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


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#1 hairhair98

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 05:15 AM

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)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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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7 treatments in 2013 at Chicago and NYC

 

My Diary:  http://forum.hishair...ncludes-photos/


#2 hairhair98

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 05:16 AM

Pictures

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








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 --


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

Note the HT scar in this one:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

More shots in different lighting:


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


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


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


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


http://i.imgur.com/nbaCZr8.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:  



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


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


http://i.imgur.com/YxBzOrY.jpg
 


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7 treatments in 2013 at Chicago and NYC

 

My Diary:  http://forum.hishair...ncludes-photos/


#3 hairhair98

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 05:16 AM

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:



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


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


And now:


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


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


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


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


http://i.imgur.com/qrn6Zmx.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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My Diary:  http://forum.hishair...ncludes-photos/


#4 hairhair98

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 05:16 AM

*
POPULAR

Maintenance

I had hoped to be able to wear my hair at a no guard clipper length, especially since i had some HT hair on top.  At my consultation i was told by more than one practitioner that i would probably be able to make a no guard work.  Unfortunately i have to wear it shaved to the skin because it's too noticeable to have more than a days growth on me IMO.

I use an r91.  It's not a huge deal to me if i let it go two days, but i normally shave it everyday as i feel it looks best that way.  It was hard to get used to shaving my head this close... both in looks and feel... but after about a month or so i got used to it.  Now it feels normal.

Shine is a big issue for me, and can be frustrating to deal with.  The only negative comment i've gotten about my treatment is when someone said 'boy you've got that head polished dont you?'... and im sure he was talking about the glossy shine, as i was under bad lighting and didn't have anti shine on (i had headlube matte moisturizer on, but it doesn't really stop the shine).  Since then i use anti shine every single time i go out.  I've tried lots of products and i currently use a mixture of MoM and talc... it is time consuming to deal with, but it has to be done.

Here's an example of the shine i am talking about... this is right after a shower with nothing on my head, which is when the shine is the worst:

mk9IFS0l.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/mk9IFS0.jpg

Here is a before and after shot showing first nothing, and then with the anti-shine applied:

F4E6uzzl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/F4E6uzz.jpg

qP46AKAl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/qP46AKA.jpg

Like i said, i use an r91 and it takes me about 7 minutes to get it shaved.  A better razor would probably go a little quicker.  After its shaved, it takes me about 8 minutes to get the anti shine on and just right.  So that's 15-20 minutes a day to get it perfect.  Takes more time than before (a 10 minute clippers cut every 3-4 days), but that's just part of the deal.

 

 

EDIT March 2015:  Since writing this, i have made a lot of improvements over how long it takes me to get ready.  I bought an expensive shaver (panasonic arc5) which gets my head shaved in 3-5 minutes depending on how long it's been since my last shave.  If i shave every other day it averages around 3:30 - 4 minutes.  I know this because the shaver has a timer on it and i check it every time. 

 

For anti-shine i now use a single product like PTR instead of MoM. I've never timed it, but it probably only takes 2-3 minutes.

 

All together it only takes about 7 or 8 minutes to get it perfect now... which isn't bad at all considering that i would probably spend that much time (if not more) styling a full head of hair.



I am scheduled for a 6th appointment, and therefore am a little worried about how frequent touch-ups will be needed.  I am hoping that i can get everything locked in within my guarantee, and that it will hold for 4-6 years.  Time will tell.


 


---------------------------------------------------------

Reactions

Beyond the earlier comment about the shine, I've had no one make a comment about the treatment, and im fine with that.  No news is good news, right?  Haha. I can tell you that i am not worried whatsoever about going out without a hat, no matter what the occasion is... in other words, i dont feel that it looks fake or odd in any way, even up close.

--------------------------------------------------------

Overall


Did the treatment meet my expectations?  Well... not exactly.  But that's because my expectations were too high.  I envisioned this turning me into a rock star or something where i would want to walk around crowded areas just so people could look at my hair... but i soon discovered that that isn't a realistic way to view the treatment.  This will never look as good as a real head of long hair (or perhaps even a hat, as i feel in my case)... but it's not really supposed to.  

What matters is if the treatment looks natural, and more importantly, IF YOU LOOK BETTER THAN YOU DID BEFORE.  I feel like the answer to both of those questions is yes, therefore i am happy with my decision to get SMP.

Now that i have had the treatment, im not as quick to recommend it to others but thats ONLY because its hard for me to gauge how good or bad it really looks on me in person, as well as not wanting to mislead anyone that might be expecting more than this can deliver.  I feel more comfortable saying 'see me in person, and then decide if this look would make you happy'.

As others will tell you, the look can change a lot depending on the lighting conditions.  Sometimes i will look at it and think 'wow that looks fantastic', and other times i will look at it and think 'man i can barely see it'.  But, as i mentioned earlier, all i really care about is if it's natural looking, and an improvement over how i used to look... and i feel (hope) that it is.  

So that's my story.  

I've tried to give a balanced description here about the highs and lows of the treatment, and hope that it can be helpful to others.  All in all I'm happy with getting SMP, and feel that while not life-changing, it has made a positive impact on my life.
 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

Updates

 

6th session touchup:  http://forum.hishair...photos/?p=55669


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7 treatments in 2013 at Chicago and NYC

 

My Diary:  http://forum.hishair...ncludes-photos/


#5 Young Bald Guy

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 05:50 AM

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.



#6 Tommy_Boy

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 06:29 AM

In my opinion that one amazing look! So flawless and natural looking congrats bro! The scar is not even noticeable great result!!

#7 Flippo

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 06:44 AM

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.


NYC Clinic
Treatment one - March 20,2014 Color Shades 40's
Treatment two - April 1, 2014 40/42/44
Treatment three - May 8, 2014 30/32
Treatment four - June 13, 2014 24/26/30

My diary http://forum.hishair...he-show-begins/

#8 username

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 07:53 AM

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 ! 



#9 Robby

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:01 AM

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.
My story/ diary with lots of photos: http://forum.hishair...s-ten-plus-one/

#10 jason27

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 11:08 AM

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.



#11 flash

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 03:07 PM

Looks great hairhair98 looks a very natural treatment. Youve not gone crazy and gone too dark. It looks very good.

#12 Hairkiller

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 03:29 PM

I like your treatment a lot. Super-natural, I'd go, though, for a little bit more of density (same colour).
Yes, shaved heads look bald under harsh lights!

#13 hairhair98

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 03:51 PM

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!


7 treatments in 2013 at Chicago and NYC

 

My Diary:  http://forum.hishair...ncludes-photos/


#14 hairhair98

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 06:32 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks guys, i really appreciate the feedback!

 

@troy - thanks for the tips about the shine man

@jayson - yeah i wish i had had a couple of tomatoes to throw at her, haha


7 treatments in 2013 at Chicago and NYC

 

My Diary:  http://forum.hishair...ncludes-photos/


#15 hairhair98

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 06:58 PM

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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7 treatments in 2013 at Chicago and NYC

 

My Diary:  http://forum.hishair...ncludes-photos/


#16 Hairkiller

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 07:39 PM

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.
Yes, shaved heads look bald under harsh lights!

#17 Blue

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 07:53 PM

Looks great, did you have any scarring in the recipient area? Like the cobblestone scarring?

#18 Flippo

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:32 PM

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!


NYC Clinic
Treatment one - March 20,2014 Color Shades 40's
Treatment two - April 1, 2014 40/42/44
Treatment three - May 8, 2014 30/32
Treatment four - June 13, 2014 24/26/30

My diary http://forum.hishair...he-show-begins/

#19 Nightwood

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 09:08 PM

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 :).



#20 NYC

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 09:15 PM

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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