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Everything posted by gm68

  1. Hi All, I've been researching this stuff for a couple of months now and finally making my first post, so go easy ;-) My history, briefly: - 50 years old. - First noticed slight hair loss in my early 20s. Been very gradually thinning since then. - For the rest of my 20s, no action was taken or, I suppose, necessary. - In my 30s, I buzzed the top a bit longer than the sides & back, which worked fine for many years. - As I reached 40, my hair was too thin to continue doing nothing and admittedly for the first time I properly researched options and even went as far as meeting Spencer (Spex). But decided that a HT was not right for me and went for a regime of finasteride and concealers, which has worked for many years. - Unfortunately the thinning hasn't stopped and I now have very little hair on top, the concealers are becoming less effective, so it's time for a change. So here I am. One of my concerns is that my hair is greying, but not evenly. I've never shaved my head (although I had it down to a no.1 round the sides/back for a while in my late 30s). But my facial hair (which is much more grey) is more or less invisible when shaved and not that visible even after a couple of days' growth (which is the maximum I will let it grow before shaving). So I guess I'm wondering how SMP would work for me with the uneven greying,would it blend ok or would I be better getting the full head done? And am also concerned that when shaved it all may be invisible! Anyone else in a simular situ? A lot of the pics on the HIS site are of younger guys with darker skin and darker hair (and with beards, which I don't and won't have :). I can stick a few pics up if it helps. Otherwise SMP looks like a really interesting solution to me.
  2. Yes you are correct with regard to my situation (albeit it's miles better in most lighting conditions than that last picture, which took me numerous attempts to even capture successfully on a photo).But I'd imagine someone with more hair would get away with longer, possibly much longer, delays between shaving. I think ideally I would want to be shaving every morning instead of every night. But that ain't happening with my current lifestyle, since I leave home very early in the morning to get into work. And as you say who will actually notice...... By the way I've had HIS take a look at some of the above pics and when I finally got a reply the advice was that (aside from the worst lighting pic above) it looks very natural and they concurred with my concern re 'over-SMPing'. So agreement is no more sessions at this time. I'll check back in here if there's anything significant to report, but hopefully it will hold up as-is for a longggggggg time.......
  3. One more showing the contrast between SMP and normal hair under certain lighting conditions. This is well under 24 hours after a careful foil shave. Still think this has faded/lightened a little too much since you can clearly see the darker patches where I have more hair. This is why I'm not 100% satisfied with my results at this time. Bear in mind this is under the most unfavourable lighting though.
  4. I've just posted honestly about my experience, and it's been primarily for my own benefit, albeit also with the hope that it helps someone else currently considering SMP. If as a by-product it provides good feedback and free advertising for HIS then fair enough, if they've done a good job then I don't mind that. I understand that there used to be an unlimited free session (within a year) warranty, and that people were perhaps taking advantage of that. So I kind of understand why it became limited to one free session. The surprise to me was the restriction on what could be done at the free session - basically anything other than touching up fading and it's chargeable. I admit I am disappointed about that. Anyway I told HIS well over a week ago that I'd get back to them, and I haven't done it yet. Right now I think the answer will be to pass on the free session......
  5. Interesting. But then I'm always going to be my biggest critic. Wife sees no issue at all after a day's growth (or maybe more). I maybe wasn't going to alter the hairline as such, just add a few dots on one side. But I can see how messing about in that area could ideally take more than one session. I'm inclined not to do anything as you say. I'm probably nitpicking - although the crappy pics in my post above look better that what I see in the mirror under those lighting conditions. It's not like it's a major problem though, was just hoping for something a bit closer to my 'Virtual SMP' pic posted earlier in this thread.
  6. With direct lighting from above, it is. It definitely looks best right after a shave though, and I really don't like it to go more than a day without shaving. Other lighting conditions are a bit more tricky - I've attached a few admittedly crappy pics of my least favourite (backlighting). Where you can see the dark bits at the side where I have hair - and the SMP on top looks lighter. I'd have liked the SMP a bit darker (have been saying that since session #1!!!). But: That's what I'm concerned about. Don't want to fire more and more dots at it. Think I'd rather let it go for months or (hopefully) years and see how it holds up. Then I can come back and get whatever I want done.
  7. Think I might need some advice on the free top up session. Initial plan was to do this session (needs to be done before 1st March to be within a year). However having contacted HIS I'm now not so sure. My plan was to use this session to straighten the hairline a bit and slightly darken the top. However HIS informed me that the free top up session is only to address fading and not to make alterations (in which case it would become a chargeable session). (A little disappointed at this since I'd have thought HIS would do everything possible to get the customer 100% happy by the end of this session). So it certainly looks like the hariline adjustment would make the session chargeable? My wish to darken the top is as a result of fading for sure. I've posted two pics below (taken a few days ago) to show what has happened since the last session. The first one is after not quite 24 hours' growth. The second is right after a foil shave. Both under bathroom light which is more 'difficult' for my SMP than outdoor light in my opinion. As you can see after nearly a day's growth you can see where I have hair and where I don't. (Please note I have cherry-picked the very worst photo here; all others taken at the same time were actually fine even after a day's growth). The last photos I posted on October 5th were just 12 days after my 3rd session and it was looking great then. Fading continued a bit after that - although has definitely long since stabilised. I'm not unhappy since it still looks good, more so right after a shave of course. I'm deliberating whether it's worth doing the free top-up session (keep in mind due to where I live it costs me approximately £100 to go to each session). Also I have concerns about piling up more and more dots on my head if this isn't absolutely necessary! Despite wanting to make use of any free session I'm inclined to leave this for now and see how this holds up over the coming months and (hopefully) years. It's been a great adventure up to this point and I'm very glad I did it - just don't want to spoil it ;-) Happy to have any comments.
  8. Sunblock / sunscreen

    Just back from my winter sun week. Had asked my wife to get some SPF15 since the sun isn't too strong even at 28 degrees north at this time of year. She came back with some of the Piz Buin stuff and since I noticed it didn't contain alcohol, I used it on my head. Unlike the last stuff I used, it wasn't greasy and when I got home the shine on my head was no worse than before the holiday. Good result I think? Might get some of the SPF30 version for next summer holiday.
  9. Sunblock / sunscreen

    On an unusably miserable 'spring' Friday afternoon, and in the hope of better to come over the next few months, I've been starting to think about sun protection. There are many forum posts on this topic, but I'm struggling to find one that adequately (for me) answers the question "which one". I've just taken a bit of time to look at four different sunscreens that we have here, and the ingredients list for every one of them appears to be the definitive who's-who of alcohols So just wondering what sunscreen everyone is using on their SMP heads? There are threads on the forum about matt sunscreens, but I'm not so concerned with shine until I find something that isn't going to damage my SMP. Durng my second session Ian told me that factor 30 was fine for sun even in hot countries, and that it's fine to get a tan (I need one since my 'hairline' is a slightly different colour due to being slighlty lower than my pale white previously-concealered scalp). I emailed HIS asking what sunscreen they recommend, but didn't get an answer to that question This is why I think it's a good idea to delay a third session until autumn if possible, while I explore this stuff over the summer. EDIT: Sorry should have said with a strong preference for products easily available on our side of the pond
  10. Ok so just back from a nice winter sun week in the Canaries. Wife was buying suncream and had asked her to get some SPF15 since the sun isn't too strong there at this time of year. She came back with some of the Piz Buin stuff and since I noticed it didn't contain alcohol, I used it on my head. Unlike the last stuff I used, it wasn't greasy and when I got home the shine on my head was no worse than before the holiday. Good result I think.
  11. Glad you got sorted JCVD! Yea my first two sessions were with Ian & Ranbir. Third session was due to be also but Ranbir was sick on the day. Top job done by all at HIS Birmingham.
  12. Thread is a year old today. Definitely a happier man than I was 12 months ago
  13. Just to add, last weekend I was chatting to a friend who is some years younger than me and almost completely bald (he keeps his remaining hair very short and sometimes shaves it). After a few minutes the discussion somehow got onto hair and he went into a bit of a rant as to why I shaved my head when clearly I had enough hair to grow it out. I tried to convince him that it really was thinning and also greying, and that shaving it 'cured' both issues. He seemed unconvinced . That's why I'm glad I had SMP (not to 'fool' people - whatever that means - but to maintain the confidence I had when I had hair and even when using concealers at the start).
  14. First thing, yes, I'm 100% glad I did it, just as much as I was at the start. The minor inconveniences of daily shaving and shine management are not really significant compared to the benefit of having a 'hairline'. Mind you, after the pain of the concealer routine anything would be an improvement Must say I haven't had an issue with the shaved look. I admit I was reluctant to shave to the bone at first, but I genuinely really like it and was actually quite surprised how much and how quickly I liked it given that it was probably my biggest concern prior to having the SMP. Shaving takes 10-15 minutes for my beard and probably another 5-10 minutes for my head, using a Braun Series 3 foil shaver. But I'm a bit picky and like it done right - if I was less fussy I could probably do it a bit more quickly. But would be interested in any good alternatives to reduce this time. I'm going to be honest and say the shine has been more of a concern to me. I am currently managing this by quickly rinsing my head before foil shaving, and after shaving just wiping it with a dryish towel. This seems to keep it pretty much under control without having to use any mattifying products, on a regular basis at least (may use some PTR for special occasions ). I've abandoned wet shaving for now since this seems to leave my head really shiny and it takes a few days to get back to normal. My SMP looks best under natural light in my opinion, however it still looks a bit too light under some indoor lighting conditions. I'll probably plan to go back to HIS for my free top up session around February. I'm off on another week's sunshine holiday at the end of the month and still haven't decided what to do about sun protection. I'm convinced that the last sunscreen I used contributed to the increase in shine that has never gone totally back to where it was previously. May just wear a baseball hat although I'd like to try a different brand of sunscreen and see if there is any difference. Also the top of my head is still a little whiter than my forehead, hence a just about visible 'line' where the SMP is a bit lower than where the concealers were.
  15. Well it's lightened some more and is once again slightly too light to my eyes under bathroom lighting Still some shine issues too. All being managed. Although I've not found a permanent routine yet, still experimenting. I like the wet shave but it leaves a bad shine. Foil shave much less so but I think my Braun Series 3 is starting to struggle after 8 months.....
  16. I tried some of this today after a wet shave. A little of it did not have a significant impact on the shine. Applying more turned my head white & patchy Aw well, at least it wasn't expensive. Back to foil shaving I guess, and there's always the PTR if I feel the need.
  17. Sunblock / sunscreen

    Thanks baldy-locks, will have a look at that one too. By the way the shine wasn't the only undesirable outcome following my summer holiday, I believe there was a bit of fading too. The third session has rectified that so I won't want it to happen again
  18. Yea really pleased, as you say blend is much better and shine level seems to be similar to post 2nd session now. Will see how it goes over the next few months then make a call on what to do. There are a couple of minor tweaks I might still like to do, so I'll probably end up doing the 4th session (especially since it's free), but will leave it until new year.
  19. Sunblock / sunscreen

    Following session 3 the shine seems to have receded further and seems to be quite close to where I was before my holiday in the summer - even immediately after washing my head. Just back from Austria where we had summer-like temperatures and sunshine - but being unable to use sunblock so soon after my 3rd session I just wore a baseball hat. Off for a week in the Canaries at the end of November and may just do same. Although it's possible I could be tempted to experiment with an alternative sunblock or two, not sure yet.... it's not so much for walking about in the sun, it's more for swimming - where a hat is inconvenient/impractical.....
  20. Here are some photos post session 3. Taken today, so 12 days after the session. And more or less straight after a foil shave and shower (in that order). I took these in same bathroom lighting as before, although they seem to have come out a bit darker (not especially easy, this taking good photos of your own head business). I think this is my least favourite lighting - to me SMP has always looked better outside (but I wanted to show the less flattering lighting condition, and anyway it's raining today ).
  21. No scrubbing or alcohol on head ?

    Because skin is porous and some solvents, presumably including alcohol, can penetrate it. Also as I understand it HIS pigments are inserted less deep in the skin than traditional tattoos.
  22. Will get some up, may be a bit of a delay though, off on my travels again tomorrow - going off radar for another bit. Also my head is still patchy reddish and the new treatment is still quite dark. The pics will look better once it settles - for my first two sessions that was at about 5 days.
  23. Quick summary of my 3rd session today at HIS Birmingham. On arrival was informed that my practitioner (Ranbir) was sick! Was offered an alternative practitioner (happy to use name if allowed but perhaps not relevant). Was mildly concerned, but having travelled for the session I wasn't exactly going to refuse Started by chatting about the fading/shine that happened over the course of my holiday during the summer. Not sure we identified any particular cause of the fading, although I think there was a feeling that the shine may have been caused by the mosturising effect of the sunblock. He didn't think my head was very shiny, but that may have been because I foil-shaved last night after washing, which may have removed some of the shine. He recommended Loreal anti-shine gel moisturiser as a cheaper alternative to PTR, if needed to manage the shine. With the above in mind I may be more inclined to use a hat during my next sunshine holiday, currently scheduled for the end of November..... So on to session #3, which we both agreed definitely needed done. The plan was to first of all break up the hairline a bit more with a few light dots. For this the shade used was 58 (same as the lighter shade used during session #2). The same shade was also used to add density immediately behind the hairline. Further back shade 46 was used to fill in the area between two dark patches of actual thick hair on either side - this shade was very slightly darker than the darker shade used in session #2, and was used all the way back to the horseshoe. Finally blending was done into the sides/rear and some pale patches on the sides were bolstered up. My practitioner thought a 4th session may possibly be needed for the finishing touches, but that all in all it looked much more 'finished' after today's session. Let's see what it looks like when it settles - the good news is that any 4th session will only cost the price of a cheap flight
  24. Nope. It genuinely didn't - not before my holiday anyway (see earlier posts).
  25. Yea I'm not overly concerned about the cost of touch-ups, although I'd hope not to be back within 2 years! I agree, I have 2 session left to get it the way I want it, within the orignal quoted cost. I think it will be fine. By the way the shine doesn't seem to be going away any further.