Age: 36 | Bald Class:
Two FUE Sessions:
May 25, 2011: 2143 FUE grafts into the crown: 1s - 115; 2s - 965; 3s - 1063 Total hairs - 5234
Oct 24, 2011: 1614 FUE grafts hairline/crown: 1s - 525; 2's - 893; 3s - 190; 4s - 6; Total hairs - 2905
Dutasteride 0.5 mg daily; Rogaine 5% twice daily; Nizoral 3-4 times weekly
My Hair Loss Story
I began to lose my hair at around the age of 17. Because of my age, my physician was reluctant to start me on treatments but told me to come back when I was 20. By that point, my older brother had started using finasteride and had no side effects, so I happily started on the pill as well. By that point, however, I was already a NW 3V. The pill stopped the progression of hair loss, but after a few years, I became increasingly desperate to grow some hair back.
At 24, Rogaine foam was introduced on the market and I started using it regularly. I also read about the potential benefit of Nizoral shampoo, so started using that as well in the shower. However, I could perhaps convince myself that I was growing some peach fuzz in the vertex, but for all intents and purposes, they had not worked for me.
My head was permanently stuck under a hat. I hated people pointing out to me, like they were the first people to ever notice, that my hairline was receding. Or if I was sitting down and they walked by, "enlightening" me with the observation that "you're developing a bit of a bald spot back there". To make matters worse, my hair now started going grey! Now my hair had absolutely no redeeming qualities. It was the bain of my existence. I was sick of it and I wanted a solution.
The simplest thing I thought of was to just start shaving my head. But I couldn't - I have always had an oddly shaped head, and shaving it would just announce that to the world. I wanted to blend in, I didn't want to do something that was going to make me stand out more.
Then I discovered Toppik. It didn't do anything for my receding hairline, but when my hair was long enough, I didn't overly mind my hairline - I just needed hair in the front to cover up my oddly shaped head after all. Also, it's not as much about looking good as it is about blending in; and I would say that about half my friends had receding hairlines, but NONE had a bald spot. Toppik seemed to solve that issue. No more forward comb-overs over my scalp. I could go out confidently and didn't have to worry about things as much.
However, I soon realized the incredible inconvenience it caused me. My friends couldn't just pop by unannounced - I had to have time to fix my hair. Overnight stays with friends were a dreadful exercise in sneaking away to put toppik on, without getting it everywhere. And swimming was a disaster. How do I explain when my hair dries and I suddenly have a bald spot? Not to mention my unnatural reaction when anyone touched my hair while I had toppik in. I began to realize this was a temporary solution and I needed something more permanent.
Thus, I decided it was time to research surgical options. At the age of 25, I knew there wouldn't be too many surgeons that were enthused to transplant my crown. However, I finally found one, but found his tactics incredibly high pressure. I reluctantly put down a deposit and immediately regretted the decision. That's when I discovered this website and realized I had good reason not to trust him. His technique and results were mediocre at best, and it was clear that there were much better qualified surgeons. So I cancelled my surgery and lost the deposit - but good riddance.
Two more years of Toppik and research went by, and my hair remained unchanged. My older brother's hair also remained unchanged, which gave me a bit of a vision of the future. I went back out on the hunt for a transplant surgeon, this time better informed. I also decided that, if possible, it would be wise to undergo an FUE procedure. Transplanting into my crown was risky, and I could always need a strip later, but I dreaded that scar across my head and knew I would regret it if I continued to lose my hair.
Finally, after navigating this site for about another year, Dr. Rahal announced that he was now performing FUE's at a discounted price. I knew he was new to the process, but also knew that his commitment to quality meant he wouldn't offer something he wasn't prepared to put his reputation on. So I set up a consult and told him about my concerns and why I would be a good candidate for an FUE. He agreed and showed me what he'd be willing to transplant in my crown, leaving a spot at the back so that if I continue to lose my hair, it will look more natural
I agreed and put down a deposit to have two procedures done, with the first on May 25th, 2011.