience and results

 

Disguising my FUT Scar

 

Medications and Supplements

Supplements: Biotin, MSM

5% Minoxidil Foam

Regenepure Shampoo (re-starting 1mo after HT)

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Day 14 - and the shedding has begun.

 

I was resisting starting minoxidil because new follicles often shed their hair at first. Now that I know I am not a lucky exception and will indeed shed, bring on the minoxidil!


My HT Journey

The FUT surgery experience and results

 

Disguising my FUT Scar

 

Medications and Supplements

Supplements: Biotin, MSM

5% Minoxidil Foam

Regenepure Shampoo (re-starting 1mo after HT)

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Work looks nice! Hang on there now

Now that shedding is started that initial illusion will wear out.

Welcome to the ugly country of duckling ;)

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Donor scar after two weeks. I've applied maderma daily. I'm told it'll be nearly impossible to see after the redness subsides. So far, so good.

 

 

Grow hair, GROW! :)

IMG_20170309_212339.thumb.jpg.e64b71929d15d34572c1a678d90a06aa.jpg


My HT Journey

The FUT surgery experience and results

 

Disguising my FUT Scar

 

Medications and Supplements

Supplements: Biotin, MSM

5% Minoxidil Foam

Regenepure Shampoo (re-starting 1mo after HT)

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Looks like a great design. You will have a new hairline soon. By the way, how much was Hotel---pretty plush. Did you like it?

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Looks like a great design. You will have a new hairline soon. By the way, how much was Hotel---pretty plush. Did you like it?

 

The resort was ~$500/night, but Dr. Alexander's office covered it for me. I am not sure if this is something they do just for out-of-state clients or for everyone. It added to my overall comfort level, and I wish I had more time to enjoy it.


My HT Journey

The FUT surgery experience and results

 

Disguising my FUT Scar

 

Medications and Supplements

Supplements: Biotin, MSM

5% Minoxidil Foam

Regenepure Shampoo (re-starting 1mo after HT)

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