First of all, I want to apologize for the lack of clear photos. I'll get someone to take them for me at a higher resolution soon but I wanted to go ahead and get something up since it has been so long.
At 17 months post op, I can honestly say that my life has changed as a result of this procedure with Dr. Cooley. No longer do I dread events where I cannot wear a ball cap. No longer am I worried that someone may be staring at me wondering why such a young guy is balding. Those were the stares that I got as young as 20 years old. I no longer get them.
My hair line may seem high to some, but that was my cautious approach and Dr. Cooley and I discussed it extensively. I wanted an even higher hairline, but he convinced me to go down just a bit; about a half inch.
My concern was/is my rapid hair loss at such a young age and rampant male-pattern baldness in my family. I have been lucky to be a decent responder to medication on my crown.
I am currently taking Avodart - .5 mg daily, 5% generic minoxidil applied twice daily, good vitamins, and an attempt to get enough rest, which doesnt always happen but I do what I can.
Dr. Cooley and his staff in Charlotte, NC are absolutely top-notch in every respect and I have no qualms recommending their clinic to anyone considering hair restoration surgery. I have had nothing short of the most positive experience that could be imagined.
In short, the photos speak for themselves. I recieved 2,300 grafts to the hairline and forelock. I am patiently watching my crown grow thicker as time goes by. I have absolutely no plans for getting grafts placed in the crown area for fear of future loss because of my relatively young age (27). I may kick around lowering the hair line sometime in the future, but for right now I am happy.
You can see my still-thin crown in some of the photos. With some dermatch in, there is no detection of hair loss. Without it, I have a thin crown. Compare my latest photos with the below "before" photo and you will see just how far I have come. If this transformation isn't "life-altering" for a mid-twenties guy, then I don't know what is!
In closing, "Thank you Dr. Cooley!"
17 months post op:
*6 Month Update*
6 months post-op:
A picture is worth a thousand words. What else can I say? Thank you DR. Cooley!!!
**5 month update**
Everyday is better and better. I can leave the house without a hat on (with a little Toppik sprinkled on the crown) every day now. In fact, the only time I have worn a hat lately is around the house! It's also a great feeling not to feel "naked" without it on anymore. And yes, I have gotten compliments on my hair! I will be posting a picture with Toppik in tomorrow for everyone to see and give feedback.
**4 Month update**
I see more growth as time goes by. I am still looking forward to the 6 month mark.
**2nd 3 month Update**
When I was in Dr. Cooley's office last friday, we were discussing my new growth from both the transplant and the addition of Finasteride and Minoxidil to my regimen again. I had stopped using both for about 2 and a half years not being informed of the obvious consequences. When Ms. Ailene handed me the last photo in the gallery showcasing the extent of my hair loss before the medications and transplant I was floored. Even though I am on the forums daily and see my "before" pics a good bit, it is difficult not to recoil a little when you see the dramatic change that just 4+ months of the medications can do. I had been on both for about 3 to 4 weeks again when the top picture was taken the day of my consultation. My consultation was the day before my procedure was performed. Once I saw this, I knew I had to have this picture to post for others to see. With the 1-2 attack of the transplant and the medications (Finasteride, Minoxidil, and Nizoral shampoo), I am extremely happy with the results thus far.
**3 Month Update**
Ok, here it is. 4 months after re-starting Finasteride and Minoxidil and 3 months post-op. I took some more at Dr. Cooley's office Friday and he is emailing them to me. There is one particular picture that he had that was taken the day before the procedure that I cannot wait to share. It really highlights what The Finasteride and Minoxidil has done for me so far. For now, though, just compare the newest "Top" pictures with the "Before #5" pic to get a good estimate of what is going on. More detailed pics to come soon!!
I wanted to update my old thread to a photo album. I am currently exactly at 10 weeks post op from my procedure with Dr. Cooley. I had my second hair cut since the procedure today and I had the back and sides trimmed with a #2 guard. I am very happy with the way the scar looks and I am already seeing grafts pop at the hairline. If anyone has any questions on my procedure I invite you to look back on my original thread (though I am reposting all of the pictures here):
<BR><BR>I want to apologize on the clarity of a lot of the pictures. Camera phones just aren't great at documenting hair transplant procedure progression, it seems. I am going to post some clearer shots of my 10 week progress tomorrow. There are a good bit of pictures, so you may just want to hit "gallery" in the top right corner instead of waiting for the pictures to download individually using the "slideshow." Once the Gallery is up, just click on the individual thumbnail to see it full size and to be able to read the whole text.
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Looking great Social. You are forming a nice head of hair and things seem to be filling in well.
Social, you're hair is really starting to look great! Your scar is 99.9% undetectable and I would not suspect a thing if I wasn't looking for it. You're going to be a man gorilla when it's all said and done! Keep the updates and pics comin'!!
I can't believe how unnoticable the scar is!
Man everything looks to be going great.
Once again, I am amazed at how quickly the redness disappeared. It looks like you went for a 'somewhat' mature hairline, but it doesn't look as 'u-shaped' as some others I've seen. Did you work with Dr. Cooley on the hairline, or just take what he suggested? How dense did he pack the hairline?
Good luck, it's going to look sharp when it grows in.
Thanks for the compliments Bald, Brando, HBT, and Biff.
The hairline was discussed at great detail between myself, Dr. Cooley and his lead technician, Ailene. They asked me what my goals were and what I wanted and guided me into making a good decision. I did not want a hairline that was too low. I had actually started getting used to the way it was! The lines drawn can be deceiving. Where the line is, is where the first of the single hair grafts are to be placed. This is so it is a gradual ascent into the hairline instead of a "wall" of hair at that line. As far as density, I recieved 2,300 grafts at the hairline on up as you can see a little clearer in the picture below:
Hey Social, I know I've asked you in the past, but any idea when the video will be up? That will be a big step forward on this forum to have a bird's eye view of what a HT patient experiences.
I will be making my video debut shortly. I cannot wait to see it myself due to the fact that I was unconscious during pretty much the whole thing.
There have been some questions raised for the length of hair that is acceptable post op. I asked her to do a "high-and-tight" all the way up with a #2 guard. No blending like last time (I looked back and noticed that I never put that in). Full disclosure. I still wear my hat a good bit and none of the people that I know would even know what a hair transplant is so I get no questions. They all know that I have been in multiple motorcycle accidents anyway, so if they think anything they will probably chalk it up to that. I did this to show off my scar to you guys. The camera I took these with is really lacking so they didn't turn out sharp, but I have more detailed ones on the way.
You already look noticeably better and you have barely achieved 15% of your yield. 85% left to go. Enjoy.