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FUE Procedure with Dr Arshad (The Hair Dr) – 3149 Grafts – 12.11.2020

M

Matt88

member
Hi everyone,

My name is Matt and I underwent a FUE hair transplant at The Hair Dr three days ago. It was a truly positive experience and, for that, I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to Dr Arshad, Sommiya, Adam and technicians Nasreen, Abbie, Katie, Daisy and Laura. Through a combination of the highest-level surgical expertise and talent, comprehensive aftercare and realistic expectation-setting, they have helped me come away from this procedure feeling hopeful about my hair and future appearance for the first time in nearly a decade.

I’d like to share my experience at The Hair Dr and document my progress over the coming months with anybody who, like me, has been fortunate enough to chance upon this forum, and to thank Bigmac and others who have posted their experiences before me and whose insights have enabled me to make informed choices through periods of real dejection. I’m quite sure that, without access to the kind of comprehensive, unbiased information and very human stories we read about on here, I’d have been at very real risk of making uninformed, potentially damaging decisions. And I really am grateful for having been able to avoid that.


About Me

I am 32 years old and a Norwood 3V or 4 with general diffuse loss on top, although my donor area is quite strong with coarse hair (photos attached in this post). I first noticed my hairline thinning at age 24, which led to some anxiety as I had nearly always worn my hair short. However, growing my hair longer on top helped me temporarily repress the issue until, at age 28, during a routine haircut under rather harsh light, the extent of my hair loss finally dawned on me in the mirror.

Panic followed and I frantically researched hair loss solutions on the internet, was bombarded with cut-price deals from supposedly reputable clinics, read about the stem cell hair transplants of the future (and wondered whether I could wait until then) and despaired at the potential side effects of otherwise proven hair loss medications. In short, overwhelmed and paralysed by indecision, I gave up and resigned myself to losing my locks for good. In the years since, my self-esteem has yo-yoed quite dramatically and, despite my best efforts to rationalise my genetic hair loss as something quite normal, the general uncertainty about the rate of change and how I may look to others in the future has been a cause of considerable ongoing distress.

However, since discovering this forum and despite never posting until today (I suspect I may not be alone in being a silent observer), I’ve found it to be a source of meaningful support and genuine empathy during periods of particularly low mood. Marvelling at the consistently excellent results that other members have achieved from their procedures, often at the same handful of clinics (such as The Hair Dr), has increased my hope over time that, somewhere in amongst all the chaos of the internet, there are genuine solutions to hair loss that might allow me to imagine a future in which I don’t make lifestyle decisions based on how I feel about my hair. As a result, these cyclical low moods have often ended in periods of relative calm and cautious optimism and, over time, I’ve come to realise that, when you’re finally ready to do something about a problem, you’ll just know.

That moment came three weeks ago when, looking through more recent successful hair transplant procedures on this forum, it was clear that the same few clinics here in the UK were garnering consistently excellent results. One of these is The Hair Dr and I’ve found Dr Arshad’s results on other clients with a range of hair loss patterns to be brilliant and, crucially, very natural-looking.


The Hair Dr

The initial phone conversations with Sommiya, the very informed and reassuring practice manager, confirmed to me why they were an obvious choice for a hair transplant:

- There are no pushy sales tactics and they were very clear that I shouldn’t proceed with anything if I wasn’t entirely sure.

- There are no seasonal special offers, just a very straightforward £3 per graft for FUE which is displayed clearly on their website. They are very obviously not in need of clients and they can quite clearly generate business through their results alone and not through some financial incentive that preys on our desire for a quick fix, leaving us vulnerable to poor decision-making.

- They’re not afraid to give you the hard facts, such as the following which I’ve come to accept after seeing many times on this forum: 1) A hair transplant alone is not the solution and long-term Finasteride use after the procedure is strongly advisable to at least slow the loss of remaining native hair and protect donor hair. 2) One needs to be realistic about the likely course of their hair loss – overharvesting grafts now could threaten the efficacy of future transplants. Accordingly, Sommiya reassured me that I could leave it to Dr Arshad to design a conservative hairline that would suit me in years to come. I had no reason not to believe her – the clinic’s results speak for themselves.

- With all of the information that I’ve gathered over the years from this forum regarding what does and doesn’t constitute safe, results-oriented and ethical practice, whether it be about the types of hairs constituting a natural and organically irregular hairline, the use of microscopes throughout the procedure, how grafts are stored safely during extraction and implantion or how deep the inserts are made during the channelling process, Sommiya’s answers to my questions demonstrated clearly why Dr Arshad and his team are featuring so regularly on this forum through the strength of their work.

- Dr Arshad performs the graft extractions and the channelling himself, which is where his considerable skill meets his innate artistic talent and which is why the clinic’s results are consistently excellent. He has vast experience and performs these procedures many times a week. As a client, I was confident in what I would be getting. During the implantation procedure, which is performed by the technicians, Dr Arshad regularly enters the room to assess progress.

I subsequently booked my procedure and, due to Covid-related cancellations, was able to come to the clinic in exactly two weeks. In the run-up to this day, I’ll admit that I did have last-minute nerves, but a quick phone call with Sommiya reaffirmed to me why I had chosen The Hair Dr and why I knew I was in safe hands: they really do care and take pride in their work, which was obvious throughout the day as I experienced first-hand how the team works together so effectively.

In the twelve hours I spent with Dr Arshad, from the morning consultation to the aftercare advice, it was quite clear to me that, apart from being a highly skilled surgeon, he is a very friendly, down-to-earth person who quite clear empathises with people who have struggled with the effects of hair loss. It’s no surprise, then, that the team he has working around him exhibits the same qualities and I couldn’t be more grateful to them for how the day passed. Twelve hours really did fly by and I was astounded at the level of detail, skill and talent involved in performing high-quality FUE procedures at The Hair Dr.

All in all, I had 3149 grafts implanted throughout the scalp, as can be seen in the immediate post-op photos attached to this post. Follicles were categorised as follows:

1s – 401 (a combination of soft and coarse 1s for the front of the hairline)

2s – 1553 (for just behind the soft and coarse 1s of the hairline and elsewhere throughout the scalp)

3s (and occasional 4s) – 1195 (focused in the frontal tuft moving posteriorly through to the crown)

Aftercare has been fantastic so far and began straight after the procedure. I sat with Dr Arshad in his office while he studied the initial results of the procedure and he was very happy with how the day had gone. He gave me a bag of various medications, saline spray and an additional bandage (pictured) to take home and took his time to explain how to care for my grafts and overall health once back at home. Importantly, he made it clear that I can contact him whenever I want if I have any questions and, as I sit here writing this blog on a Sunday evening, he has messaged me to check on my progress and to answer any queries I may have.

It’s quite clear to me, then, that I haven’t just purchased a hair transplant by a brilliant surgeon. I’ve also purchased peace-of-mind which, if like me you’ve spent years obsessing about your ever-changing hairline, is quite possibly just as crucial. As much as the hair that I want to see grow on my scalp, I would also like to be free from thinking so much about it, such that I might make space in my mind for other thoughts that enhance my day-to-day quality of life. I really don’t see how I would achieve that better than with Dr Arshad at The Hair Dr.

I’m now at the end of the third day post-op and, fingers crossed, everything seems to be fine. The swelling is decreasing, the donor area seems to be on track, as do the grafts which are stable and should be establishing a healthy blood supply as the days go by. I’ll be taking Finasteride 1mg daily for the foreseeable future and I’ll admit that I have some anxieties around potential side effects, but time will tell. Minoxidil is a further option that I could explore down the line, in addition to the Finasteride, as per Dr Arshad’s guidelines.

It’s bittersweet that it’s so often the pain that others before me have gone through which has provided me with some of the most important insights during this journey. Hopefully I’m able to pay forward the favour.

If you’ve got this far, then thank you very much for reading and feel free to ask any questions. I’ll continue to post photos to chart my recovery for those who might be interested and I’m confident that Dr Arshad and his team have given me the best chance to see results that I’ll be satisfied with over the next 18 months.

Best wishes and thank you,
Matt
 

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M

Matt88

member
Here are some photos on the first day post-op.
 

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Matt88

member
2nd day post-op photos. It's amazing how fast it starts to recover. I'm not really experiencing any pain and only mild discomfort at times. Hopefully I won't be overly tormented by an itchy scalp as the wounds heal further.
 

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M

Matt88

member
Here are my day 3 photos taken this evening. The swelling is improving and even blocked my nose somewhat as it made it's way further down my face tonight.
 

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B

Baldingman23

Valued member
Hi Matt glad you had a pleasant experience with The Hair Dr. Your hair loss pattern looks exactly like mine was and I’m sure you will come away with a nice result with that amount of graphs. Now the waiting game begins. I’m 4 months post HT with The Hair Dr and I’m now starting to see great progress. Look forward to seeing your progress
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Welcome to the forum Matt and thanks for a nice detailed write up. I`m pleased it has helped you with your research and ultimately lead you to a clinic of your own choosing.
Everything from your initial contact, the consultation process, the surgery and the immediate aftercare all went well which is good to hear. Those 3149 grafts will restore your hairline and add some nice density to the other thinning areas. Your hair loss pattern looks as though it was heading to a possible norwood 5, Dr Arshad planning ahead makes good practice. The Finasteride will hopefully help maintain and improve your current native hair as well.
I`ve been using Finasteride for 15 years now, it has definitely helped me.

You had some blood oozing in your post op pictures. This dries and looks somewhat unsightly but does no harm. It`s important not to pick at it and follow your post op instructions. It will come off with your hair washing in due course. For the swelling, you can use ice packs which help a lot but you`re probably over the worst of it now. Have some Aloe Vera gel handy just in case you do get an itchy scalp. Your donor area is healing as it should be.

I`ll look forward to following your journey. As Del boy says - this time next year.

All the best.
Bm.
 
M

Matt88

member
Hi Matt glad you had a pleasant experience with The Hair Dr. Your hair loss pattern looks exactly like mine was and I’m sure you will come away with a nice result with that amount of graphs. Now the waiting game begins. I’m 4 months post HT with The Hair Dr and I’m now starting to see great progress. Look forward to seeing your progress

Hi Baldingman23, thank you very much for reading and replying. I've been following your progress since your procedure and have been really impressed by Dr Arshad's results and I'm looking forward to seeing how you continue -you're in the real growth phase now and that's very exciting.

Your thread was the catalyst for me to finally do something about my hair, too (we really do have a similar hair profile, which is hopefully promising for me). So, in response to a comment you made on your thread: yes, you absolutely have helped at least one person (me). Thank you.

The Hair Dr really was the right choice for me and they really do care about you walking out of there satisfied and with hope. That part of the service is priceless.

As you said, it's the waiting game, but I'd much rather have 12-18 months of hope post-op rather than the last decade of increasing dread. Even if the results aren't what I'm hoping for (and I don't see why they wouldn't be), just finally taking some action changes my whole outlook, thanks to the experiences of people like you.

Cheers,
Matt
 
M

Matt88

member
Welcome to the forum Matt and thanks for a nice detailed write up. I`m pleased it has helped you with your research and ultimately lead you to a clinic of your own choosing.
Everything from your initial contact, the consultation process, the surgery and the immediate aftercare all went well which is good to hear. Those 3149 grafts will restore your hairline and add some nice density to the other thinning areas. Your hair loss pattern looks as though it was heading to a possible norwood 5, Dr Arshad planning ahead makes good practice. The Finasteride will hopefully help maintain and improve your current native hair as well.
I`ve been using Finasteride for 15 years now, it has definitely helped me.

You had some blood oozing in your post op pictures. This dries and looks somewhat unsightly but does no harm. It`s important not to pick at it and follow your post op instructions. It will come off with your hair washing in due course. For the swelling, you can use ice packs which help a lot but you`re probably over the worst of it now. Have some Aloe Vera gel handy just in case you do get an itchy scalp. Your donor area is healing as it should be.

I`ll look forward to following your journey. As Del boy says - this time next year.

All the best.
Bm.

Hi Bigmac, thank you for this and let me just thank you again for providing a platform to access such helpful information. It truly is life-changing and has helped me to really plan for the future.

The Hair Dr really was the right choice for me and everybody will have their reasons for choosing their own clinic. 3149 is a good start and, with the Finasteride, I suppose we'll see at what stage another procedure might be due. But I'd agree with you entirely - I was in denial about just how much my hair loss had advanced and it certainly would have continued. I think the overwhelming feeling right now is of relief - I've finally done something about it.

The dried blood on the scalp is most certainly unsightly - the result of me being somewhat trigger happy with the saline spray on day 1. Adam from The Hair Dr explained very politely that less is more. And absolutely - I'm touching nothing until the day of the first hairwash.

That's sound advice regarding the swelling and aloe vera. As I write this, I have a rather enlarged nose, so I'm hoping the swelling is gradually abating now. Still a bit of discomfort when sleeping on the travel pillow (I've only been averaging four hours of sleep a night on a soft recliner since the procedure - it's hard to get comfortable), but not long to go before I can sleep on my bed again and, particularly, on my side.

Certainly, I'll be posting regularly and, by this time next year, Del Boy here may well have a "millionaire" head of hair.

Hope you're well,
Matt
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Matt.
After day 4 your grafts are secure but some clinics may say a little longer just to be safe. You should soon be able to sleep normally. All the inconvenience with sleeping is soon forgotten once you have your first good night's sleep. Sometimes you may have tender spots in the donor, it`s quite normal as the healing is still going on under your skin. Your first hair wash will feel good. On what post op day is yours?
Assuming Finasteride does what it should I reckon you won`t need another HT for a long time and maybe never will.

A millionaire head of hair is in order.
 
M

Matt88

member
Hi Bigmac,

That's right, Dr Arshad mentioned four days as being a good estimate for secure grafts but also, just to be sure, I should wait at least seven days to sleep on a normal bed again. I really am looking forward to it.

That's good to know that it's normal to have ongoing tenderness in the donor area - peace of mind for the future. I'm due to shampoo on Day 7 post-op, which is this Thursday, and it can't come fast enough .

That's promising regarding future hair developments. I guess I'll just take it each day as it comes, but know that there are options for the future regardless of whether I have millionaire or hundred-pound hair.
 
T

theshape1122

Valued member
Looking great so far, Hair Dr great choice, I''m now 3 weeks Post Op with the Hair Dr and everything on track & healing well, in the shedding stage now which should be finished in a week or 2 hopefully
 
M

Matt88

member
Looking great so far, Hair Dr great choice, I''m now 3 weeks Post Op with the Hair Dr and everything on track & healing well, in the shedding stage now which should be finished in a week or 2 hopefully

Hi theshape1122,

Thanks a lot for this, mate. I've been tracking your progress and it's clear that we've all chosen the right surgeon in Dr Arshad.

My girlfriend was just looking at your photos and commented how good your hairline looks - extremely natural and very pleasing on the eye. I've seen your shedding photos and it all looks on track. We know what to expect over the next 12-18 months, so there's lots to look forward to!

Hope you're enjoying your day,
Matt
 
T

theshape1122

Valued member
Hi theshape1122,

Thanks a lot for this, mate. I've been tracking your progress and it's clear that we've all chosen the right surgeon in Dr Arshad.

My girlfriend was just looking at your photos and commented how good your hairline looks - extremely natural and very pleasing on the eye. I've seen your shedding photos and it all looks on track. We know what to expect over the next 12-18 months, so there's lots to look forward to!

Hope you're enjoying your day,
Matt

Thanks!, Yes can't wait to see the progress over the next 12-18 months now
 
M

Matt88

member
Day 5 Post-Op

All I'll say is that I'm really looking forward to that hair wash. Not much to report apart from the swelling gradually decreasing and a bit more bruising, but it feels generally fine and I haven't needed any painkillers since Day 2.
 

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Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Everything looks like it should for day 5. When you wash your hair let the shampoo soak in good to help with the blood and scab removal. It`s good to hear you didn`t really need any pain killers and that the swelling has decreased.
Soon you`ll be able to have that relaxing comfortable sleep.
Thanks for the update.
 
M

Matt88

member
Everything looks like it should for day 5. When you wash your hair let the shampoo soak in good to help with the blood and scab removal. It`s good to hear you didn`t really need any pain killers and that the swelling has decreased.
Soon you`ll be able to have that relaxing comfortable sleep.
Thanks for the update.

Thank you, Bigmac - just two nights from such a sleep! Am I right in thinking it's you who is correctly rotating the photos throughout the posts? Thanks for that and I'm not sure why they seem to upload incorrectly - they always seem fine on my phone.

Great advice about letting the shampoo soak in. The Hair Dr recommends leaving it on for a good 10 minutes, so that'll hopefully sort the blood/scabs out with each wash.

The swelling has remained somewhat on the sides of my forehead and actually around the bridge of the nose, but I suppose it's to be expected.

Have a nice night,
Matt
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, we rotate any pictures that require it. Soon it shouldn`t be an issue. The swelling shouldn`t be an issue for much longer and then the good hair wash and sleep.
 
T

theshape1122

Valued member
Progressing really well! the first 7 days are always the worst, not been able to sleep properly. having to sleep on my back using a travel cushion for a week was awful!
 
M

Matt88

member
Progressing really well! the first 7 days are always the worst, not been able to sleep properly. having to sleep on my back using a travel cushion for a week was awful!
Thank you, theshape11122! It's nice to know I'm not the only one - I swear, in my more delirious sleep-deprived moments, I was starting to think that if I don't start sleeping better, my grafts would never settle o_O.
 
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