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Nervous about first months

G

Gannon

member
Hello everyone,

I’m new here, 28 years old and just had a FUE hair transplant on 13 Sept 2021.

I am completely happy with the way everything went and what the expected result should be, the only extreme anxiety I have is what the first few months has in store, as I personally hate the look of myself with no hair as it ages me badly.

Of course before the transplant my hairline was thinning and receded and my crown was very patchy, so I’m not saying that look was brilliant, but I certainly think even that beat how I look now! I have been told that the first few months will see my normal hairs regrowing as they should but the transplanted hairs take a lot longer. I understand this is a waiting game but I am so terribly nervous of having an appalling appearance during this time.

I had grafts placed in the front and crown as you can see, but my nerves are shaking thinking that, due to potential shock loss, I might look very bare around the front and crown for many weeks. This is giving me extreme anxiety as it is exactly the look I wanted to avoid in my life and the reason for the transplant in the first place. I have confidence in procedure but the gap between now and seeing what I want to see, feels so long and scary.

As you can see from the pictures that was my hairline last week and this is what my head looks like today on Day 6

Will I look as bad as I’m imagining in the coming months? When can I start wearing a cap?

thanks guys
 

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C

CrankySysadmin

Valued member
Hi @Gannon unfortunately this is one of the downsides of having an FUE procedure, the "ugly duckling phase" Hang in there, you only have to endure this for a couple of months (every person differs) for a look you will hopefully be happy with for the rest of your life. This forum is will be here to support you, take each day as it comes and try not to obsess in the mirror every day. All will be ok and try to think positive.

As for wearing a cap, it's best to ask your surgeon when he recommends as each one will have different time scales. I started wearing a loose fitting cap 15 days post procedure, but I think I was over cautious.
 
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G

Gannon

member
Thanks so much for your kind response. I knew this phase would happen I think my issue was being mentally underprepared for it.

The clinic have been great I’m going to call them in the morning and ask about the hat.

I think one of the things in the back of my mind is that I’m 28 now, and I’d be so sad to lose some of the last part of my 20s looking like I do now. All for the greater good in the long run of course but, can’t help how I feel right now

I will try and remain as mentally positive as I can
 
C

CrankySysadmin

Valued member
Thanks so much for your kind response. I knew this phase would happen I think my issue was being mentally underprepared for it.

The clinic have been great I’m going to call them in the morning and ask about the hat.

I think one of the things in the back of my mind is that I’m 28 now, and I’d be so sad to lose some of the last part of my 20s looking like I do now. All for the greater good in the long run of course but, can’t help how I feel right now

I will try and remain as mentally positive as I can
I'm 31 and had my procedure done 3 months ago @Gannon I try remain positive all/most of the time, easier said than done I know. My outlook is, we are only here once, life is far too short to be worrying and obsessing over things we generally have no control over, you have taken the steps to fix something you weren't happy with, which is a massive step. Rather then feeling ugly and down, try embrace the next couple of months and look at the bigger picture of what is to come, because I can assure you it starts to get exciting with each passing week. Keep smiling.
 
alex5

alex5

member
No pain no gain my friend!

You will sadly go through the ugly phase for the first 3-4 months but you just have to grin and bare it as the results will make you forget all about it :)
 
G

Gannon

member
Thanks for your honesty guys, I’m glad you all agree it’s worth it in the end.

would you say there’s a particular point where it looks at its worst? I’m 7 days in and already looking grim but I’ve heard it actually gets worse still after like 2 weeks

Also wondering whether I’ll be decent enough looking for the Christmas photos!
 
T

Techno1

member
The first months are the toughest while you heal and wait for normality to resume. Redness can be an issue if it sticks around but can be explained away as a reaction to shampoo or sunburn if in a hot climate. Soldier on through, before you know it, all will look normal and then the growth will happen.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Gannon and welcome to the forum.
How many grafts did you receive? Are you on any hair loss prevention regimen?
The post op stage that is referred to as the ugly duckling phase soon passes. The term was typically used for Post op FUT cases when people would have long back and sides with a shaven top. People had all sorts of weird looking hair. With FUE it’s not so bad, the hair is usually all one length. The donor usually heals within 2 weeks, the recipient area is usually 2 - 3 weeks. Sometimes the redness can linger. Using the post op spray and then Aloe Vera helps with the healing process.
Wearing a loose fitting is ok. I wore one the day after surgery. As long as it’s not making contact with the grafts, it’s ok. If you are being cautious, your grafts are secure by day 4 - 5. Your clinic may advise waiting longer to wear one. 10 - 14 days should be sufficient for all your scabs to be gone, there should not be any issues wearing one after this time frame.
Ask your doctor and let us know what they advise. It may tell you in your post op instructions.
 
G

Gannon

member
Thanks BigMac, I spoke to the clinic and they said I can wear a loose fitting cap at this point which I'm happy about.

I had 2400 grafts taken, apparently a lot of them were 'multi' grafts, the surgeon and the nurses said I've got some of the thickest hairs they've dealt with so were quite excited, which is good. I've had 1900 placed at the front to build a new hairline, and 500 at the crown to fill that out. The crown was weirdly always the most upsetting to me as it made me feel like an old man having a big bald patch at the top, but with 500 multi grafts and switching to dutasteride from finsateride he said it should solve the issue It's actually quite emotional to think that it will never look that bad again.

What is worrying me a bit is that obviously the shock loss will no doubt happen which will lead me looking very bad for a while, my hairline will lose all the transplanted grafts temporarily and some of the normal hairs may also fall out potentially? Also the crown will look bald as well for some time so I have a long way to go.

But as people have said every week it will become clearer and clearer what the final result will be so I just need to hold onto that.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Wearing a cap will definitely help. I used Nanogen hair fibers on my crown 10 days post op. They worked great at covering the area and had no issues with growth/survival of the grafts.
With some look the change of meds will promote and stimulate miniaturised hairs to strengthen. Nothing is guaranteed though.

Not everyone suffers shock loss. It may or may not happen. Not all the transplanted grafts may shed, some oils continue to grow. Time will tell.
 
G

Gannon

member
Just out of interest then guys, does anyone know roughly how long it takes for my hair to simply look how it did before the procedure?

I’m NOT talking about results, I just mean until it looks just normal again while the new hairs are still coming through. I’ve never had my head completely shaved before so I just don’t know ‍

I’ve attached photos for reference, first one taken the day before my procedure (12 Sept) second taken today (22 Sept).
 

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Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Hair grows roughly 1/2 an inch per month. Depending on how you heal, redness, potential shock loss, I’d say you should look pretty normal shortly after the one month mark.
Your healing looks to be going well.
 
G

Gannon

member
Thanks so much! That cheers me up quite a bit. My cap is pretty much welded to my head wherever I go at the moment!

Here are updates as of today (Day 11)
 

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Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
I see you still have scabs in the recipient areas. When you wash your hair, let the shampoo soak in for 5 or 10 minutes. The scabs will come off a lot easier then when you massage and rinse off.
Once they’re gone and the redness subsides most if not all people won’t take much if any notice of your head.
 
G

Gannon

member
Ah thanks for the advice. I think I was just so worried about the grafts coming out I was barely touching them. But I guess they’re all pretty solidly in there by now on Day 11
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
By day 4 - 5 they are securely in place. If you have any stubborn scabs, just keep on soaking them until they come off. Don’t be tempted to pick them off.
 
G

Gannon

member
Thanks again. Yeah this morning it’s looking a lot better after a long shower. Just another day or two until they are all gone I think
 

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Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, it’s looking better. A few more days and all the scabs should be gone.
 
G

Gannon

member
All scabs gone now. Just a waiting game to see progress now… I think I’m learning a lot about how impatient I am from this experience
 

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Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Everything looks fine. Try not to get anxious waiting for the new growth, it will happen when ready.
 
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