If you are like me you’ve thought about hair transplants for a long while now. You’ve seen your hairline recede over the years and it has been a source of low grade worry and a constant concern – you’ve seen the difference a receding hairline has made in your appearance judging from old photos. You’re aware. You know. You’d really like to do something about it.
This is me before the procedure, with some significant receding of the Frontotemporal Recessions and after the procedure.
Like me you’ve probably surfed the web and looked through the hundreds of sites for hair transplants. Like me you’ve been flooded with sales pitches from the large companies. And also like me you’ve wondered what if it goes wrong? What are the results of a bad transplant? Am I better off not doing anything at all?
Will it hurt? Will everybody know?
So here are some answers to those questions from someone who’s finally done it.
First; it has probably been the most positive thing I have ever done for myself. If I wasn’t writing this story you would not be able to tell that I have had the procedure done. If you were to ask me if I am satisfied I would say I just wish I had done it sooner. I will tell you how and why.
I had gone to a few of the large hair restoration companies – I won’t call them clinics. A salesman met me in the lobby. Everything was very professional but I had the sense I was being sold. I had the sense I was a customer rather than a person. At the end of the consultation a Doctor (he had a white coat on anyway) came in the room jotted a few notes on my chart and promptly left. So much for personal attention. The salesman wanted a check before I left the room.
When I went to Foundation for Hair Restoration no salesman met me in the lobby. I met with Dr. Epstein himself. He went through the entire process personally. Was forthcoming with his credentials and his results. Looking at the before and after photos in his office I was convinced. I thought: this guy really cares about his patients and his results. He asked me to think about it. To make sure that I was confident in my decision. There was no pressure and no one asked me for a check. I left the office convinced I wanted to actually do the surgery and that Jeff was the guy to do it.
The day of the procedure I was nervous. It’s natural. You probably will too. I even thought about calling it off. Again, what if something goes wrong? Complications? I thought about just postponing it. But quickly I got through the jitters dressed and left for his office.
The surgery itself was remarkably painless. I was given a Valium and after a bit was seated comfortably to begin the procedure. Dr. Epstein himself is there during the entire procedure. There is a small sting as the scalp is injected with a local anesthetic.
After a while both the Valium and the anesthetic take effect and the procedure begins. It is not painful in any way and you are awake and talking to Dr. Epstein’s assistants. Depending upon the number of grafts you are having done the surgery takes anywhere from 2 to 5 hours. The time goes by very quickly. Some people read a book, some listen to a CD, some drift off to sleep. Mostly I chatted with Dr. Epstein and before I knew it I was done.
Ok, the first night is a bit uncomfortable. At least it was for me. I was given some pain pills which I did not use because the truth is it didn’t hurt all that much – if at all. Mostly it was the stitches in the back of the head. I sleep on my back and I could feel the pressure of them on the pillow. I was very careful about turning over and accidentally sleeping on the grafts. It was a little uncomfortable, but I was able to sleep soundly.
First few days
I had little or no swelling. (Dr. Epstein will give you hints on how to cut down on any swelling) Because I had hair adjacent to the grafts I was able to comb my hair down over them (which at this point were tiny scabs) and take meetings the very next day. I did wear a baseball cap anyway just to cover the area and protect it from the sun. At the end of the day I went for my follow up visit to the clinic and had my hair washed and the stitches checked. Everything looked fine and I went home. That night I slept well and simply arranged the pillows to avoid putting pressure on the stitches.
First few weeks
I can tell you this with absolute honesty. No one knew I had hair transplants. The crusts had fallen off within the first ten days, and with it much of the transplanted hair. What was left was a few of the hairs which had not fallen out and a reddish area on the scalp. I was able to go about my daily life and wait for the transplanted hair to grow in.
A Few Months Later
It was like when I was losing my hair in the places where I had the procedure done – except the hair was growing! I could see after two or three months the hairline begin to grow back! The process was very, very gradual. So gradual literally no one around me knew I had the procedure. As the weeks passed I noticed more and more hair growing in – it was clear to me but I don’t think anyone else noticed.
Six Months Later
The hair had grown in so well that I was able to comb it and for the first time get a haircut. In the mirror at Super cuts I waited for the girl to wet my hair with that spray bottle of theirs. When she had done this in the past it made my receding hairline even more obvious. It was one of those little embarrassing moments you hate. This time when she wet my hair in preparation to cut it the hairline was fuller. It looked like there was normal hairline. It looked like there was actually hair there for her to cut. I sat back in the chair – this time instead of telling her exactly how to cut my hair to make it look fuller – I let her do her job.
Almost a year later and more photos
Here is the bottom line. It has been a year since my procedure. None of the things I feared have happened. Just the opposite. My hairline is so natural that no one, not friends or co-workers, no one knows I have had the procedure done. The hairline is absolutely natural and the growth so full that I can’t tell anymore where my own natural (receding) hairline used to be and where the transplanted hairline ends. Like I said at the top of the page, it has been a truly rewarding experience. I wish I had done it sooner. Even though the hairline looks fine now I may even do a second – and final procedure – to fill in just a bit more above the temples. This time there will be absolutely no hesitations.
HERE ARE SOME MORE BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS OF SOME OF DR. EPSTEINS PATIENTS. BELIEVE IT, THEY ARE FOR REAL!! HE WAS KIND ENOUGH TO PROVIDE THEM TO HELP ILLUSTRATE TO PEOPLE LIKE US HOW THE RESULTS OF HAIR TRANSPLANTATION CAN REALLY LOOK NATURAL.