This site has been helpful to me in doing research for making a decision not only as to whether to do a HT procedure or not but as to where to go if I did finally make a decision to get a procedure. I just wanted to share my experience with anyone who is struggling with the same decision as me which literally took me years to decide on.
First off, I did years agonizing research, checking websites, reading blogs, talking to doctors, waiting for the technology to improve, dealing with my indecision, etc… I was not happy doing a terrible comb-over and slowly watching myself go bald. I also really did not want to have to do a strip method if it could be avoided. This was a major reason for me sitting on the fence and just waiting and trying to stay up with who was doing the best work out there. Lets face it, if a hair procedure can not be done right from the beginning, I would not recommend anyone getting anything done period! I was determined not to get butchered and I wanted to be sure that I had the best procedure humanly possible.
I had sent my photos along with my generic personal bio info and what I desired in a procedure out to many different doctors and clinics for their online consultations. Every time I did, I got a different recommendations and was told I needed anywhere from 1500 grafts to 5000 grafts. Wow! What a wide range, which just seemed to make me more confused and untrusting of the industry. I was not sure what I actually needed. I was told by in my opinion a doctor who really did not have much experience with FUE that I would have a “moth eaten” look in my donor areas if I did a FUE procedure. I had even visited an overseas doctor who claimed to have the best prices in the world. He indeed might have had great prices but from what I saw at his office his results did not meet my expectations and the bulk of his experience was with the strip method. He proceeded to push me towards what he was comfortable with instead of listening to what I really wanted. I thought maybe a lot of these doctors and clinics I had talked with surely had many years of experience with the strip method but they were not really capable of performing a proper FUE procedure because of their lack training and experience with FUE. Honestly, I also kept thinking maybe I either had to wait a while longer for the doctors and clinics to catch up with the technology or keep looking because I absolutely did not want to go backwards or get butchered by some place looking to make a quick buck on my head.
Not too long ago, I started hearing good things about a place in Florida called GHI - Global Hair Institute. I started to research them just as I had all the other places. I had learned that their Surgical Director, Larry Leonard, had many years of experience working with a well known doctor from Atlanta area and had been working directly on patients for about 14 years. He was extremely knowledgeable and competent with not only the strip procedure but also the FUE procedure that I really wanted. I also learned that GHI performs FUE with a .75mm punch tool. This tool in the right hands a competent tech or doctor is extremely effective and is virtually scar less.
I proceeded to talk to Larry Leonard about my case first via email and I sent him my photos like all the other doctors and clinics. He answered me back promptly and provided me with more details and he asked me more important questions about my case than any other doctor or clinic even ever bothered to ask. It showed me that the staff at GHI was truly concerned with providing me with an honest consultation and that they wanted to be sure I understood the procedure and that I had realistic expectations of what the result should be like. They also provide me with some options to achieve the best results possible without ever trying to push into what was easiest, fastest and most profitable procedure for them. From my conversations with the staff at GHI, I realized that they had a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge not only with FUE but also in designing hairlines and packing the proper density throughout the recipient areas as well. Larry’s knowledge of how to harvest a donor area without giving it that “moth eaten” look or leaving any kind of indication that you ever had a procedure is extremely important and valuable as well. Probably one of the things that makes GHI one of the best places is Larry and his staffs level of experience and ability to use a .75mm punch tool was to me one of the most important decision factors. I figured if I did a FUE procedure and I was unhappy with the results, I could always go to a very short haircut without any scares or looking any worse then I would naturally losing my hair.
Needless to say, I went to GHI and I met with Larry Leonard, the doctor and his staff and made my decision to go for it! Believe me I am a pain in the rear for anyone, just ask my wife. This is especially true, if I am thinking about letting someone mess with my head or permanently alter my appearance. When I got there we took a lot of time and carefully reviewed my case again and went through all the medical questions. I was apprehensive at first, but shortly after I arrived I could see first hand that Larry Leonard and staff were true professionals, even perfectionist and that they really truly cared about the work they were doing. It was not only going to be something I would have to live with for the rest of my life but it would be a reflection on them and they took pride in everything they did every minute of every single day while I was there. I was there an entire week and had just over 3600 grafts in 5 days. That is a lot of FUE work for one week! While I was there the entire staff gave me the VIP treatment and they were respectful to me including respecting my privacy. They ensured that I was comfortable throughout the entire procedure and everything went perfect. Wow!! I was impressed and most of all very happy and confident that I will get the result they so carefully and diligently worked towards during that last week of August 2007.
Now that I am back home and only two weeks after my procedure, it is obviously too early to say that I had a 100% successful case. I know that the hardest time is still ahead while I patiently wait to see the results slowly grow in over the next several months and year. I am excited and confident about my results because GHI not only does several measurements of density throughout your entire donor and recipient areas, they also examine a lot of the grafts under a microscope and make records to ensure that the transection rate is almost none existent and they count the average number of hairs in each graft. Most of my grafts averaged three hairs per graft. Some grafts were more some of course less but averaged 3 hairs per graft. That means that the end result with 3600 grafts should be somewhere around 10,800 more hairs on top of my head within the next year! Wow!
At this time two weeks after my procedure, I can tell you honestly that looking at my shaved donor areas, there is no evidence of over harvesting giving me any “moth eaten” effect or scars. In fact it looks like it has healed completely and I still have enough hairs to this same procedure three more times, if I really needed too. I really hope I never have to do it again, but if I do, I know for sure where I am going! I can only tell you that I am happy that I did not let some other place talk me into a strip procedure. I consider myself lucky to have come across GHI because they know for sure what they doing. I came to fully trust Larry Leonard and I am glad I did. I received the benefit of all his years of experience, giving me a true comfort and value.
After the procedure, GHI has been very courteous with following up with me to check and see how I am doing. Global Hair Institute is a first class hair clinic and they are masters at their craft. Yes, I really appreciate what they did for me and I consider it money well spent even after two weeks! If you are even considering a procedure, I would strongly recommend that you at least talk to GHI and Larry Leonard himself. He always made himself available and responded quickly to any of my request. Believe me I did my research before making a decision and I encourage you do yours as well but do yourself a favor and put them on your list! Here is GHI’s contact information: