Month 12: Final Result!

Well… it’s now one year since I travelled to Hasselt in Belgium and underwent a 2600 FUE hair transplant with Dr Feriduni. It’s crazy how fast the time has flown! I’m happy to announce that the procedure was a success and I’m incredibly satisfied with my “final result”. Here is a recent picture:

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Some patients note changes beyond the 12 month mark, so I will continue monitoring my hair and update if there are further changes.

While I’ve blogged in detail about my progress during the year, I haven’t discussed how my hair transplant has made me feel. After having a hair transplant, it’s astonishing how quickly you forget anxieties about your hair; they diminish such that one day you recall it in much the same way you would a bad dream. As my hair has grown, my worries have diminished. No longer do I consider the rain and wind enemies, and no longer do I check the mirror at every given opportunity to check that my receded hairline is not exposed to the world. Emotionally, it has been a transformative experience, giving me more confidence to face the challenges in my life and achieve my goals

I want to thank you all for your continued interest in this blog and for all of the positive feedback I’ve received. By coming here and interacting with me, you encourage me to keep doing what I’m doing, which is providing impartial information about my experience to people who are in the same position I was in. So often men fall victim to an industry that takes advantage of our insecurities, and I believe that the only way to tackle this is by sharing our experiences.

Finally, I am travelling to see Dr Feriduni in Hasselt at the end of this month for a review of my procedure. I am considering asking some reader questions whilst I’m there, assuming he agrees. With that in mind, if there is anything you’d like me to ask, either about surgery in general or with a view to your own hair transplant, please prepare your questions for me to take. In addition, I am planning an anniversary photo shoot, as well as video and other content to really show the result close-up in high-definition, as I know how scarce that material is. I’m also looking forward to moving beyond my own personal experience, as this blog has now met, and even exceeded, its initial goals.

Day 8: Shock Loss

A few days ago, my flatmate commented on a thin line at my temples. I checked it out and evaluated that it looks to be “shock loss”, a common side effect of hair surgery. Shock loss is the result of trauma to native hair next to incisions made by the surgeon, causing them to weaken and fall out. Fortunately they normally return after a few months, so it’s nothing to worry about.

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Day 5: Shampoo & Aloe Vera

On day 5 I was advised by my clinic to start using shampoo and aloe vera to clean my scalp. It’s important to use a gentle baby shampoo, as usual shampoo would probably be too harsh.

As you can see, I stocked up on cotton buds, pads, balls and pleats, but I find the cotton buds and pads most useful.

My personal technique is to dab a small amount of baby shampoo between two cotton pads, and then gently pat the surface of the skin, while being very careful not to press too firmly or rub, especially with regard to the recipient area. I then use a spray bottle containing tepid water to rinse it off.

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After this, you can then use aloe vera to help the healing process. Using the syringe I squirt it between two pads and gently dab it onto both the recipient and donor area.

This process must be repeated morning and night until day 14, however at day 7 you may then start to rub the areas rather than just padding softly.

Tomorrow’s topic is swelling!

Day 2: Return Home & Complications

On day 2 post op, I returned to the clinic for the final time, with all of my bags ready in order to go straight to the station. My scalp was treated by the staff once again and I had roughly 30 minutes to address any remaining questions. I was given Keratene serum and shampoo, and a memory stick containing photos.

I insisted on a photo of me with Dr Feriduni!

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If everything sounds perfect so far, a reminder that my condition was still very fragile awaited aboard the train. I removed my bandana to apply vitamin E spray and my friend noticed bleeding. Upon inspection of the bandana, a strand of hair indicated that I’d lost a graft. I sprayed the area affected with finisitil and panicked somewhat, but was able to communicate with the clinic via email, and was reassured that I’d taken the right action and should not worry if it’s just one lost graft. The threat of losing more grafts gave me the courage to spend two hours in London waiting for my connection to Newcastle, without a bandana. I was very aware of people looking at me, but could not justify losing more grafts for the occasional curious glance.

I eventually caught my train to Newcastle, and was extremely relieved to arrive home, where I intend to remain for about another week until I’m confident that the grafts are safe.