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Morning all, I haven't posted in a while, I'm on the fence, but pretty sure if the circumstances (of life) worked out I would do this, BUT, only under one condition. That is kind of the reason for my topic. I will only do it if its to match a shaved head, shaved clean with a razor. I posted a topic a while ago about getting laser hair removal on my head, which I'm still doing, not cause it takes this long, cause of my work life schedule delaying the sessions. But regardless of whether you get the laser hair removal first, I truly cannot for the life of me understand why so many people get the SMP to match a short buzzed look. I look at post after post and go straight to the pics, then come back to the write ups, and seems like often, I will see a mention of the person choosing to match the stubble look, and when I go back and look its that area where it blends with the side hair that's .... not obvious, but its there, its visible. Not to mention, that stubble on top will continue to go away, and eventually you will have to get it reblended to a shaved to skin look. I almost think for this to truly look acceptable, you have to accept you are bald, let your hair go, even stubble, and be content to look like you choose to shave your head to the skin. I don't say anything on the posts cause it does look better than bald, but it also looks like something was done. The eye is extremely perceptive to variation of height and shadowing and even the smallest stubble gives off a different look than the look of to the skin. Not only that, but when that day comes, and you have to shave, there is no more hair on top, now your sides will look lighter shaved, and your blend on top will be too dark matching your previous blend to stubble. Not trying to be Debbie Downer here, but I remember how sickening it felt to be losing and thinning and everyone knew it, and I can't help but think some people are dooming themselves to feel that way the rest of their life (or getting laser removal) by blending to stubble and it being obvious now... or in 5 years. And you can't just get touch up after touch up or the density will be too much and will look lie a blob of color Anybody else? Am I the only one? I'm not hating, I think this an awesome awesome thing, and from what I've seen HIS does it best, and cares the most, I just worry that the mindset going in is going to disappoint in the end.
I felt the need to sign up to this forum to express to you all how utterly brilliant this treatment is. I am absolutely over the moon with it. It is changing my life. My problems with hair loss dates back to when I was about 16. I started thinning on top and that coupled with already fine hair there was no way out. I am mid 20's now. I will share how I have felt over the years and how I have dealt with baldness. I was in denial, clear denial. I wore a fringe, put all sorts of products in there to try and thicken it and was still trying to convince myself "I just have a high hairline", "My mum has the same hairline". I used to stand in front of a mirror combing it in every conceivable way, analysing it from every possible angle. I couldn't leave the mirror until I had convinced myself I wasn't balding. Spending hours most days gazing at it and getting rushes of dread every time I saw a flash of my crown. Then putting more product in it whilst squinting to see if the thin patch was just a trick of the light. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be able to function for weeks staying locked in my house honestly shaking and not being able to carry out a single normal thought that wasn't related to my hairloss. Only until the denial crept back in was I able to continue on with life. Every single person I saw on TV I was analysing their hairline and giving them a norwood rating. I would rush back and forth to the bathroom maybe 20 times a day for long periods of time to study and comb my hair until it was "just so". I could not function until it was "just so" Doubts would subsequently come creeping back in to my mind that would send me straight up to the bathroom again. I would go through stages of thinking different areas of my hair was thinning and every balding man I saw had that exact same thin part and I would obsess for probably if I am honest 90% of the day on it. I'd say at one point of my life I spent roughly 90% of the time I was awake thinking about my hairline. I failed university because I could not concentrate on anything that wasn't my own obsessive thoughts. I could not control them and was fully aware of how irrational they were. The only way I could get any rest bite was by starting at my hairline for long enough to decide to myself; "I'm not losing my hair, it's fine", only to see a bald man on TV an hour later and then to go instantly go back to the mirror. Danny (cheekychops) hit home for me when he mentioned that he could not go to his childs parents evening until he had put topik in his hair and got it to look right. I also regularly experienced this. I have been late for the majority of stuff I have ever attended due to not being able to tear myself from the mirror. For me i felt glued to it. I could not walk away it was a complete impossibility even if I was already late. In the reflection I could only see my hair, the rest of the room was just a blur of adrenaline usually. This caused me to miss a great deal of life experiences including uni due to not being able to attend lectures. With me, until I had convinced myself I was not losing my hair was the only time I could enjoy stuff. I could not play Xbox, I could not watch films, I could not go out until I had obsessively checked and and combed my hair to get it to look "right", I would walk out of the bathroom just to walk straight back in again. In the back of my mind I originally believed this was due to "not fitting in with the actors" and my receding hairline made me "not worthy" to enjoy the things I love most because I am balding and I was a level below everyone else. Only recently have I come to understand that I could not function in anyway or do anything else unless I had fed my addiction and that was looking at my hair. I remember pulling my hair back with a comb and seeing the thinning patches at the corners of my hairline for the first time and I just sort of blacked out the bathroom floor. The next two weeks were just a blur of shaking and repetitive thoughts. I then (somehow) managed to reign my thoughts in, I went back to the denial stage and decided to go on finasteride (whilst telling myself I wouldn't need it because I wasn't balding anyway). I also made myself sign a contract that I had written telling myself that if I looked at my hairline at all in one year, I would "surrender my soul to satan", You're probably laughing right now, I know this sounds ridiculous and is rather funny looking back on it but it was the only thing that helped, I don't even believe in satan I just needed something to stop me from experiencing that moment again. This actually worked incredibly and I went a whole year without pulling back my hairline, I was still studying my hair for large portions of the day in the mirror however but it definitely took the edge off. I'm not going to lie the finasteride worked wonders. I grew back a large portion of my hair. The scrutiny of my hair was becoming less and less and one day (after a year obviously) I pulled back to look at my hairline and to my delight the thinning areas had in filled in. Admittedly I was stood far back from the mirror and was squinting and in reality it probably hadn't, however I was happy in my delusion for the time being. I came off the propecia after around 2 years after I had finally convinced myself I was "not losing my hair" and had a "mature hairline" (lol). I experienced some side effects with the drug and do not recommend people use it looking back. As expected my hair thinned again within a year and whilst I was still in denial I and using copious amount of hairspray to fix it in place, I was still having pretty intense episodes over it. I used to look at balding men and think "how can you be happy". I was totally aware my brain was wired differently but could not fathom in any way how people could accept it. Pathetic, I know. The majority of my mates know I have a problem and were extremely careful in how they dealt with me. My hair has looked ridiculous for the past 8 years; just a blob of hairspray and thickening powder. I looked utterly stupid and was completely aware that people thought it was bizarre. However I did not care. All I cared about was convincing myself (and others slightly) I was not balding. It did not matter how ridiculously I had styled or how much crap I had poured on top. It was obvious I was trying to cover my baldness and deep down I probably knew that. However as usual I was happy in my delusion. Medication helped a bit. It didn't help me rationalise, I was already completely rational about my situation. I just couldn't control the compulsions and the need to feed them. I would never have CBT because I could never had admitted the shame I was feeling. The shame of how I felt outsiders would view my issue. The fear of being told by a therapist that I actually was balding and I had to get over it. I knew deep down that admitting I was balding would be the first step but I just couldn't do it. I couldn't let go. I was prepared to suffer for it. Excuse this. I have gone in far to much detail than I intended. This is the first time I have spoken about it properly. Whilst I assume the vast majority of you guys coped a whole lot better than me I feel the need to express how I felt to others who have perhaps felt the same. In no way am I suggesting that SMP is the solution to people with my condition but for me it has been. I genuinely, genuinely mean that. Whilst I still deal with compulsive issues (unrelated to hair loss) regularly I am coping for the first time in 8 years. Once the treatment has settled down it is honestly absolutely stunning and far exceeded my expectations. bizarrely I love the mirror now it reminds me of what I have left behind. Even I cannot pick a fault with the treatment. I thank you Ian and #### you have changed my life and dragged me out from where I was. I have finally said good bye to baldness. Writing this has been a weight of my mind. I am now trying my absolute best to live life to the full and make up for all the lost time I have spend in front of mirrors. If this treatment can change me it can certainly change you. I thank you for reading.