Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about my surgeries.
1.) What causes hair loss?
Hair loss or male pattern baldness is caused by the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone) and is brought on by your family’s genetics. DHT shrinks the hair follicle until it miniaturizes and eventually falls out in the hairline, vertex, and crown.
When a boy goes through puberty his body starts pumping testosterone which turns on the genetic predisposition to hair loss. The baldness gene can come from either side or both sides of the family and can skip generations so the phrase that baldness comes from your mother’s father is an old wives’ tale.
About two thirds of men go bald in their lifetime and by age 50 half of all men experience some type of hair loss.
2.) Where and when did you have your procedures?
I had my first procedure on Monday, July 14, 2014 and had my second procedure on Wednesday, November 11, 2015.
So use those dates and today’s date to figure out how many days I am post-op.
3.) Why did you have a second procedure?
I had my second procedure about 15 months after my first one because I had some thin areas in my temples that needed to be filled in and needed to have the scar corrected because one one side did not correctly heal.
Ideally most patients will need two hair transplant procedures to create what many surgeons consider a finished product.
4.) Why did you have a third procedure via FUE?
Unfortunately the scar from my second hair transplant procedure also stretched and the doctor who performed the procedure doesn’t do any FUE work to repair a scar, so I had to go to another surgeon to correct it.
5.) How many grafts did you have transplanted?
The surgeon who did my first two procedures doesn’t charge by the graft but by the length of my donor strip multiplied by 200 hairs per square centimeter.
My first procedure extracted about 6,210 total hairs (31.05 square centimeter long strip x 200 hairs per square centimeter) transplanted to my frontal hairline, temporal peaks, and vertex/top of my scalp.
My second procedure extracted about 6,500 total hairs as he cut out the old suture line with the new donor strips that were 36.675 square centimeters long.
If I had done a Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedure with the ARTAS or NeoGraft, it would have taken about six of those surgeries to get the total amount of hair I got with two strip procedures.
6.) How long does the surgery and your recovery take?
My first surgery took about 6 hours to complete while my second surgery took about 5 hours because I shaved my head so the surgery could be done faster.
I had my first surgery on Monday, July 14, 2014 and by Wednesday, July 23 all of the crusts and transplanted follicles fell off in the shower. On Thursday, July 24, 10 days post-op, I had the sutures removed by my primary care physician.
On August 5, I resumed lifting weights, working out, and playing sports.
I had my second procedure on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 and by Saturday, November 21 all of the crusts fell off and I had my sutures removed by my primary care physician on Monday, November 23, 12 days post-op.
After my second procedure I decided to take an extended break from weightlifting and intense exercise so my suture line could heal, but ended up stretching again.
7.) How were your surgery days?
Both procedures were very comfortable and relaxing experiences.
I was given valium and local anesthesia and spent about 5 hours watching movies, eating snacks, and conversing with Dr. Huebner and his staff.
What you would think would be a very scary and painful operation was anything but.
8.) Does it hurt?
The most uncomfortable part of a hair transplant is the first night as I felt a lot of pressure in the back of my head and had to sleep at an elevated position.
By the fourth day post-op I had a lot of swelling in my face that went from my forehead into my eyes and cheeks but subsided by the sixth day.
I was given antibiotics, graftcyte healing spray, and prescription painkillers to help with the recovery process.
By the 7th day post-op the only discomfort I had was the itching in the back from the sutures.
9.) Did you miss much time from work?
I work as a government contractor so I could telework while I was in Florida.
For my first procedure I flew to Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, had surgery Monday, was supposed to fly back Tuesday but my flight was delayed until Wednesday because of weather. I obviously took the day off on surgery, but teleworked the rest of that week.
For my second procedure, I teleworked Monday and Tuesday, had surgery Wednesday, took a sick day on Thursday and teleworked again on Friday. I let my work know in advance so I could work remotely for a week.
10.) Could anyone tell you had surgery?
After my first procedure I had a lot of visible crusts and scabbing on my hairline, temporal peaks, and vertex so when I returned to work, I wore a fedora from H&M from Monday, July 21 to Wednesday, July 23 when all of the crusts fell off in the shower that night.
Once the crusts fell off, the transplanted area was a little red like a sunburn with a few stray hairs that hung on, but no one would have noticed unless I pointed it out.
After my second procedure I wore a baseball cap during my recovery with the sutures in and after the sutures came out I got a buzzcut to blend all of the hair in the front and around the suture line. Because my suture line was exposed after my buzzcut, I continued wearing a baseball cap for about a month after my surgery until the hair in the back covered up my scar.
11.) How much did you pay for your surgery?
If you’d like to learn more about how much money I paid for my procedures and get some practical tips on bargaining for a better rate for your procedure, email me.
12.) I just had a hair transplant procedure. When will I start growing new hair?
Congratulations on having your procedure!
From months 1 to 3 not much is happening as the transplanted hairs are dormant. From months 4 to 6 they start sprouting up and begin shaping and framing your face. From months 7 to 10 the new hair begins to thicken up and blend with the rest of your natural hair and from months 11 to 15 is when all of the last dormant hairs sprout out.
It takes 12 to 15 months post-op to fully grow out all of the transplanted hairs from one procedure.
Sometimes a patient will need a second hair transplant procedure as one surgery can achieve 30 to 40 percent more density and depending on how much hair a patient had already lost.
13.) You didn’t answer my question!
If you have anything else you’d like to ask that I didn’t already answer, go ahead and shoot me an email and I’ll do my best to help you out.