Here's my whole journey through three hair transplants and a fourth to come.
First transplant: 2008
I started experiencing a receding hairline in my early twenties, just as I
was beginning a career as an actor, so my appearance was important to protect. In
2008 I had my first hair transplant with the Hair Club, getting 1100 grafts. I
don't have pictures from that. My surgeon, Dr. McClellon, did a very good job.
Unfortunately, the clerical side of the Hair Club was run very poorly. They
would do things like tell me to drive across town to come to a post-op
appointment, then once I got there, they remembered that the doctor wasn't even
there to see me. Annoying things like that. But the hair transplant lasted me
for a while.
Second transplant: 2012
Four years later, I accepted the fact that my hair had continued to recede.
I found myself no longer able to gel my hair upwards in the front, the
deterioration of the hairline was too prominent. And the sides of the hairline
went really far back. If I used the hair from the front to cover the sides, the
front was exposed. If I used the hair on the sides and combed it to cover the
front, the hair loss on the sides was exposed. I was getting to the point where
there was no way to hide it. I even tried a buzzcut for a while, which made the
loss in the front less noticeable, but it was still clear that the sides of the
hairline went too far backwards in the corners. I had also lost hair from my
eyebrows, and they were looking raggedy. I considered going back to the Hair
Club, but the doctor in my area had only been doing hair transplants for two
years, and that's who they wanted to assign me to. I researched several
doctors, and found that Dr. Parsa Mohebi at US Hair Restoration gave the best
price of any doctor who came highly recommended for his surgical skills. When I
met him, I was relieved that he was a doctor who not only could perform my
surgery, but who could use his expertise to help me design exactly how my new
hairline and eyebrows should be. That was really valuable for me, for him to
bring his medical oppinion in helping me make an informed decision about what
would look natural. In September of 2012, I received 2,244 grafts. I paid for
2,200 and in the spur of the moment he gave me 44 for free rather than waste
any hair from my strip. I was actually more nervous going into my second
surgery, as it was a bigger procedure and they were also going to be working on
my eyebrows which are so much a part of my face. But the staff really went all
out in making me feel comfortable, I felt like king for a day because they
played whatever movies I wanted to watch, fed me a really good meal, and
brought me ice cream right there in my surgical chair. And when I wanted more
ice cream, his staff brought more and said, "This is your day." You
can see why I like them. My biggest fear afterwards was that the scar in the
back would show (it would now be a much larger scar due to a much larger number
of grafts) but the scar turned out to be perfectly hidden under my hair.
By the time 8 months had passed, I was a new man, able to gel my hair up in the
front like I hadn't been able to in a couple of years! People kept
complimenting me on my hair, and the compliments continued for months anytime I
saw someone I hadn't seen in a while. Everyone was telling me how young I
looked, which is exactly what an actor wants to hear!
Third transplant: 2013
The awesome 2012 transplant had allowed me to grow my hair
out and wear it up, but I could still notice that there were spots where my
scalp was showing through the front of the hairline. As an actor, I really want
perfection. Also, I had never had any grafts transplanted into my temples, yet
my temples had experienced recession, so I returned to Dr. Parsa Mohebi,
requesting that we reinforce the hairline, reinforce the eyebrows, and create
new temples for me. (Temples are the hair on the sides of the forehead that run
between the hairline and the sideburns.) In September 2013, I got 1858 grafts
from Dr. Parsa Mohebi at US Hair Restoration. While I had been nervous leading
up to my transplant the previous year, this time I was excited, because I knew
it was my day to relax and be completely pampered and taken care of. One day
without any cares in the world – kind of like being a kid again. So once again
I spent the whole day relaxing in a comfortable chair, watching movies of my
choosing on a big screen TV, being served beef kabobs and ice cream sundaes
while the doctor and his staff worked on me. Several months later, the results
were clearly successful. I had new temples that came so much farther in towards
my face (which is what you want with temples). And my eyebrow no longer had a small missing patch. My brows were
finally perfect. See, I don’t have some unrealistic expectation of perfection,
I can admit when we’ve finally reached it.
My fourth transplant: 2014
This year, 2014, I was sad to realize that my goal of a
solid hairline with no scalp showing through had not yet been reached. With my
hair long and styled just right, it looks perfect. But when I got a shorter
haircut for the summer, I saw that if light shines directly above me (such as
in a bathroom, elevator, or outside in midday), you can see scalp through my
hairline. My temples also show scalp between the hairs. I went back to Dr.
Parsa Mohebi at US Hair Restoration and asked for a fourth hair transplant. He
found this funny and told me I didn’t need it. But I showed him pictures of the
way the hairline looks when it’s directly underneath light, and because I am an
actor and this affects my career, he agreed. Upon examination, he told me the
sad news that I had experience more hair loss. If you’ve never had a hair
transplant before, rest assured that the transplanted hairs are permanent. But
I had experienced the loss of more of my original hairs. I’m so glad I got
proactive with the big transplants in 2012 and 2013, otherwise I would be one
of those guys who have obviously been “losing their hair.” But instead, no one
suspects I’ve been secretly fighting and winning the battle against hair loss.
I’ve scheduled my fourth hair transplant with Dr. Mohebi, with 1400 grafts as
the intended amount. He explained to me that he does not usually give someone so many grafts all at the front of the hairline. Many patients need to hold on because they may need to use some of their donor hairs farther back on the head as their hairline continues to recede. But Dr. Mohebi says he'll make an exception for me because of two reasons 1) I am an actor who plays teenage roles, so it is essential for me to have the really youthful hairline for my career. Not just to look handsome, but to specifically look like a teenager. And 2) I have no microscopic evidence of losing hair on the top or crown of my head. Thankfully, that isn't my hairloss pattern, so we don't need to conserve donor hairs for those areas in the future. So because of these two reasons, he has agreed to the transplant I've asked for.
I’m posting some pictures here, you can let me know if you
think I’m being overly picky and should give it a rest, or if I should go ahead
for a fourth hair transplant.
My Surgical Treatments to Date
In 2008: 1100 grafts with Dr. McClellon at the Hair Club
In 2012: 2544 grafts with Dr. Parsa Mohebi at US Hair Restoration
In 2013: 1858 grafts with Dr. Parsa Mohebi at US Hair Restoration
Planned for 2014: 1400 grafts with Dr. Parsa Mohebi at US Hair Restoration
Norwood stage 2
There is a slight recession of the hairline around the temples. This is also known as an adult or mature hairline.
Caused stress and threatened to hold me back in my career.
I would recommend strip surgery.
In every way possible. Made me look young and attractive, gave me more confidence, and helped my career.
It's worth the money. Go for it. And strip surgery is much more affordable than FUE. Don't be afraid of the scar. My hair has covered the scar completely, and I'd much rather have a hidden scar and great hair, than no scar and a receded hairline. I would recommend Dr. Parsa Mohebi at US Hair Restoration. He's great at helping to plan a natural looking hairline, and his staff gives you a really enjoyable experience on the day of surgery.