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Deciding to give up on hair transplants and shave


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I have two hair transplants neither had a great result. They bought me a bit of time but was not a permanent fix. My hair is lightly coloured and pretty thin so I was never going to get a great result.

Anyway my thinning begun to get a little bit worse, and rather than can suffer the embarrassment of walking around with very thin hair I have just decided to shave it. I have actually really begun to like the shaved look and really regret the fact that I even had a hair transplant.

My only concern now is the visibility of the fue scarring from the donor area, and on my recipitant area there seems to be a lot of red marks which seem to get worse when they have been shaved. I want to continue to bic my hair but I don't want the scarring to be visible, I'm not sure what I can do it seems SMP would be pointless as I want to have a skinhead now. I'm guessing I will have to accept there will be some light scarring from the donor area that I cannot do anything about however I'm wondering what I can do about the redness from the front of the scalp?

With hindsight I only wish I never had any hair transplants and just went straight ahead and shaved it off, but when I initially started losing my hair I was very slim and a shaved head look did not suit me. Now I am quite stocky and I have a beard so the shaved head look really suits me. My surgeon never mentioned anything about scarring even though they are one of the best surgeons in my country. I think at the end of the day surgeons want your money regardless so they will leave small details out if they think It's going to deter you from going ahead with the surgery. I guess I should be grateful as my fue scarring isn't a bad as some I have seen. I feel quite angry with them and also with myself. Initially I didn't feel self-conscious anymore walking around with a skinhead not having to worry about who could see my thinning hair but now I find myself worrying about the redness and fue scarring. If I ask others what they can see, they say they can see the redness on the scalp but they seem to say they cannot see the fue scars but I can 😔 it's so difficult trying to look at the back of your head with photos or holding a mirror behind you in front of a mirror. It's difficult to know what is visible to the naked eye. I thought that if I had electrolysis on the transplanted areas it might stop the redness keep appearing but now I'm not sure 🤔 also the hair from the transplanted areas grows quicker, it isn't too much of a problem now because there is hair around it, but once the hair around it naturally balds off I will be left with prickly bits of hair just at the front which will look ridiculous. 

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What surgeon was it that you went with? They should really have explained to you that it will leave scarring and so on, yes.

It seems as though you dove into this head first and didn't really understand that HT's aren't a fix or solution to baldness and that other steps need to be taken in order to address the root cause. Yes, you yourself should really have done more research before having surgery on your head, no doubt, but any ethical doctor should assume their patient knows nothing to begin with and make sure that they are educated to some degree at least before performing surgery on them. They have a duty to do so in my opinion.

You're very lucky as your scarring is pretty much best case scenario that anyone can hope for after FUE as it's barely noticeable. Honestly, there's nothing you can do apart from SMP, scarring is scarring unfortunately and treatments are pretty much non-existent in this department, especially for minor scarring such as what you get from FUE. So, either look into SMP more (you could potentially just get it into your scars or have it done all over) or just leave as is and keep on shaving with confidence as I doubt anyone can really tell at all!

Also, the redness in the recipient is probably some sort of mild dermatological issue and not so much scarring related, perhaps folliculitis etc. Go see a dermatologist and they may be able to help by prescribing something as simple as a steroid cream or something similar. 

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The scarring is barely noticeable, honestly I doubt anyone sees the back of your head and thinks anything of it. I'm not just saying that to be nice, if it was bad I wouldn't have said anything. The redness is a bit more evident, by no means terrible but as above maybe some topical treatment could help ... or some foundation haha.

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1 hour ago, JDEE0 said:

What surgeon was it that you went with? They should really have explained to you that it will leave scarring and so on, yes.

It seems as though you dove into this head first and didn't really understand that HT's aren't a fix or solution to baldness and that other steps need to be taken in order to address the root cause. Yes, you yourself should really have done more research before having surgery on your head, no doubt, but any ethical doctor should assume their patient knows nothing to begin with and make sure that they are educated to some degree at least before performing surgery on them. They have a duty to do so in my opinion.

You're very lucky as your scarring is pretty much best case scenario that anyone can hope for after FUE as it's barely noticeable. Honestly, there's nothing you can do apart from SMP, scarring is scarring unfortunately and treatments are pretty much non-existent in this department, especially for minor scarring such as what you get from FUE. So, either look into SMP more (you could potentially just get it into your scars or have it done all over) or just leave as is and keep on shaving with confidence as I doubt anyone can really tell at all!

Also, the redness in the recipient is probably some sort of mild dermatological issue and not so much scarring related, perhaps folliculitis etc. Go see a dermatologist and they may be able to help by prescribing something as simple as a steroid cream or something similar. 

Thank you for your reply, it does seem to be slightly tender on the areas that are red so as you mentioned it could be some skin condition. It does seem to die down but then once it's shaved again it comes back I don't have it anywhere else apart from the front where I had the hair transplanted to. But of course when shaving your head it needs to be every 3 to 4 days unless you like the Horseshoe look lol which I don't. 

 

My question about SMP is that this is to give the illusion of hair are with semi-permanent tattoos, but if I shave my head did it would defeat the object? Like I mentioned in my post I am now at the point where I would prefer to have no hair at all rather than have thinning hair. 

 

As for surgeon it was Dr shahmalak from crown clinic. Lovely guy can't fault his kindness and making me feel comfortable but on the other hand there were definitely some things left out. I also asked one of his team if the hair from the donor area would grow back, they told me it would. My first transplant with them was nearly 10 years ago at the time I didn't research like I do now. If I had of I probably wouldn't have gone ahead. 

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31 minutes ago, Domino said:

I would say it looks pretty good to be honest. I’m curious how would it look if you get tanned?

I did wonder that myself however I don't tan very well and I believe scars don't tan at all. So was wondering if it might make them stand out even more. But the skin on my head might catch up with the skin tone on my face eventually, as it has had very little exposure. 

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56 minutes ago, BLE123 said:

The scarring is barely noticeable, honestly I doubt anyone sees the back of your head and thinks anything of it. I'm not just saying that to be nice, if it was bad I wouldn't have said anything. The redness is a bit more evident, by no means terrible but as above maybe some topical treatment could help ... or some foundation haha

 Thanks, I have asked people close to me and none of them seem to be able to see the stars but when I look in the mirror I can 🤔 I guess the mirror I can see them in has a very bright light above it. I did wonder if having the hairs lasered off or having electrolysis might help with the redness situation. I have tried to contact the clinic that done my transplant a couple of times but not yet had a response. Hopefully they might be able to advise me. 

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1 hour ago, follically challenged said:

My honest opinion here... it doesn't look bad...at all. But i can understand that you feel different and that is what counts. maybe reach out to some SMP companies and see if they can help at all..?

Thanks for the reply, as I mentioned I thought SMP would be pointless considering I have a shaved head now. Maybe I just have to learn to live with it, I do know it could be a lot worse, so I should be grateful really.

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7 minutes ago, C 1988 said:

Thank you for your reply, it does seem to be slightly tender on the areas that are red so as you mentioned it could be some skin condition. It does seem to die down but then once it's shaved again it comes back I don't have it anywhere else apart from the front where I had the hair transplanted to. But of course when shaving your head it needs to be every 3 to 4 days unless you like the Horseshoe look lol which I don't. 

 

My question about SMP is that this is to give the illusion of hair are with semi-permanent tattoos, but if I shave my head did it would defeat the object? Like I mentioned in my post I am now at the point where I would prefer to have no hair at all rather than have thinning hair. 

 

As for surgeon it was Dr shahmalak from crown clinic. Lovely guy can't fault his kindness and making me feel comfortable but on the other hand there were definitely some things left out. I also asked one of his team if the hair from the donor area would grow back, they told me it would. My first transplant with them was nearly 10 years ago at the time I didn't research like I do now. If I had of I probably wouldn't have gone ahead. 

Yeah, it definitely is some sort of condition/irritation. Perhaps the grafts were planted incorrectly, maybe at the wrong depth etc and as such they are easy to irritate. 

Well, yeah, it's to give the illusion of a head of hair shaved down to the bone pretty much with a 0 guard. So, what I'm saying is, it's not a case of no hair vs thinning hair, but a case of a very shortly shaved head of (full) hair. It's still a completely shaved head, so the look is still the same, just with some framing to the face really. But either way, your scarring is fine so I wouldn't sweat it if it's not something you want to do, but look into it at least.

And, ah, that's where you went wrong then. I'm aware of this doctor and to be honest (as much as I'm sure he was a nice fella) he's really just your standard sub-par doctor. Unlikely to mess your head up, but equally as unlikely to produce a good result from what I've seen of him. Yeah, it's baffling that they lied and said the hair would grow back seeing as the organ that sprouts said hair has literally been excised and put in the recipient!

 

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3 minutes ago, JDEE0 said:

Yeah, it definitely is some sort of condition/irritation. Perhaps the grafts were planted incorrectly, maybe at the wrong depth etc and as such they are easy to irritate. 

Well, yeah, it's to give the illusion of a head of hair shaved down to the bone pretty much with a 0 guard. So, what I'm saying is, it's not a case of no hair vs thinning hair, but a case of a very shortly shaved head of (full) hair. It's still a completely shaved head, so the look is still the same, just with some framing to the face really. But either way, your scarring is fine so I wouldn't sweat it if it's not something you want to do, but look into it at least.

And, ah, that's where you went wrong then. I'm aware of this doctor and to be honest (as much as I'm sure he was a nice fella) he's really just your standard sub-par doctor. Unlikely to mess your head up, but equally as unlikely to produce a good result from what I've seen of him. Yeah, it's baffling that they lied and said the hair would grow back seeing as the organ that sprouts said hair has literally been excised and put in the recipient!

 

I see I might have a look into SMP then or I might just live with it. 🤔 

I had hair transplanted at the Crown also, but that hair doesn't seem to be an issue it grows forward and feels natural. The hair put at the front seem to always grow directly upwards rather than forwards. So this makes them feel very prickly and coarse. 

At the time of looking into transplant this particular doctor seemed to have a good reputation. He was quoted as being the second best in the UK and the first to perform an eyelash transplant. Also the fact Dr Jessen had his done with him too, made me feel confident that he must be a good Surgeon if another doctor is willing to let him perform a transplant on him. Regardless I just think I'm not a very good candidate for transplants because of of my hair type. Another thing that wasn't mentioned to me until after it had failed 🤔 

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15 minutes ago, C 1988 said:

I see I might have a look into SMP then or I might just live with it. 🤔 

I had hair transplanted at the Crown also, but that hair doesn't seem to be an issue it grows forward and feels natural. The hair put at the front seem to always grow directly upwards rather than forwards. So this makes them feel very prickly and coarse. 

At the time of looking into transplant this particular doctor seemed to have a good reputation. He was quoted as being the second best in the UK and the first to perform an eyelash transplant. Also the fact Dr Jessen had his done with him too, made me feel confident that he must be a good Surgeon if another doctor is willing to let him perform a transplant on him. Regardless I just think I'm not a very good candidate for transplants because of of my hair type. Another thing that wasn't mentioned to me until after it had failed 🤔 

Well, the way the surgeon makes the incisions and and then implants the hair largely determines at which angle the hair will grow. Yours were likely just placed at an incorrect angle as the hairs should really grow at more of a 45 degree angle here towards the hairline than 90 as you imply.

Yeah, I don't blame you. It's hard to find good surgeons at the best of times, was probably doubly so 10 years ago. But no, to be blunt, he's so far away from being a good surgeon that he doesn't even enter the conversation. Also, whilst yes hair calibre is an important factor, having fine hair is in no way a dealbreaker and a good surgeon can still easily give amazing results. If the donor is dense and has favourable FU grouping ratios for example, then it's not an issue at all really, and this makes you a good candidate even with fine hair.

I know you're at peace with things anyway, so I recommend just carrying on as you are and moving forwards, but depending on how many grafts you've had taken already and what NW you're at, you might still be able to turn things around and have a decent head of hair. As I say, if you really don't care anymore then yeah just leave it be, but if you just became disillusioned along the way by way of your poor results and whatever this previous clinic has told you in the past to justify their shoddy work and essentially make you believe it was your fault things didn't go to plan, then there may well be hope yet.

If so, post some pics of your hair grown out a bit etc and we can give you an accurate assessment.

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I respect your decision and honestly  it looks great bald.

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

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1 hour ago, JDEE0 said:

Well, the way the surgeon makes the incisions and and then implants the hair largely determines at which angle the hair will grow. Yours were likely just placed at an incorrect angle as the hairs should really grow at more of a 45 degree angle here towards the hairline than 90 as you imply.

Yeah, I don't blame you. It's hard to find good surgeons at the best of times, was probably doubly so 10 years ago. But no, to be blunt, he's so far away from being a good surgeon that he doesn't even enter the conversation. Also, whilst yes hair calibre is an important factor, having fine hair is in no way a dealbreaker and a good surgeon can still easily give amazing results. If the donor is dense and has favourable FU grouping ratios for example, then it's not an issue at all really, and this makes you a good candidate even with fine hair.

I know you're at peace with things anyway, so I recommend just carrying on as you are and moving forwards, but depending on how many grafts you've had taken already and what NW you're at, you might still be able to turn things around and have a decent head of hair. As I say, if you really don't care anymore then yeah just leave it be, but if you just became disillusioned along the way by way of your poor results and whatever this previous clinic has told you in the past to justify their shoddy work and essentially make you believe it was your fault things didn't go to plan, then there may well be hope yet.

If so, post some pics of your hair grown out a bit etc and we can give you an accurate assessment.

To be honest when when I had the transplant I remember the surgeon removing the hairs, but also other staff doing this too, then the surgeon made the incisions and the other staff put the hairs in place. So at some points there are staff that aren't necessarily well trained taking part in the procedure.

You are correct, I am now at a point where I'm happy to have no hair. It isn't that I have resigned to this, I'm actually really comfortable with it. There are so many things I no longer have to worry about, hair is obviously something that needs to be maintained but when you are starting to lose it it's something that can be really bothersome. Certain weather were an issue I could never wear a hat or a helmet and take it off and look ok. Then there is the amount of time spent making sure it looked ok brushing etc. And even after all that still feeling self-conscious. However as mentioned having no hair didn't suit me when I had the transplants, I was very young mid 20s, very slim, it just didn't look right. 

I don't really have any Direct photos of my hair I avoided taking them lol over the years my hair always looked the same the transplants just gave me me more time with what I had rather than making it considerably better. As time went on I learned how to grow and brush it to make it look fuller.

 

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16 minutes ago, C 1988 said:

To be honest when when I had the transplant I remember the surgeon removing the hairs, but also other staff doing this too, then the surgeon made the incisions and the other staff put the hairs in place. So at some points there are staff that aren't necessarily well trained taking part in the procedure.

You are correct, I am now at a point where I'm happy to have no hair. It isn't that I have resigned to this, I'm actually really comfortable with it. There are so many things I no longer have to worry about, hair is obviously something that needs to be maintained but when you are starting to lose it it's something that can be really bothersome. Certain weather were an issue I could never wear a hat or a helmet and take it off and look ok. Then there is the amount of time spent making sure it looked ok brushing etc. And even after all that still feeling self-conscious. However as mentioned having no hair didn't suit me when I had the transplants, I was very young mid 20s, very slim, it just didn't look right. 

I don't really have any Direct photos of my hair I avoided taking them lol over the years my hair always looked the same the transplants just gave me me more time with what I had rather than making it considerably better. As time went on I learned how to grow and brush it to make it look fuller.

 

Yeah, I thought so, well good on you anyways! That's always the easiest option there is to deal with baldness, given you can accept it and move on, which it's clear you have done.

And yeah, no need for the photos anyway if you've no intentions of ever going down the HT route again - I was just checking if you were doing it out of choice or what you thought was necessity due to what you'd been told in the past.

As I say, I think just leaving as is and forgetting about hair forever is your best option, but do some research into SMP as it could be for you and it does no harm to have a look into things. 

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I’m going through something similar, so I’ll keep an eye on your post if you don’t mind letting us know what you went for. Im thinking electrolysis myself. Just not sure if it scars at all. How many grafts did you have with your FUE may I ask?

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The FUE scars on the back are incredibly hard to spot even at that length. Everyone on this forum has seen these sorts of things a 1000 times and you're specifically pointing them out to us. It honestly looks absolutely fine and you have nothing to worry about at all. If I was walking behind you I'd have never noticed a thing.

The redness is more visible but not in a major way and can probably be resolved with some investigation. You absolutely do not need to waste your money on SMP.

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23 hours ago, CreamyLogan said:

I’m going through something similar, so I’ll keep an eye on your post if you don’t mind letting us know what you went for. Im thinking electrolysis myself. Just not sure if it scars at all. How many grafts did you have with your FUE may I ask?

Yes of course I will keep you posted I had two separate Transplants about 1300 grafts each time. How about yourself? What is the problem you're having?

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23 hours ago, Berba11 said:

The FUE scars on the back are incredibly hard to spot even at that length. Everyone on this forum has seen these sorts of things a 1000 times and you're specifically pointing them out to us. It honestly looks absolutely fine and you have nothing to worry about at all. If I was walking behind you I'd have never noticed a thing.

The redness is more visible but not in a major way and can probably be resolved with some investigation. You absolutely do not need to waste your money on SMP.

Thanks, to be fair I was out today and saw quite a few bald men, I was looking at the back of their head and some of them had white dots but was clearly not from transplants so I guess we all have some imperfections once we shave our head. The redness seems more likes spots when the hair is coming back through after shaving, I'm just thinking it might look silly having stubble coming through where I have had Transplants and then bald around it. So in that case I will definitely try and do something to remove them.

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8 hours ago, C 1988 said:

Yes of course I will keep you posted I had two separate Transplants about 1300 grafts each time. How about yourself? What is the problem you're having?

I had 1900 grafts in 2 separate sessions. I’m 35 now and I had to stop taking finisteride as it was causing me problems. I’ve since thinned more behind the transplanted area so I’d just like to remove the transplanted grafts and maybe embrace the shaved look.

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8 hours ago, C 1988 said:

Yes of course I will keep you posted I had two separate Transplants about 1300 grafts each time. How about yourself? What is the problem you're having?

Did you say you looked in to electrolysis to get rid of the transplanted hairs? I’m thinking of just doing that, cutting my losses. But I do not know if it leaves any marks?? I can’t seem to find a case anywhere about this.

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