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FrankenScalp

Leaning No but Still Impressed and Intrigued

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I think that I probably have a "hair" background
similar to many of the older guys on here. Began thinning in late teens,
managed to keep a full look with good gel and hair dryer technique (and with
possible assistance from Rogaine) into my mid twenties but saw the writing on
the wall and tried to pre-empt the situation with surgery in the mid 90's. From
late 1993 thru early 1996 I underwent two scalp reductions and three
transplants - all of which utilized FUT as FUE was either not broadly utilized
or maybe not even developed at that point. With 20/20 hindsight in play I of
course wish I had had the confidence and emotional backbone not to do any of it
and just shaved my head but I have to have some sympathy for the 26 year old
guy who was used to a half decent social life in the "pre Agassi"
era. I bring up Agassi because I truly see his ditching the piece and shaving
as a real inflection point. Up to that point thru the 70's, 80's, and 90's it
was all about hair. This varied somewhat amongst different races but generally
in the Caucasian population if you weren't a massive wrestler, a skin head, or
on chemo a completely bald head back then was far more a rarity than it is
today. I even recall Howard Stern ridiculing Andre's new look right after he
shaved - times have definitely changed for the better and I could be wrong but
think Andre's decision had some big ripple effects for the positive.

 

Despite my regrets I can't be one who completely bashes the
people who basically mutilated me. I in fact did experience a thicker head of
hair, increased confidence, and a rebirth somewhat of my "game"
within a year or two because I still had significant native hair so there was
some benefit albeit temporary. And to be fair the surgeons used the leading
tech of the day as far as I can tell and did warn me that in my case the look
of fullness would fade as I was clearly on the way to be an N6 or N7 despite
the scalp reductions. Unfortunately it was indeed a slow fade with ultimate
surrender to an existence under a hat by my mid thirties and I know that I was
hurt socially and professionally to at least some degree long before that
because it was clear that at least 25% of people who saw me in bright lights
had their eyes drawn to my hair line. Maybe they didn't sniff out the grafts
(one hundred of which were "mini" and behind the hair line and I'd
say about 3,000 were "micro" over most of the head) but those upward
glances killed my confidence when it happened. So considering the era when this
took place and a fair assessment of the results I can't knock the surgeons as a
whole but I will point out that one of the scalp reduction surgeons at a
"B"ig clinic placed two small but noticeable green dot tatoos at the
edge of my horseshoe mid scalp to document where the hair line was. He didn't
tell me he was going to do it, he just did it to satisfy some future experiment
maybe or just to make absolutely sure I would eventually be sickened by what I
had done to myself - so to him I say thanks as the hairline is now one inch back
from those dots and an additional reminder of my shame.

 

So after being resigned to living under a hat with all of
the social and professional baggage that brings for the last 10 years I stumble
upon SMP after a rare trip back to my home state and a visit with a good friend
who tried to convince me to just say "f" it and shave it all off
scars and all because I looked like a fool with my hat on and like complete
shit without it. I googled to see what others were doing in this situation and
of course found this site along with many others. As this post is getting
rather long I'll try and distill it down to a few facts and choices with regard
to SMP as it relates to me:

 

- This looks both crazy and awesome at first glance

 

- Where you get this done matters

 

- The transplant scars are a serious complication

 

As someone who is very private and is mortified at the
thought of being exposed for having made such a horrible decision due to vanity
and insecurity many years ago my choices are:

 

1 - stay the course and accept the way things are. Pros here
are that the grafts themselves on the few occasions I have to show them to the
world are not highly detectable and I can keep the scars completely covered.
Ironically the scalp reduction scars are very light, barely covered at this
point, and don't bother me at all. The very large strip scars on the back would
be horrifically noticeable if I shaved though. Cons are of course that I look
like a balding old guy with sparse and gross hair over the top and a horseshoe
around the back and sides and I only feel comfortable when wearing a hat.

 

2 - Getting SMP done. Pros here are that clearly the front,
top, and profile will look much better. And that is probably an understatement
- it would probably be night and day even though I would go for a very
conservative coverage on top, just enough to blend in with the grafts and reduction
scars in addition to trying to camouflage the strip scars as best as possible. In
fact the more I see it the more I love the buzzed look and guys with hair much
longer than that are starting to look kind of girly to me and burdened by
unruly and unnecessary hair growth - LOL. A possible pro here is that I could
end up being satisfied with how the scars are camouflaged and be able to go
without a hat. Cons are knowing that regardless of that the scars will now be
noticeable and be a source of uncomfortable conversation and looks. In addition
while I can wear a hat at work, keeping my entire history private would become
difficult for my personal relationships as I go through the process which is
clearly not just a one day deal. The only people who I (think) know about the
mess I've made of my head are my best friend for the last 30 years and my
parents. And of course the final con is that this would be yet another
treatment that would have the potential of being "hosed out" as well.
Hopefully this treatment type does not become known beyond necessity with the
nightly news doing spots on it all over the place and comedians doing jokes ala
the old toupee jokes. People who get this done don't need more non SMP'ers on
the lookout for "tattooed heads".

 

I obviously have a lot to think about here although at 48
and married now for over 10 years I have a lot less social stress than some of
you younger guys. And because of my age and the fact that I know that before I
knew about SMP I had accepted my lot I admit that I am leaning "NO"
but I can't help being completely intrigued by all of this and have been living
a little vicariously through some of you that have taken the plunge.

 

As for where to get it done if I were to go forward I have
been very impressed with HIS. Not just that they maintain this forum but I did
have a consult with the lead guy in Los Angeles. He was not trying to sell me
at all. In fact he was brutally honest about my scar situation and seemed
genuinely concerned that while many are satisfied with where they end up with
regard to their scars he wasn't sure if my expectations as they stand now could
be met. And it was also refreshing to have a consult with someone who had had
the treatment in question and was "in the same boat" so to speak.
This is in complete contrast to some other places in the hair loss industry who
bring out the sales guy with perfect hair or the hot sales girl to point out
and discuss all of your genetic inadequacies and physical flaws - that was
total psychological abuse and I still feel the embarrassment from that.

 

So I apologize for the long post as I don't even know if I
ever will do this but thought it might add to the display of thought processes
involved for those who do and don't eventually get the treatment. And thanks to
all those who do post their results - especially in the scar forum.



 



 

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I think that I probably have a "hair" background

similar to many of the older guys on here. Began thinning in late teens,

managed to keep a full look with good gel and hair dryer technique (and with

possible assistance from Rogaine) into my mid twenties but saw the writing on

the wall and tried to pre-empt the situation with surgery in the mid 90's. From

late 1993 thru early 1996 I underwent two scalp reductions and three

transplants - all of which utilized FUT as FUE was either not broadly utilized

or maybe not even developed at that point. With 20/20 hindsight in play I of

course wish I had had the confidence and emotional backbone not to do any of it

and just shaved my head but I have to have some sympathy for the 26 year old

guy who was used to a half decent social life in the "pre Agassi"

era. I bring up Agassi because I truly see his ditching the piece and shaving

as a real inflection point. Up to that point thru the 70's, 80's, and 90's it

was all about hair. This varied somewhat amongst different races but generally

in the Caucasian population if you weren't a massive wrestler, a skin head, or

on chemo a completely bald head back then was far more a rarity than it is

today. I even recall Howard Stern ridiculing Andre's new look right after he

shaved - times have definitely changed for the better and I could be wrong but

think Andre's decision had some big ripple effects for the positive.

 

Despite my regrets I can't be one who completely bashes the

people who basically mutilated me. I in fact did experience a thicker head of

hair, increased confidence, and a rebirth somewhat of my "game"

within a year or two because I still had significant native hair so there was

some benefit albeit temporary. And to be fair the surgeons used the leading

tech of the day as far as I can tell and did warn me that in my case the look

of fullness would fade as I was clearly on the way to be an N6 or N7 despite

the scalp reductions. Unfortunately it was indeed a slow fade with ultimate

surrender to an existence under a hat by my mid thirties and I know that I was

hurt socially and professionally to at least some degree long before that

because it was clear that at least 25% of people who saw me in bright lights

had their eyes drawn to my hair line. Maybe they didn't sniff out the grafts

(one hundred of which were "mini" and behind the hair line and I'd

say about 3,000 were "micro" over most of the head) but those upward

glances killed my confidence when it happened. So considering the era when this

took place and a fair assessment of the results I can't knock the surgeons as a

whole but I will point out that one of the scalp reduction surgeons at a

"B"ig clinic placed two small but noticeable green dot tatoos at the

edge of my horseshoe mid scalp to document where the hair line was. He didn't

tell me he was going to do it, he just did it to satisfy some future experiment

maybe or just to make absolutely sure I would eventually be sickened by what I

had done to myself - so to him I say thanks as the hairline is now one inch back

from those dots and an additional reminder of my shame.

 

So after being resigned to living under a hat with all of

the social and professional baggage that brings for the last 10 years I stumble

upon SMP after a rare trip back to my home state and a visit with a good friend

who tried to convince me to just say "f" it and shave it all off

scars and all because I looked like a fool with my hat on and like complete

shit without it. I googled to see what others were doing in this situation and

of course found this site along with many others. As this post is getting

rather long I'll try and distill it down to a few facts and choices with regard

to SMP as it relates to me:

 

- This looks both crazy and awesome at first glance

 

- Where you get this done matters

 

- The transplant scars are a serious complication

 

As someone who is very private and is mortified at the

thought of being exposed for having made such a horrible decision due to vanity

and insecurity many years ago my choices are:

 

1 - stay the course and accept the way things are. Pros here

are that the grafts themselves on the few occasions I have to show them to the

world are not highly detectable and I can keep the scars completely covered.

Ironically the scalp reduction scars are very light, barely covered at this

point, and don't bother me at all. The very large strip scars on the back would

be horrifically noticeable if I shaved though. Cons are of course that I look

like a balding old guy with sparse and gross hair over the top and a horseshoe

around the back and sides and I only feel comfortable when wearing a hat.

 

2 - Getting SMP done. Pros here are that clearly the front,

top, and profile will look much better. And that is probably an understatement

- it would probably be night and day even though I would go for a very

conservative coverage on top, just enough to blend in with the grafts and reduction

scars in addition to trying to camouflage the strip scars as best as possible. In

fact the more I see it the more I love the buzzed look and guys with hair much

longer than that are starting to look kind of girly to me and burdened by

unruly and unnecessary hair growth - LOL. A possible pro here is that I could

end up being satisfied with how the scars are camouflaged and be able to go

without a hat. Cons are knowing that regardless of that the scars will now be

noticeable and be a source of uncomfortable conversation and looks. In addition

while I can wear a hat at work, keeping my entire history private would become

difficult for my personal relationships as I go through the process which is

clearly not just a one day deal. The only people who I (think) know about the

mess I've made of my head are my best friend for the last 30 years and my

parents. And of course the final con is that this would be yet another

treatment that would have the potential of being "hosed out" as well.

Hopefully this treatment type does not become known beyond necessity with the

nightly news doing spots on it all over the place and comedians doing jokes ala

the old toupee jokes. People who get this done don't need more non SMP'ers on

the lookout for "tattooed heads".

 

I obviously have a lot to think about here although at 48

and married now for over 10 years I have a lot less social stress than some of

you younger guys. And because of my age and the fact that I know that before I

knew about SMP I had accepted my lot I admit that I am leaning "NO"

but I can't help being completely intrigued by all of this and have been living

a little vicariously through some of you that have taken the plunge.

 

As for where to get it done if I were to go forward I have

been very impressed with HIS. Not just that they maintain this forum but I did

have a consult with the lead guy in Los Angeles. He was not trying to sell me

at all. In fact he was brutally honest about my scar situation and seemed

genuinely concerned that while many are satisfied with where they end up with

regard to their scars he wasn't sure if my expectations as they stand now could

be met. And it was also refreshing to have a consult with someone who had had

the treatment in question and was "in the same boat" so to speak.

This is in complete contrast to some other places in the hair loss industry who

bring out the sales guy with perfect hair or the hot sales girl to point out

and discuss all of your genetic inadequacies and physical flaws - that was

total psychological abuse and I still feel the embarrassment from that.

 

So I apologize for the long post as I don't even know if I

ever will do this but thought it might add to the display of thought processes

involved for those who do and don't eventually get the treatment. And thanks to

all those who do post their results - especially in the scar forum.

 

Hey Frankenscalp, sorry to hear the ordeal you've gone through.  Honestly, I can't comment on the scar camouflaging however I would honestly recommend this treatment to anyone who is looking to reduce time spent worrying on what's on top.  I had traction alopecia which really left my hairline in a mess including normal thinning occurring. I've had three treatments completed and it's a journey but I couldn't be more happier.  I've ditched the hats, bandanas etc. and am enjoying the freedom I've found.  I still look to see whether I get any attention however the work looks so natural that it's undetectable.  SMP won't be a Tonight Show topic as the treatment is vastly different to a toupe or hair system.  The beauty of shaved heads is that any generation can sport one and considering the amount of chemicals in our diets and pollutants in the air, unless there's a miracle preventative cure in the horizon, I can only foresee men losing hair even more quickly in the future.  Ian and Ranbir have an honest business model and they don't run a production line in their clinics.  The advise you get is an honest opinion and they'll work with you until you are happy.  I spent a lot of time on the forums prior to committing as I was looking to see whether I could see negative trends with the product, service or issues years after people had the treatment - I couldn't find anything that would prevent me from committing.  The treatment isn't cheap but you can't put a price on some of the tangible benefits you receive so it easily pays itself off very quickly.  Good luck with the decision you make.

 

 

 

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Glad you met someone in the flesh who has had this done - after 3 failed transplants I had SMP @ 49 and it was the best decision of my life , as for scars look at you tube video's I will try and post some in a minute - as for completly hiding scars im not sure you can completly but if you look like u shave your head by choice then folks noticing your scars wont automaticaly think Hairtransplant , they could think fight or car crash .

 

Great advert lots few days here in the UK is all the papers here are talking about the singer Adele's hot Bodyguard and yoday even had a article about the hottest celebrity Bodyguards - well what we folks all picked up on and so far the papers havnt is this guy was bald for last 10 trs and now clearly has had SMP .

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