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As a women facing traction alopecia, research prior to my recent hair transplant from a female perspective was really difficult to find! 


So ordinarily, I am not one to blog or post in forums but after my experience from research through to recovery , I really hope my posts will help other women in my situation. 


The background of my hair loss, is that my thick black hair was receding greatly at the hairline due to tying my hair constantly in a tight bun under my hijab (headscarf). This paired with an OCD type behaviour where if my bun became loose, I would immediately retie my bun very tightly which eventually created huge loss of hair at the hairline which alternative hair loss therapies did not resolve therefore I finally accepted that I required a hair transplant. This was a difficult solution to physically and emotionally come to terms with as a female however now that I am in recovery following the procedure, my only regret is that I had delayed the procedure for years and not done it sooner! 


As a research geek, I contacted approximately 14 clinics, from within the Uk, turkey and Europe. This gave me a thorough understanding of what I needed and gave me lots of clinics  to compare until I found the “right” match for myself. 


Choosing a clinic is a very personal choice, so my blog is simply based on my own perspective and what worked for me! 


When choosing between 14 clinics, a couple of clinics were instantly discounted as they alluded to not being experienced in female hair transplants (the skill for which is different despite what some drs may tell you!) 

As an example, Dr Arshad asked me how I style my hair as this effected my graft placement which was so important due to him noticing I had an unusual fully reversed cowslick. Had he not taken this into account, my results would have been horrific with hair growth following the usual pattern males tend to go for. 


A couple of other clinics were discounted due to being poor in communication or simply being pushy, again this put me off! 


I eventually settled on booking with Dr Arshad, from Hair Dr in Dewsbury. 


For the benefit of other ladies looking for a clinic, there were some many points for selecting Dr Arshad; 

  • firstly, he is experienced in female hair transplants and carried these out regularly. During the consultation, the clinic were clearly knowledgeable on the specific hairline and atheistic to create for females. 
  • Secondly, Dr Arshad has a strong reputation. There are many reviews on his work with photos which gave me confidence in his work. 
  • Thirdly, communication with the clinic was a dream. They were organised, kept to consultation times and answered countless email with questions very promptly. They were also not pushy and did not use hard sell techniques used by other clinics. 
  • Fourthly, as a Muslim women a discreet clinic is very important to me as I didn’t want to be in waiting rooms or recovery rooms with others whilst not wearing my headscarf. During my procedure, there was never a cross over between myself and any other patient so it was completely confidential even within reception (in fact I am not even sure if there were others in the building other then my allocated dr and nurses). The process is “slick” and discreet which is very important to me. 
  • Lastly, value for money. After seeking many quotes, I felt that for the balance of Dr Arshads reputation and costs, there simply wasn’t a more cost effective for me. 

One thing to point out at this point, is that during my research process,  really did consider going abroad for the procedure, if it meant a better outcome- however within the first 30 mins of starting the hair transplant, I immediately knew that personally for me, having the procedure outside of the familiarity of the Uk would have been terrible. I’m not a nervous individual however surprisingly I really did feel anxious which was only alleviated by knowing I was in the hands of a Uk trained Dr. 

This is something I didn’t really think I would value until I was nervously laying on the surgery bed, being comforted by really friendly nurses who built immediate rapport with me. 


As i can see many posts on the step by steps of the day with Dr Arshad, I ll avoid repeating this as this does not differ between male and female patients. 


But I hope that the tips I ve noted below will help other ladies though: 


Day of procedure: 

-It’s not the time for fashion! Wear comfy joggers or sports leggings with easy slip on footwear (wear socks as feet will get cold!) 

You can keep the bottoms on under the disposable gown. 

  • as you are wearing a thin disposable gown which is exposed at the back , wear a thin stretchy camisole top which you can simply cut off yourself after the transplant (so you don’t touch your head as you take it off) 
  • Wear a loose button up shirt which you can change back into after the procedure. button up shirt mean you do not risk touching your hair after the procedure 
  • Eat breakfast!! I don’t usually eat breakfast but forced myself to eat the morning of the op. I’m sooo glad I did. I feel light headed in the morning part of the procedure and couldn’t imagine doing that on an empty stomach! 
  • Similarly, pack a lucazade in the car or an iso tonic drink for when you are leaving clinic incase you do feel slighty weak. 
  • For me personally, I had waist length hair which I cut into a bob prior to transplant. This was because I knew it would be difficult for me wash that length hair daily post op. I felt, it would have also been more difficult for the dr and nurses to work on such a long mop of hair! This was not recommended for me to do by the clinic but something which I really think worked well in terms of making things easy for me. 
  • Take wireless headphones with a playlist or podcasts as you can have the option of plugging in to help distract yourself during the long procedure. 
  • Following the procedure, you leave the clinic from the side (private entrance) so in the morning just make sure you park on the side road next to the clinic so you can simply leave and get immediately into your car 
  • I did not book into the local hotel and booked an air bnb approx 18 minutes away. This was better for me as i had complete privacy, with self check in and check out and use of kitchen etc. 
  • The procedure is a long day and as I drove over 5 hours to get to dewsbury, I’m glad I did not travel directly home after my transplant. I think if the option to stay local is there, then I personally think it’s worth considering. 
  • Get organised and make sure that clothing following the next week or so are equally easy to put on without any interference with your grafts. For me this basically meant a week of wearing shirts! 
  • Invest in the best travel pillow you can, you won’t regret it as you will need to sleep upright for the first week. I already had that Cabeau travel pillow which is my holy grail travel pillow for long haul flights and it did not let me down during my recovery post op. 
  • For busy mamas running households and doing school runs... for the first one week I asked my husband to do the school runs as I didn’t feel comfortable to leave the house due to swelling (bad on day 3-5) and not being able to wear cap or hijab for first 7 days. For me commitments like after school activities were simply cancelled for the first week until I could cover my head with my scarf after day 7.  I also made sure that I ordered a big food shop online to save myself from having to rely on my husbands ability  to do the weekly shop 😂
  • I returned to work two days after the procedure, but this was working from home and strictly with my camera off due to swelling (bad on day 3-5) and not being able to cover my grafts for the first one week. 
  • For the first week of the procedure, follow Dr Arshads post op info sheet which is so easy to follow. You can’t go wrong if you follow the steps/timings. The clinics communication is one of its strong point and I ve had “silly” questions since having the op which I just send via watsapp, and I ve always had a message or check in video call back within 2 minutes of messaging the clinic so that has been reassuring! 


I really hope that the info I ve shared today, helps other women in my previous situation.


I ll certainly update my blog in coming months with progression of the procedure:) 

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Look forward to seeing your updates we need more female journeys.

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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