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Dr. Cooley - 1,900 Graft FUT (October 2020)

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About me:

28 Years old, started Finasteride in early-mid twenties. My crown has been very stable since then, though I'm not sure whether it was due to the medication or not. Finasteride, however, didn't do anything for my hairline, which has been slowly creeping back at the temples over the years. I first started looking into hair transplants in early 2020 out of curiosity. I was prepared to ruefully accept my hair loss since I viewed hair transplants as high risk and unnatural looking. I have to give this forum complete credit for reversing my opinions 100%.


I consulted with some popular clinics recommended on this site including H&W, Eugenix, Dr. Bloxham (in person), and Dr. Wesley. All recommended in the ballpark of 1500-2000 grafts. Obviously, each of these clinics and doctors are highly regarded and have remarkable results. During my research, though, I was delving into papers published in the ISHRS journal by Dr. Cooley where he would discuss the conditions ideal for hair transplantation and graft survival down to the temperature and humidity of the room, which he controls during actual procedures. This level of perfectionism and attention to detail, in addition to his phenomenal patient results, really impressed me and in the end I chose him.

The procedure:

I took an Amtrak into North Carolina and checked into the Hilton the clinic booked for me. All of Dr. Cooley's out of town patients pass through here and they accommodate his patients well with an early morning shuttle to the clinic, as well as a shuttle back after the procedure is over. I barely sleep because of nervousness. In the morning I use an antibacterial/disinfectant wash on my scalp called Hibiclens as suggested by Dr. Cooley, eat a simple breakfast of an apple and a muffin and take the shuttle over to the clinic.

I arrived around 7:15. The clinic is located within a modern medical complex a few minutes away from the hotel. Check-in was very fast and easy - they let me choose what lunch I wanted from the local sandwich shop and pick 3 movies (I chose Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, one of the Cloverfield movies, and something else... these ended up being completely inconsequential). Dr. Cooley came in and took pre-op photos, discussed my goals, and drew on the outline for my new hairline. Dr. Cooley's demeanor was very friendly, but here I would say that the pre-op consult was quite rushed, taking less than 15 minutes or so. Dr. Cooley did not volunteer much information that outside of what was completely necessary for the procedure, for example, my hair/donor characteristics, my reserve for future procedures, etc. As I was pretty slide deprived and anxious at this point, I didn't get a chance to converse with the doctor as much as I would have liked. Regardless Dr. Cooley did seem completely present and was laser-focused on the procedure. I swallowed a bunch of pills, donned a gown and was escorted to the operating room.

You'll have to excuse my vague level of detail for the procedure itself because the combination of pills and my exhaustion catching up with me hit me hard. I remember lying face down on the chair and hearing Dr. Cooley explain that he was going to begin excising the strip and that I may feel a pinch. I barely felt a thing and hardly noticed the strip being removed or even being stitched up afterwards. The techs went to work dissecting the strip into grafts and some indeterminate amount of time later, Dr. Cooley also made the slits on my hairline (I guess I also flipped over at some point). I had lunch before the afternoon implantation session. During implantation, the movies I selected also played but I was not awake for any of it. The only thing I remember is about 5 minutes of a fight scene from Crouching Tiger. That's it. I slept through literally everything else. I woke up around 5 and everything was done. Dr. Cooley wrapped my head up, went over my post-op instructions, and I took the shuttle back to the hotel. I was discharged around 5:30.


The week post-op was quite hard on me as I'm not good at sleeping sitting up. In addition, Dr. Cooley's instructions were to use a proprietary liposomal ATP spray every hour or other hour, I forget which. The combination made my sleep very poor. In fact, the night after the procedure, I pulled an all nighter - sitting up in my hotel bed, watching TV, and spraying my grafts as directed. I will say that for me, there was absolutely minimal pain and swelling during this period. The day after the procedure, I was shuttled back to the clinic for a post-op wash, exam, and instructions. Everything went well and they gave me some gentle copper-infused shampoo to wash my grafts with. I thought it was silly at first, but the stuff is actually fantastic.

The following week was more poor sleep. I slept so badly (getting only 3 hours or so each night) that I was legitimately worried that I was stressing the survival of my grafts. I also washed the grafts daily, as per Dr. Cooley's instructions, with very gentle motions and indirect water. I continued using the spray as directed (after the first few days, you ease off the spray frequency, but are still asked to use it multiple times per day, sealing it with saran wrap and a surgical cap). Also, though not suggested by the Doctor, I took some supplements such as vitamins C, D, and Zinc. Due to the sleep issues, I was extremely grateful to be working from home during this period.

There's not too much else to say about my post-op. As I was back in NYC, I had to go to a local clinic to have the stiches removed. When he was removing the stitches, the doctor remarked that he had done stitch removal for hair transplants before but had never seen one like mine before. He said that the fine gauge of the stitches used were much more like those used for facial plastic surgery and the stitching technique was excellent.

Miscellaneous thoughts:

Though I volunteered to allow Dr. Cooley to shave my recipient for the procedure, he refused and said it would not make the work much easier for his team. I insisted and he did end up shaving a small area on the temples for better visibility. Post-op though, I have to say, I was shocked by how indiscernible the hair transplant was. I was meeting people less than a month out of the procedure and NO ONE knew that anything was done. Chalk it up to the magic of no-shave procedures. Because we were at the height of the pandemic it would not have been a huge concern if I had to shave my head since no one would see me. If I had to appear at the office though, the no-shave procedure would have been a major benefit.

I am about 7 months out from my procedure as of the time of writing and all I can say is that I am extremely satisfied and am tremendously grateful to Dr. Cooley and his fantastic team. I feel much more confident in my appearance and am genuinely having fun with my hair for the first time in years. Whereas previously I was hyper-conscious about sweeping my hair over my temples and cursing every gust of wind, I feel much more at peace now. I am happy with my results and I am optimistic that it can get even better in the coming months.


I prefer to keep a minimal number of pictures of myself on the internet so here are my pre-op photos as well as my photos about 6 to 6.5 months out from the procedure. I have a few photos of the period between I can share if you are genuinely curious but only via private message.



Ironically for a pre-op photo, the temples are a little flattering. Here it is in the worst possible lighting:




Grafts implanted. Dr. Cooley implanted grafts in between my native hairs to thicken my existing hairline in addition to reconstructing the temples:




6.5 Months out:





Thanks for reading my thread. If you have any questions feel free to reach out via the thread or private message.

Edited by ADuckwithNoHair
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  • Administrators

What an amazing head of hair man, i'm seriously envious. Thanks for sharing your review of Dr. Cooley, he's one of the best in the business hands down.

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I’m a paid admin for Hair Transplant Network. I do not receive any compensation from any clinic. My comments are not medical advice.

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Melvin- Managing 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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  • Senior Member

Wow amazing. Congratulations. Great job by the Dr.

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Kind Regards
Abhinay Singh  -  I am no longer a representative for Eugenix Hair Sciences. If you want to contact them please see below:

Email : info@eugenix.in    WhatsApp Call/Message: +91 79-779-15534          My Hair Transplant Journey 
I am not a medical professional. All opinions are my own and my advice should not constitute as medical advice.

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  • Valued Contributor

Dr Cooley is an excellent surgeon and I saw a video on his practise by JT and was very impressed. However I'm even more impressed by your head of hair! That hairline is already incredibly refined and subtle that you could not pick it form mother nature. Congratulations and you still have more joy to come. Thanks for sharing!

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