Age: 42 | Bald Class: Email Me
3,481 grafts with Dr. Rahal on May 7th 2009.
Total Hairs: 6437
Minoxidil from mid-2003 to late-2008
1.25mg of Finasteride (Proscar) per day since November 2008.
My Hair Loss Story
Like most guys, I started noticing hair loss at around the age of 21. My hair started receding at the temples and for the longest time, I'd convinced myself (and others) that I just had a naturally high widow's peak. Needless to say, as time marched forward, this myth was shattered as my precious hairline hairs continued to evaporate even further, threatening to leave me with merely an island of forelock hair amidst a sea of bald scalp. At age 25, I was grudgingly forced to concede that I had inherited my father's familial curse, and that my once youthful hairline was fast going down the sink (quite literally)!
To be completely honest, hair loss hasn't affected my confidence on a devastating level like it seems to for many guys. Sure, it's still a kick in the teeth, but I guess having the knowledge in the back of my mind that "I can always get a transplant by a world class surgeon" downgrades the feeling of helplessness... at least for me! For example, I don't dread going out in public. I don't wear a hat everywhere I go. Nor do I worry that people are constantly staring at me. Even if they were, I don't think I'd care. I'm easily able to take the occasional 'you're balding!' comments in good humor or without becoming self conscious. I've actually made the decision to tell strangers about my HT if they inquire. I find that people react with intrigue and interest, especially when I explain the new techniques and that "hair plugs are SO 1990's!" On the other hand, I've decided that I won't tell my family members or people I know, as I want to perform a little experiment to see if they notice I'll have more hair than before. I want to see what kind of comments people will make. Should be interesting!
At the end of the day, it really comes down to this: If I have the choice between a thick, well-defined hairline and a bad comb-over, then I choose the former! My face shape doesn't lend itself well to the "shaved head" appearance at all. I guess for the most part, my existing hair, when grown longer, still covers my bare temple areas fairly well (if brushed forward) and I seldom receive those dreaded forehead glances when talking to people. Though, admittedly, it's getting harder to pull off this "cover-up" effect as more and more native hair has been lost in recent years. Therefore, it's time to take action!
My grandfather started balding at 19 and my dad was a norwood 6 by his mid to late 30's. So far, at age 31, I have only lost temple and some mid-scalp hair. My goal is to rebuild my hairline, fill in the temples, and thicken the mid-scalp region. Hopefully Finasteride will stave off hair loss in my crown.
How has my hair loss affected me?
It has been more of a hindrance and annoyance than anything else. I like having hair!
What hair loss treatments have worked best for me?
It's hard to say. I started using Minoxidil on my hairline and mid-scalp area in 2003 and although I didn't notice any improvement, I kept using all the way through to 2008. I guess it retarded my hairloss slightly, but I didn't see any regrowth.
I started taking Finasteride in November 2007. I think I actually noticed an acceleration in mid-scalp hairloss within the first few months, which never grew back to its original thickness. Finasteride doesn't seem to do much to improve my hairline or mid-scalp, but I'm continuing to take it anyways, in hopes that it'll hold my crown hairs in place.
I discontinued using Minoxidil in November 2008. I guess it must have been working to some extent over the years, because after dropping it from my regime, my mid-scalp hairs started becoming limper and somewhat diffused. My remaining hairline (frontal forelock) area still seems strong, but the temples receded a little further since discontinuing Minoxidil, as well.
But the way I see it, I'd much prefer that the weak hairs in my mid-scalp/hairline fall out before my HT so that the Dr. will have a "clean slate" to work with, and won't need to transplant new hairs between too many existing hairs that are considered lost causes. I really don't want to have to paint my head with minoxidil every night after my HT, just to try and keep a few limp hairs alive! I'd rather that they jumped ship now, so that thicker transplanted hairs can take their place.
Am I happy with my hair transplant experience and the results?
Early days yet. Time will tell...
What hair loss treatments would I recommend?
Finasteride. I guess minoxidil works for some people, but I find the stuff messy and inconvenient. I also don't like the fact that hairs become dependent on it.
How has hair restoration surgery changed my life?
Ask me in January 2010!
My general advice and suggestions.
If you'd prefer to have fuzzy stuff on your cranium and can afford a HT, go get one. It'll only take a day and the improvements and benefits will be with you for life.