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Hello Everyone.  I've been lurking for awhile and just recently had a transplant performed by Dr. Diep.  I wanted to document my journey and give a very transparent review of my experience so far.  There doesn't seem to be as many experiences documented for those of us from African descent... this is my way of doing what I can to change that.  I might type a lot so I'll try to break up the posts by time frame.  Also, I'm new here so if I break any rules just let me know.  I'm not sure how everything works here.

 

Research/Consultation and Scheduling phase

Dr. Diep first came on my radar in 2016 when I stumbled upon some YouTube videos of black males getting great results from a transplant.  Since he was using videos and not photo stills I became convinced in his capability and made a mental note to seek him out in the future (if needed).  Because while I had a mature hairline and some slight thinning, I wasn't in a bad place.

In 2019 things started getting a bit worse so I bit the bullet and flew out to see Dr. Diep for a consultation.

Here's a brief timeline:

  • July 2019. I fly from the east coast to the clinic in SF for an in-person consultation. I'm presented options for 1500, 1750, or 2000 grafts.  We agree on 1500 grafts.

  • The office follows up with me and tells me there's a SEVEN MONTH waiting list for appointments. The earliest they can see me is March 2020 and I have to pay $1000 to secure my spot.

  • mid-November 2019, I receive an email stating that Dr. Diep can no longer do the surgery on my scheduled date and if I can possibly do sometime in December. (not guaranteed btw). I tell them no because I have plans. They say they'll get back to me.

  • Late-November 2019, having not heard anything back for a few weeks I reach out and ask what my new date is. I'm assumed they'd move it +/-1 week or something. The office assistant says nothing is available and she can slot me in for July 2020!

  • I tell them that this isn't going to work because I have plans. They tell me that it's all they can offer because new clients are getting booked for January 2021.

  • I think to myself, "This fucking sucks but July 2020 is better than January 2021" and book it.  

  • I ask around on the reddit for help but nothing beyond the "go somewhere else." advice.  I was in a bind because I needed to go somewhere reputable for producing results in BLACK men.

  • Frustrated, I call the office manager the 1st week of December and explain how it's not right for them to cancel my appointment for no reason without an alternative.  She says she agrees and that a slot just opened up for the first week of January.  I text my gf and book it ASAP.  Despite my feelings of the customer service at this point, the new date was earlier than my original date and a better fit for my schedule.

I've attached some pics of my hairline from 2019.  It's pushed back a little and there's definitely thinning in the middle.  But it's largely diffuse and I can get away with it just by cutting my hair lower.

 

 

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Day of Surgery
I arrived to Los Gatos two days in advance to account for any travel delays. The night before I couldn't sleep at all. I was super excited. We went over the final paperwork and I opted for the additional $500 A-Cell treatment to help with recovery.  He said it was the same thing as AmnioFill but most people chose ACell.  I figured what's another $500 at this point?

During Surgery

They shaved my head down. The irony was this was the first time I saw my head bald and it didn't look that bad. lol. Dr. Diep came in and gave me some shots and some pills. The only painful part was the anesthesia to the head. I don't remember much of the first part of the surgery, only waking up to eat lunch. I do remember the techs asking where the A-Cell was because they couldn't find it.

Also, I want to mention something important... the techs are the ones who insert the hair. I'm not sure if it was always like that but I seem to remember during my consultation that Diep said he would be the one inserting the grafts. He was the person that removed the hair from the donor area from what I remember.

At one point I remember waking up to him asking the techs about count and it being low. He then proceeded to pretty aggressively take more hair from my left donor area.

The entire surgery lasted around 12 hours. They wrapped my donor area up, put a bandage around the front, and put the medical cap on and I went back to the hotel.

After Surgery
Top of head very swolen but I don't really feel any pain. But I'm liking what he's done with the hairline. Came in aiming for 1750 grafts but they were only able to pull 1500 or so. I asked Dr. Diep why and he said sometimes he's not able to get all the hairs he needs. He didn't expound any further. I'm not sure if it means my donor area is shot or whatever but I didn't want to keep pressing for info. Since I paid for 1750 grafts I will be getting a refund of some sort. So far I'm happy with the work and optimistic about the healing process.

I took some meds and slept on the sofa chair at the hotel at a 45 degree angle.

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Post Op - Day 1

I went back to the office for the first wash. Once I came back home I took some pics in the hotel light. I think the hairline looks great but the donor area seems more bloody that what I've seen other people have. After reading some comments on this board, it appears Diep goes for larger holes in the donor area but it still heals fine.

 

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Edited by Norman Osborne Waves
Added pics

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Post Op - Day 2

Donor area is still looking pretty raw.  The dried blood isn't helping how I feel about it.  Hairline looks good tho.

The swelling has went down from the top of my head to my eyes.

Post Op - Day 3&4

Holy swelling Batman!  My eyes look like I've been in a 12 round battle with Mike Tyson.

I had my gf wash my donor area a bit more aggressively so it looks better and not as scabby as before. As seen in the pics below  

 

I’m still not in much pain. My biggest concerns are the swelling and healing of donor areas.  I’ll update this thread as I hit more milestones. Feel free to chime in with any questions or comments. Ultimate everyone wants to see results but I felt it was important to review the experience up to this point  

 

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Hang in there.
Will be following you and your progress !

All The Best !!!

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Post Op - Day 6

2nd day of lightly washing the recipient area. Scabs and cracks among the surface are forming. I’ve been told this is expected  

Some of the feeling is starting to return to my scalp. Of course that means I’m feeling more pain. Overall I think I’m healing well. Here are some pics of the front, back, and both sides.

 

Diep wrote me a fin script and I’ve been debating whether to take it but I think I am. Gonna start off at 1/2 a dose and see how my body takes it. 

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I’m a very happy Diep patient, his wait times have gone up since my surgery over 5 years ago. The work looks very clean. I’m actually impressed at how well your already healing.

The new hairline looks great. Very youthful. I’ll be following your progress closely. Thank you for posting your review, we don’t have enough reviews with afrocentric hair, so this will help a lot of guys out there.


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 1/12/2020 at 10:29 PM, Melvin-Moderator said:

I’m a very happy Diep patient, his wait times have gone up since my surgery over 5 years ago. The work looks very clean. I’m actually impressed at how well your already healing.

The new hairline looks great. Very youthful. I’ll be following your progress closely. Thank you for posting your review, we don’t have enough reviews with afrocentric hair, so this will help a lot of guys out there.


Im sure I’ll be a happy patient as well.  But I wanted to be transparent about the process. It appears Dr. Diep is suffering from success. There seems to be an uptick in men getting hair transplants in the African American community (and in general). I can imagine his patient pool blowing up because he’s made a name for himself with our demographic. This has led to increased wait times and the price going up. I completely understand. He may need to beef up his office staff to keep the customer service up with the increased demand. 
 

just a thought. Anyway thanks for following this thread I’ll try to keep it updated along the way. 

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Today is day 8 post surgery. I’m still experiencing scalp pain as my nerve endings come back but it’s manageable. I was really excited because today was the first day I could wash the recipient area. I was brought back to reality a bit after the first wash. Since my hair color wasn’t too different from the scabs, it gave the appearance of an already dense hairline. After washing them off I realized I still have a ways to go.  I couldn’t get all the scabs off in one go so I’ll let them naturally fall off in subsequent washes. Today is my last day on vacation so I have to go in the office tomorrow. Since I keep my hair low I doubt most folks will notice. It’s also hard to see the red area due to my skin color. 
 

Here are some pics from before and after the wash. 

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Edited by Norman Osborne Waves

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Try and soak the scabs with conditioner- this will help get the scabs off. Your donor looks good, you can’t tell anything.


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 12 post op. Most of the scabs are gone. I honestly can’t tell where my new hair starts and the old hair ends. I’ve been wearing my hair out pretty confidently. I’m slightly anxious for the shedding period but ready to get it over with. 
 

No donor area pics because it’s the same as before but more grown out. You can’t see anything. 
 

At this point I’ll probably only post monthly updates. 

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Current update. 28 days post op. I’m definitely entering the shedding phase. I’ve cut the surrounding hair (including the donor) with hopes of it not looking as bad. Using clippers on the donor area wasn’t so bad but the area is still tender so it hurt a tiny bit. 
 

it’s pretty hard to see my donor area scarring since I have darker skin and black curly hair. But it’s slightly red if you look up close. My gf says even she can’t notice it so that’s good. 
 

Quick question, is it normal for my recipient area to still be red by now?

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the redness in the recipient site can linger for a few months. it varies from person to person. totally normal to still be pinkish at 28 days

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Shedding is definitely happening, the ugly duckling period is fast approaching. Thanks for keeping us updated on your progress.


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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8 hours ago, LonelyGraft said:

Did Diep say it’s ok to use electric clippers on the recipient?

 

I'll have to check my paperwork but I haven't cut the recipient yet, only the donor area to keep it from outgrowing it too much.

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Posted (edited)

My 2.5 months update. Nothing really impressive to show. What’s been funny is how many public appearances I’ve had to make since the transplant. 
 

This is roughly 1 week growth from close to bald. I kept cutting the donor area so the difference wouldn’t be super noticeable. Now I just wear it like it is. It doesn’t look crazy, just like I’m balding.
 

My donor area looks like nothing happened to it, even with a low cut. The recipient area is still shedding and I get intermittent pimples combined with redness. Thankfully my skin color hides it well  

 I cannot WAIT for this ugly duckling phase to pass. Here at the pics:

 

 

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Edited by Norman Osborne Waves
meant to say 2.5 not 3.5 months
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I can see the outline of the hairline already, it’s literally impossible to see any scarring in the donor. It’s incredible, you’re a freak of nature dude, you scar like wolverine haha.

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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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Not putting you down or anything, but I worry what this will look like in a few years with the midscalp and crown already thinning.

 

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On 3/13/2020 at 11:42 AM, Norman Osborne Waves said:

My 3.5 months update. Nothing really impressive to show. What’s been funny is how many public appearances I’ve had to make since the transplant. 
 

This is roughly 1 week growth from close to bald. I kept cutting the donor area so the difference wouldn’t be super noticeable. Now I just wear it like it is. It doesn’t look crazy, just like I’m balding.
 

My donor area looks like nothing happened to it, even with a low cut. The recipient area is still shedding and I get intermittent pimples combined with redness. Thankfully my skin color hides it well  

 I cannot WAIT for this ugly duckling phase to pass. Here at the pics:

 

 

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This is probably the part where it starts growing...i am only 16 days PO..excited for ya

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On 3/14/2020 at 3:43 PM, BeHappy said:

Not putting you down or anything, but I worry what this will look like in a few years with the midscalp and crown already thinning.

 

No offense taken. That’s a fair point and it’s a reason I wanted to potentially look at a larger transplant. But for now a lower hairline will do. My hair looks better once grown out. I will evaluate the need for another transplant later. 

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