I got back to London from the operation with Dr Villnow a few days ago and I am very happy with the result.
The surgeon was amazing and the staff were super professional. It was also a really plush and comfortable place to stay and…the price was great!!
This was a big operation for me because it was the first time I’d got body hair grafts.
I started this whole journey as a Norwood 5 going on Norwood 6.
Dr De Reys in Belgium did some great FUE-only work for me, putting in 5000 grafts over two operations.
His work was great and here are some photos from that operation:
Now you can see that it’s already been a huge transformation from near-complete baldy to pretty good head of hair although you can
also see on those third and fourth pictures how thin it is at the back and along the sides of my head.
On the fourth picture you can definitely see the lack of density at the back.
I’d let the hair grow extra, extra long before I took those pictures so although the overall result was great and looks pretty fine after a hairdresser has worked with it, when it’s grown out you can see there were still some gaps along the back of the head and
the sides that could be seen.
Now I was Norwood 5/6 so respect to Dr De Reys but it was always going to be tough to fill up such a massive space. 5000 grafts is not enough and it looks to me like over 95% did grow through as well.
Now I knew I wanted a lower hairline. Up to now I kind of let it grow and combed my hair forward to cover the high temples, not ideal but a massive improvement on doing a combover at the back of my head like Mr Magoo!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I went back to Dr De Reys and asked him if he could do anything else for me.
He said I had some grafts left but I’d have to choose between boosting the back of the head or doing the temples - I didn’t have enough grafts left to do both.
Now, I’d heard about body hair grafts from reading up on the forums and so that was my next question - could I double up (or more!) by taking some of the hairs from my chest or my chin?
Unfortunately, Dr De Reys said he didn’t do body hair grafts at all because the operation was much harder and took much longer.
He said it would take him more than a day to get 500 body hair grafts because they’re much harder to extract - and also loads of body hair grafts end up being unusable so you get far fewer grafts in the end.
Also his operation setup, with his wife, the nurse meant it was just too much work for them to do.
So I’d more or less lost hope when Nick, Dr De Rey’s rep piped up and reckoned he knew a very experienced surgeon who could do FUE and body hair -at a good price.
The guy’s name is Dr Villnow and his clinic is alos in Belgium and he’s got one in Germany too.
Now I know nick gave me some great advice in the past so I decided to get a consult and see this guy.
Turns out, Villnow is some kind of celebrity doctor in Germany who’s famous for treating footballers and he’s always on tv or in the paper there. I thought he might be really expensive but Nick says he’ll charge the same price as Dr De Reys charges. For 1500 grafts it’s around 4000 euros which is still really, really good value - amazing price for a top European surgeon. For 3000 grafts
it goes down to 7000 euros but i know I haven’t got 3000 grafts left
So I asked Nick why the guy doesn’t charge more and Nick says he’s got two clinics, one in Belgium and one in Germany and he does two operations every day so his prices are lower.
That was a shock at first. I knew how long it took for Dr De Reys to do an op - it took like till 9 in the evening one day so I ask him, how can he do 2 operations a day, doesn’t he get exhausted?
nick says the guy works with a team so he doesn’t get exhausted. I suppose that’s kind of standard now although I liked the fact that De Reys worked on his own. I like the thought of the surgeon doing all the work. Nick says sure, but that way, it takes a lot longer. The surgeon gets knackered and can get less done in a day. Body hair is out.
Anyway, you get the picture, Nick is pretty persuasive so I set up the consult through him. I speak to Dr Villnow’s rep whose name is Etienne and in a few weeks, I’m flying over to the clinic in germany. It’s in Dusseldorf. Right in the centre. Nice little city with a stream or a canal that goes through the middle.
There’s a hotel there next to the little river called the Breidenbacker Hoff and that’s where Dr Villnow has his clinic, on the side of the building where the hotel is in.
I found out later that the hotel and the doc have some arrangement so patients can stay there - in fact the clinic opens right into the hotel with its own door!
Dr Villnow is a very, very nice guy in person and very professional and very experienced. Turns out he’s been doing hair transplants for more than twice as long as Dr De Reys and he set up his clinic in the early 90s. Reckoned he was one of the first hair transplant doctors in Euroep.
I ask why he’s not more well-known and he says most of his business comes from Germany, Russia and Saudi Arabia although he has a lot of celebrity customers from the States too.
he checks my hair and says I’ve got about 1500 grafts left in my donor area which he could use to fill out my temples and also fill in the two lines along the top of the head where the density is not so great.
He checks my chest and says I’ve got plenty of grafts there. He says he could take 1000 from my chest and fill out the crown to maximise the density.
Now I’ve emailed a few other surgeons who do body hair and they all had monster waiting lists and I know I don’t want to wait till next year or whenever so my last question is, when can we do it. He says, in two weeks!!!
He says he had a cancellation although his pro-style operation (he calls himself the hair transplant pro - cos of all the footballers! ) can handle a lot more patients than Dr De Reys so he could have fit me in a month and half later if normal.
Great news for me. Good price, done soon, not next year and a top surgeon. I checked his clinic out as well and it is really first class (I got some pics of that later on)
OK, so that’s the background, now the bit that counts - the photos! First, when I arrive, I’m staying in the clinic’s own in-patient
overnight rooms. They are seriously plush! Here’s some photos I took:
This is the door to the bedroom.
This is the couch and bed - you can see it’s pretty nice indeedy!
This is another photo of the bedroom - that MAc book doesn’t come with the room, it’s mine!
The bathroom was a real highlight
Here’s another bathroom photo
So overall, nice digs, on a level with a posh hotel. And, with a 24 hour nurse on call, pretty safe. The main bonus (for me) was that it’s all included in the price - no need to book a hotel anywhere (although I guess if you go with your family you could stay at the main hotel but it looked really proper 5 star to me).
I stay there on the first night before the operation and I’m up bright and early the next day. It starts at 8am!
Right, so before the operation begins, I hand my camera over to the doctor. His team come in, two ladies and they start to shave my
head and then they took some photos. Now this is the first time I’d seen my head shaved since the last operation. Now you can really see the hairline that Dr De Reys constructed. here are the photos:
You can see on the last two photos how the hairline is pretty high. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a million times better than where it used to be - at the back of my head! So Dr De Reys did fantastic work although he was kind of limited by the number of grafts I had. Still you can see the evidence here. This is quality work from the Belgian bruiser! So what do the smart German scientists have planned?
First off Dr Villnow (who is a truly lovely guy, always smiling and joking and also very reassuring) and I discussed the plan. He said there were 1500 grafts left in my head and he would lower the temples and fill in the areas along the side where the density was low. He said on the next day, the body hair grafts would go in.
Next he asked if I wanted something to help me sleep. Now I made a bit of an error of judgement here. I remembered that the operation with Dr De Reys was painful in places so I immediately jumped at the chance to have something to make me sleep. The nurses hooked me up to a drip and I got something that pretty much knocked me out straight away.
What I didn’t realise was that each patient was only allowed to have a certain amount of this stuff and I shoulda kept it in reserve for later in the operation because it was a real ace in the hand. It knocked me out straight away and I slept through the extraction and the part where the doctor makes slits in your head to put the grafts in - I slept through like two thirds of the operation.
The first day sailed by but thinking back, I think oughta have saved the drip for the second day - the body hair part. More on that later.
Anyway whilst I was floating around the city happily in my little dream world, the doc took the camera and did the extractions. I was well away within 5 minutes so I remember none of this. Nor do I remember him making the incisions. Luckily they took photos and
here they are:
OK, that’s a bit gruesome but remember - I didn’t take theses photos!
In this part he took out the 1500 scalp hair grafts - and I didn’t notice a thing!
Now the next set of photos are really interesting. It’s where the doc marked out the areas where the grafts (including the plan for the body hairs) are going to go in. His job now was to cut the incisions in the head.
Here’s the photos:
So you can see the doc’s plan. Pretty comprehensive way to sort out the low density spots. I reckon the second and third photos
there are best. You can really see his plan for how the new temples will turn out. Much more natural than the far back ones I had.
Now here’s a photo from after the incisions were done:
NOw it’s probably not a surprise to you that I didn’t take this photo either so the thing is, I can’t tell if there grafts are in there already or not. Or if this is just a photo after the incisions were made. You guys see it?
Either way, you can really see where the grafts went in on the next set of photos which were from day 2 - body hair day!
But before we go on, I just want to say what time we finished the day - 3pm! It was all done, extraction, incision and implants
within 7 hours. This was a shock because I’d had 10, 11 hour days with Dr De Reys. The main thing was the team working in twos were
able to do twice the work in the same time. At the end, I was buzzing - it was so smooth and so fast. I hardly noticed a thing. If I’d been having just FUE scalp then this would have been a total breeze, like no pain at all (ok I think you know where I’m going
with this story… )
So here’s the photos from the next day early in the morning - we started at 8 again.
Bit bloody cos the scabs have started to form although on that last photo you can see where the body hair grafts are gonna go.