MeBlindMelonAge: 44 | Bald Class: Email Me HT1- 250 micro/macro Medical Hoax Restoration (1999) /
HT2- 2,998 grafts FUT Dr. Rahal (04/03/08)
My Hair Loss StoryI first started losing the little bastards in my early twenties, 23ish to be more specific. Needless to say I was shell shocked. I grew up with parents that loved their children and loved their children to look nice, so we ( my sister and I ) always looked the part. I dabbled in modeling right before my hair loss began. Not the Armani or Gucci gigs, more commercial printwork ( was often told I looked like a grown up Fred Savage, "and that is supposed to be a compliment, you prick"? ). More recently I get the Dave Matthews or Jeremy Piven comaprisons (both balding)! I guess my point is that I always felt like I got a little bit of attention for being a decent looking chap. As soon as I noticed my shit falling out, I was absolutely de-va-stated, my confidence completely shot down. Hair loss is prevalent in my family so I shouldn't have been caught too off guard, but at 23 and just starting to do some commercial modeling? Ugh... I had a mop of hair to begin with, so even though others thought I was crazy, I knew what was happening. I never went thru a denial phase but I did dance with wearing a hat to cover and often would fill in the hairline with my sisters mascara. So the insides of my hats would have my smeared mascara, forgot about that until just now. I wasn't in denial I don't think, just trying to camouflage the thinning.
From 24 - 26 yrs. old (now 34) I shaved my head. Didn't look too bad as my head has a nice symmetric shape, but I still knew I looked and felt heaps better with my face framed with hair, black hair. Spring of '99 I was up late one night and saw an advert for MHR (medical hair restoration), I wrote down the number and had an appointment that weekend. Met with the cheese dick consultant and had an appointment for HT numero uno soon after. This was before the explosion of the net, so there was no research on my part, just a confidence lost young man who went for the first hard sell that came my way. It turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes of my life. Two words: macro/micro. The work was terrible and I've lived with it ever since. Going thru different phases of shaving down the grafts every friggin' day OR letting my hair behind it grow longer and try to cover them beasts up, either way extremely conscious of it.
I'd love to be able to just shave my head and not sweat it, but the 'plugs' and scar and the in the back won't allow me to do it and look or feel good about it. So fast forward to 2007. The recede has gone back far enough now that trying to cover up the old work is impossible without looking silly. I had swore to myself that I'd never go under the knife again, was scarred both mentally and physically. The mental part is far worse, always questioning is someone looking at my fivehead and if so do they notice the bad work (of course they do). Well, I am a bloodhound for pieces and HTs and recently I'd seen some guys that I just wasn't sure if they were legit or had work done. So I started to do some investigating on the internet and found the HTN (Hairtransplantnetwork.com ). Don't think I will ever be able to repay the benefits received from that website. Pat, Falc and the boys are exactly what the balding world needs.
After spending too many hours on there and seeing the testimonials, photos and proof of just how far along HT have come. I broke my promise to myself. As of today I have had 2 HT.
I'm just back from Dr. Rahal's office and couldn't be happier. I will go into more detail about the complete experience later as my head is just started throbbing like a MF. These are some post op photos with more to come.
How has my hair loss affected me?
It has taken its toll. I've withdrawn myself from certain situations which I'll never be able to recapture. My confidence taken down to pint size. If my recent HT can take my mind off what have been shackles, I'll forever be in debt to Dr. Rahal and the HTN community.
What hair loss treatments have worked best for me?
Was on Propecia from 2000-2004 and Proscar 2004-Present. I know it slowed down the process and I am very fortunate not to suffer the negative side effects. I do know that it does take me longer to "re-load" after round one, but as far as not being able to "be charged" or let out a good amount of "electricity", no probem. Just for fun I did buy some viagra while living in South East Asia and if you need it, it works!
Am I happy with my hair transplant experience and the results?
My first HT was a disaster, from A-Z. I was young, uneducated and impatient. To anyone reading this you are already on the right track by doing your homework, but... DO MORE and then do some MORE. It is not what you want to hear or do, but we are talking about THE ONE and THE ONLY melon you got. Don't let price, location, or word of mouth contribute to your decision- period. There are a lot of very hungry BUSINESSES out there that literally prey on the young, uneducated and impatient. They market well, they advertise well, they speak well BUT their results are atrocious. You would think that in this day and age the facade would be transparent, especially when you consider yourself a somewhat intelligent bloke. Just be cautious and take the time to get to know, listen and learn from the veterans on the boards and forums. There are some guys that have been to hell and high water with the process, from the plugs of the 70's-80's to the micro/marco grafts of the 90's (and still to this day some place use them). Listen to the testimonials and learn from our mistakes. Thus far I cannot really comment on my results from Dr. Rahal but I am coyly confident. The experience in itself was A+. What a TEAM concept there in Ottawa. From Adrian, the consultant, who himself has been on the bad end of a HT and been fixed up by Dr. Rahal. He actually sat down next to me and asked me to run my fingers thru his hair to find his scar, I couldn't and I've got a eye for anything involving a HT. The repair work Dr. Rahal did on him is undetectable. But more than that, the patience and willingness to help is what impresses me with Adrian. I won't go into detail but I was not the easiest patient to deal with but both Adrian and Dr. Rahal, realizing my apprehension due to my previous work, were warm, confident and understanding during my troubles. Teresa the office manager, who speaks English, French and Italian, was a gem to me as well. After my day before surgery consult she was kind enough to call and set up a massage appointment for me (highly recommend, both for the mental and physical relaxation). All the technicians were sweet and have years of experience with his particular office. **The man is certainly in demand** The same week I had my surgery Dr. Rahal had patients flying in from France, Italy, Switzerland, England and Korea (22 hour journey)! Team Rahal is currently working with mate of Adrian's to fine tune the website and they mentioned there will be plenty of new photos to come. I'd consider Dr. Rahal to be famous in Ottawa as well, all the taxi drivers know exactly who he is and what he does, everyone at my hotel knew of him and I had the customs agent at the airport asked if I was "one of those Rahal patients". Not only for his workmanship he has a great reputation within their community as well! Only time will tell how solid my particular results will be. But after doing my research, research and more research in addition to choosing one of, if not the top HT doctor globally- I like my chances. Side note: I love food, especially ethnic food. After my in office consult I popped my head back into Dr. Rahal's office to say good bye and he was having what was probably his lunch ( at 5:30 pm ) and I asked him what he was eating. It was a traditional lebanese dish that his sister had made for him. He offered but I could tell how hungry he was and I regretfully declined. Point, the next day after my surgery he called his sister and she brought me a plate of fresh of the bbq, homemade lebanese. The food was delicious and the gesture was a class act!
What hair loss treatments would I recommend?
Propecia/Proscar for sure. I haven't used Rogaine in many years but Dr. Rahal suggested getting on the foam two weeks post op. I would also strongly recommend opening yourself up to this and/or other forums. Hair loss can be traumatic, joining a community of people that have either been thru or are going thru the same issues as you and are able to share/talk about those issues, it's priceless. It has been in many ways therapeutic for me.
How has hair restoration surgery changed my life?
The first one in a shameful and negative manner. The second one is TBD>>!
My general advice and suggestions.
You live one life and if hair loss has a negative effect on your everyday, do something about it. The proof is in the pudding and if you do your research you can rest assured there is help to be had! If anyone has any questions for me about the first or second procedure etc., feel free to shoot me an email.