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My journey so far. (1 SMP & FUE 2115 grafts)

R

Rocketman

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#1
Hey guys.

I've been meaning to post a thread for a long time now, but as usual life gets in the way.

Like many- I suffer with hereditary androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). My father is annoyingly a Norwood 1. The hair loss comes from my Mother's side of the family.

I had a receding hairline from a young age, but it never really bothered me until around 2008. I started to notice accelerated recession and thinning of my hair. It severely affected my self confidence.

In 2014 I decided Scalp Micro pigmentation would hide my hair loss and give the illusion of dense, but shaven hair. It was certainly an improvement, but the ink fading made it not as sharp and as fresh as when it was first done. I decided looking into hair transplants when Wayne Rooney came out and had his procedure.

I scoured online to find a reputable surgeon. I had 3 consultations (2 UK and 1 in Belgium). I decided to put my faith in the BHR Clinic in Brussels. Hilde & Dr Bisanga were very relaxed and honest, advised me i would need around 1800-2200 grafts transplanted via FUE. I decided to go for it and after a few weeks paid my deposit.

2 months flew by very quickly and before i knew it i was in Brussels. I was fortunate enough to have a good friend drive me over. We stayed at the Catalonia hotel which is literally a 2 minute walk from the Clinic.

Anyway- The pre and post op was pain free (with exception to the Anesthetic being administered). I went away happy with the decision I made. My donor hair density was measured: 70/70/80. Medium fine Blonde and straight. The Dr's aim was 48 grafts per cm2.

My donor was:

1 hair: 423
2 hair: 1240
3 hair: 443
4 hair: 9

Fast forward 15 months and I would say it is an improvement from the SMP work, but some areas are sparse and gappy, the donor and native hair don't blend 100% and it is noticeably thin. I met with Hilde & Dr Bisanga in London, who agreed to fine tune it, which is very admirable of them. The clinic have been fantastic throughout.

I am still thinning in untreated areas, the Dr recommended some more work. I am currently weighing up whether to go back to BHR, or alternatively go to the Maitland clinic (which geographically is 1 hour from my home). Dr Ball seems to be doing fine work. I am in two minds at the moment, so have decided to hold fire and have a consultation at the Maitland clinic and see if their thoughts match Dr Bisanga and his team. Maitland Clinic being so close and being so reputable has thrown the proverbial spanner in the works. I guess i will wait to see what they say. I will update the thread after i have consulted with Dr Ball & David next week.

I will post pics shortly. Thanks for reading.
 
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R

Rocketman

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#2
B9418317-2413-4060-8C0A-534BDD36D405.png SMP before transplant
A84DE78A-F17E-4E52-A192-8F7E72777096.png 3 months post op- still quite red, but seeing some stubble coming through. A vast improvement
. F842CAA0-E1F6-41D5-870A-D263E3CD8576.png Hair around 8-9 months. I’ve seen no noticeable maturing or new hair since.
B35ED938-E784-419E-AD82-61C52DE4C575.png Hair grown to a no 4 ready to show the Doc the results at 15 months.

In my opinion, the transplant has been a success of sorts. I am slightly disappointed with the final results, i'd wanted to be able to grow it to a number 5 and shave the sides down to a 0.5 guard. As i said previously, BHR have been fantastic throughout my journey and have offered to add some grafts to improve the final result.
 

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Bigmac

Bigmac

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#3
Hi Rocketman, welcome to the forum.

Looking at your pictures it does look like you have a full head of hair, although with it being short it is a bit difficult to view in more detail. The SMP and FUE hair transplant seems to have worked well though.

I think you will be fine with either choice of clinic. They will do what's best for you.

I`ll look forward to following your next journey should you document it.

All the best.

Bm.
 
R

Rocketman

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#4
Hi Rocketman, welcome to the forum.

Looking at your pictures it does look like you have a full head of hair, although with it being short it is a bit difficult to view in more detail. The SMP and FUE hair transplant seems to have worked well though.

I think you will be fine with either choice of clinic. They will do what's best for you.

I`ll look forward to following your next journey should you document it.

All the best.

Bm.
Thank you Big Mac. I will grow it some more and upload pics. It’s gappy in places, but when it’s a no1 grade all over it looks fine. I would like the choice though. I always wanted to grow it a big longer, but hairloss is an ongoing battle and not going to be cured in 1 operation. I’m resigned to battling it for the rest of my life.
I will keep the thread updated. I am meeting the Maitland Clinic on Monday for a consultation. I will update after the chat. Have a great weekend.
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
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#5
Interesting thread this as we don't get to see FUE combined with SMP very often. I agree it does look fine but I totally get your desire to add a little length. On the plus side you have an advantage over just the SMP alone as if someone touches your head they will feel hair.

Has anyone actually called you out on the look of them together.....I think it looks good and I doubt your average Joe would be any wiser but just curious whether anyone's noticed?

Thank you so much for posting this thread as it's very interesting.

I agree with BM too both clinics are class imo
 
SB20

SB20

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#6
I used The Maitland Clinic, very happy with my result and the service they provided. BHR Clinic has great patient reviews too, they are a good choice but you know that after using them already.
Good luck with it.
 
R

Rocketman

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#7
I had one guy ask me about it- under a tube light in an office. I openly admitted I’d had it done to him, I was a bit embarrassed after, but he said he only knew as he was watching a programme about it on Channel 4. The smp works fantastically with the fue, certainly adds the illusion of density. I wouldn’t have smp on its own, but it works great with a hair transplant. Smp does fade though, so needs tweaking every 12-24 months.
 
R

Rocketman

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#8
I visited Portsmouth yesterday and met David & Dr Ball. David gave me a lot of information on things i should/could be doing. I am going to try Propecia & Regaine for 9 months to try and improve my native hair. I am also going to have another SMP treatment with Olli from Appear Natural in Kent.
Both David & Dr Ball mentioned that the hairline from my previous treatments is low, they feared that i may end up using a lot of donor hair, when really i should focus on keeping what i have at the moment. I have to say i completely agree. I have to admit I learnt an awful lot in my consultation. Both David & Dr Ball are an absolute credit to the industry. They could have sold me a surgery, but instead have decided to genuinely assist me and advise me with what i can do.

So long story short, I am going to start Propecia, alongside Regaine and some vitamin supplements. I will try to take monthly pics and update this thread with my journey. I will also grow my hair to the length i desired.
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
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#9
Good to hear you had a positive consultation...have to agree they are both a credit to the industry.
I look forward to your updates dude.
 
R

Rocketman

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#11
Hello guys. I've been very quiet on the boards, as i have had nothing to report. I have moved off of Propecia as i was experiencing worrying memory loss and brain fog. It took about 1 month for my memory to get back to normal after i'd stop taking it. Interestingly my friend also experienced similar side effects with it.

I have booked my second surgery with Dr Bisanga this December, just to address the gaps which I am not happy with and some added to the area just behind. I have enough hair left for 2-3 surgeries after this one, I will post pics up before and after the surgery. I am hoping i get the desired density on the second time around. I am excited about the second surgery and hope i will be able to grow my hair a little bit longer.
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
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#13
Did you find the regaine faded the SMP at all due to the alcohol in it? I have read mixed reports on whether it does or doesn't...the general overall consensus is that it doesn't but I have heard a few people say it could in theory.
 
R

Rocketman

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#14
The first place that done it I found their ink was really poor and faded after 1 year. The guy that done it since uses really good ink and it hasn't faded as much at all, I last had it done 3 years ago and it still looks good. I will get it touched up before my 2nd fue in December. Providing you have hair it does add the illusion of good density. Olli at Appear natural in Kent does mine. He's a great guy and really really good.
 
R

Rocketman

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#16
So! 5 weeks until my trip over the pond to see BHR Clinic in Brussels. I have to say I am rather nervous. I have been taking a biotin supplement, along with regaine. I can say I have noticed more hair grow, but the hair seems to have a thicker fresher look to it if that makes sense? I think Biotin really improves my hair, so I will continue with it. I have been really open to friends and family this time around, I told only a handful of people about my first procedure, but this time I have decided to be open and try and embrace it. Life is too short to try and hide such a huge deal imo. Fingers crossed I will be able to grow my hair and have a great result. I will post monthly photos along with my regimen. Obviously happy to answer any questions people may have. Roll on December 12th.
 
E

Edsarn

Member
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#18
So! 5 weeks until my trip over the pond to see BHR Clinic in Brussels. I have to say I am rather nervous. I have been taking a biotin supplement, along with regaine. I can say I have noticed more hair grow, but the hair seems to have a thicker fresher look to it if that makes sense? I think Biotin really improves my hair, so I will continue with it. I have been really open to friends and family this time around, I told only a handful of people about my first procedure, but this time I have decided to be open and try and embrace it. Life is too short to try and hide such a huge deal imo. Fingers crossed I will be able to grow my hair and have a great result. I will post monthly photos along with my regimen. Obviously happy to answer any questions people may have. Roll on December 12th.
I've had four surgeries and was just as nervous the fourth time, as I was the first! Sometimes it's the knowing that is the worst part about it. I've seen someone use a microneedling pen (along with minoxidil) on another website and the results are amazing. That could be an option too, 9-12 months after your HT. I am definitely going to give that a go, once my transplanted hairs are all through. I don't think I will ever go back on propecia again. I've cycled on it since 2005, but I realise when I come off it, that I never feel great on it.

All the best for your surgery on the 12th. It's just one of those things to get through, and you'll hopefully have the hair that you want. It will be well worth it!
 
R

Rocketman

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#20
I've had four surgeries and was just as nervous the fourth time, as I was the first! Sometimes it's the knowing that is the worst part about it. I've seen someone use a microneedling pen (along with minoxidil) on another website and the results are amazing. That could be an option too, 9-12 months after your HT. I am definitely going to give that a go, once my transplanted hairs are all through. I don't think I will ever go back on propecia again. I've cycled on it since 2005, but I realise when I come off it, that I never feel great on it.

All the best for your surgery on the 12th. It's just one of those things to get through, and you'll hopefully have the hair that you want. It will be well worth it!
I do have a micro derm roller, i did use it, and do think it works, i actually think my first FUE op was a huge success, i just think the Dr underestimated ever so slightly the grafts for density. It looks really good and i can wear it short, but once i grow it a bit the lack of density becomes quite apparent. The clinic have agreed to add grafts for free to achieve the desired look, which i can only thank them for. There are plenty of places that wouldn't. I'm getting 500 FUE grafts on my crown (i'm slowly losing it there) and they clinic anticipate around 500 additional for just behind my hairline. After 6 months, i'll get some SMP done on my donor area to hide the small scar marks.

Would you mind me asking where you had your 4 surgeries? Were they a success? I also agree that propecia is not a good thing to use for me. I suffered terribly with short term memory loss and brain fog. It made me feel awful.