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After years of consideration, I decided it was time for me to do something about my hair loss woes. As the quote goes, “nothing changes unless something changes.” Due to the natural aspect and more permanent effects, my main goal for my restoration  was a FUE procedure. The FUT was not an option for me due to the linear scar. I tend to prefer a shorter haircut so the scar was a hard pass for me. 

This hair loss restoration journey originally began when I met Dr. Diep in 2014 when I first began to notice hair loss. Although I was impressed with the possible results, I opted to wait until 2019 because I wasn’t sure how fast my hair loss would impact me. Plus, like so many others, I was worried about recovery, results and complications. It was a big commitment and I was still somewhat skeptical as well. 

 After my second consultation with Dr. Diep around the start of the 2019 new year, I made the decision and have been eagerly (and anxiously) waiting for my procedure date. Over those 5 years I successfully was able to style my hair so no one could notice my losses. However, I was increasingly sensitive to windy day concerns, days at the pool or beach and going out on dates. Dr. Diep had a long wait list but I made the deposit ($1000) to secure my procedure date. Over those months, I wanted to back out and cancel.... to just accept what my genetics had in store for me. Other times I wished I hadn't waited so long as I looked and was increasingly unhappy with my aesthetics. I’m glad I waited and went through the highs and lows. The days leading to the procedure were some of the most anxious of my life!

Dr. Diep recommended 2500 graphs via a FUE procedure in order to fulfill my restoration needs. There was some discussion about a FUT since I was a candidate for either process, but I wasn’t interested because of the scar. I chose Dr. Diep because of his expertise with hairlines specifically. I wanted as natural of a restoration as possible and he seemed like the best fit for me considering my ethnicity. 

Here are my pre op pictures showcasing what I hope can be restored. I’m a Filipino/Chinese male who started noticing pattern loss around my temples and front hairline areas a few years ago. 

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Front hairline 

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Left temple 

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Right temple. This was one of the hardest to cover up because from the wrong angle of my comb over in pictures it was obvious I was missing Hair. 

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Rear donor site with my hair whirl / cowlick that looks thinner than it actually is due to the flash

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Closer pic of the rear future donor area 

I’m looking forward to using this forum to document my experience as I pass the time looking forward to results I hope to see! Wish me luck!

Edited by Filipino35Fue
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Thanks for posting, when are you going to have surgery? I met with Dr. Diep back in 2014 also, except I had my surgery with him in 2015 and I'm thankful everyday that I made that choice. You should check out @bondi results they're absolutely insane. Also @m0dthispny who was my inspiration. Feel free to check out my thread as well. 

 


I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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I actually had the procedure this last week! I was not originally going to post on the forum, but decided it would be therapeutic and helpful for others too. I read countless stories on here before making the commitment so I’m hopeful things I mention are beneficial to someone. 

Day 0 began very early in the morning at around 515/530am. (Note: I would recommend calling the clinic and double checking the confirmation email for reporting time. Via phone I was told to arrive by 5am by via email I was told 5:30. I was thankful it was the 530 am report time in the end). 

Once I arrived at the clinic, I was given two clipboards to begin filling out paperwork while waiting for Dr. Diep to arrive. The front desk receptionist was very kind even if it was so early. She had a bit of humor I appreciated as she explained the forms and told me with a smile the easiest one was lunch! I agreed with a much needed laugh to break the nervousness. I filled that one out first and there were a variety of menus to select from: sandwiches, Chinese food, bbq, etc. 

After ordering lunch, I turned my attention to the forms. There are some duplicates of the same question so the documentation isn’t exactly what I’d call concise. I didn’t mind. It helped me make sure I got the message. I left a few things blank until I could sign with Dr Diep himself ie. The hairline we would agree on, extra graphs, etc. I opted for the a-cell and amnio extras because it was only a cost issue. In addition, I signed for up to 200 more graphs as well. Just in case. Before meeting the doctor, the technician who checked me in arrived to take my blood pressure and to change me into a surgical gown. 

After this process, I was walked down to Dr. Diep’s office to review paperwork. Once all the paperwork was in order, I was given a small cup of pills. He briefly explained them and I was ready for photos. After several pictures, Dr. Diep explained his plan and with a confident grin said, “Let’s Rock and roll!”

The most challenging part of the procedure was receiving the numbing drugs into the scalp which hurt! I was fine with the first few injections but the last several made me cringe. The second most challenging aspect was simply staying still. I did move a bit but the techs and Dr. Diep were very patient from what I recall. I did need 3 or more breaks including lunch just to stretch and use the restroom. While falling asleep, I’d also slide too far down the chair and they’d have to wake me up to make me sit up. Hopefully I didn’t cause them too much frustration due to my sleep-induced movements. I vaguely remember eating everything they sat in front of me from Panera and next thing I knew I was  I finished! I believe the time was around 430/5pm or so. 

Overall, there was no pain or discomfort which I was very grateful for to say the least! I expected there to be something painful, but things just honestly looked worse than they actually felt. Thank goodness for effective pain management! Once home, I revisited my goodie bag of gauze pads, sterile caps and envelopes of meds. Note: I did have to stop by a local pharmacy for Norco / Finasteride but everything else was included. You might want to see if you could get the prescription filled prior... I was lucky that my pharmacy was still open for a few hours when I was done.  

Here are my immediate post op pics aka Day 0!

Note: Dr. Diep recommended I shave my head, and I wish I had listened after my procedure. Initially, I thought maybe by keeping some of my hair would be helpful to hide the process. Then I realized it would’ve made taking care of the scalp so much more easier! Just something to contemplate if you’re in a a similar mindset. 

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Edited by Filipino35Fue

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Day 1 Post Op pics are included as well below. Happy to report no pain except for some mild discomfort for my first at home donor area wash. Since the clinic is closed on Sundays, I had a friend wash my donor site. One of the materials included in the post op goodie bag is a surgical sponge for the wash. (Keep this handy because you only get one). In order to keep the front of my head dry, my friend and I decided that I should wear swim trunks while they washed the back of my head’s donor area. It worked pretty well minus me feeling kinda silly. But the position allowed me to keep vertical, not bend over and keep some peace of mind they the graphs were staying dry as ordered. Once the extremely gentle wash was done, I got a smear of antibiotic ointment and was ready to relax. 

I’m looking forward to the first 36 hours to pass so I can see how well my incision areas heal in the back of my head. 

Below are the pics from immediately after removing my bandages and from after my first donor area wash. The recipient area has remained dry and has the sensation similar to wearing a helmet. It isn’t painful; just stiff. 

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Front hairline... hopefully this is densely packed for the future. 

Below are the post wash areas of the rear donor areas:

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Edited by Filipino35Fue
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Everything is looking great. That hairline is gonna look killer when it grows in, thanks for posting up your journey I'll be following this thread closely. Look forward to your updates happy growing👍


I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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Day 2 Update!

Today I was pleased to be able to wake up after what I thought would be the hardest night to sleep. Losing the rear bandage was concerning for me but I was glad to shed it. It had filled up, pretty well plus the fresh air felt good. It did give me a sense of safety though for a time. The gauze mat was pretty effective in containing evening wound fluids. Fortunately, sleep after Day 1 came pretty easily and I was relieved to sleep through the night without shifting or moving from a 45 degree angle. The only odd thing I developed was hiccups which I read can occur rarely. Fortunately, they subsided on their own after a few hours but they were definitely annoying. They didn’t keep me from sleep but when I was awake they did start to become irritating. 

Two things I have to recommend for post op recovery:

* A foam 45 degree pillow! It’s proven to be an amazing sense of comfort knowing I’m at the angle I need to be at each evening. Ordered via amazon for $30 or so. 

* Travelers’ Neck pillow. I owned one previously - one of the softer ones and it works great to keep me feeling stable. 

Since the clinic is closed every Sunday, today was my first day to go in for a wash. The two front desk associates were very kind and helpful. The office is a busy place and they handle it so well. 

After my wash, more ointment was put on and I was left to my own devices. Wearing a cap, I felt fine to go light grocery shopping. Nothing too strenuous and I was back watching movies in no time. 

The state of my head feels like a helmet but fortunately no pain. Sensations are returning to my scalp as well. The meds have been laid out and timed out so I’m ahead of the curve there. My friend created a chart of meds to take when, with food, etc. The organization no doubt helped make sure I was comfortable! 

The wounds are still weeping/leaking  some clear fluid a bit but no signs of infection due to the 3x a day ointment smear. 

The clotting and scabs from the rear head incisions have become more apparent today. Mild itching but nothing that really bothers me or makes me suspect I’ll scratch. It’s mostly relieving to feel something on my scalp tbh. 

I’m looking forward to Day 4 or 5 when I can wash the recipient site gently, but am also very anxious to do so. I’ll be reading and re-reading how to do that for sure!

The pictures below are from tonight right after an ointment smear. 

Will update soon! 

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Edited by Filipino35Fue
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Day 3 Update!

Today’s updates are slow... not much to report so I’ll list a few things below.

Things I’m thankful for...

* I’m thankful that the random bout of hiccups have not returned. I imagine that hiccuping plus the slight pressure of my scalp would be irksome. 

* I’m thankful that there isn’t any pain, but some mild pressure that is present but easy to ignore usually. If I were to describe it, I think it’s similar to wearing a baseball cap that’s just slightly too small. 

* I’m thankful for a really great friend to help manage the cleaning process and ointment applications. Its not for the faint of heart to see dried blood of the clots and incision areas, but she’s a champ! Plus she’s been so patient to help clean the areas I can’t see or reach with ease which is a huge relief to say the least!

Things I’m wishing for... 

* I really wish I could to fully wash my entire head. Obviously, I know I can’t yet... but I miss the stream of hot water flowing over my head after just 72 hours! I seriously cannot wait for that to happen in the coming days! 

* I really wish I had been given and/or ordered more gauze mats for sleeping. I was given a few but I need them anytime I put my head down so I don’t smear everything with ointment or dried blood residue. 

* I really wish I could sleep normally, but I’m actually adjusting quite well to the 45 degree foam pillow I mentioned earlier. A perfect purchase imo!

 

Here are Day 3 pics! Things are definitely looking better slowly but surely! 

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Hey man awesome updates, its funny because everything you are posting about is exactly what i experienced. Check out my thread with Dr. Diep. I am 5 days away from being exactly 4 months post op and things are growing RAPIDLY

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14 hours ago, shookwon33 said:

Hey man awesome updates, its funny because everything you are posting about is exactly what i experienced. Check out my thread with Dr. Diep. I am 5 days away from being exactly 4 months post op and things are growing RAPIDLY

Wanna see some updates 😬


I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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On 9/24/2019 at 11:32 PM, shookwon33 said:

Hey man awesome updates, its funny because everything you are posting about is exactly what i experienced. Check out my thread with Dr. Diep. I am 5 days away from being exactly 4 months post op and things are growing RAPIDLY

I’m glad to hear someone experienced some of the same things I have been over the last few days! Hopefully around Month 4 my hair will be growing as rapidly as yours is right now! I agree with Melvin- we need some updates! 📸

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Day 4 Update!

Today’s major theme: Swelling. That’s right! It finally happened. My eyes (and just a small portion of my forehead) are officially in that stage of recovery. To be honest, I was really hoping I’d be able to skip this part from my recovery research, but I’ll hold out for maybe not shedding instead haha. 

The swelling sounds so much worse than it is in all honesty. When I look at myself in the mirror, I think it almost looks like I am wearing a facial prosthetic. I briefly thought about how a surgery near Halloween would have been brilliant!

I’m hoping the swelling subsides soon because I’d like to be able to resume some general normalcy and at least do some things outside of the house. I’m bracing myself for things to look worse swelling-wise before they get better before then.

As for the recovery and looks of my donor and transplant areas, I think they’re looking better every day. I’m slightly envious of all the pictures I’ve seen from others where their donor areas look cleaner than mine, but I’m going to remain patient for how my body is determining recovery. If the scab clots come off easily that’s what I’m allowing to happen and I’ll try not to worry about them much. There are several scabs towards the top which I’m watching and looking forward to dislodging in the days to come. 

Today was the first day I gently washed my transplant area and that was slightly nerve wrecking! Instructions said to take the clinic shampoo and squeeze out some of the foam directly on top without making contact with the sponge. Mission accomplished! It felt great for a quick rinse and to see some of the dried goodness get cleansed away. I was particularly gentle because I was fearful I’d see hair graphs washing away, but all I saw was some water discoloration. Basically, all that dried goodness being washed clear. Directions said cold to lukewarm water and I went towards the cooler temp out of caution.

There’s no pain, but the lingering sense of tightness I’ve described to the sensation of wearing a baseball cap that’s too small for too long. A little crack pattern appeared today as well which I read was normal. Like many others, it freaked me out a bit. 

Two more days of antibiotics and 1 day left of Norco pain relievers. I was given some other ones which I’ll continue to take to ensure I am ahead of my pain management if needed. 

Im counting the down to Days 7 and 8 when the graphs are mostly secure and I can shower (almost) normally! 

 

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Edited by Filipino35Fue
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Looking forward to 3-4 month photos.  Happy growing.


I am an online representative for Carolina Hair Surgery & Dr. Mike Vories (Recommended on the Hair Transplant Network).

View John's before/after photos and videos:  http://www.MyFUEhairtransplant.com

You can email me at johncasper99@gmail.com

I am not a medical professional and my opinions should not be taken as medical advice.

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Day 5 Updates!

I’ll keep the narrative short today because there is not much to comment on. Healing is going well overall and I’m looking forward to a normal shower! I’m continuing with ointment allocations and daily donor area hair rinses to soften scabs. So far I’m getting lots of little scabs  coming off with the sponge rinses. It’s therapeutic. 8CB9394D-285E-48B4-B522-B1C52D258498.thumb.jpeg.516d684aea75283a4c57d1e087689db7.jpeg65128B52-D792-4BCE-953C-7D704C334043.thumb.jpeg.e2bffda6801ceaed25ed6478c6c436ce.jpeg14C3D93E-21D4-48CA-B5C1-5D996396452C.thumb.jpeg.28781299f142500339d84d06244d3d15.jpeg

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Day 6 Updates!

Swelling is down and I’m back to my normal self as of this morning... making it about 2 days or so.

The theme for today is: SCABS! 

There have been plenty of scabs coming off with the daily sponge wash. 

My nurse friend said that the pink/reddish color will subside in a few days. In my opinion, it become even more noticeable. 

Post Op instructions say that I’m supposed to wait until Day 8 to massage the recipient site! Right now my routine has been to squeeze special shampoo foam onto it.. let it sit for a few moments and then use a small pitcher to wash it clean using lukewarm water. 

It’s looking ready for a gentle wash and I can’t wait! 

Im also considering buzzing the rest of my remaining hair. It was originally suggested that I do that and I didn’t. In the initial post op recovery says, the extra hair was like a barrier I appreciated. My friend helping me said she appreciated it but now it’s become irksome. I’ve read after 10-14 days it should be okay for a cut... but I’ve read also to wait 21-30 days as well 🥺

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Day 7 Update!

The tightness of my head aka the helmet feeling has lessened considerably. I stopped applying ointment and am glad for the less than oily feel.

Scabs are pretty loose now on the sides and coming off easily. I think the top cluster of scabs are ready to come off and I think I’ll feel better knowing they’re off my scalp haha I’m slightly concerned about what the scars will look like once the redness has diminished.AA3EFDC8-E230-494E-AD21-DF111051856B.thumb.jpeg.7f58e103a6d644d06f2d56f744aad372.jpeg

Tomorrow is the big day to begin washing and gently removing the recipient site! 

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Posted (edited)

Day 8 and 9 Updates!

Over these two days I successfully conquered the scabs from the FUE! Removing the scabs was at first a gut-wrenching experience (probably because of the procedure cost 🤑). Then, it turned therapeutic and then that novelty wore off with the task at hand!

After reading the instruction packet (and combining my research reading) I used my index and middle fingers to lightly do circular motions to remove the scabs. Before this process, the scalp scabs were initially soaked with the shampoo foam for a few minutes. I started at the rear of the scalp for practice (because the front was my priority zone).

I would rinse the zone from time -to- time to ensure that there was no blood. Fortunately, no blood aka no purposefully dislodged graphs (at least I hope)! I did see a few short hair shafts connected to scabs which was expected so I didn’t freak out. 

The process took some time and patience. I initially started in the shower because I needed the shampoo of the remaining hair zones. Then I moved to the sink mirror so I could accurately remove zones as needed. Then I would use a small pitcher to rinse. Note: another benefit to shaving the entire head would be that the scabs would wash off more easily; however, I didn’t have that luxury. I needed a fine-toothed comb to very carefully remove scab debris from the remaining hair zones (not the donor or recipient areas).

Over the course of the the two days I was able to remove everything. I didn’t force any of the stubborn ones but let them air dry and tried again the following day. Baby shampoo has been my friend. 

There was no pain, but the sides from the donor areas are very tender. They are starting to flake so I’ve started adding some light moisturizer to those areas only. I read aloe would be good too. I may give that a try as well!

Here are the pics from the process below!

Pic #1 is from Day 1 (24 hours after surgery)

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Pic 2 is from Day 7 the night before I could start removing scabs and the first whole head wash!

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Pic 3 is from Day 8’s first attempt to clear scabs

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Pics 4 and on are from Day 9 after the process was completed! 

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Edited by Filipino35Fue

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Wow I love how you updated everyday the entire process. I would say, in the future clean the recipient and donor area a lot sooner. I would say the donor should be clean and free of scabs by the 2nd to 3rd day. The top should be cleared by the 5th to 6th day. That's all behind you now, it's time for the fun 🙌


I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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On 10/1/2019 at 5:20 PM, Melvin-Moderator said:

Wow I love how you updated everyday the entire process. I would say, in the future clean the recipient and donor area a lot sooner. I would say the donor should be clean and free of scabs by the 2nd to 3rd day. The top should be cleared by the 5th to 6th day. That's all behind you now, it's time for the fun 🙌

Thanks for the comment Melvin! Yeah, I read similarly about the donor sites, but mine didn’t come off easily at first so I decided to be more gentle. As for the top, my post op instructions said Day 8 to clear scabs from the recipient site so I waited ever so patiently lol. It felt so great to be done and you’re right! Now it’s time for the fun of waiting for the growing 🙌

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Day 14 Updates!

Since there wasn’t much to post I’ve been delaying updating this thread. Hope the info posted helps others - especially other Pacific Islanders with similar hair and skin tones. 🤙🏽

The major theme is DANDRUFF!

From my research, I knew this could happen. I’ve never really had dandruff before so this was a battle on unfamiliar ground lol. 

Needless to say, it’s one that has irked me.

The dandruff began mostly in the donor areas. Lots of dryness and flakes once the scabs had gone. It makes sense considering the healing process but still unpleasant.

The donor areas are tender and somewhat sensitive. It doesn’t hurt but the whenever pressure is exerted on it, I don’t exactly like the sensations. Fortunately, as each day goes by, the sensitivity levels improve. With the improvement, I was able to start to shampoo my donor areas with anti dandruff shampoo. I initially tried Head and shoulders but the flakes were intense. I read and ordered (thanks Amazon) a bottle of NIZORAL. Within a few washes, a HUGE improvement! Watch your eyes though, this stuff stings! 

I’ve slightly tried to foam my recipient sites until today. From what I’ve read, 14 days is a great marker that the graphs are very safely attached (even some say Day 6 or so). Being overly cautious, I’ve decided to wait until today to massage a light bit of the shampoo into the donor areas. Light shedding so far from what I can tell from my fingertips after a donor placement massage. Thankfully, I can’t tell from looking at the areas where the hairs are coming from... even after a haircut today. I am hopeful the norizal helps eliminates the light dandruff building in the recipient sites. The foam seems to help so far and am hoping the light massage continues. 

Before my procedure, I let my barber/stylist know about my journey. I came in today and she loved it! She was very impressed and was almost as excited as I am to see where I am in a few months. She’s also glad I didn’t trim the hair left unshaven before the procedure myself lol. 

Here at the pics from today after a fresh cut to even out all areas except the recipient sites.

7BFDDA31-7C04-4D38-A45E-02530FE74CA6.thumb.jpeg.cc3b7070fa8f945acc6b3791f3d8a2ca.jpegFA37EE58-8389-4435-AFF1-BD392777B1F0.thumb.jpeg.53a96e780416178ef07d676c055dae31.jpegF38792F2-E200-4DA8-934E-D1829E67565E.thumb.jpeg.ed1baa071b58ccea72a4cbc36340b7c3.jpeg

 

 

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Wow that looks super clean. The donor healed up nicely and the recipient area looks killer.


I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

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Awesome thread, @Filipino35Fue! 👏 👏 👏 

The detail that you've put into the regular updates is excellent, and very much appreciated. Every HT is a relatively long journey, and it's really cool that you've gone the extra mile to share the journey with us... so THANK YOU!!

I concurr with the rest of the family here, that the work looks really impressive, and now that the scabs are gone and there is no blood and gore, the scalp now looks like a work of art. 

Looking forward to your results in the upcoming months!

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On 10/5/2019 at 8:17 AM, Shifty said:

looks great at 2 weeks. 

Thanks @Shifty! I appreciate the comment! Hopefully I have a lighter shedding phase and I’m crossing my fingers I just don’t get one at all haha.

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