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

M

Matt88

member
@Matt88
I’m in the same position as you, almost at the eight month mark. The doctor also advised me to hold in there till the full 12 months. Fingers crossed we Start to see some sort of results in time for the 12 month timeline!
Hi @My2021story , thank you for this and it's good to know that there are a few of us out there who are waiting a bit longer to see growth. I've been following your progress and it seems like you and I started off with quite a similar pattern of loss, so it'll be interesting to see where we end up at 12 months! If not 12 months, then maybe 18 months =).

Looking forward to your 8-month photos!

Cheers,
Matt
 
M

Matt88

member
Definitely an improvement from your pre-op photos Matt. I saw my biggest amount of progress around the 9-10 month mark
Thanks a lot, @Baldingman23! It's definitely a considerable quality-of-life improvement not needing to style my hair in a way that conceals the baldness/thinning anymore. Still, maybe I'm being greedy in wanting more coverage... In any case, it's been really encouraging seeing your growth at such a late stage in the process, so I'm hoping I might enjoy some of that too!

Looking forward to your next photos,
Matt
 
M

Matt88

member
I think it is looking good, are the first few with wet hair and under a harsh light? I know you called it out but you will see though anyone's hair in those conditions!
The shots when it's dry you can really see progress so keep hanging in there!
Thanks very much, @Hoping_for_hair. I'd say some days I'm less resilient than others, but we all knew this was a potential part of the HT journey if we're prone to being self-conscious sometimes. To be honest, I think it's the uncertainty of how much more growth there might be and when it might happen that destabilises me. Sometimes you just want to know =/.

You're absolutely right about the first few wet-hair-under-harsh-light photos. By extension, my thinking is that the wet look (as with hair gel etc.) is a hazardous one if you're trying to soften the effect of hair loss. I'll admit that, before I knew anything about volumising matte products, I used cheap stuff that really did nothing for me as my hairline and crown receded. It's a real confidence killer.

Hope you're well and looking forward to your next update,
Matt
 
M

Matt88

member
I agree with Hoping_for_hair, you can really see the progress! Thank you for the wide range of photos each update.
Very kind of you, @HTL33 - always happy to capture as many angles as possible, really for my own records =). There is definitely progress, although I seem to have became addicted to seeing monthly improvements between about month 3 and 6, hence the more disheartened response to this month's photos. But we'll just wait and see what happens. Looking forward to your next update.

All the best and cheers,
Matt
 
M

Matt88

member
I agree, I think your current position looks excellent - especially when you go back to your pre op pictures.
You've got to bear in mind that you'll not get back to a full density of hair in the transplanted area - more an illusion of density with a fraction of grafts being used when compared to what you were born with.
Hi @ChrisN, I appreciate you reaching out and your kind words. I think what you're saying is something I definitely need to be reminded of - that there is an illusion of density rather than a return to pre-hair-loss levels. In my case, I see now that I had become accustomed to seeing regular, visible improvements, although that's not necessarily how a HT goes. It'll be a case of tempering my expectations and just having the patience to assess everything more reasonably at the 12-month mark.

Many thanks and best wishes,
Matt
 
M

Matt88

member
I think it looks great.
Hi @TopDog23, thanks very much! I think one of the nicest changes has been that my hair is now good enough not have to worry about a lot of the time. I'm obviously wanting more growth, but at least I've overcoming the most basic threshold. Looking forward to more of your photos at your next milestone.

Take care,
Matt
 
H

Hoping_for_hair

member
Thanks very much, @Hoping_for_hair. I'd say some days I'm less resilient than others, but we all knew this was a potential part of the HT journey if we're prone to being self-conscious sometimes. To be honest, I think it's the uncertainty of how much more growth there might be and when it might happen that destabilises me. Sometimes you just want to know =/.

You're absolutely right about the first few wet-hair-under-harsh-light photos. By extension, my thinking is that the wet look (as with hair gel etc.) is a hazardous one if you're trying to soften the effect of hair loss. I'll admit that, before I knew anything about volumising matte products, I used cheap stuff that really did nothing for me as my hairline and crown receded. It's a real confidence killer.

Hope you're well and looking forward to your next update,
Matt
Know exactly how you feel with going through days when you think it's all looking good then days when you don't.

What type of products do you use- I think I need to get smarter with what I use. I normally just leave the regane in with the foam that acts a bit like a product..fine when I'm.workong from home all the time but not great for going out and about!
 
C

ChrisN

Valued member
Hi @ChrisN, I appreciate you reaching out and your kind words. I think what you're saying is something I definitely need to be reminded of - that there is an illusion of density rather than a return to pre-hair-loss levels. In my case, I see now that I had become accustomed to seeing regular, visible improvements, although that's not necessarily how a HT goes. It'll be a case of tempering my expectations and just having the patience to assess everything more reasonably at the 12-month mark.

Many thanks and best wishes,
Matt
You're welcome - I tend to find the side by side picture of pre procedure vs month (x) is the best way to look at this, as opposed to month on month (see some of my updates) - that way even if it's a slow month, you are still reminded of how far you have come.
Like many others, pre procedure I really disliked looking at my hair (or lack thereof) in family photos - that really got to me. Now, despite not having a great deal of density, my photos now show a hairline for the first time in a long time - that to me is priceless and is something to remind myself of, as I'm waiting for the months to pass by.
The other thing that I consciously did was to finance a large part of the cost over 12months - not necessarily because I didn't have the funds to hand - I just liked the idea of matching the payments to the growth each month - like a pay as you grow concept :).

All the best, Chris
 
M

Matt88

member
Know exactly how you feel with going through days when you think it's all looking good then days when you don't.

What type of products do you use- I think I need to get smarter with what I use. I normally just leave the regane in with the foam that acts a bit like a product..fine when I'm.workong from home all the time but not great for going out and about!
I appreciate that, @Hoping_for_hair! I can change between the two perspectives on the same day sometimes. It reminds me that it's not as much my hair as my own mind that's the issue here. But we're only human =).

Regaine has actually become my morning pre-styler (I apply it once a day after I wake up) and, after it's dried, I use a wax-type product called Dry Muk. It really volumises the hair and is also very matte - something that's necessary for me given my dark-hair-light-skin contrast. I realise that's been my lifeline the past seven years because it's helped me conceal the balding. Now that I have more hair than pre-op, it makes it look much thicker. It's probably on the pricier end of the scale, however I've found that, because it's much better quality than other things I've used, I use much less of it and it lasts much longer. Do you use anything other than Regaine?

Cheers,
Matt
 
M

Matt88

member
You're welcome - I tend to find the side by side picture of pre procedure vs month (x) is the best way to look at this, as opposed to month on month (see some of my updates) - that way even if it's a slow month, you are still reminded of how far you have come.
Like many others, pre procedure I really disliked looking at my hair (or lack thereof) in family photos - that really got to me. Now, despite not having a great deal of density, my photos now show a hairline for the first time in a long time - that to me is priceless and is something to remind myself of, as I'm waiting for the months to pass by.
The other thing that I consciously did was to finance a large part of the cost over 12months - not necessarily because I didn't have the funds to hand - I just liked the idea of matching the payments to the growth each month - like a pay as you grow concept :).

All the best, Chris
This is super advice, @ChrisN, and I appreciate you sharing it with me. Your perspective here is what I've been lacking as the months have gone on - having the wherewithal to compare current photos with pre-op ones, rather than looking at it month-on-month. Having gone back to my pre-op photos after I read your message, it reminded me again of how far I've come and, beyond that, how much worse it would have been had I done nothing about it and not had the HT. So, thank you.

And I was in pretty much your situation before the HT when looking at family photos. For me it was painful. But I'm glad your new hairline has had a positive impact on your self-perception - I would say the same goes for me, too. I've seen your thread and you're about six weeks behind me, I'd say. I'm looking forward to seeing your density increase in the coming months =).

I love that pay-as-you-grow concept =D! I can safely say that it never occurred to me to think of the process like that. You seem to have a lot of wisdom on this and I hope it's making the 12 months easier on your mind!

Many thanks,
Matt
 
H

Hoping_for_hair

member
I appreciate that, @Hoping_for_hair! I can change between the two perspectives on the same day sometimes. It reminds me that it's not as much my hair as my own mind that's the issue here. But we're only human =).

Regaine has actually become my morning pre-styler (I apply it once a day after I wake up) and, after it's dried, I use a wax-type product called Dry Muk. It really volumises the hair and is also very matte - something that's necessary for me given my dark-hair-light-skin contrast. I realise that's been my lifeline the past seven years because it's helped me conceal the balding. Now that I have more hair than pre-op, it makes it look much thicker. It's probably on the pricier end of the scale, however I've found that, because it's much better quality than other things I've used, I use much less of it and it lasts much longer. Do you use anything other than Regaine?

Cheers,
Matt
I tend to just use regaine, I lost confidence in styling it over the years if I am honest but feeling I could make it look better if I put in a bit more effort! I'll give that product a try I also need to get a haircut on top as think the contrast between my existing hair which is quite thick makes it look worse if that makes sense, if it was a bit shorter it could look a bit better.
Will get it cut ahead of my next update pics!
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
8 Calendar Months Post-Op

Hi everyone,

Here are my 8-month photos and I definitely get the feeling that my progress has been quite limited since around the 5/6-month mark. Thanks to this forum though, my anxiety about this is much less than it could've been. Seeing others enjoy growth beyond this point gives me some hope and we'll see what happens moving toward 12 months. I also contacted Dr Arshad who was very supportive and reminded me that there are still four months yet, that I'm obviously eager to see progress, but that it also helps to keep positive about the situation. I'm grateful for that and I'm looking forward to going back to The Hair Dr for a check-up with him at 9 months.

As ever, harsh bathroom light is the order of the day for these photos. I think seeing these raised my stress levels a bit, but my partner gently reminds me that it's hardly the most flattering light to see yourself in =/.

Best wishes,
Matt

Hi Matt. Harsh bathroom lighting can be brutal, it doesn’t pick up quite a few of the hairs and shows the contrast from scalp to hair more. Your progress looks good so far. Your mid section and crown appear very full now. Maybe have your partner take some pictures in natural light that show what it looks like to the naked eye.
 
M

Matt88

member
I tend to just use regaine, I lost confidence in styling it over the years if I am honest but feeling I could make it look better if I put in a bit more effort! I'll give that product a try I also need to get a haircut on top as think the contrast between my existing hair which is quite thick makes it look worse if that makes sense, if it was a bit shorter it could look a bit better.
Will get it cut ahead of my next update pics!
Hey @Hoping_for_hair, I know how losing one's confidence in styling feels. I got to the stage where I was very close to just buzz-cutting my hair and being done with it. Luckily, I chose a HT and I'd say that was the better option for me.

I'd definitely recommend a haircut if you're feeling it's a bit overgrown and not entirely balanced (i.e. native hair vs thinner recipient). I did that and immediately felt better and could appreciate more the progress of the HT. You may also find a bit of styling product in addition to the Regaine really potentiates a look that you're happier with. Looking forward to seeing your update pics and let me know if you have any questions about applying the product. I'd say a little goes a long way =).

Many thanks,
Matt
 
M

Matt88

member
Hi Matt. Harsh bathroom lighting can be brutal, it doesn’t pick up quite a few of the hairs and shows the contrast from scalp to hair more. Your progress looks good so far. Your mid section and crown appear very full now. Maybe have your partner take some pictures in natural light that show what it looks like to the naked eye.
Hi @Bigmac, thank you for this and hope you've been keeping well. I appreciate your feedback and, yes, I feel the improved coverage on top has helped me not be so paranoid about my crown looking thin - than in itself makes a huge difference, to be honest. Brutal is certainly a good word to describe the sensation of seeing one's hair in harsh bathroom lighting =/. I think I need to get used to the idea that it might not ever necessarily look "good" in those conditions. But I'll reassess my expectations at 12 months. I'll also get some photos taken somewhere other than the bathroom, too. Cheers for the advice!

Have a nice day,
Matt
 
H

Hoping_for_hair

member
Hey @Hoping_for_hair, I know how losing one's confidence in styling feels. I got to the stage where I was very close to just buzz-cutting my hair and being done with it. Luckily, I chose a HT and I'd say that was the better option for me.

I'd definitely recommend a haircut if you're feeling it's a bit overgrown and not entirely balanced (i.e. native hair vs thinner recipient). I did that and immediately felt better and could appreciate more the progress of the HT. You may also find a bit of styling product in addition to the Regaine really potentiates a look that you're happier with. Looking forward to seeing your update pics and let me know if you have any questions about applying the product. I'd say a little goes a long way =).

Many thanks,
Matt
Cheers - I've got a haircut booked in Friday so will update my thread then. Also ordered some of that product so will give it a bash!
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Hi @Bigmac, thank you for this and hope you've been keeping well. I appreciate your feedback and, yes, I feel the improved coverage on top has helped me not be so paranoid about my crown looking thin - than in itself makes a huge difference, to be honest. Brutal is certainly a good word to describe the sensation of seeing one's hair in harsh bathroom lighting =/. I think I need to get used to the idea that it might not ever necessarily look "good" in those conditions. But I'll reassess my expectations at 12 months. I'll also get some photos taken somewhere other than the bathroom, too. Cheers for the advice!

Have a nice day,
Matt

Under harsh lighting isn’t the greatest place but in most situations s it’s not going to be an issue.
What I meant was the harshness makes it look thinner than it actual is.
I’ll do a post soon showing some hairlines in different lighting.
 
B

Baldingman23

Valued member
Under harsh lighting isn’t the greatest place but in most situations s it’s not going to be an issue.
What I meant was the harshness makes it look thinner than it actual is.
I’ll do a post soon showing some hairlines in different lighting.
Im Looking forward to seeing the hairlines in different lightings
 
M

Matt88

member
Under harsh lighting isn’t the greatest place but in most situations s it’s not going to be an issue.
What I meant was the harshness makes it look thinner than it actual is.
I’ll do a post soon showing some hairlines in different lighting.
Absolutely, @Bigmac - I'm put off by how thin it looks under that kind of light. But you're right, in normal environments the light won't be anything like the harsh bathroom sort.

Looking forward to seeing that post!

Cheers,
Matt
 
M

Matt88

member
9 Calendar Months Post-Op (Checkup at The Hair Dr)

Hi everyone,

I went for my 9-month checkup with Dr Arshad and Sommiya yesterday and it was a really positive, constructive experience. I was received with the same encouraging warmth that I've come to really value in them and, in the hour or so that we spent discussing my hair, the focus was very much on my feelings about my hair, how the work corresponds to my expectations and what action we might take going forward. As ever, I do appreciate Dr Arshad's honest answers to my queries (details below) and I really do get the sense that he and Sommiya genuinely care about my result and my perception of it. Regardless of the clinic and despite all of my research, there was still a "leap-of-faith" element to me finally committing to a HT, and I did put a great deal of emphasis on the aftercare in addition to the result. On both counts, I'm happy to say I really do trust The Hair Dr's work and their ethics, and I couldn't be more grateful to them for how their intervention has really helped me turn my life around this year.

Obviously, I have three months yet until the full year is through (and I have my "final" result), but the attached photos show me how far I've come and I was really pleasantly surprised to see this comparison. I've been avoiding looking at photos of myself pre-op as I think there's probably still some trauma there, but in the context of where I am now, it's far easier. There is no product on my hair in any of the photos and, granted the 9-month set is dryer on top and gives the illusion of more thickness compared with pre-op, I'm really relieved that my hair loss is not particularly visible anymore, if at all. It looks to be age-appropriate and I hope that, with Finasteride and Minoxidil, I might maintain these gains for a while yet. I seemed to have lost sight in the last few months of my overall progress and some other members of this forum have politely reminded me that I'd do well seeing the bigger picture, i.e. side-by-sides with pre-op rather than month-on-month. I appreciate this and there is real wisdom to it. I'm now really able to take a step back, reset my expectations and plan with Dr Arshad what to do at 12 months.

How my hair develops in the next three months going forward is an interesting prospect and Dr Arshad was honest in his assessment of my progress so far, something which I really do value in The Hair Dr. He acknowledged my concerns that my hairline hadn't quite achieved the density we had all hoped for, although he mentioned that the photos I'd been posting on the forum up to now made it look worse than in person. I'd have to say I agree there. By his estimations, somewhere between 75 and 80% of grafts had taken in the hairline.

We discussed my expectations and he agreed that more density would be ideal in the hairline, so if it's still not as I'd like it to be at 12 months, then a top-up of around 600 grafts will be offered. What I like is that Dr Arshad and Sommiya made it clear that I wouldn't have to undergo a top-up immediately and that it's in no way "time-limited". I might choose to do this a few years down the line as part of a larger procedure or maybe at 18 months, for example, but the key pledge from them is that they will take care of me until I'm fully happy with the result. This very much echos what others on here have written, i.e. the "contract" (as it were) doesn't end at 12 months. This is really important to me and I don't feel I have any reason to doubt Dr Arshad and Sommiya, as they've been so consistent in their narrative up to now. I'd also like to add that I already am happy enough with the result given that I don't have any particular fears about my hair these days (which represents massive progress in my mind), but the increased density in the hairline would afford me a wider range of styling options.

Dr Arshad also examined my donor area and gave me his honest appraisal that I may only have around 2000 grafts remaining due to my rather limited head circumference. If anyone on this forum has ever fretted about having a large head, then please allow me to congratulate you on your enhanced donor supply (y). If I'm to have a top-up, Dr Arshad would take the grafts from my nape which he assesses to be in better shape than the sides. For any future work beyond a top-up, I may also have beard hair as a resource for my crown and midscalp if I'm lacking in scalp donor hair.

Overall, I'm aware that outcomes depend on expectations and I suppose I would like to have seen more grafts come through in the hairline. I did share this with Dr Arshad who was receptive to this and gave me an insight to take away: everyone's biology and internal chemistry are different. Two patients will have differing results from the same surgeon. In addition, lifestyle and underlying conditions play a role, e.g. smoking or having high blood pressure may affect the result. I don't smoke myself and would consider myself generally in good health, but I think this illustrates how the way our bodies respond is hard to predict at times.

Another consideration by Dr Arshad was the possibility of smaller FUE sessions yielding higher graft survival. He mentioned the increased pressure on vascularity of extracting and implanting more grafts in one session, and said that two sessions of 1500 grafts each might well have given a better result. It's an interesting thought and I do wonder if I would have chosen to have two sessions over, say, two years if I thought it could produce a better result. Certainly, one drawback to that would be shaving my head twice, and I'm not sure I'd be entirely up for that. But this might be a consideration for anyone who has yet to have their first HT.

Overall, Dr Arshad and Sommiya stressed that the key indicator of success is my perspective of my post-HT hair and that's what they seem to be targeting: working with me throughout this journey and within the bounds of realistic expectations until I'm satisfied. This really does give me confidence going forward and is priceless, so I'm grateful to them for that and how they've helped me up to now.

Best wishes and I'm happy to answer any questions you might have,
Matt
 

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