Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

Felt it would be useful for me to recount my hair restoration experience, given that I have just returned from a FUE transplant in Turkey.

Preamble

Things are a little confused by the fact that (a) I've been using pharmaceutical methods to try and mend my hair and (b) I'm trans and on meds that also affect hair growth.  If you just want to see photos of before and after the operation, then just skip to the next post.  I've also put 3570-4070 grafts in the title, because the the number of total grafts done (4070) doesn't match up if you add all the singles/doubles/multiples.  I suspect this is just a typo and hopefully will be able to correct it at some point.

History

Since 2016, when I finally decided to do something about the trans thing as it was becoming hideous, I've been on quite a few meds.  First up hormone inhibitors - Finasteride 1mg OD from late 2016 to mid 2017, then Dutasteride 0.5mg OD from mid 2017 to date.  I also used Spironolactone 50mg OD for about 5 months in the middle of 2018 and Ketoconazole 2% Shampoo from late 2016 to date.  Supplements - I've taken a multivitamin/mineral everyday since late 2016 to date, Biotin 10mg OD  since late 2016 to date and an Omega Fish Oil supplement since mid 2017 to date.  I also tried Taurine 0.5g OD for about 6months in 2017 (don't ask why..and no it doesn't do anything).

I've been on Minoxidil 5% since Jan 2017 to date and have been on and off Dermarolling with a 1.5mm needle  since mid-late 2017.  I'm really irregular with the dermarolling - partly because I worry that it may cause problems WRT scarring, but mainly because it just bloody hurts.

Lastly I used Estradiol (varying doses) from late 2017 to mid 2018 and again from December 2018 to date.  Although I'm obviously using Estradiol because I'm trans and it makes me better, there is some research that suggests that it does help with hair loss (increasing anagen time IRRC).  It also works against Testosterone.

Yes, I rattle when I walk now.

PSA: It goes without saying that Spironolactone and Estradiol are both serious HRT medications.  Unless you have issues relating to your gender (or you're a woman and under medical supervision), men should not be taking these.  Very few men really appreciate growing boobs, female fat redistribution, reduced body hair etc etc.  Spiro may give you this and Estradiol will definitely do so.  Dutasteride is also pretty heavy and pretty much wipes out all the DHT in your body.  Although DHT may be the enemy of scalp hair, it's does have its uses!

Thanks to all this From late 2016 to now, I went from pretty much a Norwood 6 to somewhere nearer a Norwood 5 variant.  I'm not one for keeping photos of myself (go figure) but you can see the change here.  I presumably will get the pre-photos from the clinic at some point, but I was pretty much at the first picture when went to get the hair transplant.  It goes without saying that unless your hairloss is relatively recent, pills and potions will only do so much and sometimes it's a case of getting as much back as possible before you take a surgical route.

Surgery

I was initially going to have a hair transplant in early-mid 2018, but thanks to various issues, I had to put it off.  I quite early on chose Dr Resul Yaman in Istanbul, Turkey.  It was tempting to go with cheaper options (as Turkey is easy to get to and seems to be the best value when it comes to hair transplant surgery), but I was quite impressed by various videos and timelines and the price, whilst not the cheapest was manageable with my means.  I also found that they were very easy to communicate with compared to other clinics - this is mostly due to the fact that a guy called Fikret handles communication with English-speaking clients and he is very friendly and helpful.  As I am very lazy, I also appreciated the fact that they sorted out pretty much everything on the trip apart from the flight.

I arrived in Istanbul late on the 17th Feb and they picked me up from the airport and took me to the hotel - a nice, businessy type hotel, but with a number of people there staying who clearly had been having surgeons prodding at their scalps.  The surrounding area is obviously in heavy development, but that was very much of an aside as you're expected to be (a) not there for long and (b) not exerting yourself at all.       The

I'm not sure if I got it mixed up, but I was expecting to have the assessment on the 18th then to have the operation on the 19th, but as it turned out, everything was done on the 18th - met up with Fikret at the clinic (who turned out not to be the wizened old grey-haired guy I'd imagined him to be) and he pretty much lead the whole thing and I was taken for bloods, then for assessment with Dr Yaman in quick succession.  The clinic looked clean and modern and people seemed friendly, though it was difficult to be sure as my Turkish is non-existent.  Fikret did all the interpreting and generally managed to look extremely busy whilst making sure you were attended to.

I started to realise that things weren't going how I thought they would when I was taken to get my hair buzzed off and a short while after I was taken to a room where Dr Yaman jabbed my scalp so that the grafts could be placed.  Dr Yaman obviously speaks little English, but he seemed pretty friendly during the assessment and seemed to get things done efficiently.  The extraction and implantation was done by a few technicians.  My memory is pretty fuzzy as I was off my tits on painkillers / anaesthetics, but I definitely remember at one point three people going for it on my head at once.  The operation went on for somewhere around eight hours, though I wasn't really tracking time.  Weirdly for me, I was in a right mood at the end, which I imagine was due to coming off all the delicious medications that they gave at the start.

The blurb they gave me said:

4070 FUs had been transplanted

Single 524

Double 2261

Multiple 785

This obviously doesn't add up.

Generally, I was pretty impressed with the experience - Fikret's management seemed to go pretty smoothly, the assessment / operation was super-efficiently done, accommodation was nice, all the taxi-ing around was provided for and staff were friendly.  The only major problem was one of my own doing and which Fikret was very sensible about.  I am already planning to go back in November to get the crown done and my hairline made into something a bit more resembling a female hairline.

 

Now for pictures..

Edited by ViciousKeepLeftSign

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you @VicTNYC

First week is done.  Weirdly, yesterday I had quite a lot of scabs on my head still, but today woke up and I'm nearly clear of them - I did use the lotion provided by the clinic for a bit longer yesterday,  so it may have been that.  It was not a terribly good sight on my linen!  Noted 5+ hairs that were short, some with scabs attached (and on the previous day too).  Slightly concerned as I shouldn't be shedding quite yet, but they didn't appear to be grafts that had detached (no blood, no bulb)

Pain-wise - it's a bit sore on my donor area, but that seems to have nearly healed.  It's not a terrible pain and more if I touch it.  No pain on the recipient area..aside from being a bit more sensitive, it feels pretty normal.

Swelling stopped from day 5, though still have some skin bruising from that.  As you can see, there's a lot of reddness - not terribly fussed as it just looks like I've had some micro-pigmentation done in a weird pattern and groovy colour.

Current medications

Estradiol 150mcg transdermal patch (increased 50mcg)

Dutasteride 0.5mg OD

Biotin 10mg OD

Fish oil, Multivitamin/mineral and garlic supplements

Also from today spreading a mix of various oils on my head (both donor and recipient areas) - emu, castor, coconut and vit e oil mix.  Will do so every couple of days.  Probably does bugger all, but it feels nice and I have tons left.

Finished the steroid and antibiotic given by the clinic now

I'll restart minoxidil next week along with Ketoconazole shampoo.

d5top.jpg.da896e8b66f56087da8e907103e88753.jpgd7front.thumb.jpg.b628488de09bac5152dc5625a1283858.jpgd7top.jpg.848d4c0bc796c15ed8674ef697783b17.jpg

Edited by ViciousKeepLeftSign

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Two weeks in:

Donor area is still a little sore, but then, seemingly for no reason, gets some major itching going on (which I'm obviously trying to avoid).  Still very noticeable..was hoping that it would be unredded by the time I get back to work in two weeks, but this may not happen.

As you can see, recipient area is still quite red, though it has died down and some patches are less red than others.  I've had a tiny bit of shedding, but that fun is obviously waiting until later.  I've included a 'detail' pic that I did with it dark and with flash.  Obviously it's incredibly early days, but I am a bit concerned about density compared to other similar dated pics I've seen.

Regime

Dutasteride 0.5mg OD
Estradiol 150mcg transdermal patch
Biotin 10mg OD
Minoxidil BD
Mix of castor/coconut/emu/vitamin e oil - 3x per week
Multivit/Fish Oil and Garlic supplements

Shampooing with the provided shampoo still and then will switch to baby shampoo until things have calmed down on me bonce.

Pictures

(edit: Tidied photos up a bit, using superflash's method)

 

day14front.jpg.d4a4d64c3eafe6e1762c8e1eca111e35.jpgday14back.jpg.a0b55cff23783098954107a6a8fed4a4.jpgday14side.thumb.jpg.640dc41d86dde0a653c7f544c1afd12c.jpgday14top.jpg.2da2a968b93a282a20d3e9f0795c5cb3.jpgday14detail.jpg.a11a1f05e70505ee448df3d9d9a376da.jpg

Edited by ViciousKeepLeftSign

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three weeks in and things are much the same.  Donor is prone to itching and looks scraggy  Recipient area is still red.  I've noticed a few hairs drop, but nothing major.  The 'band' of pre-existing hair is showing itself again.  Not convinced that its not going to be a bad result, but obviously I have many months to go.

Not worth taking pictures.

Restarting exercise this week and going to buzz to a zero guard at the end of the week so hopefully it looks less scraggy for work.  May go and talk to the pharmacist / GP if the itching doesn't improve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

One month

Donor area is still a bit sensitive and with 4 bits where follicles have become inflamed and prone to being seriously itchy..which I'm trying to avoid.  Still looks scraggy, but I'm sure that will grow out.  The recipient area is still red and most of the feeling has come back.

I've obviously been shedding, as can be seen from the pictures, though haven't particularly noticed any hair drop.

Medication regime is much the same.  I've changed the shampoo back to my normal nizoral (2 days) and Rivita for the other days.

Not sure when I'll update again.  Disappointed where things are with the concerns about the density then subsequent shedding and doing the photos isn't terribly helpful.

Pictures:

m1front.thumb.jpg.5c1144fc90f0675c1f348644ae40562b.jpgm1side.thumb.jpg.a3fce27a56b339a9e5ed580f83b0640e.jpgm1top.thumb.jpg.a43b0daa4e797911fa859bd4640ddcfd.jpgm1detail.thumb.jpg.a07ccda6179384197c4e281e5aeb38a8.jpg

Edited by ViciousKeepLeftSign

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You’re disappointed and concerned about shedding and density at just 1 month post-op?

That makes no sense, you’re just at the starting point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/18/2019 at 7:13 PM, ViciousKeepLeftSign said:

...Disappointed where things are with the concerns about the density then subsequent shedding...

I’d just try to stay positive and hang in there @ViciousKeepLeftSign. I’m no expert, but I’m a little ahead of you in the process and can say that aesthetically things do get worse before they get better... just gotta focus on the destination. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey man,

I'm a few months further down the road with Yaman and was in a similar position to yourself. Keep the faith, this is the worst point but it should come good. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Month 2 (plus a day or two)

or the

~̖̝~ ̧̰M̨̖̰̹͓a̹̱͞ṇ̯͈̟̠̠g̵̩y̟͈̻͙͇̺ͅ ̡̤Le̖͔͇͞p̢̣̺̲r̘̬̳̣̤̳͚o͏̲̪u̯s̸̝̜͇ ̬̣͔̝̲͉D҉͔̱̠̬̻o͍͕͚̯g͓̤̣̘ Ś̬t͔a̞͉͓̯g͎̦̭̗̪͕̙̕é̯̝͍̳̗̙̖ ҉̞̳~͢~̖

Thanks to @fespafer for that great description.

I was going to leave it for a while as the state of my head is not exactly doing a lot for my confidence and fuck taking photographs of myself generally, but I wish to be vaguely useful to those who may be considering Dr Yaman, so I'll attach one photo.  You may want to take your kids and anyone of a sensitive disposition out of the room before viewing it.  It's not the most pleasant of pics.

So, anyway, it's two months on and the donor is mostly recovered - I *think* I had a bit of foliculitis there and so had a zillion bumps all wanting to grow into Krakatoa-sized zits (some of which did..it was not good).  Anyway it's much better now and all the pain has gone and sensation returned.

The recipient area is another story - on the plus side, I'm only two months in and I've already got a ton of lil baby hairs popping up (like seriously, loads).  Aside from being pleased that these tiny little things have come so early (possibly due to the Minoxidil forcing the hair into anagen), it also suggests that I'm not going to have a catastrophically bad result - y'know when very little grows at all after shedding.

On the negative side, the recipient area is a mess of patches of little growth / some growth and existing hair and thanks to my donor being largely grey (whilst the top of the scalp still had pigment) it looks all sorts of weird.  I expected that and I'll put a temporary dye when it comes to the six months photos.  What I kinda didn't expect was that the scalp would still be rather pink (though has definitely calmed down somewhat) and that there would be a ton of flipping zits because (presumably) the baby hairs are pushing through.

The zits are hideous.  Like seriously, I didn't get many zits when I was young, but it's like the the great zit-god has visited upon my head and spread his puss-making boil nightmares all over it to make up for my previous lack of spots.

I mean, it's kinda good news that they're caused by the hairs pushing through, but I'd really prefer not the have mount fucking fiji appear on my head when I'm at work.

Medications are the same - my testosterone should be in female ranges and my DHT should be thankfully deaded

Thank you @JohnnyDeep, I will take a look at your thread after this and @SprayPaint, thank you for the kind encouragement, may your barren patches be filled with newly sprouted hair.

@CosmoKramer - I'm concerned that even if I do get a reasonable result in the end, the grafts will have been put too far apart when I have very fine (0.51microns) hair and I should have got them to pack them more and then use beard hair (which I don't want and have in abundance) to do the rest that will need doing.  It's done now anyway, I just have to wait and see.

m2.jpg.eea66319ff79303487f2f5521c33bd1e.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, thanks for the mention. Don't be worry, since you're still on a early phase to see your final result. Trust me, everything will be better after a feew weeks. I'm now on 3rd month and things started to get better. I was also full of doubts, but I had this and a Spanish forum to check that only lucky guys was looking good before 3rd month, most of those who posted their cases didn't get a good looking aspect before the 5th month.

So come on, cheer you up! and be confident, everything will be better soon, you can be sure.

About using minoxidil, I was told not to use any chemicals on my receipt area before the 6th month. I'm only using piperita mentha, castor oil and vitamined shampoo.

Keep posting.


My hair transplant: 

Dr. Cinik - January 15th 2019. 3500 grafts + 300 beard grafts

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, fespafer said:

Hi, thanks for the mention. Don't be worry, since you're still on a early phase to see your final result. Trust me, everything will be better after a feew weeks. I'm now on 3rd month and things started to get better. I was also full of doubts, but I had this and a Spanish forum to check that only lucky guys was looking good before 3rd month, most of those who posted their cases didn't get a good looking aspect before the 5th month.

So come on, cheer you up! and be confident, everything will be better soon, you can be sure.

About using minoxidil, I was told not to use any chemicals on my receipt area before the 6th month. I'm only using piperita mentha, castor oil and vitamined shampoo.

Keep posting.

I'm cheered!  It's just the way that I've written..well the zits are a major pain, but they will bugger off soon enough.

The jury is still out on Minoxidil after hair transplant - some say it's a good thing, others advise against, but as I had minoxidil-dependent hair, I couldn't really stop it else the little bits that I did have left would have gone straight into telogen.  Given that Minoxidil is a vasodilator, it's probably not helping with my scalp redness though..but at least the zits get a good supply of blood 🤣

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a lot of zits from the mineral oil I was applying as part of my post-op care. After the 6 weeks were up, I stopped and so did the zits. I'm conflicted on the zits = baby hairs thing. I pluck and thread my eyebrows and I don't get a zit every time a new hair sprouts. I think the zits may relate to your (over?) use of minoxidil and anything else you put into your hair. I know some users recommend forms of coconut oil... My oily skin would turn into the moon if I tried anything like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Lennney

I would be utterly shocked if it was the minox - I don't overuse it (in fact, I slightly underuse it) and I've done dermarolling with minox before and never got a spot on my head.  Also, plucking is not the same - after HT, the hair is effectively trying to squeeze out of a healed wound..whereas with plucking, it has a pore to come out in.  It also started once my lil baby hairs started to appear.

Thankfully it's calmed down quite a bit now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for reply @ViciousKeepLeftSign.

I personally had less zits after I stopped my mineral oil. Are you using any other medicines or products on your hair?

Also, what you're saying makes sense that the hair may struggle to burst through the healed wound, but wouldn't that apply to every other hair as well? Wouldn't each hair begin as a zit? I think the minox isn't the cause of your zits, but a contributing factor with shampoo/oils/and other hair products you may be using. 

It could be that you may (before transplant) have used a powerful shampoo which completely removed the oils from your skin (and your body compensates by creating more oils due to this constant removal). Now, post op, you may be using a lighter shampoo which doesn't completely strip your hair and scalp of oils, but your body still produces the abundant oils.

Either way, it should calm down completely soon. Best of luck!

Edited by Lennney
Grammar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Month 3

So, I should be in the middle of the 'ugly duckling' phase, but I'm not sure how the minoxidil affects things - theoretically it should minimise telogen.  Anyway, it's still very early days.

Medication is the same and the spots have reduced, though not disappeared.  My phone camera is a bit useless, so the picture aren't terribly representative as it's really difficult to discern small hairs and translucent hairs.  When looking at my scalp with a good light, it appears that there are lil hairs all over the front, though less dense near the temples.

I'll do some proper pics (and try and find a better camera) for month 4 when I should be leaving the hideous phase.  Also buzzing down the hair slightly as it doesn't grow evenly.

Edit:

Added a detail picture following 3mm buzz cut and about 30 mins after minoxidil application and with flash.  Aside from turning my head red, it does show the hair better.  It'll be my last close-ish buzz cut.

Just a question for the wise residents of this place.  Obviously I have to get the crown done (and I'll fill in the temples a bit too) and doing so in November, but given that I have functionally zero DHT (my testosterone levels are at female levels and I have Dutasteride on top taking out 97% of any DHT that does get converted).  I will have far less DHT than 99% of women..why not use donor areas that are traditionally avoided e.g. Nape and the 1/2 inch ring around the top of the scalp?  It's not like my pattern baldness will get any worse and those areas at the moment just look slightly more dense than the rest.  It just seems a waste when I'm looking at using beard hair to fill in.

m3front.jpg.a1c35104cf9692b0e9b525a366ed5717.jpg   m3top.thumb.jpg.907667178fda912e5b8e9188e709b0ad.jpg   m3detail.thumb.jpg.ec7a786a20c689755a282dc7fd461471.jpg

Edited by ViciousKeepLeftSign
Added picture and more text

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Month 4

Nothing much to report - it's grown to a grade 3 (9-10mm) and for the next couple of weeks I'll be buzzing it there as much of the 'new' hair is of different lengths.  People notice a lot - even the guy down the off-licence commented, but under light it looks really really thin.  As I said a couple months ago, I'm concerned that my thin (51 microns) hair is just too loosely packed in, but I can but wait.  At least I know I haven't had a catastrophically bad result, so there is that.

Medications are the same (Estradiol / Dutasteride / Minox / Biotin).  Funnily enough noticed that I've had a bit more fluff grow over the crown area (where there were no transplants) - it makes no difference aesthetically, though it may save me a few more quid when I go back to Turkey.

Next month I have to focus on my general health.  May be that will help with the hair a bit, who knows.

m4front.thumb.jpg.1ca7265e255333c5ac513afe5fb3267e.jpg  m4top.jpg.37bc6ec330384d7fc3d215616d445bb9.jpg  m4detail.jpg.16e0487329637fac7ae531acb1a13066.jpg

 

Edited by ViciousKeepLeftSign

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×