hairhair98

hairhair98's diary - NW6 with HT scar (updated photos - Feb 2016)

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OK, i've been here for a few years, and haven't posted my diary yet... so here it is.  It's been a work in progress for a while, and I'm going to try to cover everything, so it might be a little lengthy.  It's hard to stop typing when you start something like this, haha.    

(i'm going to split it up into 4 posts, in case you see this before they are all posted)

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Background

I'm mid thirties, and i started balding at 19.  Had a HT (500 graft strip) at 21.  HT hairs grew in nicely, but the balding kept getting worse.  Several years ago i decided to shave my head, but i could only go down to a #3 guard because of the scar.  Even a #3 was too short over the scar, so for years i shaved the scar area with a #5 and the rest of the head with a #3.  This obviously left a darker patch of hair on my head over the scar, but i hoped that it was good enough to not be that noticeable.

The baldness bothered me, but at the same time i dealt with it pretty good by accepting my fate and trying to own the look when i had to show it.  I didn't hide away socially, but I spent a LOT of time under baseball caps when i could.  One thing i hated was that even when I showered/shaved and dressed nice, i still felt sloppy when i looked in the mirror because of the hair issue.

Here's one story i'll share.  Dad passed away a while back, and im standing in the crowded viewing room with a huge line of every relative and neighbor ive known my entire life.  Im kinda in the center talking to people, and all of a sudden this old lady (who she is, i have no clue) throws her arms up and says loudly 'there's that bald little boy!'... I didnt want to hear that, but not a huge deal, so i stand up to talk to her and she makes this big gesture with her hands and starts saying stuff like 'your hair!  what happened to your hair!?'. Now on the inside im ready to crawl under the couch, but i make some stupid remark like 'oh well it parted ways with me a while back' and try to laugh it off... and she STILL keeps going 'wow your hair!  what happened!?'. Ugh. So i make small talk for a few minutes (still no clue who she is), and she ends the conversation with 'wow i never would have recognized you if someone hadn't told me it was you... because... well... your hair!!!'  Yeah.  Right in front of all my friends/family, not to mention my dad a few feet away.  It was all i could do not to say 'well i have no idea who you are either, mostly because your face looks like a prune, and you're probably 100 lbs overweight!'.  Hah!

Obviously that sucked, but i dont hold it too hard against her.  As we all know, society treats baldness like a big joke... and like most people, she's probably just never thought about how big of a deal it is.  I probably unknowingly did the same type of stuff before i lost my hair.

Anyway, i had been going back and forth about this for a while, and that episode gave me enough of a reason to go ahead with SMP.

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Treatment

When i first found out about SMP i researched several companies.  It didn't take me long to realize HIS was the way to go.  Cant say enough good things about HIS, the practitioners, this forum (Damien and the community), and the customer support team.

I'm a NW6 (with HT scar), i was quoted 3 sessions with a possible 4th, and my total was $4k.  Personally i think the price is a little high... but if you want the best, you have to pay up.    

I've had 5 treatments so far, and have a 6th scheduled in a week.  Obviously that isn't what i had hoped for, but that's how it goes.  The fact that i am 9 hours from a clinic makes it worse.  Not only for the inconvenience, but also for the money... including travel costs im at about $6k so far.

I had 4 of my treatments with Jonathan G. in Chicago, and 1 with Matt in NYC.  I've spent the most time with Jonathan, and think he is excellent (not that Matt isn't, of course).  Jon makes great hairlines, in both dot size and shape.  He's been doing this a long time and is very professional at what he does.  No complaints for either of these guys.

So why am i coming up on 6 treatments and still not complete?  Well, i dont really know.  Matt and Jon are top guys, so i dont think that is the problem.  I guess it's my head, although i think there was a density issue early on in addition to fading issues.  My head gets extremely red (like hearing 'whoaa u get red dude!') as soon as they start working on it, so perhaps this has something to do with the coverage issues as well.  

Shades:
1-38, 36
2-36
3-34 (and maybe 30?)
4-30 and 26
5-32

6-24

All of my sessions were 2 hours or less, and the pain was about half 'not so bad' and half 'bad'.  The not so bad portion felt uncomfortable, the bad portion felt like a bee sting.
 

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Pictures

Here are pictures of how i used to wear my hair.

4T8YMIMl.jpg?1

H7YKY9X.jpg?1

pCp2gMS.jpg?1


Here are before/after pictures of the treatment, 2 months after my last session.  The before pictures were taken just before my first session, after i had already shaved my hair down in preparation.  Keep in mind that that the way i actually wore my hair was longer, like i showed in the pictures above.

-- Links to full size versions are underneath each photo --

nSe8ChDl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/nSe8ChD.jpg

Note the HT scar in this one:

jpFFIskl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/jpFFIsk.jpg

19yuMOml.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/19yuMOm.jpg

YyZv35Nl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/YyZv35N.jpg

v5P1Z30l.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/v5P1Z30.jpg


Here are a couple pictures that were taken at a social gathering.  These were in a gymnasium under harsh lights, and i thought they would be terrible pictures... but i was quite pleased when i saw how they turned out.

KOHNfOAl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/KOHNfOA.jpg

3XbLIFal.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/3XbLIFa.jpg

It's hard to get my camera to get good detail on the dots, but here is one taken up close so that they show up better.  This one was taken 2 1/2 weeks after the last session:

Qu0oTYPl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Qu0oTYP.jpg


Here's one unedited, i'll probably remove it after a little while:

1XvjO7dl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/1XvjO7d.jpg

More shots in different lighting:

Qua7zIol.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Qua7zIo.jpg

dfyMM3Ul.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/dfyMM3U.jpg

NoUB5Uil.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/NoUB5Ui.jpg

zhwKsmSl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/zhwKsmS.jpg

nbaCZr8l.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/nbaCZr8.jpg

jZAPZInl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/jZAPZIn.jpg


Most photos that people select to put online are only the 'good' pictures, and that goes for everything i am posting as well.  In reality, it doesn't always look that good... so to balance it out a little, here are a couple of what i would consider 'bad' pictures:  


9V1EkaLl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/9V1EkaL.jpg

DVR3voVl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/DVR3voV.jpg

YxBzOrYl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/YxBzOrY.jpg
 

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Scar

A big concern was the scar, so i will talk about it a little.  I am lucky because it is only on one side, thin, and not really discolored.  The left couple of inches of it is raised a tad, but the rest is flat.  Previously i had went to a dermatologist for a fraxel consultation, and she said that the benefit from fraxel probably wouldn't be worth the cost ($500), since the scar was in decent shape... so i decided to leave it alone.

Like i mentioned earlier i normally would grow my hair long over the scar (#5 or #4 guard) to try and hide it.  Here are before pictures after i had already shaved my hair down:


kSJUUoKl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/kSJUUoK.jpg

8EHwNE7l.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/8EHwNE7.jpg


And now:

7QwGdZ2l.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/7QwGdZ2.jpg

1Sh4QD4l.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/1Sh4QD4.jpg

In this picture you can see the left portion that is raised, as well as the coverage issues on my crown.

xEvs2zEl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/xEvs2zE.jpg


If you look closely in these pictures, you can see that the right portion of it has lost a lot of the ink

nGBk30ol.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/nGBk30o.jpg

neUzC3Zl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/neUzC3Z.jpg

qrn6Zmxl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/qrn6Zmx.jpg

At36ZJol.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/At36ZJo.jpg


Even with the raised section, and the section that lost the ink, the scar doesn't worry me when i am out.  As you can see from the photos in some angles/lights you can tell its there, and in others it is almost invisible.  I think that in the area without dots, maybe the skin has been darkened some by the treatment so it helps to blend in with the rest of my scalp, maybe?  

Anyway, I have an upcoming appointment so it's still a work in progress.  I feel like it looks a little better in person, and like i said, i dont think about it at all when i am out.  

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Looks amazing and if you want get rid of the shine don't shave your head. Ive shaved my head a couple of times and my head shines way to much because the razor removes a layer of skin and kind of polishes my head. I now use the clippers and don't get as much of a shine. I also started off with a light shade with my treatment and for my last session I got shade 22/24 and it has made a big difference so now I can kind of get away with a days growth.

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Thank you for sharing your story and in every picture your treatment looks natural in all lighting. It really gives off that shadow appearance one (with hair) has with a shaved head.  I appreciate the detail you injected into your diary along with the ups a downs of the SMP process.  I don't fully understand why you need to keep going back (and paying more each time) but I hope the next one completes the process for you!

 

Thank you for this well thought out diary complete with pictures in varying light conditions and settings.

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GOLD ! Great review and photos. Looks excellent in my opinion, in good and bad lights, real shaved hair is not very visible either under bright lights. Try tilting your head to the side under harsh light and look in the mirror or take a pic, shaved hair on your sides wont be very visible. I would ask for some extra dots on your crown for #6 though.

 

regardless, it Looks like a Legit Shaved head with hair.  

 

About your expectations........ where you expecting smp to replicate a buzz cut like David beckam's ? Many, including me, get that impression when first visiting the site and looking at some of the site's pics.

 

Anyways, thank you for taking the time of doing this great review ! 

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An excellent diary. Informative and concise enough to keep the reader engrossed (unlike my war and peace novel lol).

I think your scar looks really neat and too small for anyone to question 'how did you get that scar'?

Your treatment looks really natural and whilst I understand exactly what you say about it'd be great to see ourselves with our own eyes and not just a reflection or photo, I can categorically state you look one million times better than you did pre-treatment. The framing of your face has made a huge difference and I think you look great.

In some pics I can see that your crown could do with a little more (if you're after total coverage) otherwise it looks just a tiny bit sparser in line with age related, natural MPB.

 

Well done for posting. It will help others for certain.

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hairhair98  well done on posting your story I can imagine that women made you wanna get a revolver and shoot her haha. but after seeing your pics I would say you smp looks brilliant. hopefully your touch up be nice finishing touch :). And tbh I didn't notice scars at first and some people would say scars are cool with smp . if I can get results you have I be a very happy chappy gd luck with your next touch up.

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Thank you for sharing your story and in every picture your treatment looks natural in all lighting. It really gives off that shadow appearance one (with hair) has with a shaved head.  I appreciate the detail you injected into your diary along with the ups a downs of the SMP process.  I don't fully understand why you need to keep going back (and paying more each time) but I hope the next one completes the process for you!

 

Thank you for this well thought out diary complete with pictures in varying light conditions and settings.

 

 

I've had to go back because of fading/density issues, which are slowly getting resolved.  I decided not to document my experience from the beginning, so i could cut out a lot of the rollercoaster ride that happens at the start.  If i had been documenting it as i went, you would have seen areas much more thin than what they look like now, evolving into what you see above.  It's bad that i have had to go back so often, but the good news is that i have seen progress each time, and feel that it is getting close to complete now.

 

Also, i haven't had to pay anymore after my 4 quoted sessions (which was worded as '3 plus a possible 4th').  Everything after the 4th visit has been no charge, although the additional travel fees cause the total cost to go up each time.

 

Thanks for the compliment, hope this was helpful for you!

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GOLD ! Great review and photos.

 

About your expectations........ where you expecting smp to replicate a buzz cut like David beckam's ? Many, including me, get that impression when first visiting the site and looking at some of the site's pics.

 

Anyways, thank you for taking the time of doing this great review ! 

 

 

Thanks!

 

Yes when i first started out i wanted a buzz cut where it's darker on top than the sides.  Actually, i specifically requested that look at my consultation and first couple of sessions.  Like i said above, i thought i would be able to wear my hair at a no guard clipper length, so i thought a buzz cut style would look best.  After my first sessions turned out so light, and after i realized i was going to have to r91 every day, i began to think that it would be better to have it all one shade, and that is mostly how it has ended up.

 

Most everyone wants a dark looking smp that will show up in all situations, and i felt the same way.  As you can see from my photos, i sort of ended up on the light side of the scale... but at the same time it seems to match my existing hair very well. 

 

I think there is a trade off when it comes to light vs dark.  If you go light it may look more like a naturally shaved head (grey), but it will therefore be less visible in a lot of lighting situations.  If you go dark, it will show up better in more lighting situations but might look too dark and unnatural in certain lighting situations.  You have to ask yourself which is more important.

 

I've went back and forth about this a lot in my head, and i feel that it's like most things: you want what you dont have.  There are times when i wish that i had went darker... but if i had went darker then i would be sitting here saying that there are times when i wish i had went lighter.  I finally just decided that if the treatment looks good, i need to be happy with the look i have and not play the 'what if' game over and over.

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Thanks!

 

Yes when i first started out i wanted a buzz cut where it's darker on top than the sides.  Actually, i specifically requested that look at my consultation and first couple of sessions.  Like i said above, i thought i would be able to wear my hair at a no guard clipper length, so i thought a buzz cut style would look best.  After my first sessions turned out so light, and after i realized i was going to have to r91 every day, i began to think that it would be better to have it all one shade, and that is mostly how it has ended up.

 

Most everyone wants a dark looking smp that will show up in all situations, and i felt the same way.  As you can see from my photos, i sort of ended up on the light side of the scale... but at the same time it seems to match my existing hair very well. 

 

I think there is a trade off when it comes to light vs dark.  If you go light it may look more like a naturally shaved head (grey), but it will therefore be less visible in a lot of lighting situations.  If you go dark, it will show up better in more lighting situations but might look too dark and unnatural in certain lighting situations.  You have to ask yourself which is more important.

 

I've went back and forth about this a lot in my head, and i feel that it's like most things: you want what you dont have.  There are times when i wish that i had went darker... but if i had went darker then i would be sitting here saying that there are times when i wish i had went lighter.  I finally just decided that if the treatment looks good, i need to be happy with the look i have and not play the 'what if' game over and over.

In my opinion this is a treatment (SMP in general) to go for the shaved look, not the buzz one. I agree completly about the line that separate light vs. dark. Which number of shadow was applied in your case?

 

Cheers.

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I've had to go back because of fading/density issues, which are slowly getting resolved.  I decided not to document my experience from the beginning, so i could cut out a lot of the rollercoaster ride that happens at the start.  If i had been documenting it as i went, you would have seen areas much more thin than what they look like now, evolving into what you see above.  It's bad that i have had to go back so often, but the good news is that i have seen progress each time, and feel that it is getting close to complete now.

 

Also, i haven't had to pay anymore after my 4 quoted sessions (which was worded as '3 plus a possible 4th').  Everything after the 4th visit has been no charge, although the additional travel fees cause the total cost to go up each time.

 

Thanks for the compliment, hope this was helpful for you!

Thank you for the clarification and now I fully understand why you needed additional treatments.  

 

You've been on quite a SMP/HIS ride and I can't say enough about how much I appreciate you sharing your story and pics.  Indeed it was very helpful!

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Great diary HH98 filled with tons of useful information and a massive catalogue of pictures!

 

Scar looks great, its very hard to notice its pretty small too which is great, hairline looks great, its sort of what i was mentioning in another thread about how a shaved natural hairline sort of blends in with the scalp tone nearer the edges its been done to very good effect here, chuffed for you :).

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wonderful results

 

the front hairline and grayish blend is very close to what I have…..perfect for 54 after being a nw 6-7. 

 

This is the "grey" look I was talking about in my other posts and i think Nightwood was referring too

 

Ligher (even tho this is a perfect blend) and safer = natural

 

 

nyc

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I think you got it right hishair. It matches your shaved hair and couldnt look more natural. So far I have not read of someone with an smp like yours getting asked what's on their head.On the other hand I have read several times of people with dark smp getting asked by other people if they have a tattoo on their head or asking what's up with their heads etc. After all, the idea is to get ink  to look like follicles, shaved follicles since ink cant get you a 3d appearence.

 

I got a patch test and have a good idea on what shade may be best when I finally get it done. I'm aiming for an smp like yours. 

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Fantastic diary mate, one of the best I've seen, love how you set it out. Your scar looks good, it complements the other vertical one on your head, so IMO 99% of the population will not know what that was.

 

Also, I dont know if you do this already but worth mentioning if not, I also use MoM and talc and it works great for me. I get a small tub (I personally use a sample tube from the chemist, ridiculous I know, but they are pocket size and secure) and I pour MoM and talc in, and shake with the lid on. Viola, a nice paste for your head that you can take anywhere and lasts ages.

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Your treatment looks really natural and whilst I understand exactly what you say about it'd be great to see ourselves with our own eyes and not just a reflection or photo, I can categorically state you look one million times better than you did pre-treatment. The framing of your face has made a huge difference and I think you look great.

 

Robby thanks man, that means a lot.

 

 

An excellent diary. Informative and concise enough to keep the reader engrossed (unlike my war and peace novel lol).

 

 

Dont sell yourself short, haha, you're diary is fantastic as well... i referenced it many times as i was gearing up to go ahead with SMP and used it to show the people i confided in as an example of what SMP is and what an excellent treatment looks like.

 

Also since i waited so long, i had a LOT of time to work on and organize this to get it just right.  Yours might not be as tidy as mine, but mine doesn't give the real time reactions like yours does as you progressed through the sessions.  Letting people get a sense of how the treatment progresses is very important, as mine leaves all that out.  If i had been documenting mine as i went along, it would have been all over the map haha.

 

I did stress a lot about posting this... several times over the past few months i would almost post it but then would back out at the last minute.  A mix of not sure if i was saying the right things, not wanting to mislead people, and of being hesitant about talking about such a personal subject... but i been helped by sooooo many other diaries that i knew i needed to post it.  I'm glad it's out here now, and hope it can be of some use to others.

 

Thanks again!

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Hairhair98,

 

Wow, I'm blown away by your results, looks amazing. I have been doing the #5 on the scar blended to a #2 on the recipient area twice a week for the past 5 years, you must feel so free now! I am looking at getting the scar done this year but will be getting fraxel first. If you were only getting your scar done would it still require 6 sessions? Did they work on the scar every session?  Great job on the pics.

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Agree with most of the people on here that this is a really nice treatment. The blog you have put together is excellent.

 

I can understand your issues on darkness but I think the darker treatments don't look as real personally. Your hair is a perfect match and the slight bit of fading actually compliments the look.

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