Blonde Dude-Extracted from Hairsite.com
Posted on Hairsite.com May 6, 2006
#38260, "1700 grafts with Woods - progress photos over a year"
First a bit of background info. I live in Auckland, New Zealand. My hair started receding at the temples in my mid-20s. I started using Rogaine at age 26 with no noticeable regrowth. At age 30 I stopped using Rogaine and began taking Propecia, which I’ve continued to this day (I’m now 38). I also used Avodart for around a year, but noticed no difference from the Propecia aside from the increased expense. Also, I often experienced stomach pains shortly after taking the Avodart pills.
I have no hair loss at the crown, just at the temples. My hair loss pattern would probably be classified as a Norwood Class 3. I have no idea how far my hair loss would have progressed if I hadn’t used any hairloss drugs - maybe one day I’ll have the guts to stop using the Propecia and see what happens! Sly drug companies, they sure know how to make money.
Last year, while travelling around Australia, I called in at the Woods clinic for an initial consultation. I didn’t want my hairline brought forward, as I believed that would look inappropriate for someone of my age – I just wanted the temples “filled in”. A couple of months later I returned to Sydney to have the procedure done. Sydney is a short flight from Auckland, so the time and expense was minimal, and I flew in on the morning of my procedure. The procedure started around noon and finished late in the evening. I stayed for one additional night in a motel near the clinic in Sydney, then flew home.
Before the operation I had grown my hair long, so that I could hide the wounds while they were healing. Dr Woods shaved the donor area at the back of my head (about 5 cm high by 15 cm wide), which was fully covered by the rest of my hair when the op was finished. My fringe covered the temples quite well. I was given a bandana and had brought along a beanie, but didn’t need to wear either after the procedure.
Although the procedure was long, Dr Woods was professional and efficient. I got the impression that my hair was slightly more difficult to work with than most people’s, being fine and blonde. I was able to watch the entire procedure on a large TV monitor, and Dr Woods counted aloud as he removed the grafts from the donor area. It was great to be able to see exactly what was going on and be fully informed the whole time. The only pain was during the initial anaesthetic injections. Dr Woods is an interesting and entertaining bloke to talk to, and boredom wasn’t an issue. There was also a selection of videos and a TV to watch, and there were plenty of breaks during the procedure.
After the procedure I experienced numbness in my scalp, most of which had subsided by the end of the next day, though some areas of numbness remained for a few weeks. There was some bleeding in the donor area overnight, then it ceased. During the next couple of days I experienced swelling in my forehead and around my eye sockets. There was also some minor pain in the donor and recipient areas for a few days. Dr Woods had supplied me with pain killers, which did the job nicely, and I applied the ice packs he had provided me with. The swelling started to go down after about four days, to my relief, and was completely gone within a week.
Nobody appeared to notice that I had had any surgery. I was able to resume my usual sporting activities (running, swimming, and weight-training) after two weeks. I didn't apply Rogaine or any other topical drugs to my scalp (aside from regular use of Nizoral shampoo to control seborrheic dermatitis). I continued to take Propecia.
I would recommend taking a week or two off work if you're planning a FUE hair transplant, to allow the swelling to subside and the scabs to fall off.
I was instructed not to wash my hair for at least ten days, which I adhered to. The donor area healed slightly quicker than the transplant area, and after twelve days almost all the scabs had fallen off. By Day 20 there was almost no sign that anything had been done, aside from the tiny transplanted hairs and some residual redness. I’d expected the new hairs to fall out fairly quickly, but most of them stayed in for a few weeks and some grew to about a centimetre in length before falling out.
As the photos show, in the first couple of months I experienced some “shedding” of hair surrounding the transplant area. I was concerned about this and e-mailed the Woods clinic. They told me that this was a temporary result of the stress of the procedure to the surrounding hair follicles. I was assured that this hair would grow back, as it did around the fourth and fifth months.
The full results seemed to be apparent around eight months after the procedure. Exactly one year after the procedure I had my hair buzzed short. I believe that it is difficult, if not impossible, to tell that I’ve had a transplant. Overall, I’m very happy with the results and I would recommend Dr Woods.
I’ve included quite a few photos, showing the progress over the past year. You’ll see that my camera skills are somewhat lacking, but hopefully the pictures show the results adequately.
I hope this is helpful to those of you considering a HT.