PP2

Dr. John Diep

Hair transplant surgeon
Hair transplant patient

PP2

PP2

About

Hello 

I am currently a 26 year old male. Today, 6/10/2014, I am about a NW 4 scale of hairloss. I started noticing my hair loss when I was 20 years old. I actually didn't notice it until someone told and from that point forward it has been something I've been conscious about ever since. When I was 21 I started started doing research and started taking a combination of Propecia & Rogain foam. I took both for about a year and still noticed my hair continued to thin. The side effects never bothered me but since I didn't really see any improvement over a year (even though there was never going to be an improvement lol) I decided to stop taking it. By the time I was 22 my hair loss was very noticeable, it was about a Norwood 2-3. At that age I was still in college and it was a very difficult time for me. I just got into the school of my dreams but I was loosing a lot of my hair at a rapid rate. I was pretty stressed in school and seeing myself everday in the mirror made me feel miserable a lot. Wore a lot hats, wouldn't go out much because I was so embarassed. Now 6 years later I have come to terms with my hair loss and have decided to undergo a hair transplant and give it a try. 


My Surgical Treatments to Date

Doctor: Dr. John Diep in Los Gatos, CA.
# of grafts: 3577.
1's: 897
2's: 2016
3's: 451
4's: 213 
Method: FUT/Strip

My Non Surgical Treatments

Rogaine, Propecia, Nanogen. 

Bald Class

Bald class 4A

Norwood stage 4A

In stage 4A, a person will not experience a bald spot on the back of their head, but they will instead lose the dips in their hairline and have a deeper “U” shape when viewed from above.

My hair loss has affected me in a lot of ways. I haven't felt the same when I used to have a full head of hair. It really sucks, I mean REALLY. I personally have had a lot harder time dealing with it because I do care how I look everyday. And I'm in an environment where I meet and interact with a lot of people everyday and I do want to look good in front of people. Dressing and looking good makes me feel good. The first 2-3 years of losing my hair were really the worst, I was really young and just recently turned 21 and wanting to go out. As my hair loss progressed I slowly kept avoiding going out because I was ashamed. After about 4-5 years was when I just started to accept it and dealt with it a lot better. Luckily I found Nanogen and that has helped cover up a lot. Initially I didn't want to do a hair transplant but now, 6 years after my initial hair loss, I have made the switch to try. I mainly didn't want to do it because of the money. Because I am getting older and I do see myself losing more or all of my hair at some point so why bother right? I felt that money can be better well spent on things more useful, a home, car, investment, etc. The main reason of not wanting to do it was the money, even though I am extremely lucky and could afford it! Weird, no? I just felt that spending thousands of dollars to get my hair back (not even all of it) for something that I felt I was going to loose anyway and it will not look as good as when I was full of hair, sounded like a loose-loose situation. I felt the only person that would be gaining something was the physician (who was going to make it rain$$$, with my thousands). But I thought otherwise, I have a lot to gain with a transplant. And I'm very anxious and happy about the decision to undergo a hair tranpslant. I have a scheduled FUT/STRIP method (~3000 grafts) with Dr. Diep on July 14, 2014. And I will continue to update this for people to see :)

Nanogen has worked the best for me so far. It works well when I had short hair but my hair loss continues to progress and I'm ok with it. I have come to terms with my hair loss and its important for me to move on, other wises I will have relapses. 

My scheduled Surgery is with Dr. Diep on July 14th, 2014 and I have agreed to undergo FUT/Strip, ~3000 grafts. I think both strip and fue have their pro's and con's but after a lot of research I felt that I can really live with the linear scar as a result from Strip. I don't mind it since the cost was less and essentially the yield is about 10-15% better. Once the hair in the back grows enough, the scar is virtually not noticeable. I had a relative in the family who did strip by a different doctor and he looks great. The scar is invisible, I could never see it even if I tried. Plus I could get more grafts with strip than fue and it would still cost less, and look better? That sounded like a winner, minus the linear scar. 

Propecia worked ok. It took a while for it to start working but it only slowed down my hair loss, it didn't make it better.
I also used Rogaine and that was a complete waste, it make my hair all greesy and weird and did not like the feeling. I felt that taking Rogaine was a complete waste. 

Nanogen worked the best for me, especially since I liked to keep my hair short. With longer hair, nanogen may not work as well.  

Do not rush and let your hair loss progression go. I know it sucks but I think its worth the wait. I would have liked to do a hair transplant early but I'm really glad that I waited it out to see where my hair loss was going to go and that will give you and the doctor a better understanding of what type of hair transplant and the amount of grafts would work best. 

Back to patient reviews

My Latest journal entries

...
PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 8 Post Op Day 8 Post-Op *I slept better again and I think I will hopefully start to sleep better again at this point moving forward. The pain in the back of my head was still there, it was a little less painful but about the same. *I shampooed my hair normally for the 1st time today. I noticed as I was massaging my scalp that I no feeling or sensation on the recipient area, I could not even feel the water lol. I had a feeling that was going to happen but hopefully overtime I will get that sensitivity back. Some of the crusting and dry blood came off but there was still a good amount that remained after shampooing. I didn’t rub too hard, I just gently massaged, I didn’t want to over do-it my first time shampooing. *I still had pain in the back of my head.

...
PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 9 Post Up Day 9 Post-Up *I slept well again. Pain level in the back of my head was about the same as yesterday. *I shampooed again normally today and some more of the dry blood and crusting came off but I still feel there is a good amount on there. Hmmm… *Tomorrow I get my sutures out! Yay!

...
PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 4 Post Op Day 4 Post-op: 7/18/14 *I didn’t sleep well again, I may have sleep for about 2 hours. The small pain again in the back of my head still affected my sleep. Plus I don’t like sleeping at a 45 degree angle but I was instructed to do so for the first 3 nights. *When I woke up I noticed pretty much all the swelling I had around my eye’s & ears had gone away, which was nice. And this morning I started to get an itchy head and I had to keep refusing mentally to scratch my head. The itchiness continued throughout the morning but towards the afternoon it got less. *I still continued to have small pain in the back of my head. *I begin to notice that I have a lot of dry blood & crusting on top of my head, and that my transplant doesn’t seem to be as clean as others transplants that I have seen but I will try to stay positive. It hasn’t past the 7 day mark so I can’t shampoo, I have to wait 3 more days. 

...
PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 5 Post Op Day 5: 7/19/2014 *I didn’t sleep well…again. Maybe only slept for a few hours, the pain from the sutures still bothers me when I sleep. And I still used the neck pillow but since I am past the 3rd night, I have been given permission to sleep normally now so hopefully I can sleep better tonight. *I still have itchiness on my head but I avoid touching or scratching my head in any way. It’s a common symptom but hasn’t bothered me too much. *I still continued to have pain in the back of my head but this night I was going to sleep flat and on my belly. The pain in the back of my head has been about the same for the past couple of days. 

...
PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 6 Post Op Day 6 Post-Up *I slept a lot better. I slept flat and on my belly and I was finally able to get some much needed sleep that I haven’t been getting this first week. I did get up a few times during the night but I was able to go back to sleep even with the small pain that I had in the back of my head. I think since I didn’t sleep on my back, it didn’t make the pain any worse so it didn’t bother me as much last night.  *I still have some dry blood & crusting on some areas on my head, by tomorrow or the day after I should be able to start shampooing my hair normally so hopefully by then they will start to come off. *I still continued to have that small pain in the back of my head. *I would also like to say that I have been contacting Dr. Diep's office daily and the front office has been very kindly taking my calls and answering my questions. They have been really responsive which I really appreciate.

...
PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 7 Post Op Day 7 Post-Op *I slept pretty well last night, I didn’t have to get up in the middle of night. This was the first time I actually slept through most of the night, thank heavens! I miss sleep.  *I still had the small pain in the back of my head, the pain level hasn’t changed much over the past few days, it stayed pretty constant. It still pretty discomforting for me when I smile to big or laugh sometimes, it feels like I’m opening up the scar so I try to be very careful in those situations. 

...
PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Post Op Pics @ home Some more pictures I took immediately following surgery when I got back home. 

...
PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 1 Post Op Day 1 Post-Op: 7/15/2014 * Since I didn’t sleep well last night before and I ended waking up early about 5:45am. I still had pain in the back of my head but it got slightly better. I woke up and was pretty nauseous, I tried to eat some breakfast but ended up vomiting in the morning, which actually helped me feel a lot better. After feeling better I started taking the recommended medications that Dr. Diep provided and followed it diligently. *When I looked at myself in the mirror, my head looked like a strawberry lol, just a lot of redness and blood. I didn’t really do anything the day after my surgery, just tried to sleep, eat & walk around at home. *Later in the afternoon that day I drove back with my mom to Dr. Diep’s office for shampoo & hair wash. One of the nurses there had gently used a special shampoo and water to wash my hair. They didn’t touch the recipient area they just let water and soap run through a cup but they used a special sponge to clean the sutures on the back of my head. The washing took about 10 minutes and I was off back home again. There was still a lot of redness after the wash but I wasn’t worried, I knew the redness would take time to heal. *Eating and smiling was a little difficult, I mean I could eat and smile but I couldn’t open my mouth or smile too big because it was discomforting, I could feel the back of my head sort of stretching so I avoided eating big meals or smiling too big. *That evening the pain in the back of my head was still there but instead of taking the strong prescription pain med Dr. Diep gave me, I just took an Aleve (an over the counter pain reliever), I didn’t want to get nauseous again. That evening I was overall mentally feeling a little better even though I still had pain. That night I used a neck pillow to help me sleep.

...
PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 2 Post op * I slept much better this time than the night of my surgery. I woke up a few times during the night but I was able to go back to sleep. I woke up in the morning and still had the pain in the back of my head but the pain was less. The only surprise that I woke up was that I had a lot of swelling around my eyes. The lower lid of both eyes was swollen like a ping pong ball and around the area of my sideburns/ears was really swollen and puffed up on both sides of my face. I wasn’t in any pain, just a lot of swelling around my face. I looked like a football lol, and I got worried and immediately called the Doctor’s office and they told me that it would be ok and it was normal. They told me to apply some ice and just rest, not worry too much.  *I continued to apply ice in the morning, afternoon and evening and by the evening my swelling had gone down a little bit. Eating and smiling was still a little discomforting but not a big deal. 

...
PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 3 Post Op * I didn’t sleep well again this time; I only slept for a few hours. I still had pain in the back of my head prior to going to bed that small pain still bothered throughout the night. I am a very light sleeper and just a small amount of pain kept me up last night. I still used a neck pillow and was sleeping at a 45 degree angle. The doctor recommended for the first 3 nights that I sleep at a 45 degree angle and on the 4th day I have the option to sleep normally but I would have to be careful sleeping on my stomach and not rub the new grafts against the pillow. *When I woke up, I noticed the swelling around my eye’s had gone down a good amount, which was relieving. After eating breakfast I tried to go back to sleep but I ended up only laying in bed. From that point I just continued to rest, read, walk around and eat. I tried to be as stress-free as possible. *In the evening, I still had some pain in the back of my head where the sutures were, I had a another feeling I was not going to get a good night sleep but oh well. I slept at a 45 degree angle with a neck pillow too. 

...
PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Pre Op Pics Here are some pre-op pictures Dr. Diep took with my camera. I am about a NW 4 level of hair loss. You can see that my hair is receding towards the crown. 

...
PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Post Op Pics @ office Here are some pictures immediately following my hair tranplant operation on 7/14/2014 at Dr. Diep's office.  Here's a write up of my experience at Dr. John Diep's office during surgery day: *I came into Dr. Diep’s office with my mom at 5:30am. I saw Dr. Diep at around 6:30am and my mom and I chatted with him prior to the surgery. We finished up some last minute paperwork that he made me sign and then he drew in the new hairline on my head. During my second consultation, Dr. Diep mentioned that I would need about 3000-3200 grafts to fill in my bald spot. On surgery day, my mom and I asked Dr. Diep, if it was possible to add more grafts because I do have a slight balding towards the crown area and Dr. Diep was willing to do so if he though it was suitable as the surgery went on (which he did). And he mentioned it would be about an extra 500 grafts and my mom and I agreed to it. I also agreed to undergo A-cell injection, it’s a new trend that Dr. Diep mentioned hair transplants clinics are incorporating because it is supposed to help in the healing process (extra $500).  After the pre-surgery talk,  it was on to the surgery. I got into the surgery room and there we went! They had a TV, which was nice, I got to watch sportscenter. The surgery itself wasn’t too painful (I underwent Strip/FUT). The painful part was when they were stripping the hair from the back of my head (I would give it a grade of about 6/10 pain level). But the stripping didn’t take very long, I would say about a couple of minutes. I was pretty numbed up too with the local anesthesia.  The surgery itself went from about 7am to 6pm. I took 3 breaks, 2 bathroom breaks, and 1 lunch break (and Dr. Diep provided lunch). In total Dr. Diep used about 3700 grafts to fill in not only the main bald spot, but also added some grafts to the crown area to give it some density. Overall, I felt the surgery went well. Based on my point of view, I think Dr. Diep had done the stripping of the donor area and once the strip was removed then several nurses came in and continued on with rest of the surgery. I couldn’t really see who was actually putting in the grafts into the recipient area but I believe 2 nurses did that, not Dr. Diep. I did see Dr. Diep come in continuously to check on the progress of the work of the nurses. I wasn’t sure if this was a common practice at most hair transplant clinics but overall, my overall feeling was that the nurses that worked on me were very professional regardless. When the surgery was over, they wrapped my head with a bandage and provided me some medications to take with home. When I got home, the pain from the Strip in the back of my head started to get worse and couldn’t sleep that night. I was told I needed to sleep at about a 45 degree angle with my face up. The pain slowly got worse (about 7/10) through the night and I did take pain meds before going to sleep but it didn’t help, plus the strong pain meds made me feel really nauseous.