I can recall being a teenager and joking with a few of my friends about going bald and hair loss. I remember one of my friends turning to me and saying "dude you're lucky, you're never gonna go bald, just look at your dad". Little did I know at the time, just how much these words would repeat over and over in my mind like an echo in an empty cave. This is my story.
I grew up in the pre-social media/smartphones era, at the time cell phones had limited capabilities and served only to make phone calls. It was an interesting time period, because the internet did exist and many had computers at home, but it wasn't nearly as popular as it is now.
The late '90s and early 2000s were all about spiky hair, baggy jeans and extreme sports (skateboarding, motocross, snowboarding), etc. Just like any teenager of that period I had an awful sense of fashion and even worse hairstyle. While it is a young Taylor Lautner in the picture, my hair was very similar as embarrassing as it is to say.
Hair Loss In My 20's
The 2000s were in full swing by the time I was in my 20's, Hollister and Abercrombie and fitch were at their peak in popularity and me, well I started to lose my hair. It was an awful feeling that left me isolated, angry and sad. There were days that I thought of nothing else but my hair.
I used to woke up thinking about my hair and went to sleep thinking about my hair. I was utterly consumed by my hair loss, it was not healthy, to say the least. I tried everything under the sun, lotions, potions and so-called "cures" but nothing seemed to stop my thinning thatch. I even tried proven treatments like Propecia (finasteride) but suffered severe side effects.
Finally, I had a close friend tell me that it was time to give up and shave my head. So, that night I bought a clipper and buzzed my head. I lived with a shaved head for a year, and while it was an improvement from an obvious thinning head of hair, it never felt like me.
Every time I looked in the mirror I saw a stranger staring back at me. At the time, one of my best friends had undergone a hair transplant and the results looked great. I felt hopeful that I too could someday put my hair loss behind me, so my research began.
Hair Restoration Network Forum
When I began researching hair transplants I did what everyone does, my first instinct was to google hair transplant surgeons close to me. Thankfully, I stumbled upon a website that would change my life forever. I found the hair restoration network forum, it was filled with dozens of real reviews and most importantly it was interactive.
I could speak to hair transplant veterans who had been through several procedures and knew exactly how I was feeling. I saw some life-changing results that left me feeling hopeful about my own hair loss situation.
After reaching out to some helpful forum members I had finally narrowed down my choice and scheduled some online consultations. After consulting with a few surgeons I decided on Dr. Diep in Los Gatos, California. Part of my decision was based on his location, but the main reason why I chose him was because his results looked amazing and he was recommended by the forum.
Happy Ending Success Story
I am happy to report that I no longer obsess about my hair like I did in my 20's, and I am now heading into my mid-30's. Today, people find it hard to believe that I was ever as bald as I was, and even harder to believe that I had surgery.
Thankfully, I chose a qualified surgeon, but to be honest my results aren't out of the ordinary. I bet I cross at least a few people a day who have had hair transplants, except there impossible to spot unless they're performed by unlicensed technicians or terrible surgeons.