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FUE at Hair Dr Clinic, Leeds (Dr Arshad) – 2500 Grafts – 13-Jan-2021

H

HT2021

member
Hi All,

I had an FUE procedure with Dr Arshad and his team at the Hair Dr Clinic in Dewsbury, Leeds, on 13th January 2021. This forum was an absolutely monumental help when it came to educating myself about hair transplants, encouraging me to proceed, researching clinics, preparing me for the post-op period, etc - so I really wanted to share my account and hopefully help other people in turn. I’ll try to add any details that I think of that might help fill in gaps, (so apologies in advance if this becomes tediously long) – and I’ll try to keep this thread updated over time with progress pictures and answer questions that come up, because I know how helpful those were for me.

I am 32, and first noticed that I was starting to lose hair at around 18. For most of the time since, I’d always had the idea of a hair transplant in the back of my mind, but it was pretty much just a pipe dream until I started giving it serious consideration towards the end of last year, when lockdown isolation made it suddenly start to seem like the ideal time to do it. On the basis of my research and personal preferences (and I was absolutely indebted to years’ worth of hugely informative and generous posts on this forum), I had narrowed it down to the Hair Dr, Dr Tam, and Harley Street Hair Clinic; in the end I went with the Hair Dr based on the sheer volume of positive accounts from patients there (it also happened to be the most affordable of the three, but I tried to focus more on the quality of the work rather than the financial aspect when picking a clinic). (For what it’s worth, the WhatsApp video consultations I had with the Hair Dr and Harley Street Hair Clinic were free; and the video consultation with Dr Tam was £60, although he does also offer a free pre-assessment on his website where he will review and annotate your photos and share his initial thoughts, which certainly helped guide my thinking in the early stages). My area of concern was my hairline, as you can see below:

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I live in London, so I stayed in an apartment in Leeds for 2 nights for the procedure itself at the Hair Dr clinic. The clinic do have an affiliation with the nearby Holiday Inn where you can get a 15% discount, but I personally preferred to have a place with a kitchen so I could prepare my own meals and not have to worry about hotel mealtimes. The clinic can also provide a letter confirming that you are travelling for a medical procedure, which you can provide to your accommodation to justify your travel during the pandemic. I asked for this letter but didn’t actually end up needing to show it to anyone, but it was reassuring to have – you don’t want to book accommodation for a hair transplant and then end up worrying that they’re going to cancel it on the grounds of non-essential travel!


I was asked to arrive at the clinic at 7am, and despite my nerves I was immediately put at ease when I arrived. I was soon taken to meet Dr Arshad where we discussed my hair loss history and my expectations, before he got to work drawing on a provisional hairline. The original video consultation had suggested that I would need 2,000 grafts, but Dr Arshad immediately concluded that I would probably need another 500 – I was able to pay for these extra grafts there and then (the clinic charge £3 per graft).


The dreaded head shave was surprisingly un-traumatic (made a lot easier by the wonderful clinic technicians who make every stage as comfortable as possible), and then I changed into the gown provided. (The clinic advise you to wear comfortable joggers/tracksuit bottoms and slippers, and to only wear button-up shirts and hoodies after the procedure, as opposed to t-shirts or jumpers that may disturb the grafts when you put them on or take them off, so make sure you bring these with you if you’re staying overnight).


The day is broken into 3 stages: injections followed by extractions; creation of channels for the new grafts; and then the implantations of the grafts. The injections/extractions involve lying on your stomach with the face through a hole in the table as all the work at thus stage is on the back of your head. The anaesthetic injections were, for me personally, very unpleasant. I’d somehow had the wrong impression that there was just one big injection to get through, but in fact there must have been 30-40 over about 3 minutes or so, and it wasn’t until the very end of those that they began to get less painful. From that point on there was very little discomfort (and I’m sure there are plenty of people who find the injections a breeze), so I certainly wouldn’t want to put people off – but it’s probably best that future patients are prepared for it to be difficult.


I think the extractions session lasted around an hour and a half overall, over two sessions. I then had a quick break for some toast and snacks, and then Dr Arshad began creating the channels (which felt like shallow lines being carved across the top of my head) and then punching the holes (which sounded like the sound when you hole punch a big stack of paper – a very strange sound to hear coming from your own head). This lasted around an hour too I think, before I was given lunch, which the clinic provide from a local café.


For the first two sessions you are unable to use your phone or listen to headphones etc, but for the implantations session, you lie at a 30 degree angle facing the TV, and you can watch Netflix on the TV or just listen to headphones. This session begins with further anaesthetic injections to the front of the head, which were still not pleasant, but were far less painful for me than the earlier ones. This final session took around 3 hours or so, it wasn’t painful at all but lying in the same place for so long got a little uncomfortable, and I found myself fidgeting towards the end. But ultimately, apart from the injections and the general weariness from such a long day, the entire procedure was a million times more comfortable than I expected beforehand. Again, this has a lot to do with Dr Arshad’s team of technicians, who are so friendly, positive, cheerful, supportive and helpful, and make you feel like nothing is too much trouble.

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Once this was complete, it was just a case of having a short debrief at the end to go over some post-op guidance and watch an aftercare video, and then it was time to leave. The clinic provide you with a bag full of various medications, ointment, shampoo, a spare bandage, and saline spray with a sprayer. They also very helpfully provide you with a chart to help you remember to use the various sprays and medications, which is an absolute godsend. I had phone reminders going off relentlessly for the whole week, but it’s well worth it to know that you’re doing all you can to protect your new grafts.
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I was incredibly paranoid about anything touching my new grafts, so even though the general advice is to sleep at a 30 degree angle with 3 stacked pillows and a travel pillow, I decided to err on the side of caution and actually sleep sitting upright, which was…not all that easy. I’m not saying that this is the best way to sleep it by any means, but I was so concerned about anything disturbing my grafts that I wanted to massively err on the side of caution! I brought some extra pillows with me for the trip, (and also brought my own pillow cases, to avoid inadvertently bleeding over the pillows provided in the apartment), so I ended up sleeping with an arrangement like this:
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Well done for making it to what turned out to be an essay! I'll add a little recap of my progress since the operation shortly (it's now day 10), and I'll try and keep this thread updated with slightly more concise updates as time goes on, but if you have any questions then please feel free to ask!
 

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H

HT2021

member
As I write this, it’s now day 10 post operation. I’m conscious this is already an incredibly long post, but I thought it might help to provide a mini-diary of my progress since the operation:

Day 1:

I was back home , and kept sleeping upright, which meant it took a while to fall asleep, and I woke up pretty much every hour, but I had the time off work so I could live with the lack of sleep. You’re advised to remove your bandage after 24 hours, and if you are still bleeding at all (which I was) then you can put on a fresh bandage (which the clinic provide in their aftercare kit).

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Day 2:

Due to the bandage covering the bottom half of my forehead, the swelling from the saline injection (which slowly runs runs down from your head in the days after the operation) caused the swelling to linger in the top half of my forehead:

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Day 3:

Throughout the evening of the third day post-op, I felt incredibly itchy on my head. I had occasional moments in the days afterwards where I felt a little itchy here and there, but on this particular day, out of nowhere, it was really intense – I was curling my fingers up to try and reduce the urge. Luckily it passed enough before I went to bed so that I was able to sleep relatively normally.

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Day 4:

In the evening of day 4, I looked in the mirror and saw that the swelling had moved to my eyelids, which was a bit of a shock! I did some research on the internet and also got in touch with Sommiya at the clinic, and both reassured me that this is a pretty common and short-lived phase post-operation.

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Days 5-6:

For these nights, I finally started sleeping lying down again (still with 2 or 3 stacked pillows and a travel pillow, just to err on the side of caution). Up until now, with my head still being pretty red, it’s been hard to really conceptualise the grafts as an actual new hairline, because it still looks more like scabs than hairs. But at this stage, I could definitely see hairs growing through from my grafts, which was the first time my new hairline started to feel real!

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Day 7:

First day that I could wash my hair. The clinic advise that you pour lukewarm water over your head from a jug, apply the Sebamed shampoo that they provide by working it up into a lather and applying it over your grafts and donor area and leaving it for 10 minutes, and then rinse it off by pouring more water from a jug over your head. For me, this certainly removed some scabs from my donor area, but also left my grafts looking a bit drier and whiter than before – I assume this is normal. It was a strange sensation actually touching the grafts for the first time. I also noticed in the morning that there were a lot of scabs on my travel pillow (which I am still using, just to keep my head straight and avoid rolling around in my sleep - again, I am just erring on the side of caution), from the back and sides of my head. The scabs at the back of my head are mostly gone now, though there are still quite a lot at the sides.

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Days 8-9:
I'm continuing to lose scabs from the back and sides of my head. My scalp often feels quite dry throughout the day (presumably the result of leaving shampoo on it for 10 minutes before washing it off), and it looks a lot drier and flakier than I think these pictures suggest. From what I can tell, most of the scabs in my graft area are at the forehead region, seemingly bunched together in little circles across the width of my forehead, which again I assume/hope is normal...

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Thanks again for reading - if it's helpful then I'll continue to provide updates over time!
 
B

Baldingman23

Valued member
Looking good HT2021 Glad your experience with the Hair Dr was good.
 
S

Saint4805

member
Yeah agreed. Brilliant write up. The work looks clean and neat on your days 8-9 photos. Another satisfied customer for Dr Arshad. I guess you are now over the worst and can now enjoy sleeping horizontally again.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Welcome to the the forum HT2021.
It's good to hear the forum has helped you research and learn the true facts about hair restoration.
The extractions and planting looks nice and clean. Those 2500 grafts could transform your appearance from a balding look to looking like a full head of hair. Your donor area looks strong and healthy too.
At days 8-9 you look to be healing well and right on track. Little groups of scabs are ok, just don't pick them off. If they don't come off with shampooing, just let nature take its course.
All in all you had a good experience with the Hair Dr, now the waiting game begins.
Thanks for a great write up and I'll look forward to following your progress.
All the best.
Bm.
 
H

HT2021

member
Thanks all for the warm welcome to the forum! I hope it's proving helpful, and I'll try and keep adding updates when I can.

There's not been a huge amount of development in the last few days - as you can see in the pictures, most of the scabs have fallen off except for some clusters at the very front, but these too are slowly starting to come off. Quite a few of the scabs that have come off have had hairs attached, which was a little alarming at first but from a bit of Googling I *think* that's normal (but I'd welcome anybody's opinions!)

I'm now able to run my fingers through my (very short) hair in the graft area, which is a pretty good feeling! (I've tried to add some photos at the end to show this, though I'm not sure they're that clear.) I won't get too excited though as I imagine the full-on shedding phase must be just around the corner...


Day 10:
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Day 12:

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B

BaldingBaby

member
Looks like you've healed up nicely, barely noticeable.

May I ask what's the best way to contact dr arshad? I've tried on the website and no reply.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Your healing looks good, just those last few lingering scabs. Feeling the short spikey hair on a once bald area feels good.
Don`t worry about scabs with hair attached to them, it`s part of the shedding process.
This post explains it. Shedding grafts after a hair transplant
 
H

HT2021

member
Looks like you've healed up nicely, barely noticeable.

May I ask what's the best way to contact dr arshad? I've tried on the website and no reply.

Thanks! I'm very happy with how it's healing now, just a matter of patience now...

There may be a better way of contacting the clinic, but my experience was that I completed the online form they have on the Contact Us section of their site. The Clinic Manager then responded to my enquiry to request photos from me, and once I had sent them to her, she replied with Dr Arshad's initial assessment of my eligibility and how many grafts I might need.

The video consultation I had was with Sommiya, the Practice Manager,who was terrific throughout the process - but the first contact I had with Dr Arshad himself was on the day of the procedure.
 
H

HT2021

member
Your healing looks good, just those last few lingering scabs. Feeling the short spikey hair on a once bald area feels good.
Don`t worry about scabs with hair attached to them, it`s part of the shedding process.
This post explains it. Shedding grafts after a hair transplant

Thanks very much for the reassurance, that's good to know! And thanks so much in general for all your support, encouragement and guidance that you provide all of us here. In my months of reading threads to try and learn more about hair transplants I could see just how much everyone benefits from your replies - so thanks again for taking the time to help us all!
 
B

Baldingman23

Valued member
Thanks very much for the reassurance, that's good to know! And thanks so much in general for all your support, encouragement and guidance that you provide all of us here. In my months of reading threads to try and learn more about hair transplants I could see just how much everyone benefits from your replies - so thanks again for taking the time to help us all!
Agree with this!!!! Bigmac is a great help and provides lots of reassurance when needed to us all
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks very much for the reassurance, that's good to know! And thanks so much in general for all your support, encouragement and guidance that you provide all of us here. In my months of reading threads to try and learn more about hair transplants I could see just how much everyone benefits from your replies - so thanks again for taking the time to help us all!

Hi HT2021.
Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Helping you all gives me a profound sense of satisfaction and happiness. Having numerous hair transplants myself I know first hand how anxious it can be. Giving back to the community through my experiences and knowledge gained from attending conferences, visiting clinics over the past 12 years is a good thing. Interaction and support help us all.
 
H

Herr Loss

member
I'd also like to thank you Bigmac, I honestly don't think I'd have even considered a transplant without this site and the feedback you provide.

It's great that you do this for the community and very much appreciated.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Everyone should research and educate themselves before proceeding with a hair transplant.
@Herr Loss I`m pleased the site has helped you.
 
H

HT2021

member
Latest update: the last of the scabs fell off at around the 2-week point. Other than that, there's not been too much change - my scalp is still quite pink, there is still a fair amount of redness at the sides, and I've noticed a few hairs being shed - hard to tell if I am full-on shedding or not just yet

Day 13

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Day 15

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Day 16
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Day 17
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alex5

alex5

member
Hey! We are almost on the same number of days post HT so great to have a read and compare our journeys.

I am also noticing some hairs on my fingers after massaging in Aloe Vera Gel etc. It's quite scary but I know its normal and part of the process so just have to grin and bare it!
 
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