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New Year and a New Start - Looking for Opinions


#1

This is my story. It’s probably not all that different than many of yours. But it’s mine and I’m hoping some of my brothers in hairloss may give me some perspective on my situation.

I’ve been losing my hair since pretty much puberty. Thanks again mom and dad. I started on rogaine around 16-17. By 24 I shaved my head. Got on Fin. Then there were the surgeries.

Life was never what I’d hoped it to be. The women were never the type I’d hoped to get. The lighthearted comments from friends cut deeper than they could ever imagine. The feelings of worthlessness and helplessness. And still - no real solution.

3 Strip Procedures, about 6000 grafts total, with the reputed best-of-the-best surgeon in New York City. The results were decent. I find myself with around a patchy NW2 Hairline, NW3 Temples, diffuse thinning throughout, and a crown I cringe when I get a glimpse of. Not to mention a smiley face scar and thin donor that make me wish I never even bothered. I’d gladly shave my head today, but sadly that’s not a real option.

So what are my real options?

I suppose I could live with mediocrity. Sure. Great boring life. That’s what I want. It doesn’t look so bad with concealer. But I lead a pretty active life and it’s just too tough to keep up that kind of lie. I don’t want to live a lie. The HT lie is a big enough one, but easy enough to keep quiet about. Rugs are not an option either.

Since I live in LA now, I’ve gone and consulted with Dr. Umar. He’s pretty awesome by the way. Since my donor is mostly depleted, I figured some BHT would be needed. He recommended 8000 grafts. 4000 FUE, 1000 Chest, 3000 Beard. About 1500 for the Hairline and Temples. 1500 to add thickness througout, and about 4000 to the crown and scar. If I can get a result like Heliboy where I could pull off a buzzcut until some true cure is found, I can live with it. The money is certainly up there, but we only have one life. At 36 I’ve now spent half my adult life suffering because of this. I want this resolved, but I certainly can’t handle any more disappointment.

One thing of concern is no real testing for the BHT. Shouldn’t there be some grafts tested to be sure they’ll take or am I wrong about that? My yields from my strip surgeries were pretty solid even if ultimately they provided mediocre results. And while my hairloss has mostly stabilized, there are certainly no guarantees of that remaining to be the case.

Are there any alternatives I haven’t considered? I suppose I could wait for something else to come along, but there aren’t very many prime years left for me. Do I really want to spend them worrying about my hair and feeling I’ve left even more wasted potential out there?

Really I’ve answered my own question as to what I want to do as I wrote this out, but maybe one of my fellow brothers in this fight can provide some insight I may have overlooked.

Thanks for listening and best of luck to all of you in this struggle.


#2

As you say, you’ve pretty much answered your own question.

But there is another, cheaper option; get Dr Umar to dense pack your scars with beard hair and BHT.

Fewer grafts so cheaper and maybe then you can pull off a shorter haircut. And if it goes well you can always follow your original plan at a later date.


#3

Lifeisnow,

Thank you very much and sharing your story. I could read the emotion in your post. It does seem you have made your decision on how to move forward.Because you have had strip you really don’t have the option to shave your head, so another procedure or continuing with the consealers are your options.

If you had anoth 8,000 grafts that would bring you up to 14,000 grafts!!! I haven’t seen your before photos but I can imagine that would give you fill coverage.

Going through the journey that you have, is there any advice you would give to newbies? Would you not have gone thru with strip because of the scar? Would you have not have had any procedures at all??


#4

» As you say, you’ve pretty much answered your own question.
»
» But there is another, cheaper option; get Dr Umar to dense pack your scars
» with beard hair and BHT.
»
» Fewer grafts so cheaper and maybe then you can pull off a shorter haircut.
» And if it goes well you can always follow your original plan at a later
» date.

Beard Hair in the scars is already part of the plan. My reason for getting this all done now is I’m not getting any younger. I’ll be 37 in a few months and the money isn’t as important as living life on my own terms.


#5

Hey lifeisnow…

I know what it feels like to go bald from an early age, very disappointing.

I think you just need to figure what would make you the most comfortable with yourself cause in the end that is what matters.

I wish you the best of luck and keep us updated.

Gabriel


#6

» Lifeisnow,
»
» Thank you very much and sharing your story. I could read the emotion in
» your post. It does seem you have made your decision on how to move
» forward.Because you have had strip you really don’t have the option to
» shave your head, so another procedure or continuing with the consealers are
» your options.
»
» If you had anoth 8,000 grafts that would bring you up to 14,000 grafts!!!
» I haven’t seen your before photos but I can imagine that would give you
» fill coverage.
»
» Going through the journey that you have, is there any advice you would
» give to newbies? Would you not have gone thru with strip because of the
» scar? Would you have not have had any procedures at all??

Yes, 14,000 grafts should give me (hopefully) full coverage. My before is an average result. In good lighting, without anything, I can look like a HT “Success Story.” The strip scar, diffuse thinning and the crown are what bother me most. I’m not satisfied which I why I’m looking to do more. I’ve considered Armani as well, but without BHT I’ll still have an incomplete result. I’ll post my pics when I make my final arrangements.

My advice to the Newbs is avoid strip like it’s the plague. Just my humble opinion and for the following reasons.

Balding is not a choice. Shaving it bald is. A strip scar takes away the choice. I was always a tall, good-looking, athletic type. My hairloss completely shattered my self image. Eventually, it was my lack of self-esteem that lead to my so-called shortcomings in life.

There are worse things in life than losing your hair. Unfortunately I didn’t come to that realization until a little too late. At least with FUE, if you’re unhappy with your result, just let it shine. And focus on the things you can control. Your physique, your grooming, taking good care of your skin. Make something of your life.

There are plenty of bald guys that have had quite the lives. Then there are those of us who sulk. Always looking for a magic bullet to make our lives complete. Who would you rather be?

There are no magic bullets. Only slow, tedious paths to redemption.

I feel I’m close to mine now. The journey would have been far smoother had I accepted myself for who I was.


#7

If you proceed with BHTs and it survives relatively well, then I think you should assume you’ll eventually end up wanting as much of it as you can harvest and pay for. Hair-for-hair, the BHTs do not provide anywhere near as much coverage as original scalp hair does. It’s a combination of thinner/shorter hairs + the time body hairs spend resting & growing is a worse ratio.

Not to sound like a FUE cheerleader, but why haven’t you tried a couple thousand grafts? I’m guessing thinned donor issues? Lots of guys can still pull a few more grafts this way even if they’re pretty stripped out already. If nothing else, FUE is useful for moving some thin-shafted lower neck hairs into the hairline and softening it up. Or grafting into the scars.

Another thing that I would think about is Acell. There are multiple docs monkeying with it right now.

I won’t tell you to wait until every HM scheme in discussion is tested out (that’s much too open-ended), but this one in particular will probably be showing evidence of any possible usefulness within this year. I’m just saying you might wait to go under the knife again until we hear back about the stuff.


#8

lifeisnow,

Sorry to hear about your predicament. It sucks that we have to go through this and I feel your pain. I think it would be one thing if we were losing our hair in our 40’s and 50’s, at least I would have felt like I had a lot of good prime years; but when it hits in your teens and 20’s, you really feel cheated.

Like another poster said, in the end you have to do whatever you are most comfortable with, it is your life and no one else can tell you what is going to make you happy. I wish you the best of luck and I’m sure in the end you will figure out what is best for you.


#9

» If you proceed with BHTs and it survives relatively well, then I think you
» should assume you’ll eventually end up wanting as much of it as you can
» harvest and pay for. Hair-for-hair, the BHTs do not provide anywhere near
» as much coverage as original scalp hair does. It’s a combination of
» thinner/shorter hairs + the time body hairs spend resting & growing is a
» worse ratio.
»
» Not to sound like a FUE cheerleader, but why haven’t you tried a couple
» thousand grafts? I’m guessing thinned donor issues? Lots of guys can
» still pull a few more grafts this way even if they’re pretty stripped out
» already. If nothing else, FUE is useful for moving some thin-shafted lower
» neck hairs into the hairline and softening it up. Or grafting into the
» scars.
»
»
»
» Another thing that I would think about is Acell. There are multiple docs
» monkeying with it right now.
»
» I won’t tell you to wait until every HM scheme in discussion is tested out
» (that’s much too open-ended), but this one in particular will probably be
» showing evidence of any possible usefulness within this year. I’m just
» saying you might wait to go under the knife again until we hear back about
» the stuff.

Hey Cal,

Sitting around and waiting isn’t much for me anymore. I already feel like I’ve waited far too long as it is. I remember hearing about Dr. Gho and his hair multiplication being ready by now about 6 years ago. Still no Gho (pun intended). Truth is, there’s a legit chance that this will give me a very nice result until some form of HM comes along and gives me my choice of hair.

Honestly, I’d love to walk into a surgeon’s office and say, “I’ll take the Brad Pitt.” That’s not going to happen.

The plan is to get about 4000 FUE grafts from my remaining donor, with the rest being body and beard hair.

No need to qualify yourself as an FUE cheerleader. I’m one too. I only wished I’d waited 2-3 years longer for my first HT and had gone FUE. Then I wouldn’t be among the “scarred.”

I also plan on wearing a buzz cut (if possible), similar to that of Heliboy. If acell or something else comes along to give me a truly, maximum density head of hair with a youthful hairline, I’ll go that route down the road.

What really sucks is today a woman thought I was only about 18 today cuz I was wearing a hat. A nice compliment but it really cut like a knife. I wanna look 18 without the hat. Is that really so much to ask?


#10

I think the best thing for you to do with the options you have is whatever makes you feel the best… I see no reason why a total of 14k grafts is not enough for a nice coverage & hairline?

Whatever your decision I wish you all the best…

Dan


#11

» » If you proceed with BHTs and it survives relatively well, then I think
» you
» » should assume you’ll eventually end up wanting as much of it as you can
» » harvest and pay for. Hair-for-hair, the BHTs do not provide anywhere
» near
» » as much coverage as original scalp hair does. It’s a combination of
» » thinner/shorter hairs + the time body hairs spend resting & growing is
» a
» » worse ratio.
» »
» » Not to sound like a FUE cheerleader, but why haven’t you tried a couple
» » thousand grafts? I’m guessing thinned donor issues? Lots of guys can
» » still pull a few more grafts this way even if they’re pretty stripped
» out
» » already. If nothing else, FUE is useful for moving some thin-shafted
» lower
» » neck hairs into the hairline and softening it up. Or grafting into the
» » scars.
» »
» »
» »
» » Another thing that I would think about is Acell. There are multiple
» docs
» » monkeying with it right now.
» »
» » I won’t tell you to wait until every HM scheme in discussion is tested
» out
» » (that’s much too open-ended), but this one in particular will probably
» be
» » showing evidence of any possible usefulness within this year. I’m just
» » saying you might wait to go under the knife again until we hear back
» about
» » the stuff.
»
» Hey Cal,
»
» Sitting around and waiting isn’t much for me anymore. I already feel like
» I’ve waited far too long as it is. I remember hearing about Dr. Gho and
» his hair multiplication being ready by now about 6 years ago. Still no Gho
» (pun intended). Truth is, there’s a legit chance that this will give me a
» very nice result until some form of HM comes along and gives me my choice
» of hair.
»
» Honestly, I’d love to walk into a surgeon’s office and say, “I’ll take the
» Brad Pitt.” That’s not going to happen.
»
» The plan is to get about 4000 FUE grafts from my remaining donor, with the
» rest being body and beard hair.
»
» No need to qualify yourself as an FUE cheerleader. I’m one too. I only
» wished I’d waited 2-3 years longer for my first HT and had gone FUE. Then
» I wouldn’t be among the “scarred.”
»
» I also plan on wearing a buzz cut (if possible), similar to that of
» Heliboy. If acell or something else comes along to give me a truly,
» maximum density head of hair with a youthful hairline, I’ll go that route
» down the road.
»
» What really sucks is today a woman thought I was only about 18 today cuz I
» was wearing a hat. A nice compliment but it really cut like a knife. I
» wanna look 18 without the hat. Is that really so much to ask?

well, if you are already 36 is it somehow much to ask.
i know how you feel though. im 25 and i think about how many “good years” i still have, too. i always struggle. i have a little money saved and i now think about it, should i save it to be financially save or should i spend it in a ht. i even think about studying harder and faster just to be able to afford a good ht. i mean, its good to study hard, but not if you just do it for hair. somehow much of my planning for future is about a ht and how i can afford it. im somehow in the same situation like you…time is ticking even if for me a bit slower than for you. its good to see that you still think you re young at 36 though. so i hope i will feel the same way at 36. so that would give me some good 10 more years in my youth. :slight_smile: …now i only need hair. :expressionless:


#12

» One thing of concern is no real testing for the BHT. Shouldn’t there be
» some grafts tested to be sure they’ll take or am I wrong about that? My
» yields from my strip surgeries were pretty solid even if ultimately they
» provided mediocre results. And while my hairloss has mostly stabilized,
» there are certainly no guarantees of that remaining to be the case.
»
Why dont you choose the option I did? Go for a smaller session and see results. Thats the beauty of fue… you can go for small sessions.


#13

Lifeisnow, Thankyou so much for sharing your story. I think the beard hair to fill in your scars is the way to go.Fue and BHT should really improve things. You have alot of living to do, so try and live it on your own terms. I was in Cancun over the Holidays with my father who is 69 years old. My dad was playing in the waves and having a great time. He happened to be one of the more fit looking guys on the beach as well. So yea we have alot of living to do. I wish you much luck in your journey.:slight_smile:


#14

I would definitely get a BHT test done first. The response of BHT is variable from patient to patient.
Another option worth looking at if you decided to shave your head and not bother w. more surgeries is to put grafts into your scar, like mentioned already.


#15

»
» well, if you are already 36 is it somehow much to ask.
» i know how you feel though. im 25 and i think about how many “good years”
» i still have, too. i always struggle. i have a little money saved and i now
» think about it, should i save it to be financially save or should i spend
» it in a ht. i even think about studying harder and faster just to be able
» to afford a good ht. i mean, its good to study hard, but not if you just do
» it for hair. somehow much of my planning for future is about a ht and how i
» can afford it. im somehow in the same situation like you…time is ticking
» even if for me a bit slower than for you. its good to see that you still
» think you re young at 36 though. so i hope i will feel the same way at 36.
» so that would give me some good 10 more years in my youth. :slight_smile: …now i only
» need hair. :expressionless:

Hey Helpme. I know exactly how you feel. I stopped thinking about my future as much and only started to think about how I could get my Hair transplant. It’d eassy for someone to say “just shave your head and forget about it”, but for me I just couldn’t do that and be happy. I just could not go forward until this problem was fixed.

I made a decision to attack this problem. I put a few things on temporary hold and made a list of what I needed to do to have my procedure. Finances was an obstalce so I ended up getting a part time job to bring in extra income.

Two years later I am much much happier with my hair which has allowed me to focus on other things in my life. My personal life, financial goals, my future etc… I feel I am back to my old self.


#16

» I would definitely get a BHT test done first. The response of BHT is
» variable from patient to patient.
» Another option worth looking at if you decided to shave your head and not
» bother w. more surgeries is to put grafts into your scar, like mentioned
» already.

gac201, I was thinking of saying the same thing as far as putting grafts into the scar and shaving down.I have yet to see a scar that has been filled in and shaved down. I had an excellent HT via strip from Dr. Armani. The scar I was left with is as fine and tight as you can get. I can feel it, but cannot see it wether my hair is wet or dry, however it does bother me sometimes knowing it is there. I would really be interested in seeing scars that have been filled in and shaved down. If they blend in just right I would have Armani FUE them for me at some point.


#17

» » I would definitely get a BHT test done first. The response of BHT is
» » variable from patient to patient.
» » Another option worth looking at if you decided to shave your head and
» not
» » bother w. more surgeries is to put grafts into your scar, like
» mentioned
» » already.
»
» gac201, I was thinking of saying the same thing as far as putting grafts
» into the scar and shaving down.I have yet to see a scar that has been
» filled in and shaved down. I had an excellent HT via strip from Dr. Armani.
» The scar I was left with is as fine and tight as you can get. I can feel
» it, but cannot see it wether my hair is wet or dry, however it does bother
» me sometimes knowing it is there. I would really be interested in seeing
» scars that have been filled in and shaved down. If they blend in just right
» I would have Armani FUE them for me at some point.

I think if you shave down to the skin, the scar will still be somewhat visible, even after having grafts put into it. From results I’ve seen online in the past, the scars weren’t visible w/ the hairs trimmed short (like a 1 guard buzz cut).


#18

What really sucks is today a woman thought I was only about 18 today cuz I was wearing a hat. A nice compliment but it really cut like a knife. I wanna look 18 without the hat. Is that really so much to ask?

I’ve heard this kind of stuff too. Often.

Basically EVERY time I put ANYTHING on my head, the female friends who see me that way are startled that I look so much better. The usually chalk it up to a good looking hat or something, but the only thing really different is that they’re not seeing the receded NW#3 temples that have been exaggerating my worst features ever since I was 16.


#19

» What really sucks is today a woman thought I was only about
» 18 today cuz I was wearing a hat. A nice compliment but it really cut like
» a knife. I wanna look 18 without the hat. Is that really so much to ask?
»

»
»
» I’ve heard this kind of stuff too. Often.
»
» Basically EVERY time I put ANYTHING on my head, the female friends who see
» me that way are startled that I look so much better. The usually chalk it
» up to a good looking hat or something, but the only thing really different
» is that they’re not seeing the receded NW#3 temples that have been
» exaggerating my worst features ever since I was 16.

yeah, we all go through that. when i was in my early 20’s girls thought i was over 30. now though, i get mistaken for being younger than i am.


#20

» » If you proceed with BHTs and it survives relatively well, then I think
» you
» » should assume you’ll eventually end up wanting as much of it as you can
» » harvest and pay for. Hair-for-hair, the BHTs do not provide anywhere
» near
» » as much coverage as original scalp hair does. It’s a combination of
» » thinner/shorter hairs + the time body hairs spend resting & growing is
» a
» » worse ratio.
» »
» » Not to sound like a FUE cheerleader, but why haven’t you tried a couple
» » thousand grafts? I’m guessing thinned donor issues? Lots of guys can
» » still pull a few more grafts this way even if they’re pretty stripped
» out
» » already. If nothing else, FUE is useful for moving some thin-shafted
» lower
» » neck hairs into the hairline and softening it up. Or grafting into the
» » scars.
» »
» »
» »
» » Another thing that I would think about is Acell. There are multiple
» docs
» » monkeying with it right now.
» »
» » I won’t tell you to wait until every HM scheme in discussion is tested
» out
» » (that’s much too open-ended), but this one in particular will probably
» be
» » showing evidence of any possible usefulness within this year. I’m just
» » saying you might wait to go under the knife again until we hear back
» about
» » the stuff.
»
» Hey Cal,
»
» Sitting around and waiting isn’t much for me anymore. I already feel like
» I’ve waited far too long as it is. I remember hearing about Dr. Gho and
» his hair multiplication being ready by now about 6 years ago. Still no Gho
» (pun intended). Truth is, there’s a legit chance that this will give me a
» very nice result until some form of HM comes along and gives me my choice
» of hair.
»
» Honestly, I’d love to walk into a surgeon’s office and say, “I’ll take the
» Brad Pitt.” That’s not going to happen.
»
» The plan is to get about 4000 FUE grafts from my remaining donor, with the
» rest being body and beard hair.
»
» No need to qualify yourself as an FUE cheerleader. I’m one too. I only
» wished I’d waited 2-3 years longer for my first HT and had gone FUE. Then
» I wouldn’t be among the “scarred.”
»
» I also plan on wearing a buzz cut (if possible), similar to that of
» Heliboy. If acell or something else comes along to give me a truly,
» maximum density head of hair with a youthful hairline, I’ll go that route
» down the road.
»
» What really sucks is today a woman thought I was only about 18 today cuz I
» was wearing a hat. A nice compliment but it really cut like a knife. I
» wanna look 18 without the hat. Is that really so much to ask?

Lifeisnow thanks for sharing your story. Please keep us updated and any pics you can share would be greatly appreciated… your story may help others avoid making the same mistakes.