Age: 45 | Bald Class: Email Me
3900 FUT with Dr Pathomvanich in October 2009
Finateride and Minoxidil for several years prior to and after my HT
My Hair Loss Story
Started losing my hair at about 23 years old, but in fact it never bothered me very much, only in the past 6 years as fashions have changed did I want to do something about it.
I had intended to start a record on HRN at the time last year, but after making notes and photos on my computer I then had a system crash / virus etc. and lost most of it. However, now I write a year later, and what has prompted me is that I have been keeping up to date with the usual information sources, including Balding Blog, Bald Truth etc. and I am more surprised everyday about some of the misinformation, exaggerations, scare stories etc. that keep cropping up, with increasing frequency.
As HRN was invaluable to me in selecting Dr Pathomvanich, I thought I would try and repay the community and Falceros a little with my experience.
Firstly of course I should describe the actual procedure as a fantastic experience. 3900 FUT, with trichophatic closure, completed from about 9am to 5.30pm. As far as I know all descriptions of DP have been similar and complimentary, so I won’t repeat mine unless there are some specific questions.
Apart from that, a few issues I wanted to give my views on:
1) Strip scar. I have no strip scar, a very faint pink line that only someone who knows would be able to detect. I’ve seen some ridiculous posts in other forums where for example the back of Tiger Woods and a few other golfers heads are shown with horizontal banding. Duh! this is because they have just taken off their baseball cap and the line is from the strap.
2) Many UK men just shave their heads when they have started to recede, the US approach seems to be to go for much more of a Marine type number 2 on top, number 1 elsewhere style. So many US guys seem to post determined to have this crop. I can’t see how this style is going to work for the majority of HTs. There is never going to be the quantity of hair on top to enable a close crop to look full. I do think this is a question of style, and maybe if some American guys could broaden their outlook a little and embrace a few other styles than "hard nut marine", they would be more content?
3) Minoxidil, finasteride. Lots of guys, particularly younger ones, want nothing to do with these drugs, or not until they have done ‘ a ton of research’. By all means do the research, but you will come to the conclusion that they are two of the safest, mildest drugs you can get, with minimal side effects. They haven’t worked miracles for me, but they did help. Bear in mind all drugs by definition have to change the body’s chemistry a bit, otherwise they would have no effect. Every case with side effects has been shown to be reversible and the dose of finasteride can be varied / reduced significantly and still have a positive result. Finasteride should be considered essential before and after a HT.
4) Something I haven’t seen discussed too much, but it seems sensible to me, is to take a multivitamin / multimineral a day with food. These supplements are cheaper than ever, and if your diet is heavily beer biased (nothing wrong with that) then it seems entirely possible to me that some (diffuse) thinning could be down to vitamin / mineral deficiencies.
5) Dutaseride. Not for me at the moment, but I can’t see it being particularly risky bearing in mind its widespread use for other ailments. Cost, dosing uncertainty, and my preference to have another HT (if anything) are my reasons for not pursuing this.
6) Laser therapy. After a lot of positive reports (NOT on the laser comb, but on laser helmets) I gave this a good go with a homemade high power device, along the lines outlined by Lazerfish. Sadly I saw no positive effects, but if you are a little technically minded, the cost of putting a system together is reasonable (£100) and Lazerfish has the beginnings of a theory outlined as to why this might work. So I wouldn’t want to put people off trying this.
7) Donor arear. The photo of the back / crown of my head shows that I think I still have a lot of donor hair to work with. I feel that finasteride and proper nutrition helped thicken up my hair in the donor area prior to the HT.
Hope this doesn't sound like too much of a rant... hopefully some find it useful?
How has my hair loss affected me?
Not that much I didn't think, though it is a bit weird looking back at old photos now. Definitely prefer having a bit more hair...
What hair loss treatments have worked best for me?
Finasteride, minoxidil, (generics), multivitamin / multimineral, HT.
Am I happy with my hair transplant experience and the results?
Yes very much so!
I did end up using concealer (ladys make up - blimey it is expensive £6.00 for a tiny tube!) as my scalp was noticeably red for a few months. Not completely successful, did get a few comments at work but try and have a laugh about it, worse things happen at sea as we say in the UK.
What hair loss treatments would I recommend?
As above - what I would NOT recommend: Saw Palmetto, lasers, any miracle shampoo
How has hair restoration surgery changed my life?
Er.... not sure it has, life was going quite well beforehand and same now.... does that sound silly?
My general advice and suggestions.
I have always been interested in medical subjects, surgery etc. and I was very excited about the whole procedure. I do get the impression many people dithering on HTs are borderline phobic about surgery, particularly of course if they have had previous bad experiences. What can I say, but if you find yourself on forums every night bemoaning the surgical options, then I suggest you either go for it or go cold turkey on all things HT related. Indecision is not a happy state of mind. Only downside I can think of is the time taken to grown new hair.