Soctopus

Hairy Again

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Hey folks,

This post has been a long time coming since I started lurking on here five years ago. Started noticing hair loss my freshman year of college (19), and while I didn't let it change my outward behavior much it started killing me to look in the mirror or at photos of myself. I'll spare you the grim details since people here have said it all before better, but you know the drill: hating photo ops, grimacing every time I saw last year's holiday card with more hair, and dreading seeing relatives and friends that I hadn't seen in a few years. Wondering if people considered me "good looking" anymore.

Seeing the authenticity of stories and pictures on here is what really pushed me over the edge to do it (along with meeting several people who had actually had the treatment done), so I feel I owe it to anyone on the fence to share my experience. If there's any blessing to losing my hair this young (24 currently) is that I'm pulling the trigger on SMP now, not when I'm 35. I'm a little nervous about getting called out at work (even though everyone says no one ever notices), but just in case for the past couple months I've been shaving head, letting it grow back for about two weeks, and then shaving it again midweek just so my coworkers get used to my hair changing a lot. Throw them off the scent a bit ;) . I had my first session in Houston yesterday morning.

I'm not sure if we're allowed to say practitioner names on here, but the Houston clinic guy is phenomenal in talent, experience, and ability to reassure you at every step. My super-supportive girlfriend came for the first session, and if you can bring someone close to you along I really recommend it. (Having someone there to assure you you're not insane for inking up your head comes in handy.) I popped two tylenol pre-session, and I almost started laughing when the needle first hit — I was expecting pain; this felt more like someone playfully poking you with a paperclip. Practitioner told me my skin was very easy to get into, so I think this was part of it.

Three hours later, first session complete. We've got a before, a just-before pic and a mid-session pic, and the rest are from 24 hours after. Overall, I'm feeling great about it. Just seeing the pulled-back pics of myself with a hairline is incredible, even though it's not blending yet. Apparently it should be a lot lighter once I can shave in a few days and the current darkness is mostly from tiny scabs; it won't be until session 3 that we really add in the dark dots to get that full 3D effect. The main thing I'm trying to decide is if I like is the hairline... height seems about right, but is it slightly higher on one side? I'm noticing that I don't have a perfectly symmetrical head, so that's probably contributing to any potential lopsidedness. I'm going for a very broken and natural hairline, so I think in future sessions we'll be diffusing it even further.

Anyhow, would love your thoughts, especially on the hairline. I'll say this: after five years of feeling helpless, finally doing something about it feels damn good.

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Good point! Session two is on Jan 12. Redness seems to be coming down a bit, and as of now I'm about 48 hours from my foil shave and things are still blending well, length-wise. I'm hoping I can be an every-other-day shave guy and not have to do every morning.

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Quick update; finally shaved and showered and hit my first public event: coworker's New Year's Day party. She didn't seem to notice a thing even though she sees me every day, so fingers crossed for when I go into work tomorrow. Redness has gone down and it's starting blend nicely.

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Here's some shots now a week after session one. It's faded, but as far as I've been told that's all normal as this is really just the base layer to more density/darkness. These pics are after 2 days growth, so you can see the difference if you're looking. Luckily still feels fine to walk around with in public, though, cause it just looks like I'm still thinning on top.

Unfortunately had to move my next appt. to the 19th due to a relative's funeral, so I guess it'll be really settled by the time I get session two.

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Itching to have session 2, but I guess what's another week and a half when you've got your whole life ahead. Seems to be fading a tad more. It's strange - some lights it really shows, others it's hardly visible. I'm hoping it'll be more visible in harsh light after final sessions.

These pics are both in the same room under same light; just changed where I was standing a bit and you can see the difference. Two days growth again on the sides:

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First session is just a template, second will give you a more cohesive idea of what you are going to end up with. I would hold on for about ten weeks till you have the third session to allow for any fading to occur and also to give you time to adjust to any swings of thought you may have on what you want from this third session (and believe me, you will have swings, darker, lower etc). Personally I think you could definitely grab another ten millimetre of hairline at your second session. The density from this session will firm up your treatment and I would stress wait and live with two for two months before having the third. You can after you have three have the free top up towards the end of your warranty year to refresh with a darker shade if you feel you are still too light.

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It's me again, ya boi Soctopus. Second session completed yesterday; really pleased with results. Houston practitioner and I did about 9am-2pm with a few 15 min breaks; I had faded a lot since the last session so he was putting on a lot of density. Got to give him a ton of credit for his talent and attention to detail. We brought the hairline down about a 1/4 of an inch, and are really going for that broken/subtle hairline look. I had a small scar from a basketball elbow years back right at the new hairline, so we left that in.

Still fairly red, but it's definitely settling down compared to even this morning. Can't wait to shave... we've got an in-progress pic, hairline guides, and one right after. Took a pic in the airport bathroom that day when lighting helped with the redness, and last one I took just now.

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Thanks - (hopefully not a full 10 years younger, then I'd be 14 haha, but I know what you mean!)

Shaved for the first time today; I was a bit nervous again going into work and being called out because it seems like SUCH a huge difference to me, but not a peep. Just goes to show how much people are paying attention. I do think I've crossed the chasm, though, into new people I meet now categorizing me as "shaved head" vs. bald. Curious if the average age people guess I am has dramatically gone down... I usually get low thirties, so I'll have to ask some new folks and see what they think.

Really impossible to tell from these photos, but the top is still a bit darker from the sides directly after shaving. I know people have talked about "blending down" the sides so it still looks spot on right after shaving, so that'll hopefully be a part of my session 3. Now I'm 16 hours out from shaving, though, and the blend is almost perfect.

First two are taken in natural light indoors, second two are in harsh bathroom mirror light. After session 1 my new hair didn't show up at all in that same harsh bathroom light, so there's definitely been an improvement made.

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That looks good and if having it a little darker means you can get forty-eight hours between shaves, then perfect.

Also by grabbing that extra bit of hairline, that's a single layer, which for me adds to the realism of the feathered hairline.

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When I was considering getting SMP and stalking the forums I also wished people would post more photos of every day life, different lighting, etc. So I'll do my best to do a lot of that... if you really stare you can see I still it's still not blending 100% seamlessly, but I think it's just a matter of needing to fade a tad/session 3 work next month.

Kinda blowing my mind still that no one seems able to notice the change... I'm planning on revealing the truth to my roommate's girlfriend soon (she sees me every day), so I'll see what her reaction is on finding out

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Thanks a lot for the updates. Great result. Personally I always think it looks better when the top of the head is a bit darker than the sides. It gives the impression of an even fuller head of "hair" to me. Anyway, I love your everyday pics in different lightning situations. Thank you for posting them. Keep 'em coming. Have a great weekend and enjoy your SMP :)

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When you compare your latest photos with the last photo from your first post (on 30 Dec) it just shows how far you have come in the last month or so; brilliant results. 

What's your girlfriend's take on your smp? Personally I wouldn't tell your roomate's girl; you never know for sure how discreet they will be in the future.

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