Age: 46 | Bald Class: Email Me
My first HT was with Dr.Ron Shapiro (no treatments of any kind before that) on Sep 7 2006. Here are the details from Dr.Ron Shapiro.
Total Strip area
Hair was coarser which is good but makes grafts slightly larger
and smaller number of grafts give greated coverage
Average density on the lower side found in Middle Eastern Patients
but this is ofsett by increased coarsenes
I have been advised to consider the following post HT regimen
Begin using Rogaine after a month or so after my HT.
Dermavite or MSM (Dr.Shapiro suggested both or if I prefer one, to go with Dermavite, as it is reputed and recommended to be good for hair, nails and skin).
I intend to stick to a regimen now of propecia (been taking it from the day after the surgery) and Dermavite (just got my first bottle today and will start from tomorrow). I might consider rogaine later, but will stick to the above for now.
I also intend to use Toppik/Dermmatch as required (beginning with the immediate need for concealment)
My Hair Loss Story
I have been losing hair since my early twenties gradually. I used to sport fairly long hair when I was young, sometimes shoulder length, so i used to notice more hair loss while combing or taking showers etc. Gradually this decreased as I moved into later twenties , most probably, due to the density decreasing and the hair itself gradually thinning out.
I used to be quite sensitive to any comments like - hey you are losing hair, or you have lesser hair etc. Not that too many people have made such comments, it was probably only a handful of people and when such comments were made, I just lost my respect for them and probably did not care much for them after that. But the fact remained that I continued to be sensitive to my hair loss. Similar story to most hair loss sufferers listed here.
I did not really think about any treatments for my hair loss, to be honest. There was once , in my early twenties when i first started noticing hair loss and went to a doctor and he looked at my head and said that I was fine and gave me some pills for peace of mind - can you believe it?
Anyway, it was only very recently, that I learnt about success stories of HTs - even though I had heard about hair pieces, hair weaving etc earlier, but never was comfortable with any of them. I would any day have preferred to bald gracefully than to look like a clown in any of those solutions. But recently, after reading about latest techniques and success stories of HT, I went to Bosley and MHR for consultations. And in fact scheduled a procedure with MHR.
Just like for a few other people on the Hairtransplantnetwork, Pats discussion forum site came to my rescue in the nick of time. And I started my research anew by reading through the website in detail. I quickly narrowed my search to a few top surgeons and decided to finally go with Dr.Ron Shapiro due to the great feedback he had, and also because I had happened across his name earlier during my Bosley/MHR research. For some reason, his name had stuck in mind, I would never have thought earlier that i would fly cross country for a HT. I quickly decided to go with Dr.Shapiro, and called Matt the very next day , and scheduled a procedure for the very next week (Sep7). Luckily someone had cancelled and a date opened up that was offered to me and I grabbed it.
It all happened to me at lightning speed thereafter. I had never thought that I would decide upon and undergo a HT so quickly , as I had only started reading about HTs about late last year (2005). I underwent a procedure with Dr.Shapiro on Sep7. Everything went great (I have posted my experience of the visit on the ht forum). It was very much like others have described a HT procedure with Dr.Ron Shapiro - great doctor, great person, great team - Matt, Janna and all their other staff, very smooth procedure throughout.
I think I would classify as a 4 or so - never asked Dr.Ron specifically about where I stood on Norwood scale. Since I am 31, and my thinning is mainly around the hairline front 1/3 and toward the crown, these were the areas primarily addressed. Dr. Shapiro gave an initial high level recommendation for about 2000 grafts for the front 3rd with about 500 grafts or so toward the top part of the crown, keeping future loss in mind, and also with the assumption that propecia may help keep/grow some hair in that region.
I ended with a total number of 2523 grafts for the front 1/3 and some on the top of the crown with about a two finger width region on the top of my head not being touched as Dr.shapiro indicated that I had decent thair in that region and he did not want to risk going through it. Dr.Shapiro cut my thin hairs in the front region and also some small hairs on the crown were cut to enable placment of grafts there.
Today is exactly day 15 after my HT - my scabs have healed well and i had my staples removed on day 12. I am noticing a lot of hair loss (probably both transplanted grafts and native hair) after week1. This is happening more as I am starting to shampoo and massage my hair more vigorously now. Maybe I should stop that and be more gentle.
I will attach some photos soon (I have a lot of pre-op, photos from Dr.Shapiro of day1 post op, and post op photos). I am looking forward to growth of my new hair in the coming months, hoping that I will not face too much hair loss in the interim. I am also planning to use Toppik/Dermmatch to help with concealment.
I will also keep the blog updated with my progress.
How has my hair loss affected me?
I have been very sensitive about my hair loss, and it has certainly been a restricting factor for some social/outdoor activities. I have still gone about my work and play as usual, but I am sure I would have been more outgoing had I continued to have my thick, long hair when I was in my early twenties.
What hair loss treatments have worked best for me?
I have not tried out anything before my first HT with Dr.Ron Shapiro. I have tried some volumizing shampoos like the H&S volumizer and a couple others and recently started using some hair gels. Other than these, nothing really.
Am I happy with my hair transplant experience and the results?
Its only 15 days since I had my HT. I am yet to experience the results. But, without a doubt, my experience with Dr.Shapiro and his staff has been excellent. (It will be totally appropriate if I copy-paste some of the other great experience of Dr.Ron Shapiro patients word for word).
Post op support from Dr.Shapiro, Janna and Matt has been great as well. They have been very patient answering my post op questions and been very supportive.
What hair loss treatments would I recommend?
I think treatments for Hair loss have become so advanced with latest advanced techniques for HT. And of course Propecia and Rogaine, that our ancestors did not have the luxury of. I think we should consider ourselves lucky that we have all these options before us. My recommendation would be to do the proper research, consultation with expert doctors before arriving at a final decision.
How has hair restoration surgery changed my life?
Too early to say. I look forward to my results and will keep this forum updated.
My general advice and suggestions.
I personally would advise hair loss sufferers to treat it early. Why go through years of suffering with baldness and being sensitive about it, when you know that you will have some kind of treatment at some point? Why not do it at the earliest so you can avoid losing a few years of enjoyment and living life to the fullest?
If you go with a HT, I think it is also a good idea to do it when you have existing hair to help with concealment. I am sure, going back to work without getting noticed is on the top of the list for many (including myself) and doing it while you still have hair to help conceal is a good idea IMO.
I would recommend that you do the proper research and choose the best treatment available (as opposed to settling for just about anything in desperation). Technologically HT seems to have advanced a lot and is still advancing, and I can only see it getting better for future hair loss treatment candidates.
And then of course, read through excellent forums like HT network , run by PAT. This is yeoman service being done to mankind. God bless him.