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Posted (edited)

Hello,

I am making this post to create a tracker. I wrote about my experience/background in a previous post. I am going to try to keep the two somewhat separate. If you want to learn about my journey, visit the other post here. I will try to keep updating anyone interested on this post from March 5th 2019 going forward.

 

Before and immediately after:

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Edited by Lennney
Removed a photo from this post that is actually a "1 week" update
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And todays actual update: I am updating at the two month (55 days) mark. I had some free time this week, so I got a haircut today. I saw someone else post updates before and after his haircuts. I like that idea of no surprises. This way it is easy to see how the hair actually grows from one phase to the next.

I took a shower before BOTH sets. No oils, no medicines: just air-dried hair post shower.

Before haircut and after haircut. *In case order I selected is messed up, dark jacket is after haircut.*

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Can't believe how red and generally freshly done that still looks at the 2 weeks mark.... Has the Dr recommended anything to reduce redness? Is that generally considered normal?

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Posted (edited)

I do not wish to discourage you and I certainly hope I am proved completely wrong, but that looks like an awfully large surface area to cover with only 2500 grafts. Given the aggressiveness of the design it would need to be quite dense to maintain a natural appearance, imo.

All the best!

 

Edit: I should add the caveat that it's sometimes difficult to tell (for me, at least! I'm sure the Dr. is far more capable :p) when transplanting around existing hair exactly how much of an impact that may have on the number of grafts required, so I could be completely wrong!

Edited by thatoldchestnut

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11 hours ago, gbhscot said:

Can't believe how red and generally freshly done that still looks at the 2 weeks mark.... Has the Dr recommended anything to reduce redness? Is that generally considered normal?

It is at the two month mark. I do have fairly light skin, so I think it is coming along as expected. I saw other members have redness well into their 3rd month. I'm just following the post op care of applying J&J mineral oil and evening minox. I haven't addressed it with doc.

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10 hours ago, thatoldchestnut said:

I do not wish to discourage you and I certainly hope I am proved completely wrong, but that looks like an awfully large surface area to cover with only 2500 grafts. Given the aggressiveness of the design it would need to be quite dense to maintain a natural appearance, imo.

All the best!

Thanks for feedback!

I too hope that there are enough grafts. I've heard on this forum that Dr. Bhatti is more conservative than some other docs here, so I am not surprised to hear that. Given that I am just under 30, I am glad to have a sizable reserve of donor hair for future thinning/balding. I have at least another 2700 grafts for the top of my head when I need it (and I will !). 

I know my temples have more space between each graft, but I am not so sure the density is off on the hairline. I look at the early photos of the hairline, and it seems about as dense as it can be. Dr. Bhatti definitely put the majority in the first half inch (1-1.5cm), which will hopefully be enough to create a dense hairline. I know I've seen other members post the 12 month pic and they complain about density, particularly in the initial hairline. They complain about it being too "thin" so it still seems like they are thinning (can see through the first layer). I think the dense front area + the fact that the hairline  starts lower on my head will mitigate any density issues.

Anyway, I am excited to be on this journey. Each week is better  than the last!

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On 3/6/2019 at 4:08 PM, Lennney said:

And todays actual update: I am updating at the two month (55 days) mark. I had some free time this week, so I got a haircut today. I saw someone else post updates before and after his haircuts. I like that idea of no surprises. This way it is easy to see how the hair actually grows from one phase to the next.

I took a shower before BOTH sets. No oils, no medicines: just air-dried hair post shower.

Before haircut and after haircut. *In case order I selected is messed up, dark jacket is after haircut.*

2monthAfter.jpg

2monthAfter1.jpg

2monthAfter2.jpg

2monthAfter3.jpg

2MonthBefore.jpg

2MonthBefore1.jpg

2MonthBefore2.jpg

Looking good, mate!

The redness can last much, much longer. I've seen cases of even months, so nothing to worry about at only two weeks.

Best of luck! 

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Can I ask a question...did colleagues or friends ask about the redness?  And if so what did you tell them?

I’m thinking of undergoing surgery and have less loss than you but I’m really concerned about redness being apparent on my scalp afterwards. 

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55 minutes ago, garethbale said:

Can I ask a question...did colleagues or friends ask about the redness?  And if so what did you tell them?

I’m thinking of undergoing surgery and have less loss than you but I’m really concerned about redness being apparent on my scalp afterwards. 

Like Bonkling above you had said, the redness can last quite a long time. I wouldn't be surprised if my fair skin stayed red for 6+ months. If that is the case, I plan to style my hair to make it less noticeable. I wear a hat everywhere at the moment.

I've shown about 50 people in total so far. The people I show are friends and colleagues. I sympathize with your concern over the redness. I scheduled my procedure precisely when I had 3 weeks off for recovery. It is a little jarring how red the skin is (and how it won't go away) initially. I've come to terms with it. It really helps to have a supportive SO who doesn't react differently to me. I have events coming up that are formal dress and very public. I can't wear a hat there, so that may be my abandon hat moment.

My advice for you: 

1. Try the finasteride. I didn't and wish I would have known about it in my early 20s. Maybe I could have delayed a HT.

2. It is important to put a value on a HT. What is it worth to you? Financial cost of procedure, time cost of awkward recovery period, emotional cost of missing events/ fielding awkward questions.

3. What do you stand to gain? Self confidence that will manifest in all social interactions. Removal of the anxiety/emotional burden of balding. If you're single, it'll open up more dating opportunities for you. (In my case) Not being age discriminated for entry level jobs post college. Whatever else applies to your case. It could well be that you have little benefit from a HT. It also could remove any self-imposed hair-loss barriers that open you up to the world. Weigh 2 vs 3.

4. Choose with conviction. Either way, own your decision and know it's best for you. If you get a HT, don't feel ashamed or embarrassed. It is the best choice for you. When people ask "why" I tell them, "I considered it for a long time, and I felt it was the right time for me. I've always been concerned about my hair loss. I am fortunate to be alive at a time when baldness is treatable with a permanent and "natural" (my own hair!) solution. I am happy to answer any questions you have." - The questions then don't focus on my choices (since I addressed them from the start) but focus on "does/did it hurt, How long is it good for, How long does it take to see results, How much?" By taking control of your situation, you take the power out of the tough questions. Your friends and family will support your decision if you present it as a decision that was best for you!

Always happy to answer any questions!

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Lenney

Thank you very much for your detailed reply!

My own situation is that I haven't lost that much hair - probably a NW 2.5 but I can comb my hair forward at the side somewhat and spike it up at the front to minimise the appearance of recession.  The clinic I am in contact with believe that I would be able to comb hair forward over the area worked on somewhat to hide the work I wold have done.  I don't think I could get more than two weeks off to get it done.

In answer to your tips:

1.  I am on generic fin and this has definitely helped in maintaining the crown and slowing the recession.  My hair feels stronger since I started using it.

2. Financial cost is something I'm happy to bear.  Its not idea as I have just commenced a mortgage but I can put aside some each month to pay for my HT.  Awkward recovery period is the main issue.  I have a bit of banter with workmates and work in a city office environment so I'm obviously nervous about people noticing.  I'd probably just say I went away somewhere hot and had a reaction to sun cream or something - whether they believe me is another matter.

3. I think it would drastically help my confidence.  Despite my moderate recession I do find it affects my confidence around women.  I'd like to settle down quite soon so I feel this year is a good time - I am 34, 35 in the summer and first noticed recession around 15 years ago so am confident I will maintain most of my native hair.  I have read on here the transformation guys feel when they have a successful HT and I'd like to experience that.  Of course no surgery is a guarantee but I think I stand a good chance given my moderate loss.  

4.  I have thought long and hard about the pros and cons and ultimately a HT it is something I want to do.  I was actually going to have one done last week but late last year a bought a flat and mortgage payments and furniture & bills etc, meant I had to delay the procedure for financial reasons.

 

Thank you again for your help and I will be following your progress.  Best of luck for a good result!

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, garethbale said:

In answer to your tips:

Those are well thought out answers, thank you for sharing. I meant those to be generic and applicable to anyone considering doing anything for their condition. 

I think two weeks would be plenty. I also work in an office setting, and I wore a hat. I ended up not really addressing it with those outside of my friend group. The friend group I showed and answered questions, but told them I would appreciate them not telling the office, as the area is healing, and I don't want to put people off. I kept them updated, so they know I didn't feel embarrassed. I think they felt the trust and honored my request. I also told my boss after I came back. He has been supportive, and it would ultimately be his decision for me to take off the hat if it didn't fit his definition of "business casual". As long as you fit the dress code of your work (read: not told to remove hat) there should be no issues. Your boss won't make you take it off, and your friends won't embarrass you in front of others by mentioning your hat. I feel like month #3 or so I will no longer wear the hat. I do not recommend telling people about the "skin reaction or whatever." Logically speaking, once they eventually find out, you'll have to face those questions again from people you essentially lied to. You're better off not telling them anything, eventually they will stop asking.

I don't know your budget, nor who you are communicating with. For me, the most important aspect I stressed was the RIGHT procedure from the RIGHT artist with a CONSISTENT track record. The return on investment for me is great, since it may open doors I would have otherwise missed or if nothing changes for my situation, I feel better for many years. As long as you are confident with your doctor, you'll eventually find ways to finance it. Biggest issue is timing. *** If you have the timing do it. If it is relatively inexpensive, you can always put it on a credit card or take a small personal loan from the bank.

***TIP: I used the time off from university combined with my SO's time from work during the holidays. We called it a holiday trip to Great Wall and Taj Mahal (we traveled west) when I went to Chandigarth India for the procedure. It's best time since you're likely approved for holiday leave at that time, 2-3 weeks off isn't unheard of for a trip to (for example) Turkey (since it is less desirable with the global tensions and not as much historical appeal as other travel locations). Tell people you're going to Greece instead. Visit Greece if you haven't! Take just 2-3 days to see sights and the rest to fly to Turkey for procedure. You'll have pics and experience of traveling to see historic landmarks! I know several tricks to find cheaper airfare (takes patience and checking) but the additional cost of, say, $1000 USD (180 for round trip from Athens to Istanbul, 200 for 3 days of hotel/AB&B, 300 for tours/tickets and 300 for spending money while you're there) you can have a trip you'll always remember in addition to your surgery. Get creative. Use google flights "Explore destinations" to find cheapest airports to fly into/ out of. My point is, I refused to think of my trip for HT as a pure HT trip. It's 25+ hours of travel, for what, an operation? It would be a waste to at least not see the (in-country and neighboring) foreign lands and culture while you're there. 

HT is a life changing procedure. Traveling, for a small additional cost, can give you global perspective and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. 

Edited by Lennney

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3 hours ago, Lennney said:

Like Bonkling above you had said, the redness can last quite a long time. I wouldn't be surprised if my fair skin stayed red for 6+ months. If that is the case, I plan to style my hair to make it less noticeable. I wear a hat everywhere at the moment.

I've shown about 50 people in total so far. The people I show are friends and colleagues. I sympathize with your concern over the redness. I scheduled my procedure precisely when I had 3 weeks off for recovery. It is a little jarring how red the skin is (and how it won't go away) initially. I've come to terms with it. It really helps to have a supportive SO who doesn't react differently to me. I have events coming up that are formal dress and very public. I can't wear a hat there, so that may be my abandon hat moment.

My advice for you: 

1. Try the finasteride. I didn't and wish I would have known about it in my early 20s. Maybe I could have delayed a HT.

2. It is important to put a value on a HT. What is it worth to you? Financial cost of procedure, time cost of awkward recovery period, emotional cost of missing events/ fielding awkward questions.

3. What do you stand to gain? Self confidence that will manifest in all social interactions. Removal of the anxiety/emotional burden of balding. If you're single, it'll open up more dating opportunities for you. (In my case) Not being age discriminated for entry level jobs post college. Whatever else applies to your case. It could well be that you have little benefit from a HT. It also could remove any self-imposed hair-loss barriers that open you up to the world. Weigh 2 vs 3.

4. Choose with conviction. Either way, own your decision and know it's best for you. If you get a HT, don't feel ashamed or embarrassed. It is the best choice for you. When people ask "why" I tell them, "I considered it for a long time, and I felt it was the right time for me. I've always been concerned about my hair loss. I am fortunate to be alive at a time when baldness is treatable with a permanent and "natural" (my own hair!) solution. I am happy to answer any questions you have." - The questions then don't focus on my choices (since I addressed them from the start) but focus on "does/did it hurt, How long is it good for, How long does it take to see results, How much?" By taking control of your situation, you take the power out of the tough questions. Your friends and family will support your decision if you present it as a decision that was best for you!

Always happy to answer any questions!

Excellent perspective, Lennney.

I'm in a similar situation, as I am in my final semester of university.

At the moment, I can sort of get away with styling it to cover the recession, but the haircut doesn't look professional at all - especially for any graduate positions. 

I think your third point really hits the nail on the head for a lot of people. The confidence (or, lack of), the constant worry about hiding the recession, potentially avoiding certain events/situations in which a hat may not be appropriate, and so on. 

Thanks for an awesome write-up, and best of luck with your journey! 

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I'm fair skinned too, and I had redness  for about five months.

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So, this is my update at the 75 days post-op. I feel like the growth is pretty good for this point in time. I'll try to update every 15 days or so.

Mar261.jpg

Mar262.jpg

Mar263.jpg

Mar264.jpg

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1 hour ago, Lennney said:

So, this is my update at the 75 days post-op. I feel like the growth is pretty good for this point in time. I'll try to update every 15 days or so.

Mar261.jpg

Mar262.jpg

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Thanks Lennney .....  For sharing your story with Darling buds and for providing updates with pictures periodically. 

Just so you know, I read your review also before deciding to book with Darling buds (18th March 2019).

Let's follow each others progress as we are one of the few 2019 reviewers/patients from Darling buds ( rest is history lol ) 

https://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/topic/53594-3500-fue-grafts-–-scheduled-with-dr-bhatti-darling-buds-on-18th-march-2019/?tab=comments#comment-498155

:) good luck with your results. 

 

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Hi

Looks like you’re entering the new growth phase, good luck & happy growing!

By the way, reading your posts and I gotta say you have the right state of mind and attitude for this process and that’s great! 👍🏻

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9 hours ago, CosmoKramer said:

Hi

Looks like you’re entering the new growth phase, good luck & happy growing!

By the way, reading your posts and I gotta say you have the right state of mind and attitude for this process and that’s great! 👍🏻

Thanks!

I think it's key for success. There are many, seemingly one-time cases where positivity had extraordinary health benefits. At the worst, positivity won't harm anything. At the least, I lift my mood.

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On 3/6/2019 at 9:15 PM, Lennney said:

I too hope that there are enough grafts. I've heard on this forum that Dr. Bhatti is more conservative than some other docs here, so I am not surprised to hear that.

That certainly is not conservative hairline/temple work.  I wish you the best, don't want to knock your positivity,  and hope I am wrong but that just does not seem like near enough grafts to fill that large hairline in.       The thing you do have going for you (and I am the same boat since I too have blondish hair), is that there is not much contrast from hair to skin which makes thinning a bit less obvious.  

I know you mentioned in the past you were not on finisteride but hopefully you are using it now and plan to stay on it.   You are going to need it longterm (just like I do).

 

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11 minutes ago, xadiohead said:

That certainly is not conservative hairline/temple work.  I wish you the best, don't want to knock your positivity,  and hope I am wrong but that just does not seem like near enough grafts to fill that large hairline in.       The thing you do have going for you (and I am the same boat since I too have blondish hair), is that there is not much contrast from hair to skin which makes thinning a bit less obvious.  

I know you mentioned in the past you were not on finisteride but hopefully you are using it now and plan to stay on it.   You are going to need it longterm (just like I do).

 

I agree: Conservative hairline it is not! Conservative is in regards to density, but density after the 1.5 centimeter initial hairline. 

I am on finasteride now, and I plan on staying on it long term. No ill effects in last 75 days.

Never considered the hair contrast bit. Perhaps I should try dying my hair if the results don't come out as expected.

Hope you follow along to my 12 month mark, and give your final take then. Good to have input either way! 

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Hello again! At the 90 day mark and feeling great. May get a haircut in the coming days and will update after that.

apr81.jpg

apr82.jpg

apr83.jpg

apr84.jpg

apr85.jpg

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19 hours ago, Lennney said:

Hello again! At the 90 day mark and feeling great. May get a haircut in the coming days and will update after that.

apr81.jpg

apr82.jpg

apr83.jpg

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apr85.jpg

Good to see as new hairs are sprouting now.. I am also interested to see how your temples would appear once fully grown as it's a sensitive area that requires extra precision with baby hairs only to make them look very natural... so far looks great work !

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