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Everything posted by Soctopus

  1. Hairy Again

    Hey all, wanted to give an update: I actually went back for a session 4 in May; the treatment looked fine but my practitioner Ian in Houston saw some photos and thought we could go a little darker and still look natural. Very glad we did - it gave it even more texture, and still blends great whether its day 0 or day 2. Trying to think back to what I would have wanted to know pre-treatment... it really has been a seamless transition and no one's ever called me out. I've gotten a few "why do you shave your head, you have hair" which always makes me feel great. Honestly the best part is feeling like I can look sharp again, and that my appearance is intentional. It's so much better that I can talk about being "bald" and it's not awkward because it seems like I'm shaving on purpose. Some pic updates... these are just pics I've taken in everyday life that I grabbed off my phone. Lighting does definitely make a difference and there are a few lightings where it really doesn't show up well, but that would happen with a naturally shaved head too, I think. Good luck to @JohnathonNY and anyone else on the fence... you'll be glad you did
  2. Hairy Again

    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.
  3. Hairy Again

    Quick shot at work... about a week out from the treatment, and this is with nearly 3 days growth. I can definitely notice the difference between top and sides if I'm looking for it at this length, but doesn't seem like anyone else can.
  4. Best clippers/shaver after SMP

    Question for @the bald ego... I've got the Braun series 7, liking it but find that I have to be pretty aggressive with it and shave against the grain to get it to do anything (which of course irritates my skin on the back of my head.) I'll have to try your "light touch" method. Are you wet or dry shaving?
  5. Hairy Again

    Session 3 finally under my belt. Quite pleased with the results — Ian Dennis, the Houston practitioner, continues to be a master at what he does. Redness faded a lot quicker this time as he was really just adding in darker dots for variation and blending into the sides. I'm hoping I can let this grow 3 days now before it's noticeable and I need to shave. Of course, I could probably go a week and no one would notice — if this experience has taught me anything it's that people's eyes just want to see things that make sense, and the idea that part of my hair might be fake just doesn't compute. So, if anyone's on the fence for reasons of getting called out, you can put that fear to rest. One mid-session shot and a few pics from yesterday (these are only a few hours after shaving, for the most part). Those two pics in my car are taken right after each other; one with sunroof open and the other closed to show that even some lights will still totally make it disappear. I expect the same would happen on someone with a short buzz as well, though. I guess I'm off to go live my life now, I suppose. Hasn't really sunk in yet that going bald isn't something to worry about anymore, but I know that's to come.
  6. Hairy Again

    My aunt was sending around pics from a recent family gathering; thought I'd share as this shows how light the smp was/how much it faded two weeks after just session 1. Much better now that I've had V2. Though I'm hoping session 3 gets it even more noticeable under bright light. (Also you can see the type of genes I'm dealing with... that's my uncle, and the rest of the men in the family — on both sides — share his hair...)
  7. Hairy Again

    Thanks all. Ivor - my gf loves it; she claims she didn't mind my balding head before, but who knows how she really felt. I think what she likes most is that I like it, though, and am no longer emotionally affected by hair loss. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to get "you look great!" comments now from her and others and actually believe them. We'll see about roomie's gf; I'm quite close with her and trust her so I'm not concerned. Plus, unlike a hair piece or something else, SMP doesn't feel like something that would be a huge problem if the secret got out. There's no stigma against it, and since the result is so good, it's almost like someone finding out your front teeth are fake or something like that— no big deal. Still, I am going to ask her to keep it quiet. Just a pic sitting in my bed... mix of warm indoor and natural sunlight
  8. Really want to do this but...

    It's pretty much all been said here, but I too was extremely concerned about coworkers noticing my transition from totally just fuzzy/bad hairline on top to walking in with a shaved head and a perfect hairline. The thing is, though, there's a psychological effect at play - people don't know this treatment exists, so they can't fathom the idea that some of your hair might be "fake," so whatever they see they just accept "that's just how his hair looks when shaved." People also don't store a working memory of what people's hairline looks like, or even what a bald vs. shaved with hair head looks like, so it's all the same to them. People who have seen me every day for years haven't been able to notice. Even after session 1 I still looked like I had a hairline and was had just shaved very recently. The follow on sessions add darkness so it looks like you you maybe shaved 36 hours ago, and it's more noticeable, but you will still fool everyone that you have a full head of hair as long as you keep it shaved down. You'll just have to have a story as for why you decided to shave. Good luck!
  9. Hairy Again

    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
  10. Hairy Again

    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.
  11. Any tips for first session?

    Congrats on taking the plunge. Just had my second session done (waiting to finally shave tomorrow). Prep for me was: make sure you're moisturizing your head in days leading up to the treatment. I popped two Tylenol pre-session and was hardly uncomfortable at all. Trust your practitioner, but I was glad I went a little conservative on the hairline height and then was able to bring it down second session. It'll be real red during/right after, but it fades to normal quickly. Plus, first session will be light. I was most worried about people noticing now that I suddenly had a hairline... I've seen 100+ people that know me well and no one's said a thing. Here's some pics of mine during/after session 1:
  12. Is smp a good option for me?

    The nice thing about SMP is, if you're already shaving/cutting your hair short like you are, it's always going to be a huge improvement. And the transition will be super easy for you — people will just think you're cutting your hair shorter and not really be able to tell why you suddenly look younger/better. Only people I think SMP may not be the best option for is if you're 65+... it's just not a common hairstyle on that age group so it can look a little odd, same way as if a dude had jet black hair at 65
  13. Hairy Again

    Thanks guys. Means a lot. Can't describe how awesome it feels just walking around the house hoping to see my reflection in something. My girlfriend keeps catching me just hanging out in front of the bathroom mirror. Here's a quick pic from a bit farther away
  14. Hairy Again

    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.
  15. Hairy Again

    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:
  16. Hairy Again

    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.
  17. Hairy Again

    First day back at work — no comments made when I walked in, but of course it's hard to tell if they were just being polite or not. Got the confirmation I needed later in the day, though: one of my closer coworkers (also losing his hair a bit) walked right up and asked if I had shaved a bit closer than normal. We had a two minute conversation about the razor I use, him inspecting my head the whole time, and didn't seem to suspect a thing.
  18. Hairy Again

    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.
  19. Hairy Again

    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.