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MY HAIR LOSS STORY. SKIP OVER THIS FOR THE TRANSPLANT DETAILS.


Name: Nick

Age: 35

Norwood 7

First Time user / poster here. I'm nervous to post about this, since I don't enjoy openly talking about my hair loss, but hopefully it helps someone in the same situation.

The following timeline will sound overdramatic. Because there's more to life than hair, right? I could write an entire novel about my entire hair loss experience, but I edited this summary down to a page in length to spare you the unnecessary details. To put it simply, hair loss has affected me so badly that I have become a turtle in a shell for nearly two decades. I don't go out anywhere or do anything social at all. Obviously, I have to work and have had steady jobs from my early 20's til today, but rarely ever seek out and friendships / relationships. Without hair, I have absolutely zero confidence. I have tried incredibly hard to just accept it and move on with life, but sadly cannot.

THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS...

2006 - hairline recession pointed out during haircut

2007 - self-consciousness begins, and other classmates point it out. I begin lowering my head as I walk to keep bangs over the recession. The wind is now my worst enemy. I wore hoodies with drawstrings tightened everywhere I went.

2008 - I grew my hair very long this year to further conceal the loss. This is the year I started wearing hats for the first time ever, and I haven't stopped wearing them since. 

2009 - The economy isn't the only thing in recession. It is now even worse and making my life increasingly miserable. At this time, people are poking fun at me. I feel so alone because everybody else in my college class has normal hair. Even my 70-year-old sociology professor has more hair than me... this really ticked me off.

2010 - I needed to get a job, but refused to work anywhere that didn't let me where a hat. I worked at the most stressful job in the world,
and that made my hair fall out even faster.

2011 - I was looking in the mirror at the dead forest on my head. The sunset in the window was directly behind me and it shone through
my scalp, and I saw the shiny curvature of the earth. It was at that moment that I grabbed the electric clippers, and shaved it all off.
It was a very liberating feeling.

I received lots of positive feedback from family members, on my shaved head...        NOT.

"Oh my god, you look horrible. why would you do that??? You better grow your hair out this instant."           I really wish I could.  😞

These comments were deeply hurtful to me, and my self-esteem plummeted to a level I never thought possible.

2012 - This where I became completely isolated. I no longer wanted any friends, and I became very distant from family events. And relationships that 20 something year olds are supposed to have.... just FORGET IT.... It's all over... my life is completely ruined. (at least that's how it felt)

Everywhere I go, I feel like a complete outcast. Extreme emotional discomfort 24/7.

2013 - Shaving my head is now a daily chore. What choice do I have?? As I go through life, I look around me, and I'm constantly reminded of what a freak of nature I am compared to everyone else my age. I'm a very bitter, miserable person... but I try my absolute best to pretend that I'm alright. 

2014 - Same nonsense. No friends, no relationships. The only option... Complete Isolation. I tried very hard to accept my hair loss, but it is impossible.

2015 - I left my stressful Job. It was a great feeling, but this burden is still with me, and I desperately needed a refresh.
I started researching transplants, but there were so many horror stories... and very few success stories, especially for a norwood 7.

I had SMP done, and it was a fantastic change. It made me much more comfortable in social situations... which I forced myself into, to feel normal again.

2016 - But still... the first SMP didn't quite fill the void, and I became greedy. I had it done about 8 more times... made it darker, denser,
lowered the hairline... created temple points... but still.... felt bald, because I was.... When you don't have follicles on your head, the SMP just looks.. off.    

I got a new job, and I wore a stupid hat...
FOR FOUR LONG YEARS. The insecurity was stronger than super glue, because no matter what... THAT HAT NEVER EVER LEFT MY HEAD.
I felt so stupid wearing this damn thing every day... but it was just too embarrassing to take it off.

2017 - I went on a school trip to South Korea, and unbeknownst to me.. we were going to an event where we needed to "dress up in ancient Korean gowns"

I RAN AWAY FROM MY GROUP, and hid in a small park with abstract sculptures somewhere in South Korea, in the searing hot sun, for many hours... I didn't even know where I was... (perhaps I can find a picture of this place someday?)

But I absolutely needed to get the hell out of there. I knew that If I went to that dress up event, my hat would come off and I just couldn't deal with that... While I was sitting there, I thought to myself...

I'm being ridiculous... because nobody cares about what I look like... those feelings are inside of my head. But I just can't shake those feelings.

2018 - Wore hats. people kept asking about it.

2019 - Wore hats. people kept commenting on it.

I got SMP done yet again... and still... why the heck do I keep doing this? It doesn't fix the problem. I started researching transplants again. I saw videos from Eugenix, but I dismissed it as being too good to be true.

YOU KNOW WHAT!!??? I gave myself two decisions.  

1. Feel Stupid Hiding under a hat for the rest of the year  

OR  

2. Feel Extremely Ugly and expose my bald head, but lose the feeling of foolishness.

2020 - I chose option 2. I finally took the damn hat off. It was very liberating, but now I feel very insecure walking around the office. I feel so exposed, and I'm finding it extremely difficult to look people in the face and talk to them. I really feel like my lack of confidence is badly affecting my work life.

Then the pandemic happened, and we were forced to work from home. This was a Godsend for me, because now my coworkers can't look at me...

My way of thinking was... as long as I'm living a life of isolation and nobody's looking at me... I can be as bald as I want to be, and it just won't matter. I hope remote work never ends.

2021-2022 - every now and then, I'm forced to come into the office, and It's extremely painful for me. I cannot believe how many years have gone by living like this... and I still can't get used to it.

2023 - After much research over the last several years. I had some sparks of hope. Eugenix popped into my youtube feed again. The HT Mentor, Joe tilman showed a video of Eugenix results and spoke very highly of the clinic. Joe Tilman's positive words about Eugenix was extremely promising to me. I saw @Zoomster Karl, @Gatsby Adrian, @Bandit90 John Cross, Rahul, Ajay, and countless others in a similar position to me. 

There are too many great Eugenix results to mention here.

Congratulations to @Gatsby for winning the Transplant Award! You look incredible. 

I was extremely impressed with the video of @Bandit90 , which demonstrated the doctor's excellent donor management skills, which is hard to find with other clinics. His result is phenomenal! One of the best I've ever seen.

It was the video of @Zoomster Karl Whelan in standing in the beautiful fields of Ireland that really did it for me. I watched that video and was overcome with emotions. I must admit that the video made tears stream down my face... I felt so happy for this man, and tried to imagine the joy he must be feeling...                      ...Hope at last.

I decided it was finally time to do something about this...                                                                   

 

So I did.
 

 

HAIR TRANSPLANT PREPARATION

Pre-op Photos:

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My head is as shiny as the crystal ball behind me.

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I had consultations with other reputable Doctors in the United States, and my price estimate was between 50,000$ and 60,000$   Ouch.

I found that Eugenix was not only affordable, but highly reputable, with consistent high quality results for high norwoods.

They mentioned that I should take finasteride, which I had done a month Prior. I was using topical Finasteride, but it gave me a really bad rash on my forehead. They recommended oral finasteride, which I started straight away, with no side effects thankfully. (I've been taking it for over a year at the time of typing this.)

I downloaded WhatsApp and connected with Rishab and many other Eugenix Staff. Their communication was excellent and were able to answer all of my questions in a timely manner.

As I mentioned above, I had Scalp Micropigmentation about 9 times, and had a very low (fake) hairline. Since I am norwood 7, I knew it wasn't realistic to have such a low hairline with extensive hair loss. I needed to be conservative for my first surgery.

I went to Removery in Philadelphia, to have it laser removed at the front hairline only. The staff warned me that there might be a chance of permanent discoloration, because some SMP artists use the wrong ink for their SMP. They showed me pictures where this had happened to people... it was horrifying, and scared the hell out of me. I signed a consent form and decided to laser off a very tiny spot on my temple point area, and come back in a few weeks to make sure it all turned out normal.

Thankfully the small lasered spot turned out normal, and I decided to laser off the hairline in 3 sessions. Total cost 1,080$

I drew up a Map to clearly communicate what I wanted done, and sent this image over to them.

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The staff at Removery were excellent, and extremely friendly. I'm also surprised that the laser removal didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. It feels like someone snapping you with a rubber band at high speed for 30 seconds. Maybe 7 out of 10 on the pain scale.

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After a tattoo is Removed, it leaves a dark residue behind called "Frosting" and after that, my skin was "Flakey" And so my username became  "FROSTED FLAKED"

 

I signed up for an Indian Medical Visa

I bought flight tickets months in advance, and chose to stay at The Hotel Doubletree in Gurugram.

I got my bloodwork done with Labcorp and sent over to Eugenix. Everything turned out fine.

I booked an appointment with the Premium Package by – Dr Priyadarshini Das of June 4th, 5th, and 6th for 5,500 grafts.


Eugenix Info:

 
Cost Per Graft – INR 210 + Tax


Planning & Designing & Complete Slits to be Performed by Dr Priyadarshini Das and further assisted by our Senior Eugenix Technicians under the supervision of the leading doctor.


Value Added Benefits - Complimentary two nights’ accommodation with airport pick up and drop off. Seven days post-op medication will be provided by us.


I paid for my Procedure in Full before going to India, as I heard of Nightmare scenarios where people were unable to use their card.
 

 

When I arrived in India, there was a lot of confusion. I needed to change the Sim Card in my Iphone, so I bought an Indian Sim card, but couldn't get the slot open because you need a pin. I asked around the airport, and nobody had one, so I stayed connected to the Wifi, so I could connect with Eugenix. If I remember correctly, you have to print the Wifi passcode out of a machine, and they should be located next to the Immigration forms.

For those of you who have never been to India, take my advice... DO NOT leave the airport until your Eugenix driver arrives (they will contact you on whatsapp), because once you walk out the door, you can't get back in. It was absolute Chaos out there, and it took ages to find my driver. He sent me pictures of himself holding a sign, so I searched through the endless sea of people, and I could not find him. It was the most stressful game of Where's Waldo I've ever played in my life. I was also being eaten alive by mosquitos, which further heightened the anxiety as I was scared of catching Malaria. 

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After what felt like an hour and a half, I held up my phone with the driver's picture... AND I FINALLY FOUND HIM!!! Oh What a glorious moment that I will never forget!! 

I apologized that it took me so long to find him, but he was very friendly and understanding, and we headed to the Hotel Doubletree. 

I arrived and filled out some paperwork at the front desk, and headed to my room. I was extremely exhausted from the long journey, but couldn't sleep because my consultation was the next morning, and was nervous that I would oversleep.

I received a text from a Eugenix driver stating that he would pick me up and bring me to the clinic. I hopped in the Car, and we headed down the road less than a mile from the hotel.

I spoke to the medical counselors, and met with Dr. Das. She is just as warm and friendly as everyone describes- although she did jokingly make fun of me because I throw my head back when swallowing pills. All in good fun of course! She had looked at my scalp hair and said that my donor was "good." I told her that I was shocked to hear that.

We spent the day planning out the procedure, and giving me test injections for the local anesthesia to make sure I didn't have an allergic reaction. Luckily, all went well.

The next day Dr. Das made the slits in the frontal portion of my scalp. I couldn't feel a thing, and I actually fell asleep a few times. Dr. Das had mentioned that my Scalp was "Hard", but blood circulation was good.

The next day, more slits were made, and scalp extraction began. This wasn't entirely painless as there were parts of my scalp that felt the cuts. They use a vibrating tool that helps distract you from the pain of the anesthesia injections, and it definitely helps. But the Chin area... oh my goodness... that was intense, but so totally worth it to get my hair back.

The Doctors, Nurses, and Technicians are masters in their field and you can tell they are very experienced. And they always looked after me to make sure I was comfortable, or if wanted a drink of water. (Us Philadelphians pronounce the word water like "wooder", so they were confused when I asked for it, haha.)

I'm not gonna lie, getting the hair transplant was exhausting... So on the third day around 6:30pm or so, Dr. Das said "Ok Nicholas, were all finished."

I sat up, inhaled deeply, and exhaled... paused for 15 seconds without saying anything.. then quietly muttered... "Thank God" 

To Which Dr. Das Burst out laughing.

 

After my surgery was finished, I saw the Man himself, Dr Pradeep Sethi, who asked where I was from. I told him I was from Philadelphia, and he told me that he would be giving consultations at the Convention center in July. I said, "I'll be there".

 

For the days after the surgery, I gave myself a task for the next seven days: "For the love of God, please do not bang your head on anything!"

I had a few close calls... I almost knocked my head against the Lamp in the Eugenix Storage Room, where I kept my belongings.

And I almost hit my head on a low soffit when going up the hotel doubletree stairs on the right-hand side (just a heads up! er... heads down.)

(some of these photos keep rotating by themselves, sorry.)

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I was spared from the "river scabs" that most people seem to experience.

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The Beard and Neck area recovered very quickly. 

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Graft Recap: 5,507 Grafts         3,400 Scalp and 2,107 beard. (if I remember correctly)

This will most definitely be a two surgery process because 5,507 grafts over a NW7 scalp will never be enough. But my main goal was to have short hair and stubbles to blend with the SMP. (8 months later, I am happy with the outcome and I look forward to my second procedure)

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(Eugenix Donor Dressing / Head Wash Waiting Area)

Every morning for the next 8 days or so, the eugenix drivers would pick me up and take me to the clinic for Donor dressing, and I always used my hands to cover my head in case the car hit a bump.

One of the drivers said, "You don't have to hold your hands over your head every single time, you'll be fine." to which I replied, "I'm not taking any chances!"

Days 3 through 5 post-surgery were the most difficult, due to the extreme itchiness all over my scalp. I would dig my claws into my legs and say to myself, "I'M NOT LOSING ANYMORE HAIR, I'VE ALREADY LOST ENOUGH, PLEASE DON'T SCRATCH YOUR HEAD!!!" I found that Pep-talking myself got me through it.

I used the neck pillow that the clinic provided me with, and I'm surprised how easy it was to fall asleep comfortably. Sleeping after the HT was what I feared the most, but it was actually alright. I checked my bed every morning to make sure I didn't lose any grafts, and never found one throughout the whole week. Phew.

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(Hotel Lobby)

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(Hotel Room)

The Hotel DoubleTree was beautiful, and the Dining Area was fantastic. Tons of savory meals and sweet desserts to choose from and the staff were friendly. I was wearing a blue surgical cap in the Dining Area, and saw another person wearing one just like it. This was when I met @Shadman who had explained his HT repair situation to me. Hello Shadman! Shadman was very friendly and knowledgeable, and we had a long talk before parting ways around June 14th. He asked me If I would post to the Hair Restoration Network, to which I replied "I will probably wait 3 months before I post" (Here I am 8 months later...)

I also met a friendly fellow from Australia who had his procedure done by Dr. Vinita at the same time of my surgery. I have kept in contact with him the entire time, and his 8 month results are incredible.

I also met another friendly gentleman from Ireland who had his procedure by Dr. Somesh. We were both in the waiting room finishing up our head wash / donor dressing and We had a brief conversation before I was whisked away by the eugenix drivers. After looking through the HRN I found him. Hello @transplant49584! Hope you are doing well!

After the scabs were removed, I was really amazed at the density of the grafts. It had exceeded my expectations, so I hope that they all survive in the end.

 

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(this was my scalp about 2 weeks after the transplant. I've seen my head bald for over a decade, so I was delighted to say the least.

So delighted in fact, that a Butterfly did indeed emerge from the grassy fields.)

SHEDDING PHASE BEGINS

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The donor looked rough back then, but it has since recovered.

 

MONTH 1

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Dr Pradeep Sethi Consultation event

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During my one month period, Dr. Pradeep was doing consultations and I met up with him at the Marriot Hotel, In Philly. I had a hard time finding him at first, but discovered him in the Dining Area. He approached me with a walking cane (he had badly twisted his ankle on the Journey over here) We shook hands, and walked towards the back of the Dining Room, where I was pleasantly surprised to see Adam @SLA. I had seen him in the Rishikesh video on youtube, and was amazed at his incredible transformation! He's a great guy and I'm very glad I met him! He was on a video call with another Eugenix patient Armen @MazAB where we talked briefly, and he has the best hairline that I've ever seen!

I chose to stay it this event the entire day, as I met a lot of people who were also experiencing hair loss. It was extremely therapeutic being able to talk to other potential patients in the same situation. In my past experiences of large social gatherings I usually just hide in the corner... but here, I felt at home. I was open and honest about my situation, and it was a huge relief just getting it off my chest.

During the event, Adam had reserved a room for Dr Pradeep at the Lowes Hotel. I assisted Dr. Sethi in carrying the Luggage to the hotel room at the end of the event. 

Dr Sethi had a cab waiting for him outside. He gave me a huge hug, and we parted ways. I hope to see him again soon!

MONTH 2

The Pimples in the Donor area was the worst part of this. Ibuprofen helped immensely.

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MONTH 3

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MONTH 4

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MONTH 5

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MONTH 6

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I'm not gonna lie, this picture is an illusion. The SMP is making it look much better than it is. No it's not hair fibers, just SMP under a shadow.

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MONTH 7

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MONTH 8

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Under Sun and Daylight (from window)

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Under Fluorescent unflattering Light

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Here's an experiment with Dermatch hair loss concealer. The left side has it, and the right side doesn't.

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I never intended to grow my hair out with the first procedure, because I know that the density of 5,507 grafts isn't enough. I will be getting a second procedure for density in the future. But for now, I've decided to keep it short until the second transplant. I can also feel more prickly hairs popping through, so fingers crossed that there will be improvements by month 12.

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10 minutes ago, Frosted Flaked said:

The last 15 photos should be deleted, but I can't figure out how.

One for @Melvin- Adminto help with I think.

Really interesting case and the hairline design along the amended SMP is really nice. Was the goal to simply add hair across the scalp to enhance and improve more of a 3D buzzcut effect? I don't think you explicitly stated this in the OP (or I missed it - apologies!). If so it's an interesting strategy and you can throw the kitchen sink at adding density using basically any donor hair resource you like if the long term plan is to keep things tight and short up top.

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@Berba11 Thank you! Yes my main goal was to add hair to the scalp to make the smp look more natural and enhance the 3d buzzcut effect. For the time being, I only care about keeping it short. The SMP looked unnatural to me when there were no hair follicles - it gives you a tinted shiny scalp that looks a bit off. I grew it out as an experiment, but the density isn't high, so I am currently happy with keeping it buzzed.

And I'm thinking about throwing some extra grafts in the future to further enhance it. 👍

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Nice, I did the same. Had SMP done, then HT for the 3D more natural appearance. My suggestion is, to buzz it even shorter. The shorter it is, the more it blends in with the SMP. You got a good head shape, you can easily rock a 1 to 1.5mm buzz cut - so do I and I love it. Even if you are a NW6/7, by this approach, you can manage to get the illusion of a full head of hair. I would not let it grow longer since it appears less dense then 

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14 hours ago, Frosted Flaked said:

MY HAIR LOSS STORY. SKIP OVER THIS FOR THE TRANSPLANT DETAILS.


Name: Nick

Age: 35

Norwood 7

First Time user / poster here. I'm nervous to post about this, since I don't enjoy openly talking about my hair loss, but hopefully it helps someone in the same situation.

The following timeline will sound overdramatic. Because there's more to life than hair, right? I could write an entire novel about my entire hair loss experience, but I edited this summary down to a page in length to spare you the unnecessary details. To put it simply, hair loss has affected me so badly that I have become a turtle in a shell for nearly two decades. I don't go out anywhere or do anything social at all. Obviously, I have to work and have had steady jobs from my early 20's til today, but rarely ever seek out and friendships / relationships. Without hair, I have absolutely zero confidence. I have tried incredibly hard to just accept it and move on with life, but sadly cannot.

THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS...

2006 - hairline recession pointed out during haircut

2007 - self-consciousness begins, and other classmates point it out. I begin lowering my head as I walk to keep bangs over the recession. The wind is now my worst enemy. I wore hoodies with drawstrings tightened everywhere I went.

2008 - I grew my hair very long this year to further conceal the loss. This is the year I started wearing hats for the first time ever, and I haven't stopped wearing them since. 

2009 - The economy isn't the only thing in recession. It is now even worse and making my life increasingly miserable. At this time, people are poking fun at me. I feel so alone because everybody else in my college class has normal hair. Even my 70-year-old sociology professor has more hair than me... this really ticked me off.

2010 - I needed to get a job, but refused to work anywhere that didn't let me where a hat. I worked at the most stressful job in the world,
and that made my hair fall out even faster.

2011 - I was looking in the mirror at the dead forest on my head. The sunset in the window was directly behind me and it shone through
my scalp, and I saw the shiny curvature of the earth. It was at that moment that I grabbed the electric clippers, and shaved it all off.
It was a very liberating feeling.

I received lots of positive feedback from family members, on my shaved head...        NOT.

"Oh my god, you look horrible. why would you do that??? You better grow your hair out this instant."           I really wish I could.  😞

These comments were deeply hurtful to me, and my self-esteem plummeted to a level I never thought possible.

2012 - This where I became completely isolated. I no longer wanted any friends, and I became very distant from family events. And relationships that 20 something year olds are supposed to have.... just FORGET IT.... It's all over... my life is completely ruined. (at least that's how it felt)

Everywhere I go, I feel like a complete outcast. Extreme emotional discomfort 24/7.

2013 - Shaving my head is now a daily chore. What choice do I have?? As I go through life, I look around me, and I'm constantly reminded of what a freak of nature I am compared to everyone else my age. I'm a very bitter, miserable person... but I try my absolute best to pretend that I'm alright. 

2014 - Same nonsense. No friends, no relationships. The only option... Complete Isolation. I tried very hard to accept my hair loss, but it is impossible.

2015 - I left my stressful Job. It was a great feeling, but this burden is still with me, and I desperately needed a refresh.
I started researching transplants, but there were so many horror stories... and very few success stories, especially for a norwood 7.

I had SMP done, and it was a fantastic change. It made me much more comfortable in social situations... which I forced myself into, to feel normal again.

2016 - But still... the first SMP didn't quite fill the void, and I became greedy. I had it done about 8 more times... made it darker, denser,
lowered the hairline... created temple points... but still.... felt bald, because I was.... When you don't have follicles on your head, the SMP just looks.. off.    

I got a new job, and I wore a stupid hat...
FOR FOUR LONG YEARS. The insecurity was stronger than super glue, because no matter what... THAT HAT NEVER EVER LEFT MY HEAD.
I felt so stupid wearing this damn thing every day... but it was just too embarrassing to take it off.

2017 - I went on a school trip to South Korea, and unbeknownst to me.. we were going to an event where we needed to "dress up in ancient Korean gowns"

I RAN AWAY FROM MY GROUP, and hid in a small park with abstract sculptures somewhere in South Korea, in the searing hot sun, for many hours... I didn't even know where I was... (perhaps I can find a picture of this place someday?)

But I absolutely needed to get the hell out of there. I knew that If I went to that dress up event, my hat would come off and I just couldn't deal with that... While I was sitting there, I thought to myself...

I'm being ridiculous... because nobody cares about what I look like... those feelings are inside of my head. But I just can't shake those feelings.

2018 - Wore hats. people kept asking about it.

2019 - Wore hats. people kept commenting on it.

I got SMP done yet again... and still... why the heck do I keep doing this? It doesn't fix the problem. I started researching transplants again. I saw videos from Eugenix, but I dismissed it as being too good to be true.

YOU KNOW WHAT!!??? I gave myself two decisions.  

1. Feel Stupid Hiding under a hat for the rest of the year  

OR  

2. Feel Extremely Ugly and expose my bald head, but lose the feeling of foolishness.

2020 - I chose option 2. I finally took the damn hat off. It was very liberating, but now I feel very insecure walking around the office. I feel so exposed, and I'm finding it extremely difficult to look people in the face and talk to them. I really feel like my lack of confidence is badly affecting my work life.

Then the pandemic happened, and we were forced to work from home. This was a Godsend for me, because now my coworkers can't look at me...

My way of thinking was... as long as I'm living a life of isolation and nobody's looking at me... I can be as bald as I want to be, and it just won't matter. I hope remote work never ends.

2021-2022 - every now and then, I'm forced to come into the office, and It's extremely painful for me. I cannot believe how many years have gone by living like this... and I still can't get used to it.

2023 - After much research over the last several years. I had some sparks of hope. Eugenix popped into my youtube feed again. The HT Mentor, Joe tilman showed a video of Eugenix results and spoke very highly of the clinic. Joe Tilman's positive words about Eugenix was extremely promising to me. I saw @Zoomster Karl, @Gatsby Adrian, @Bandit90 John Cross, Rahul, Ajay, and countless others in a similar position to me. 

There are too many great Eugenix results to mention here.

Congratulations to @Gatsby for winning the Transplant Award! You look incredible. 

I was extremely impressed with the video of @Bandit90 , which demonstrated the doctor's excellent donor management skills, which is hard to find with other clinics. His result is phenomenal! One of the best I've ever seen.

It was the video of @Zoomster Karl Whelan in standing in the beautiful fields of Ireland that really did it for me. I watched that video and was overcome with emotions. I must admit that the video made tears stream down my face... I felt so happy for this man, and tried to imagine the joy he must be feeling...                      ...Hope at last.

I decided it was finally time to do something about this...                                                                   

 

So I did.
 

 

HAIR TRANSPLANT PREPARATION

Pre-op Photos:

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My head is as shiny as the crystal ball behind me.

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I had consultations with other reputable Doctors in the United States, and my price estimate was between 50,000$ and 60,000$   Ouch.

I found that Eugenix was not only affordable, but highly reputable, with consistent high quality results for high norwoods.

They mentioned that I should take finasteride, which I had done a month Prior. I was using topical Finasteride, but it gave me a really bad rash on my forehead. They recommended oral finasteride, which I started straight away, with no side effects thankfully. (I've been taking it for over a year at the time of typing this.)

I downloaded WhatsApp and connected with Rishab and many other Eugenix Staff. Their communication was excellent and were able to answer all of my questions in a timely manner.

As I mentioned above, I had Scalp Micropigmentation about 9 times, and had a very low (fake) hairline. Since I am norwood 7, I knew it wasn't realistic to have such a low hairline with extensive hair loss. I needed to be conservative for my first surgery.

I went to Removery in Philadelphia, to have it laser removed at the front hairline only. The staff warned me that there might be a chance of permanent discoloration, because some SMP artists use the wrong ink for their SMP. They showed me pictures where this had happened to people... it was horrifying, and scared the hell out of me. I signed a consent form and decided to laser off a very tiny spot on my temple point area, and come back in a few weeks to make sure it all turned out normal.

Thankfully the small lasered spot turned out normal, and I decided to laser off the hairline in 3 sessions. Total cost 1,080$

I drew up a Map to clearly communicate what I wanted done, and sent this image over to them.

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The staff at Removery were excellent, and extremely friendly. I'm also surprised that the laser removal didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. It feels like someone snapping you with a rubber band at high speed for 30 seconds. Maybe 7 out of 10 on the pain scale.

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After a tattoo is Removed, it leaves a dark residue behind called "Frosting" and after that, my skin was "Flakey" And so my username became  "FROSTED FLAKED"

 

I signed up for an Indian Medical Visa

I bought flight tickets months in advance, and chose to stay at The Hotel Doubletree in Gurugram.

I got my bloodwork done with Labcorp and sent over to Eugenix. Everything turned out fine.

I booked an appointment with the Premium Package by – Dr Priyadarshini Das of June 4th, 5th, and 6th for 5,500 grafts.


Eugenix Info:

 
Cost Per Graft – INR 210 + Tax


Planning & Designing & Complete Slits to be Performed by Dr Priyadarshini Das and further assisted by our Senior Eugenix Technicians under the supervision of the leading doctor.


Value Added Benefits - Complimentary two nights’ accommodation with airport pick up and drop off. Seven days post-op medication will be provided by us.


I paid for my Procedure in Full before going to India, as I heard of Nightmare scenarios where people were unable to use their card.
 

 

When I arrived in India, there was a lot of confusion. I needed to change the Sim Card in my Iphone, so I bought an Indian Sim card, but couldn't get the slot open because you need a pin. I asked around the airport, and nobody had one, so I stayed connected to the Wifi, so I could connect with Eugenix. If I remember correctly, you have to print the Wifi passcode out of a machine, and they should be located next to the Immigration forms.

For those of you who have never been to India, take my advice... DO NOT leave the airport until your Eugenix driver arrives (they will contact you on whatsapp), because once you walk out the door, you can't get back in. It was absolute Chaos out there, and it took ages to find my driver. He sent me pictures of himself holding a sign, so I searched through the endless sea of people, and I could not find him. It was the most stressful game of Where's Waldo I've ever played in my life. I was also being eaten alive by mosquitos, which further heightened the anxiety as I was scared of catching Malaria. 

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After what felt like an hour and a half, I held up my phone with the driver's picture... AND I FINALLY FOUND HIM!!! Oh What a glorious moment that I will never forget!! 

I apologized that it took me so long to find him, but he was very friendly and understanding, and we headed to the Hotel Doubletree. 

I arrived and filled out some paperwork at the front desk, and headed to my room. I was extremely exhausted from the long journey, but couldn't sleep because my consultation was the next morning, and was nervous that I would oversleep.

I received a text from a Eugenix driver stating that he would pick me up and bring me to the clinic. I hopped in the Car, and we headed down the road less than a mile from the hotel.

I spoke to the medical counselors, and met with Dr. Das. She is just as warm and friendly as everyone describes- although she did jokingly make fun of me because I throw my head back when swallowing pills. All in good fun of course! She had looked at my scalp hair and said that my donor was "good." I told her that I was shocked to hear that.

We spent the day planning out the procedure, and giving me test injections for the local anesthesia to make sure I didn't have an allergic reaction. Luckily, all went well.

The next day Dr. Das made the slits in the frontal portion of my scalp. I couldn't feel a thing, and I actually fell asleep a few times. Dr. Das had mentioned that my Scalp was "Hard", but blood circulation was good.

The next day, more slits were made, and scalp extraction began. This wasn't entirely painless as there were parts of my scalp that felt the cuts. They use a vibrating tool that helps distract you from the pain of the anesthesia injections, and it definitely helps. But the Chin area... oh my goodness... that was intense, but so totally worth it to get my hair back.

The Doctors, Nurses, and Technicians are masters in their field and you can tell they are very experienced. And they always looked after me to make sure I was comfortable, or if wanted a drink of water. (Us Philadelphians pronounce the word water like "wooder", so they were confused when I asked for it, haha.)

I'm not gonna lie, getting the hair transplant was exhausting... So on the third day around 6:30pm or so, Dr. Das said "Ok Nicholas, were all finished."

I sat up, inhaled deeply, and exhaled... paused for 15 seconds without saying anything.. then quietly muttered... "Thank God" 

To Which Dr. Das Burst out laughing.

 

After my surgery was finished, I saw the Man himself, Dr Pradeep Sethi, who asked where I was from. I told him I was from Philadelphia, and he told me that he would be giving consultations at the Convention center in July. I said, "I'll be there".

 

For the days after the surgery, I gave myself a task for the next seven days: "For the love of God, please do not bang your head on anything!"

I had a few close calls... I almost knocked my head against the Lamp in the Eugenix Storage Room, where I kept my belongings.

And I almost hit my head on a low soffit when going up the hotel doubletree stairs on the right-hand side (just a heads up! er... heads down.)

(some of these photos keep rotating by themselves, sorry.)

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I was spared from the "river scabs" that most people seem to experience.

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The Beard and Neck area recovered very quickly. 

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Graft Recap: 5,507 Grafts         3,400 Scalp and 2,107 beard. (if I remember correctly)

This will most definitely be a two surgery process because 5,507 grafts over a NW7 scalp will never be enough. But my main goal was to have short hair and stubbles to blend with the SMP. (8 months later, I am happy with the outcome and I look forward to my second procedure)

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(Eugenix Donor Dressing / Head Wash Waiting Area)

Every morning for the next 8 days or so, the eugenix drivers would pick me up and take me to the clinic for Donor dressing, and I always used my hands to cover my head in case the car hit a bump.

One of the drivers said, "You don't have to hold your hands over your head every single time, you'll be fine." to which I replied, "I'm not taking any chances!"

Days 3 through 5 post-surgery were the most difficult, due to the extreme itchiness all over my scalp. I would dig my claws into my legs and say to myself, "I'M NOT LOSING ANYMORE HAIR, I'VE ALREADY LOST ENOUGH, PLEASE DON'T SCRATCH YOUR HEAD!!!" I found that Pep-talking myself got me through it.

I used the neck pillow that the clinic provided me with, and I'm surprised how easy it was to fall asleep comfortably. Sleeping after the HT was what I feared the most, but it was actually alright. I checked my bed every morning to make sure I didn't lose any grafts, and never found one throughout the whole week. Phew.

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(Hotel Lobby)

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(Hotel Room)

The Hotel DoubleTree was beautiful, and the Dining Area was fantastic. Tons of savory meals and sweet desserts to choose from and the staff were friendly. I was wearing a blue surgical cap in the Dining Area, and saw another person wearing one just like it. This was when I met @Shadman who had explained his HT repair situation to me. Hello Shadman! Shadman was very friendly and knowledgeable, and we had a long talk before parting ways around June 14th. He asked me If I would post to the Hair Restoration Network, to which I replied "I will probably wait 3 months before I post" (Here I am 8 months later...)

I also met a friendly fellow from Australia who had his procedure done by Dr. Vinita at the same time of my surgery. I have kept in contact with him the entire time, and his 8 month results are incredible.

I also met another friendly gentleman from Ireland who had his procedure by Dr. Somesh. We were both in the waiting room finishing up our head wash / donor dressing and We had a brief conversation before I was whisked away by the eugenix drivers. After looking through the HRN I found him. Hello @transplant49584! Hope you are doing well!

After the scabs were removed, I was really amazed at the density of the grafts. It had exceeded my expectations, so I hope that they all survive in the end.

 

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(this was my scalp about 2 weeks after the transplant. I've seen my head bald for over a decade, so I was delighted to say the least.

So delighted in fact, that a Butterfly did indeed emerge from the grassy fields.)

SHEDDING PHASE BEGINS

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The donor looked rough back then, but it has since recovered.

 

MONTH 1

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Dr Pradeep Sethi Consultation event

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During my one month period, Dr. Pradeep was doing consultations and I met up with him at the Marriot Hotel, In Philly. I had a hard time finding him at first, but discovered him in the Dining Area. He approached me with a walking cane (he had badly twisted his ankle on the Journey over here) We shook hands, and walked towards the back of the Dining Room, where I was pleasantly surprised to see Adam @SLA. I had seen him in the Rishikesh video on youtube, and was amazed at his incredible transformation! He's a great guy and I'm very glad I met him! He was on a video call with another Eugenix patient Armen @MazAB where we talked briefly, and he has the best hairline that I've ever seen!

I chose to stay it this event the entire day, as I met a lot of people who were also experiencing hair loss. It was extremely therapeutic being able to talk to other potential patients in the same situation. In my past experiences of large social gatherings I usually just hide in the corner... but here, I felt at home. I was open and honest about my situation, and it was a huge relief just getting it off my chest.

During the event, Adam had reserved a room for Dr Pradeep at the Lowes Hotel. I assisted Dr. Sethi in carrying the Luggage to the hotel room at the end of the event. 

Dr Sethi had a cab waiting for him outside. He gave me a huge hug, and we parted ways. I hope to see him again soon!

MONTH 2

The Pimples in the Donor area was the worst part of this. Ibuprofen helped immensely.

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MONTH 3

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MONTH 4

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MONTH 5

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MONTH 6

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I'm not gonna lie, this picture is an illusion. The SMP is making it look much better than it is. No it's not hair fibers, just SMP under a shadow.

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MONTH 7

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MONTH 8

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Under Sun and Daylight (from window)

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Under Fluorescent unflattering Light

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Here's an experiment with Dermatch hair loss concealer. The left side has it, and the right side doesn't.

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I never intended to grow my hair out with the first procedure, because I know that the density of 5,507 grafts isn't enough. I will be getting a second procedure for density in the future. But for now, I've decided to keep it short until the second transplant. I can also feel more prickly hairs popping through, so fingers crossed that there will be improvements by month 12.

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Hello, brother. First of all, great to see your update. You remember exactly what we discussed 😀 It was great meeting you. Tbh, I was wondering about your update a few months back. As you said. You'll provide an update around the third or fourth month. Great to read your detailed write-up. Looking at your current photos, it looks like with SMP & keeping your hairs short it has already created an illusion of having hairs. I think  in the upcoming months these hairs will be more matured & also thickness and density on the way.

Best wishes 👍🏼

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@Malledive Thank you. I agree that it will always look better cut short at this density. I just looked at your photos, and your result looks excellent 👍

 

@hairman22 Thank you. I'm very happy with it. The biggest difference I notice is when I look in a mirror that's across the room, I can easily the see prickly hairs on top of my head from a distance. It's a subtle change but it makes a huge difference!

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Hello @Shadman it was great meeting you as well! I was nervous to post early on, but decided to finally do it. Thank you, I'm happy with the outcome so far, and there are more prickly hairs popping through, so I'm hopeful things will improve even further!

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59 minutes ago, Frosted Flaked said:

Hello @Shadman it was great meeting you as well! I was nervous to post early on, but decided to finally do it. Thank you, I'm happy with the outcome so far, and there are more prickly hairs popping through, so I'm hopeful things will improve even further!

Yes, things will definitely improve. 

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22 minutes ago, BaldV said:

Are you happy with the result?

 

I hope you are, but I have to express my honest opinion and say that this is a subpar result in my eyes.

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One more example to be added in Dr Das' work

Agreed, happy that OP seems to be happy with his result, but this doesn't look like 5500 grafts even if spread over a larger surface area. For most people at his stage, another 5000 grafts would be full coverage with decent density, but I don't foresee that happening unfortunately. Let's hope I'm wrong.

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2 hours ago, BaldV said:

Are you happy with the result?

 

I hope you are, but I have to express my honest opinion and say that this is a subpar result in my eyes.

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One more example to be added in Dr Das' work

Do you understand that this photo was from the one month mark, where most of the new hairs were dormant?  The transplanted hairs fall out before this point.  It is as if you didn't look at the progress photos from eight months out.  

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2 hours ago, BaldV said:

Are you happy with the result?

 

I hope you are, but I have to express my honest opinion and say that this is a subpar result in my eyes.

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One more example to be added in Dr Das' work

He's a norwood 7, and they used only 2000 scalp and rest beard. So the desired density will never be there.

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7 minutes ago, AB2000 said:

Do you understand that this photo was from the one month mark, where most of the new hairs were dormant?  The transplanted hairs fall out before this point.  It is as if you didn't look at the progress photos from eight months out.  

So you think its a good result?

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9 minutes ago, BaldV said:

So you think its a good result?

You need to give it at least 12-13 months before judging a result. There’s no way you can judge at month 8. He still has plenty of time. Let’s see at which direction it goes. Once 13 months are over, then he can figure out whether any thing went wrong or not, or what can be done to improve further.

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The Photos are out of Place at the end of the post. My apologies, I'm not sure how to fix it - but to clarify ...image.thumb.png.1bae68c61bacf2d40941dc0007c662e3.png

 

And yes, I will admit that there are considerable gaps in certain areas at month 8, and other bits that bother me from time to time. But there are still more hairs popping through, so if it improves by month 12 then great. But if not I'll just buzz it down. 

I appreciate the honest feedback guys 🙂

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19 minutes ago, Frosted Flaked said:

The Photos are out of Place at the end of the post. My apologies, I'm not sure how to fix it - but to clarify ...image.thumb.png.1bae68c61bacf2d40941dc0007c662e3.png

 

And yes, I will admit that there are considerable gaps in certain areas at month 8, and other bits that bother me from time to time. But there are still more hairs popping through, so if it improves by month 12 then great. But if not I'll just buzz it down. 

I appreciate the honest feedback guys 🙂

Thanks for clarifying, I think worse case scenario you buzz it with a 0 and you still have the transplanted hair giving a more realistic tone to your SMP

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