the bald ego

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Everything posted by the bald ego

  1. Hey guys. I haven't logged into this forum for a while now, since the HIS Tapatalk portal seems to have permanently quit working. A year has zipped by since my SMP treatment in Los Angeles. Yesterday, I underwent a post-treatment session wih Zang, to make a few 'style' enhancements. MY FIRST YEAR WITH SMP For the newbies, I'll recap... I'm 63, fair-skinned, once blonde, now 75% gray, and a Norwood 7. When I did SMP last year, I had already been bald for over 40 years. And for that reason, the initial treatment approach was intentionally conservative. But, a remarkable thing happened over the course of the last year (thanks to SMP)... my self-confidence grew by leaps and bounds. Consequently, I started taking much better care of myself. New clothes; regular workouts; better skin care; sun damage treatment; healthier diet... basically everything has had a long-overdue overhaul. ZANG REVISITED I am a Zangaholic. It was so good to see him again yesterday, a year later. We had pre-discussed my session goal of pushing the limits of my SMP beyond conservatism. We agreed to: • revise my hairline (more 'broken' and less 'widow's peak') • reduce my 'recession' at the temples • blend pigment further down the sides and back • increase pigment density and volume • use a darker pigment shade overall As we started yesterday's session, I wondered (to myself) whether I should be leaving well enough alone. But Zang's enthusiasm about our approach put my mind at ease. My first sessions had not seemed painful at all. But yesterday was the extreme opposite. I grit my teeth in silence, so as not to have my pain become the focus of the session. It helped a lot to chat about 'life' with Zang for three hours while he worked – anyone who has ever sat in his chair can attest to Zang's gift of entertaining dialogue. Surprisingly, there were no photos yesterday – neither before nor after. We took about 20 minutes to pencil in our planned changes. From that point on, it was a focused work session without pause, with a high degree of artistic finesse by Zang. It wasn't until Zang suddenly pronounced, "OK, we're done," that I finally got to see the outcome. My reaction was pure ecstasy – Zang had flawlessly achieved every goal that we had set forth, and the overall effect was even greater than I had hoped for or expected. Now, 24 hours later, the redness has already vanished. The hairline is brilliant – total perfection. The temples are much less receded now... with better sculpting and integration. Plus, I can already see that the overall effect of the darker and increased (area and density) pigmentation were extremely worthwhile changes. I'll give it 1-4 weeks to settle in before posting any pics. But I'm actually more excited about these results than for any prior session. My degree of hair loss and graying – coupled with uncertainty by both Zang and myself about how conservative of an approach we should take – made my original and follow-up situations far more challenging than the norm. SMP has dramatically improved the quality of my life, and my happiness. And I can tell that with the work we did yesterday, my appearance is going to get even better thanks to this latest work. I looked in the mirror this morning, and can now say that I feel that I look like the guy I was meant to be, finally. I'm blown away, once more, by the SMP process. And by Zang, who is one of the nicest and most dedicated guys I've ever met. His SMP talent knows no bounds.
  2. Just about to get SMP (few questions)

    I keep mine in an old salt shaker, and sprinkle a miniscule amount into one hand and then just rub it all over my scalp for a few seconds. That’s all it takes to get a fast, cheap, chemical-free no-shine scalp.
  3. Just about to get SMP (few questions)

    #1 favorite razor: Norelco OneBlade (daily) #2 favorite razor: Braun Series 7 (occasionally) Anti-shine: Diatomaceous Earth (cheap, very effective)
  4. New session with Zang, one year later

    Thanks. I think Zang used 36 and 38, but I can’t recall for sure.
  5. New session with Zang, one year later

    Grrrrrrrizzly, approaching my 3rd (or 4th?) year since SMP Still would say it was the best decision ever.
  6. Somebody mentioned my name? About to turn 65. Just added a new pic to my Zang post in the American forum. Happy new year, Ed and all.
  7. New session with Zang, one year later

    Saw my name mentioned in another thread, so thought I’d add a recent pic with the family dog.

    Per my own experience, you (the OP) seem right where you should be at this stage. My third session was a ‘power’ marathon to add lots of density, and make subtle refinements. Nearly a year after that, I did go back for a touch-up, and went one shade darker at that time. Approaching the end of my second year now, and it’s perfect. This is as much artistry as science. Yours looks good so far. We’ve all been impatient, but the best result comes from being slow and cautious.
  9. I just booked my 1st session. I'll post daily pictures

    My hair loss was extensive, similar to the OP’s. Initially, I opted for a higher hairline and temple recession for the same reasons that he stated. But after adjusting to my new look, I realized that I’d been overly cautious. So I went back for some further blending (i.e., integration) of a more-lowered hairline with far less age recession at the temples. The masterful artistry of my “up-for-a-challenge” practitioner made ALL the difference when pushing the limits of what was possible. Check out my temples to see some superb blending work by Zang. Bottom line: Don’t be overly afraid to tweak your results, bit by bit, in order to achieve your best ultimate result. There’s a very fine line between being too cautious and too bold; the trick is finding the right balance for you.
  10. Scalp problems

    I can relate to the OP. I battled odd skin/scalp conditions since about 1994. A half-dozen top dermatologists in three countries gave me their boilerplate (repetitious) ‘topical’ ointment and hygiene bits of mindless advice. Needless to say, nothing ever worked. For the past several years, I’ve begun to study the root cause of these skin manifestations, including Omega-3 fats, “leaky gut”, weak immune systems, “nightshades”, inflammation, probiotics, etc. I’m essentially recovered now. NO more cysts, NO more scalp psoriasis (ugly red, scaly, blistery outbreaks of the forehead and scalp), NO more torso rashes, etc. Now, I can fully exercise again, and sweat without provoking an instant skin reaction. Formerly, any exertion or even minimal heat/humidity would make my skin react so badly that I’d have to avoid being in public for weeks at a time. Now it’s been nearly two years that I’ve been **completely** symptom-free, with ZERO skin issues, and I’m back to living a 100% fully normal life. Looking back, I believe that my immune system became crippled after an extended continual use of antibiotics in the mid-‘90s, and without the knowledge of how to then restore my ‘gut’ environment which regulates the immune system. The dermatologists failed to “look below the surface” or consider that my skin conditions were symptoms of a major underlying immunological issue. ”Google” can be your best starting point. Be prepared to read, learn, experiment, and read some more. A lot more! I hit some dead-ends, and had to try various protocols, fill in many blanks, and be patient while my body was doing its ‘behind-the-scene’ healing. There are many pieces to the puzzle. Hope this help you! Good luck.
  11. New session with Zang, one year later

    Turning 64 next month. Almost two years after SMP... best thing ever...
  12. Balding clippers

    Update: I’d been using a Braun Series 7 for quite a long time after participating in this thread. It’s a very good shaver; no complaints. I had forgotten about my OneBlade, and it’d been sitting in a drawer for well over a year – maybe even 18 months. But two weeks ago... I pulled out the old OneBlade and fired it up for a shave. And I really, really liked it! Haven’t used my go-to Braun even once since rediscovering the OneBlade. Why? Read on... The OneBlade seems quicker, and less trouble to use. It weighs next to nothing, and is the essence of simplicity. I end up using it daily without resenting the ordeal of shaving, whereas my Braun would only get used every 2-3 days. Quick touchups were a breeze with the OneBlade. And I like the quality and barely-gritty length of the stubble it leaves on my face/head. Because it seems so easy and “friendly” to use, I end up looking freshened-up with my SMP much more of the time. The ONLY thing I haven’t liked about the OneBlade is the placement of the on/off button on the handle where I inadvertently turn off the shaver quite a lot just while naturally gripping it. IMO, the button should’ve been placed at the end of the handle – but it’s only a niggle of a complaint compared to the overall experience. A bargain at $35, although you need to swap the head (blades) regularly to maintain a good shave. Can’t recall for certain, but I think they’re supposed to last about four months at a replacement blade cost of about $12. Anyway, hope that helps. Maybe others who’ve tried the OneBlade can add their opinion. Until further notice, I plan to stick with the OneBlade as my everyday shaver. Oh... I forgot to mention that it’s wet/dry rated, and you can just rinse it off before tossing it in a drawer between uses.
  13. Best clippers/shaver after SMP

    100% dry shaving. In fact, I make sure that I shave up **before** I shower, to get a more friction-free glide. Make sure that you clean your razor’s chamber of stubble after each use, and run it under hot water at least once a week. I use **slow** light passes of the razor head on my skin, and initially orient the length of the blades to get the longest contact patch of scalp. Then I turn the razor head 90° to pick up residual stubble. The reason I think that using pressure is inefficient, rather than letting the blades do their work, is that pushing the razor head into the skin may cause a poor hair contact angle and/or incorrect lift from the blade guard. Just guessing, but definitely relaxed, light, slow, and dry makes for the quickest and most comfy shave. It’s not a woodshop sanding project, haha!
  14. What does an SMP head feel like?

    Sananthony is correct, IMO. I’m a Norwood 7, and yet the tiny amount of stubble on top is still able to provide enough scratchiness so that any casual “head rub” is perceived as real.
  15. Best clippers/shaver after SMP

    The Braun cuts much more effectively with the lightest possible pressure, just barely touching the skin. Don’t push it into the skin! It’s contraintuitive, and I still need to remind myself regularly to go light.
  16. Wow. You sure can’t find fault with that work. Looks like you were born with it, and the style is subtly unique and perfect for you.
  17. Faux scars, What's your opinion

    Scars can look cool, as long as they come across as genuine battlescars, rather than cloned “designer” scars.
  18. Best clippers/shaver after SMP

    As soon as I got my SMP, I treated myself to a higher-end Norelco and a Braun Series 7 at Costco, with the idea of trying both. (I already owned the Panasonic.) I’ve been shaving my head for over 25 years, and the only shaver I would now recommend is a Braun. To me, Braun is superior in EVERY way to anything I’ve used: it’s a real workhorse that gives me consistently great results... quickly, effortlessly, and comfortably. Some will disagree – that’s why I suggest that you sort through the existing threads, rather than asking everyone to repost. Or, just get yourself a Braun and save some effort. You won’t be disappointed!
  19. Best clippers/shaver after SMP

    There are many threads on this widely-debated topic. Let the forum ‘search’ button be your friend. (The answer is Braun.)
  20. Really want to do this but...

    A one-session approach would be foolish. The practitioner and client need to assess and adjust (over several sessions) the style, rate of fading, density, need for blending, etc., etc. Anyone who had been through the HIS protocol will appreciate and attest to the wisdom of a mindful and careful approach. Many here who’ve completed SMP also know that the final “look” that we achieved was an **evolving** perceptual process, with the greatest results attainable only by giving time to build upon prior work, live with each session’s progress for awhile, and then to make enhancements. Rebuilding your look should not be an instantaneous endeavor. To ’SickOfHidingIt’... if I were you, I’d first make a transition to a close-shaved style and let your co-workers and others get used to that new look. When you feel ready, then go for SMP. Alternately, some people who have your concerns end up taking a full ‘travel’ week off and knock out their first two sessions. Ordinarily, a third session is needed a month later to build density and make important refinements, but the first two sessions would interimly leave you quite passable as “not bald”. I used to wear a wig, and was a corporate executive. I hated the wig; it felt fake. More to the point, I felt fake. One day, I just said fukkit to whatever people want to think... I shaved my whole head to Ground Zero, and dumped my wig in a trash can. From a shaved look, SMP is a simple process. Many of us, including myself, have traveled some distance to get the best work done. >>> You can always find a way to do something really important. I was bald for over 40 years by the time I found SMP around 18 months ago. Finding an undetectable, sustainable, low-maintenance baldness “cure” has allowed me to feel physically good about myself for the first time in my whole adult life. The best thing is to do good things for yourself, rather than for others. Not good to live for what “they” might think. Keep your focus on the best end goal for you. Good luck!
  21. Is smp a good option for me?

    I’ll be 65 next year. SMP actually gets BETTER with age... not only can it “cure” baldness, but it also hides graying. (I was a Norwood 7 with about 70% gray hair.) Here’s a recent pic (blurry from cropping and enlarging) taken over the holidays. No baldness. No gray. No worries.
  22. New session with Zang, one year later

    Pic of my August 2017 session with Zang, taken today:
  23. New session with Zang, one year later

    Just 10 years, Ed?? You must not remember my "before" pics, hahahaha.
  24. New session with Zang, one year later

    Three days into the healing... so happy...