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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. 

My Latest journal entries

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Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

5 Month Post Op | 12 1 2014 *I slowly see growth again, a bit more from last time...so progress! *I have gotten more comfortable now sleeping on the back of my head with minimal discomfort now.  *The shockloss area's I feel have slowly gotten a bit more hidden than last time, although its hard to tell if there is hair regrowing back or not.  *I started to notice a good amount of dandruff started to develop all around the recipient area. Before the transplant, I had a very flaky scalp and had a lot of dandruff. The first 4 months I didn't notice any dandruff but now I'm starting to see yellow deposits forming and as I comb through my hair they sort of pop off. I called Dr. Diep's office about this and his staff informed me to not worry and to just use a dandruff shampoo. I purchased Jason's Dandruff shampoo and the yellow deposits have now began to go away.  *I'm exercising about 3 days out of the week (always wearing a hat when I go outside) and I haven't experienced any pain or discomfort unless I put pressure on the back of my head like doing a bench press. Other than that, I feel like normal.

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Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

4 Month Post Op | 11 3 2014 *This past month i've noticed some more growth! Not much but progress!*The discomfort of sleeping with the back of my head against the pillow has gone down a bit and I've been able to start sleeping & laying my head back more comfortably. I still do have discomfort but its gone down a bit. *Shockloss is still noticeable on the left side of my head where the strip scar is. Its getting more hidden with time but still noticeable. On the other hand, the right side is mostly covered but still noticeable. Its not as noticeable as the left side. Hopefully in the next few months the noticeability will go down even more!

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Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

3 Month Post Op | 10 6 2014 *I'm slowly starting to see some hair grow at this point, but its very small. Maybe I'm a slow grower...Grrr!*The shock loss is still visible but it has become less noticeable as time goes on. I can't really tell if hair is regrowing back there. *I still have discomfort sleeping on my back because of the scar line. I have been able to start sleeping on my side more comfortably, the discomfort of the scar along the side is a lot less. But I usually still sleep on my stomach (my preferred method anyway). *For the first few months the top and back of my head were pretty numb because of the trauma of the transplant, but I've started to get a lot of my feeling back on the top and around the area where the scar is. When I was showering I couldn't feel my head as I was shampooing/conditioning. But more recently I have getting a lot of my senses back in those areas.  *I have been going to the gym and exercising more regularly now, about 3 times a week. I still avoid workouts that involve me applying pressure to the scar line, like bench press, etc. But I accommodate myself by altering my seating position to prevent me from applying pressure back there. *Overall, I can't say that I'm satisfied yet because its still early and I feel I still have a lot more room for growth! More updates will be posted along the way!

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Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

2 Month Post Op 2 Month Post-Op *So far I think my recovery has been going ok. I look about the same as I did before the transplant now, some of my native hair has grew back. But I still have noticeable shockloss along left and right side of the scar line.  *All the scabbing has came off by now. And the redness has gone away completely in my opinion. I still have some numbness around the area around where the scar is and near area's near the transplanted areas. *About 2 weeks ago I just started applying Nanogen again to help cover up the top as well as the shockloss along the scarline. Dr. Diep said it was ok for me to start applying it after the 1 month mark but I waited too about the 1.5 mark to start using it. I make sure after each time I use it I wash it off that following evening. Using it hasn't bothered me head nor have I noticed any irritation. It hasn't bothered me in any way so I will try to use it but I plan not to use it every day. About 3-4 days a week I use it. *I have been getting out and exercising more. I feel more comfortable now working out. I started playing soccer last week and I felt fine, the top of my head got slightly sun-burned.   *I don't have much discomfort anymore along the scar line. The only discomfort that I have there is when I am lying back on it, like when I'm sleeping on my back and the pillow is applying pressure on the scare or when I rest my head on a head-rest in a car seat. Its discomforting in those situations so I try to avoid those.  *I apologize for the smaller pictures, I'm living on my own now and don't have someone to take pictures of me. Hopefully next time I will.

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Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

1 Month Post Op 1 Month Post-Op *So far I think recovery has been going ok. I have been able to sleep really well and back to normal this past week. No more troubles for me sleeping. *I noticed a lot of the transplanted hairs now have already started to and have already fallen out.  *Only disappointing thing that I have noticed so far is that I do have a good amount of shockloss along the scar line, especially on the left side of my head. I contacted Dr. Diep and sent him and a picture and he confirmed it was shockloss. His staff mentioned that shockloss hair could take up to 12 months to grow back and I hope it does! It looks really bad! The shockloss has gotten a little worse from last week, thats when I first start to notice it. I have been disappointed about this but I will continue to stay positive as I am still in the early phase of the transplant.  *I still do have some slight discomfort in the back of my head because of the strip but it has been getting much better every week. I can still do my normal activiites but I still try to avoid looking too far to the extremes with my head, I try to turn my body in those situations. *Since its been 1 month, I am cleared now to start exercising and lifting weights again! I love to exercise so its been really great getting active again. Exercising was a bit of learning curve too because I try not to move my head to much to avoid streching the scar. The staff warned me about exercising too much because it can delay the healing of the scar and so I exercise with caution. 

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Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Week 3 Post Op Week 3 Post-Op *I slept really well this past week. I had no more issue's of getting up in the middle of the night. The pain level in the back of my head has gone down since week 2 and it has allowed me to sleep like normal now. *I don't have necessarily much pain in the back of my head, I just mainly have discomfort when I move my head in certain positions. When I look to far down, up, left or right, I still have discomfort but not so much pain.  *I think the scar has been healing up nicely so far, the scarline is still red but I still put Neosporin daily, as the doctor recommended. I'm going to continue applying it the one month mark and I may stop depending on how it looks. This scar is still very noticeable from behind. I have some patches of minimal hair, hopefully its not shockless. *Pretty much all the scabbing and crusting has come off. This stuff was like glue and it took a lot of massaging to get off but its gone now. Its hard to tell if I still have scabbing along the scarline but I believe a lot of its gone. Showering is not bothersome anymore, it almost feels like normal now.  *I have been wearing a loose hat periodically now because I have been going out and seeing people more. I try not to wear a hat for too long but I only wear it when I go out of the house.  *I started noticing a few pimples along the hairline and I have some now on my forehead. I called Dr. Diep about it and they perscribed me some Doxycycline (anti-biotic drug) and Erythromocyin Topcial Ointment. I take the antibiotic & apply the ointment twice daily. I will be takng this for a week so hopefully the pimples will go away. They said it could be due to ingrown hairs but I'm not sure why I see more on my forehead.  *Overall I have been feeling ok, I am no where close of starting to see growth but I can't wait to start seeing it because I look like crap right now lol, but staying positive :)

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Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 12 Post Op Day 12 Post-Op *Slept well again. The pain in the back of my head receded a little bit, but still there.  *Since I shampooed pretty aggressively yesterday, I only washed my head with water and conditioner today, very gently. No shampoo. I wanted to give my head a rest.

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Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 13 Post Op Day 13 Post-Op *Slept well again. The pain in the back of my head didn’t change from yesterday. *I shampooed again normally and applied some more pressure in attempt to get rid of any remaining scabbing. And more scabbing came off but there is still a little bit that remain. My head felt a little irritated because of the added pressure when massaging my scalp, hopefully I’m not overdoing it but this scabbing is really hard to come off. *I had to go to a family get-together and decided to wear a hat. I was instructed that I could start wearing a hat after 2 weeks. Wearing a hat didn’t bother me on the recipient area but it was a little discomforting in the donor area. And I wore my heat really loose but after about 5min of wearing I felt the discomfort slowly went away.

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Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 14 Post Op Week 2 Day 14 Post-Op *It’s officially been 2 weeks! Still have a lot of time to go but I’m pleased that the hard part is over. The 1st week especially was pretty tough. So far I think progress has been positive. *Dr. Diep had called to ask and check on how I was doing, which was nice of him. *I slept well again. I have been feeling pretty much back too normal mentally. I still have some pain on the back of my head but a lot of the scabbing on the recipient area has gone away, still small amounts remain. *I’m allowed to start wearing a hat now, but I need to wear it loosely. I went outside several times and it felt really good, I’ve been sitting at home these past 2 weeks. Wearing a hat is a little discomforting along the donor area but not too bad. I got used to it after about a minute. *I think the scar is healing up nicely, still have a long way to go but there is still some scabbing along the scar line that I need to try and remove. It feels like now that scar is closed, and I still apply Neosporin daily. *I haven't gotten a haircut yet since the surgery but I think I may get one 1 month Post-Op depending on how nocticeable the scar is at that point. *I’m going to start posting pictures and updates on a weekly basis for this 1st month. Then after the first month, I will be posting on a monthly basis.

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Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 10 Post Op Day 10 Post-Op *I slept good again. Pain level in the back of my head didn’t change from yesterday.  *I visited Dr. Diep’s office today to get my sutures removed, can’t believe it has already been 10 days! When the nurses looked at my head they noted that I still had a lot of scabbing on my head. They mentioned that I really need to start trying to get the scabbing off or else it can hinder the growth of the graft. They told me I should try to be more aggressive when massaging my hair to try and remove the remaining scabbing. *The suture removal was a bit painful but bearable. Some parts were more painful than others but it wasn’t too bad. It took about 45min. I also had a good amount of scabbing along the suture line so before beginning the suture removal the nurse had removed the scabbing first. *After the sutures were removed, I felt I had some more mobility with my lower jaw but the pain in the back of my head was still there. Still about a level 2/10 pain level. *Later that day I took a shower and this time I was more aggressive with the massaging of my scalp. I applied more pressure to the recipient area in an attempt to remove the remaining scabbing that I had. After the shower, a good amount of the scabbing on top of my head had come off but afterwards I had some slight pain on top of my head, Iwhich most likely was caused by the increase in pressure I applied when shampooing. The top of my head felt irritated and looked a bit pink. I hope I didn’t overdue anything but I’m will stay positive. 

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PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 11 Post Op Day 11 Post-Op *I slept well again. I still continued to have some pain in the back of my head, about the same pain level as yesterday. *Having the sutures out gives me a little more mobility with my lower jaw but when I open my mouth or smile too big, I can still feel the scar stretching so I still try to be careful. *I still have a decent amount of scabbing on top of my head. And so I washed more aggressively again by applying more pressure. Some of the scabbing came off but there was still some left behind. My head turned a bit red in some areas and got irritated even after the aggressive wash, but still there are scabbing that remained, this stuff is like glue! The doctor tells me not to pick them out and to just massage them out, which is hard.  *The scar area is slowly healing. I apply Neosporin daily along the scar.

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PP2
Bald class: 4A
Procedure 1

Day 10 Suture Removal Day 10 Post-Op (Suture Removal) Some pictures immediately following the removal of my sutures. The pictures are a little disturbing to viewers and I apologize for it, but I thought I share.