FrankenScalp

HIS Member
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About FrankenScalp

  • Rank
    Newbie
  • Birthday 10/31/1967

Profile Information

  • Location
    California
  • Have you had SMP?
    Considering it
  1. Not shaving to skin

    I think Ed makes a good point. I also think I can be considered a bit of a guinea pig on pushing the boundaries on this. I'm still waiting for a strange look or the eye flickering to my hair and it's just not happening. And to me its pretty damn obvious despite admitting that I kinda like my look. I almost want to look at it as a sort of challenge and see when I'm going to get hosed out. I'm not going to push smp. For me it was a way to try and move past the disfigurement of HT from years ago. If I had virgin scalp I'd probably just shave my head if I could live my life over. But if you go subtle with a broken hair line with a good artist this can be a winning situation if u are uncomfortable with just letting your baldness stand. If I start getting weird looks or questions I'll let u all know but I would not sweat the detectability issue with regard to some hair growth too much. You guys without HT scars have it way better than me with my buzzer gymnastics and unless you get stuck on an island without a razor will stay well within the hair growth limits I have to have to keep the scars from being an eye magnet freak show.
  2. Not shaving to skin

    I'm starting to believe that this treatment has substantial versatility. The gold standard is still and will probably always be a wet shave but my experience is showing good evidence that even going far from this can work. I have terrible HT scarring in back and after trying the camo route have no choice but to grow the hair out in back. My every 24 to 48 hour buzzing regimen, while complex, takes about 5 minutes. I went for a receded somewhat subtle application. Yes I have a friar tuck look from the back but overall I am dealing with a massive improvement from where I was. In my head I try to think of my look as a kind of filled in Stathamesque type one with a much less good looking face. Over the past two months I have been out in public hatless many times and even went to one formal event with people who have known me for 20 years. I keep expecting the bouncing looks up to my hairline like when I had the grown out HT but it just isn't happening yet. Everyone just looks me in the eye so far. Even the ones who've known me for years might give an initial glance with a comment that I've shaved my head and then all eye contact. I am sure you guys and people who are on the lookout for smp would hose me out but thankfully it is not something that is on the level with rugs and HT as far as general knowledge yet. Someday it will probably happen most likely and I've already decided I will just come clean to that observant person and give them the whole unhappy history. But still, so far I am almost amazed at the lack of attention I get from this. Hopefully this will continue. Time will tell. Bottom line - getting the right treatment level from a good artist goes a long way towards this treatment having the potential to work for a variety of situations.
  3. A Question of Stubble

    It is going to depend on the individual for sure. I took the plunge two months ago starting with just the strip scar in the back and then finally getting the whole head done as I just didn't want to miss out on this - SMP is truly THE solution to MPB. Not a cure but holy crap I wish this was around twenty five years ago as I know it would have prevented me from getting butchered on account of my pathetic vanity. As for my SMP I struggled a bit with the results at first because to me the front 160 degrees looked great but the back was a horror show with the scarring. I think he put decent coverage of ink on the scar although maybe it did fade some but either way I could not live with the comedic hideousness of the back when shaved down or with minimal growth. Some scars just can't be adequately hidden by SMP alone and mine is one of them. I'm older, pushing 50, and also have some grey and I actually like the way the stubble on top looks - I went with a pretty mature hairline that stayed in bounds behind the transplants and I buzz it down to 2mm and I'm good for at least a day, maybe two before to my eye it starts looking a bit odd. This actually works well for me because of the scarring issue which I could not let stand. That scarring had the potential to draw way too many eyes of strangers and would absolutely have become the subject of constant conversation among non-strangers and I'm not living with that under any circumstances. My solution is not for everyone but it seems to work for me so far: After trying to grow out the very back of the horseshoe over the scars and then buzzing varying lengths up against the grain the only thing that actually gave adequate coverage looked like a nearly full on skullet which is a terrible look and would draw bad attention all by itself. I was just going to grow everything out and put the hat back on 24/7 when I decided to try varying lengths in the back again but this time going in a down direction with the grain. And it seems to have worked for my purposes. I settled on a 4mm guard length and buzz down daily although every other day would probably be fine - the final effect is a very close "trim" I guess is the best word (although sloppy buzz might be an adequate description too) that doesn't add any bulk or alter the shape of my head but yet gives "adequate" scar coverage when combined with the SMP. I say adequate because I can still see that something happened there but its not enough to draw stares. I even had family over the last weekend and they didn't notice anything. There is still a horseshoe effect in the back but it is minimized relative to the skullet look I had been dealing with. On the sides I go one guard width in from the front hairline at 2mm up against the grain followed by one guard width beyond that at 4mm up against the grain and I end up with a sort of fade attempt to the situation I have in the back. I use a Panasonic ER-GB40 that can be adjusted in 0.5mm increments and has a guard width of about 1.25 inches. In the end I think it all blends together reasonably for what I'm dealing with. I know the regimen sounds complicated but this is what I have to do to live with what I have. This is not a look for everyone and if you are in your 20's or 30's or want to be a player it is likely that this won't work for you so either deal with the scars and all that comes with them being exposed or get a wig. I've been experimenting at work - taking the hat off at various times of day to see what happens in doses and no one has even looked at my head when I have it off. I've been out to dinner hatless with family, out and about in my neighborhood and in stores and no funny looks yet. And believe me, after living with plugs for over 20 years I know what certain looks mean when directed at your head. Hopefully the MPB and HT nightmare is over for me, time will tell - kind of late in the game but I wasn't going to sit by and let the youngsters have all the fun getting their heads tattooed. And by the way for anyone who remembers my first posting - the tech was able to virtually eliminate the green dot tattoo that Dr. Frankenstein the scalp reduction surgeon gave me way back when so that he could mark where my hair line was at the time of that awful procedure. He just used a few dots of flesh colored ink before applying SMP over it - less than thirty seconds and that stupid thing that had been haunting me all these years was gone. So to answer your question in a very long and round about way - stubble can work and in some cases can be used to advantage, particularly if you've got a situation as F'd up as mine.
  4. Just finished Hatinghats 20 page ball rolling thread. Very enlightening. I was particularly interested in how the fading and dot density issues were covered. Based on his experience and logic (if I followed correctly) there could be substantial benefit if some metrics could be established from a test patch to gauge bleeding and fading so that a prospective first session could start from an optimized point in terms of ink shade and maybe other parameters such as needle pressure. I understand that a test patch is not necessary and in fact not practical for many clients but on balance would a practitioner and client benefit to a significant and worthwhile degree if test patching were performed and evaluated during the test for bleeding and after say a month or two for fading? If this were the case I would consider getting two, one on the scalp along the edge of the horseshoe and another in the fut scar. Considering that my goal would be scar camoflouge and only enough on top to blend in with the grafts maybe it could save a session and reduce the chances of the dot density exceeding the "blur limit" if it turns out I'm a heavy bleeder, big fader or both. Or on balance would it most likely be unproductive?
  5. Microskin - Anyone Try It?

    Yes it looks like microskin would just cover it up so not a good pairup. I did notice that another company does some level of "scar treatment" prior to smp. The one element that looked the most interesting was what sounded like pigmenting the whole scar area to better match the surrounding skin prior to adding in the follicles. Not sure if this would be helpful or not.
  6. I found a post on another site that looked promising for someone without smp although they were from 2011. I don't have enough posts to put up the link. I wonder if it would work in conjunction with smp or if it would just cover up the ink work completely.
  7. I think that I probably have a "hair" background similar to many of the older guys on here. Began thinning in late teens, managed to keep a full look with good gel and hair dryer technique (and with possible assistance from Rogaine) into my mid twenties but saw the writing on the wall and tried to pre-empt the situation with surgery in the mid 90's. From late 1993 thru early 1996 I underwent two scalp reductions and three transplants - all of which utilized FUT as FUE was either not broadly utilized or maybe not even developed at that point. With 20/20 hindsight in play I of course wish I had had the confidence and emotional backbone not to do any of it and just shaved my head but I have to have some sympathy for the 26 year old guy who was used to a half decent social life in the "pre Agassi" era. I bring up Agassi because I truly see his ditching the piece and shaving as a real inflection point. Up to that point thru the 70's, 80's, and 90's it was all about hair. This varied somewhat amongst different races but generally in the Caucasian population if you weren't a massive wrestler, a skin head, or on chemo a completely bald head back then was far more a rarity than it is today. I even recall Howard Stern ridiculing Andre's new look right after he shaved - times have definitely changed for the better and I could be wrong but think Andre's decision had some big ripple effects for the positive. Despite my regrets I can't be one who completely bashes the people who basically mutilated me. I in fact did experience a thicker head of hair, increased confidence, and a rebirth somewhat of my "game" within a year or two because I still had significant native hair so there was some benefit albeit temporary. And to be fair the surgeons used the leading tech of the day as far as I can tell and did warn me that in my case the look of fullness would fade as I was clearly on the way to be an N6 or N7 despite the scalp reductions. Unfortunately it was indeed a slow fade with ultimate surrender to an existence under a hat by my mid thirties and I know that I was hurt socially and professionally to at least some degree long before that because it was clear that at least 25% of people who saw me in bright lights had their eyes drawn to my hair line. Maybe they didn't sniff out the grafts (one hundred of which were "mini" and behind the hair line and I'd say about 3,000 were "micro" over most of the head) but those upward glances killed my confidence when it happened. So considering the era when this took place and a fair assessment of the results I can't knock the surgeons as a whole but I will point out that one of the scalp reduction surgeons at a "B"ig clinic placed two small but noticeable green dot tatoos at the edge of my horseshoe mid scalp to document where the hair line was. He didn't tell me he was going to do it, he just did it to satisfy some future experiment maybe or just to make absolutely sure I would eventually be sickened by what I had done to myself - so to him I say thanks as the hairline is now one inch back from those dots and an additional reminder of my shame. So after being resigned to living under a hat with all of the social and professional baggage that brings for the last 10 years I stumble upon SMP after a rare trip back to my home state and a visit with a good friend who tried to convince me to just say "f" it and shave it all off scars and all because I looked like a fool with my hat on and like complete shit without it. I googled to see what others were doing in this situation and of course found this site along with many others. As this post is getting rather long I'll try and distill it down to a few facts and choices with regard to SMP as it relates to me: - This looks both crazy and awesome at first glance - Where you get this done matters - The transplant scars are a serious complication As someone who is very private and is mortified at the thought of being exposed for having made such a horrible decision due to vanity and insecurity many years ago my choices are: 1 - stay the course and accept the way things are. Pros here are that the grafts themselves on the few occasions I have to show them to the world are not highly detectable and I can keep the scars completely covered. Ironically the scalp reduction scars are very light, barely covered at this point, and don't bother me at all. The very large strip scars on the back would be horrifically noticeable if I shaved though. Cons are of course that I look like a balding old guy with sparse and gross hair over the top and a horseshoe around the back and sides and I only feel comfortable when wearing a hat. 2 - Getting SMP done. Pros here are that clearly the front, top, and profile will look much better. And that is probably an understatement - it would probably be night and day even though I would go for a very conservative coverage on top, just enough to blend in with the grafts and reduction scars in addition to trying to camouflage the strip scars as best as possible. In fact the more I see it the more I love the buzzed look and guys with hair much longer than that are starting to look kind of girly to me and burdened by unruly and unnecessary hair growth - LOL. A possible pro here is that I could end up being satisfied with how the scars are camouflaged and be able to go without a hat. Cons are knowing that regardless of that the scars will now be noticeable and be a source of uncomfortable conversation and looks. In addition while I can wear a hat at work, keeping my entire history private would become difficult for my personal relationships as I go through the process which is clearly not just a one day deal. The only people who I (think) know about the mess I've made of my head are my best friend for the last 30 years and my parents. And of course the final con is that this would be yet another treatment that would have the potential of being "hosed out" as well. Hopefully this treatment type does not become known beyond necessity with the nightly news doing spots on it all over the place and comedians doing jokes ala the old toupee jokes. People who get this done don't need more non SMP'ers on the lookout for "tattooed heads". I obviously have a lot to think about here although at 48 and married now for over 10 years I have a lot less social stress than some of you younger guys. And because of my age and the fact that I know that before I knew about SMP I had accepted my lot I admit that I am leaning "NO" but I can't help being completely intrigued by all of this and have been living a little vicariously through some of you that have taken the plunge. As for where to get it done if I were to go forward I have been very impressed with HIS. Not just that they maintain this forum but I did have a consult with the lead guy in Los Angeles. He was not trying to sell me at all. In fact he was brutally honest about my scar situation and seemed genuinely concerned that while many are satisfied with where they end up with regard to their scars he wasn't sure if my expectations as they stand now could be met. And it was also refreshing to have a consult with someone who had had the treatment in question and was "in the same boat" so to speak. This is in complete contrast to some other places in the hair loss industry who bring out the sales guy with perfect hair or the hot sales girl to point out and discuss all of your genetic inadequacies and physical flaws - that was total psychological abuse and I still feel the embarrassment from that. So I apologize for the long post as I don't even know if I ever will do this but thought it might add to the display of thought processes involved for those who do and don't eventually get the treatment. And thanks to all those who do post their results - especially in the scar forum.