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Everything posted by gm68

  1. Thread is a year old today. Definitely a happier man than I was 12 months ago
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.....
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.....
  11. 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 ).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. Nope. It genuinely didn't - not before my holiday anyway (see earlier posts).
  16. 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.
  17. Hi Genetics, Thanks, yea it's good advice not to over-analyse etc, and I think I need to point out that despite my earlier posts I'm not actually worrying about this. Looking at some of your other posts it seems you aren't terribly thilled with your SMP, just want to point out that's not where I'm at, or (I believe) where I'm headed. I'm still very happy with this and don't regret for a moment the decision to go ahead with it. That said, I think I have experienced a tiny bit of what you are describing, yes the dots do look more prominent at the start and become less so over a couple of months. But mine still look great, especially in outdoor light. I do think it's bit light overall, particularly in some indoor lighting conditions, but hey I've only had two sessions and we'll see what comes out of the third one next month. And one thing I'm very sure of, it looks a whole lot better than a bald scalp! I do now shave every night before bed though and I think it looks best immediately after shaving. Even then though I can still see the bits where I have thicker hair, which is why I suggest that the job isn't finished yet I've tried wet shaving too and quite like the smooth feel afterwards (it's quicker too). The shine thing took me a bit by surprise but I now feel I may be heading back more or less to where I was before my holiday. And there's always PTR if I'm really concerned, which currently I am not. (Where this leaves me with the sunblock situ though I've no idea). On the basis of your experience I may not be rushing for too many top ups..... but I really don't obsess about this like I did with my previous concealer routine...... the SMP looks perfectly natural in my opinion and everyone is used to my new look now and no one scrutinises it. It wouldn't be an overstatement to say I'm very thankful that this has liberated me from the concealer routine
  18. Yea maybe, I was aware of this issue but it took a certain type of lighting to show it up. My head was actually quite matte and in all normal lighting conditions it was grand. After my holiday I noticed a real change to much more shine. It's settled down a bit now but not quite as good as it was before yet. PTR is a great product and cured the issue. But it's not really necessary now. There does appear to have been a bit of fading/lightening though. This isn't finished yet.
  19. Sunblock / sunscreen

    Well perhaps not such as good a result as I thought. I noticed really bad shine shortly after returning from holiday and things are only getting more or less back to where they were now (over a month after returning). Not sure if this was caused by the sunblock???? Anyway it was bad enough that I don't want it to happen again. I also think my SMP may have faded a bit. Again not sure if that was the sun, sunblock, or neither. Session 3 next month so will get it sorted. Although I have another sunshine holiday coming up at the end of November and I now might be back to square one re sunscreen
  20. I may have been a bit too hasty with that last post. The shine has since abated quite a bit and things are nearly back to where they were - over a month after returning from holiday! I ended up only using PTR for a very short time and am now no longer using it. But I do think my SMP may have lightened/faded further. I seem to really need a fresh shave to the bone for it to blend well in indoor lighting. Not sure what's going on. Aw well, session 3 next month. Guess I can wait to get it sorted then - although I'm now a bit concerned about another step change in appearance.....
  21. Ok, something has happened. Not the end of the world, but worthy of a mention anyway. Since returning from holiday I have noticed a massive, and I mean MASSIVE, increase in shine. At first it didn't obviously look like shine and I initially thought it was further fading/lightening of the SMP - but it wasn't apparent in outdoor light so I concluded it wasn't fading. Then I managed to create my least favourite lighting condition (indoor, with backlighting) and it was 'glaringly' obvious - horrendous shine At this point I was glad I had had the foresight to buy a couple of tubes of PTR; this stuff is great and as such has now been incorporated into my regular routine until I see what happens going forward. Any ideas whay may have caused this? The things I did differently on holiday were: - Using sunblock (Avene SPF30 & 50, used daily); - Getting more sun exposure (but always with sunblock - to the point where I have had no visible additional sun tan at all - plus a baseball hat some of the time); - Sweating more (it was hot). Given the above I get the impression the sunblock may have done this, but I don't know how? Irritatingly the shine is only on the top of my head, while the sunblock was applied all over my head and face. I'd quite like to get back to where I was before!
  22. Well 2 weeks in the Spanish summer sun doesn't appear to have had any adverse effect on my SMP. I used the Avene SPF50 and later SPF30 and came back with only a little colour on my head, and no other ill effects. Two and a half months until session 3......
  23. Sunblock / sunscreen

    Just back from 2 weeks in Valencia and the beautiful Costa Blanca. I used the Avene products exclusively on my head, starting with the SPF50 (and even then putting on a baseball hat when I thought I'd had enough exposure). However it soon became clear the the hat wasn't needed and in fact the SPF50 was overkill (I do recall Ian telling me he used SPF30 in Dubai). So for the last week or so I used just SPF30 and no hats, and even then I've come home with only a little colour on my head. Good result I think.
  24. Yep, I think so. Definitely going for it. Thanks for the input bald ego ūüĎć
  25. I'm absolutely convinced they aren't. Was a big concern for me...... not going back unless I can get the same practitioner! Thanks noircat, very happy so far! Great comments again SHVD..... sligtly darker is where I'll probably end up going, albeit I don't want a massive change at this point. It's pretty darn good as it is even after just 2 sessions. I think I might have been happier to have a bit of stubble if it wasn't for the grey. Those pesky wee silvery hairs really stand out in outdoor light. But I now genuinely really like the shaved look. A tiny part of me questions whether I actually need the 3rd session, but in some lighting conditions I'm still very convinced I do. Think I'd prefer to do something subtle in the 3rd session, leaving plenty of time before the (possible) free top-up session which would have to happen before 1st March. I did say I didn't think my head was very shiny . It does seem a bit shinier in some lighting conditions but if I'm really concerned (e.g. for very special occasions!) there is always the PTR.