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SMP in Toronto - My Experience!


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#1 Oscar416

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 10:05 PM

Hey Guys, 

 

I've read many posts on here, but have made very few contributions. Now, I have an experience to share. 

 

From reading various posts, I know a lot of you have considered the Toronto location as an option for your SMP treatment. Seeing as how they've only recently begun taking patients, I thought I would offer up my experience so far.

 

Throughout this process, forum posts, pictures and the kind words of everyone on here have helped me to make this decision, reassure me and give me an idea of what to expect from it all. As I am now right in the middle of my own treatment and recovery from it, I hope that my posts and my pictures do the same for others. Feel free to ask me any questions....

 

First, a Little back story: (btw, I'm 32 years old now)

 

I was 16 when my hair started thinning - baldness is a gene I knew would be passed down to me given that men on both sides of my family are bald (some more than others; most of them being very bald)... I just didn't expect it to happen so quickly. I shaved my head when it began thinning and I actually grew to really love the shaved-head look. I got many compliments on the look too; people said it suited me, etc. While trying to reverse or slow down the effects of balding, I took Rogaine and it didn't help; I took Propecia for many years (from about age 20 - 31) and while it didn't help with growing any new hair, it did prevent what I had from falling out for a long while. In my late 20/early 30s I was seeing the effects of Propecia (or Finasteride) wear off. 

 

Within that time - in my early 20s - I had a HT with a local doctor. I couldn't tell you how many graphs were transplanted (I have no idea). This gave me a much higher, but a newly defined hairline. The density was not much and I didn't want to go through with another surgery or two to complete the new 'look'. Of course, with a HT strip scar, I could no longer shave my head even if I wanted to.

 

What followed were years of a very awkward head of hair, a comb over that fooled no one and a desire to be rid of the anxiety. I started looking into my options. I made an appointment with an FUE clinic and met with a doctor. He showed me pictures of work he had done. It looks like 20% camouflage at a very expensive price. The cost, the pain, the heal-time and the result didn't add up for me. Around the same time, I stumbled across HIS Hair Clinic's website when I did a search for 'scar repair' and the results looked fantastic. However, I know that when something looks too good to be true, it usually is. I flip-flopped on the idea of SMP for a while; eventually decided to try it.

 

4 years ago I had booked SMP treatments in the UK, but due to a variety of factors (money, cold feet, etc.) I didn't end up going. I lived another 4 years with the same head of hair that made me miserable for so long. Because I combed the long hair from the sides over the very thin hair in the front, I couldn't walk with my head facing the wind. I wanted to live an active lifestyle. I had to wear hats while playing sports, had to bring a 'back-up' hat with me for after games (couldn't wear the same sweaty hat all night). I began opting out of activities that I knew would make my hair look bad. Started carrying a comb with me at all times. Needless to say, my confidence took a hit. My life changed. I lived to conceal a bald head and a bad comb over. 


When I found out that HIS Hair Clinic was opening up in Toronto, I booked my appointment. Was this meant to be? They had some trouble getting set up right away. I was booked for appointments toward the end of December 2014, but those were cancelled and later booked for early February 2015.

 

I can't tell you how nervous I was the day before the first treatment. I didn't sleep much that night. I asked myself: Is this a mistake? will I regret this? What will the scar look like? Can it be hidden? Will others be able to tell I had 'work' done?

 

I woke up early and headed downtown toward HIS. There I met Kyle and Dave, both great guys who have had the treatment done themselves. Seeing what their heads looked like made me feel a lot better. We wasted no time at all. I sat down, had my head shaved and as I saw long strands of hair fall, I knew I was committed.

 

These are some before pics.... 

The pic of the scar was taken immediately after my head was shaved before the first treatment began...

 

More to follow...

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#2 Oscar416

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 12:29 AM

The first treatment took about 2 1/2 hours to complete.

 

After shaving my head and discussing a desired hairline, we decided to keep the hairline consistent with the HT line. Granted that the HT line is much higher than my more youthful hairline was, I didn't want to create the look where if I let it grow out for a couple days, it would look like flat/grey skin for 2 inches and then all of the sudden, there would be hair.

Small sacrifice, but I wanted the HT to work with SMP, not against it.

 

 

Bonus to a HT and SMP:

 

I do believe that if you've had a HT in the past, SMP is a nice compliment to it. With SMP combined with some hair on top, creates a much denser/realistic appearance. Plus, you get the added bonus of a silhouette of hair.

 

Immediately following treatment #1 - moving my hand along the top of my shaved head felt amazing - I couldn't tell if my hand was feeling 2 hairs per sq. cm or 20 hairs per sq. cm. And, looking in the mirror I couldn't tell either.

 

Down side to HT :

 

Obviously the scar. My scar appears flat in the before pictures - I really hope that plays out in my favour following all treatments.

 

 

 

Pain level varied depending on the area. 6 out of 10 in some spots and in others, a 1 out of 10. The scarred area was among the more painful, but luckily it didn't last too long.

 

My best advice would be to take 2 ibuprofen about 1 hour before your session to help with the pain - It did help!

 

Kyle and Dave decided to go with a lighter pigment for the first session to build a foundation for the second. 

 

Redness lasted 2+ days on top and 3+ days in the scarred area. The scar swelled up and stayed puffy for a while longer. Because I wasn't allowed to shave my head for 4 days following session #1, the scar was very visible still. It's noticeable after 4+ days of surrounding hair growth. I was a little worried, but was reassured that significant strides would be made following session #2.

 

This pic follows session #1... I believe it was taken the day after treatment 1 - as you can see there is still some redness on top. I have an image of the scar following session 1, which I will post shortly.

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#3 Blazini

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 02:19 PM

Keep everyone updated thanks!



#4 Oscar416

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 10:53 PM

Following the first treatment, here's how the scar looked.. I apologize that the picture isn't the greatest. 

The pic was taken 3-4 days following, my hair is a little longer.

 

I'll be honest, my heart sank a bit following #1 - it was an improvement over having no work done for sure, but in my eyes (and perhaps I'm over critical) there was a lot of work that needed to be done.

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#5 Oscar416

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 11:00 PM

On the following Thursday, I was booked in for my second session.

 

At this session, the plan was to fill in the hair line just a tad (one side looked more defined than the other)

It's important to note that I opted to go with a softer hairline vs. a more defined line. I figured that since the HT hairline was higher up, who am I fooling? I'll play up the receding look and do it damn well. Plus, people had seen me with a higher hairline for years now and if I showed up to work after a weekend with a new hairline two inches lower, people would figure out that something was up.

 

I also wanted to darken the top (something Dave and Kyle were wanting to do anyway)

 

They spend a while in the scarred area - felt like longer than the time spend during the first session.

 

It was quite red for 3-4 days, and stayed redder than the top by about a day or so.

 

This pic shows what my scar looked like after about 2 days following treatment #2 (3 days after trimming my head with a zero blade trimmer).. It's more noticeable since the surrounding hair is longer. Plus, it's still red/pink

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#6 Oscar416

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 11:02 PM

A few hours after session #2

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#7 Oscar416

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 11:09 PM

4 days following session #2 I gave my head a trim with a zero blade.. here's a pic in direct sunlight

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#8 Oscar416

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 11:39 PM

The first picture was taken today (6 days following session 2).. I trimmed it again to a zero blade and took another pic under incandescent light.

 

Even after two days, there is an improvement - I anticipate it taking a while for the scarred skin to fully settle... It still looks bumpy to me.

 

 

 

Other pics are of the front, top and sides... (also taken today - 6 days after treatment 2) - A third treatment will be decided on one month after the second treatment; to see how the pigment holds up, how the skin reacts, potential fading, whether touch-ups are required, blending, etc....

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#9 Scarredup5

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 02:22 AM

Scarwork looks quite impressive after only 2 sessions, hope your ink holds up.

Would your scar look even better if you completely shaved to the skin rather than buzz it? Your hair looks longer than I would expect for this treatment.


Considering scar repair to fix the big smiley face on the back of my head from two HT's. 


#10 Oscar416

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 04:23 PM

I'm pretty happy with the scar so far... I hope the ink holds as well. If not, that's what a 3rd session is for I guess.

 

It probably would look better right now if my hair were a little shorter. I'm really hoping that once the scarred skin settles, it's a lot more camouflaged! If I look back at what the scar looked like before all this, it was much smoother.

 

If after 3 sessions it's still quite noticeable (say, less than 85% hidden), then I'm going to shave it down further... which isn't ideal as I really like this length, but it's a small sacrifice considering what my head looked like before this.

 

IMO, I'd say that the scar is about 70-75% camouflaged right now...



#11 Oscar416

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 11:53 PM

update: 

 

This is 9 days following session 2 with sunlight coming through the window

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#12 norcal

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 12:14 AM

Looks great after 2 sessions. . I'm in pretty much the same situation as you, although my scars are worse. I go in for my second session this week. I like that length rather than shaving and hoping I can get away with it too. Thanks for the updates.



#13 Oscar416

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 01:01 AM

Thanks for the kind words.. That pic was taken a few days ago..

 

I'm now on day 12 following treatment #2 and the scar is actually looking worse. It's a lot lighter in colour, and to be honest, compared to some of the other pics people have posted following 1 or 2 sessions, it doesn't look as though mine is in that ball park.

At this point, I expected more. It's disheartening to think that I had kept my hair for 10+ years hiding the scar that is now on full display!

 

Here are some pics...


Feel free to comment... I'm kinda paranoid about it at the moment... 

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#14 norcal

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 01:22 AM

From everything I've read on the forum, every scar is different and some just need more sessions than others. As hard as it is patience is the key. 

Is that still buzzed with a zero blade?



#15 Oscar416

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 03:44 AM

Thanks for the advice - you're right... I should be patient...  it is very hard!

 

yes, it's still a zero blade - I took the pics just after cutting it.



#16 Scarredup5

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 03:19 PM

Have you tried shaving with a razor? I think there is too much contrast between the buzzed hair and the ink dots. If you try it can you post the scar pics right after a shave?


Considering scar repair to fix the big smiley face on the back of my head from two HT's. 


#17 Beach1103

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Posted 02 March 2015 - 09:50 PM

I read your story and it is very much like mine.....I had two scars that needed to be concealed. I have done 7 treatments as the ink did not seem to hold so we opted for a darker ink and I totally freaked out on Saturday night after I got the proceedure as it was SO dark and looked like two dark lines on my head. I spoke with my practioner on Sunday and he assured me that it will lighten (and I forgot that my previous treatments did not hold ink) so it would be expected that this will lighten and maybe look better. I have learned that this is a process and you have to be patient. This forum has been helpful to me to know that there are others experiecing the same thing as us. Hang in there.....



#18 Oscar416

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Posted 02 March 2015 - 11:54 PM

Scarredup5 - I will try shaving with a razor and will post pics when I do so... likely on a weekend so if it looks bad at least I have a few days of growth before going back to work

 

Beach1103 - thanks for the kind words... I am trying to stay positive and I'm telling myself that this will pass. This forum is a huge help and has some wonderfully supportive people on it (such as yourself)...

But, 7 treatments?!?! wow. did you have to pay for each of those treatments or did some of those fall under HIS' warranty? How do your scars look now?

 

Update: I have begun applying Bio Oil to my scarred area twice per day and I have noticed that the scar is starting to settle a little more (probably a combination of time and oil).. I'll continue to post pics of the progress.

 

Here's an update for all (below):

 

these were taken 16 days after treatment 2 (compared to my earlier posts under the same lighting, you can tell that the dots appear lighter in colour)

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#19 normguy1954

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 05:43 PM

It looks like you are getting there.  Needs some more work but the improvement from the very first, untreated pic is impressive.  I hope you continue to see further positive results with more treatments.  

Thanks for sharing with us...



#20 Oscar416

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 03:02 AM

I have a question for anyone who has experienced significant fading between treatments. I am aware the dots will fade 2-3 days following sessions; I'm speaking more of when your immune systems beats the heck out of pigment.

 

 

How do practitioners compensate for pigment fading during follow ups?

 

Do they add new dots, or put ink back into faded dots?

 

Do they go a shade or two darker, or stick with the current shade and hope the pigment holds?

 

 

My concern is that if areas will be darkened due to fading (in a follow up), I don't want my head to look like a grey blur with too many dots that are spaced really close together. I hope they can add pigment to the faded dots; however, that sounds like a process that needs the utmost precision.

 

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks






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