I started losing my hair at the age of 22. When it started happening, I thought it was the end of the world. Most guys my age had a full a head of hair so I really had a hard time accepting what was going on.
I went to see several doctors at the time but no one seemed able to help me. I tried several products that I saw in magazines and had to send away for. None of them worked, and I kept losing my hair. I was really starting to panic.
Although I had heard about hair transplantation, I didn’t look in to it seriously because I thought I couldn’t afford it. Plus, I had seen someone who had had a transplant before and it didn’t look good. It looked like a bunch of artificial plugs growing out of the top of his head.
I finally went and got a hairpiece to cover the balding areas. Although I had lots of doubts about whether this was the right thing to do, I knew that I had to do something and at least this was reversible. I could always take it off if I changed my mind. Anyway, I ended up wearing hairpieces for the next 12 years. On the plus side, it did cover up my baldness. On the other hand, it did bother me that it wasn’t real. I was always paranoid that people were looking at me wondering if I was wearing a "piece." I didn’t like the maintenance involved or the fear that it would come off in the wind or water. However, it did do the job and I finally came to accept it.
Then one day, I got talking to this guy who told me that he had had hair transplantation done. I simply couldn’t believe it. The results looked so natural, nothing like the plugs that I had seen before. I did some investigating and found out that hair transplantation had improved over the years. I went to a local doctor who was recommended to me, and I had a consultation.
To make a long story short, I ended up undergoing six sessions of hair transplantation to cover my baldness front to back. Because I was wearing the hairpiece, I wanted to have the transplants cover the entire area. My doctor told me that he often just works on the frontal area if someone has a lot of baldness. I knew that I wouldn’t be happy with just doing the front, so in my case it required more sessions so we could cover the whole area.
The surgery really wasn’t that painful, at least a lot less than I expected. It took about a week for all the little scabs to fall off my scalp. Then the hardest part was waiting for the grafts to grow. Now that I’ve gone through all the sessions and my hair has all filled-in, I sometimes take it for granted. All I have to do is look back at a picture of me in the hairpiece or remember looking in the mirror at myself bald, and I almost can’t believe it.
I am so glad that I decided to do it. Although I didn’t get all my hair back, I don’t feel bald anymore, and I am much more self-confident. I find myself being much more outgoing in social situations. My advice to anyone losing their hair is to do your research and to talk to a doctor experienced in doing hair transplantation. Although it might not be the right decision for everyone, I know it sure was for me.
Hair Restoration Surgeon: Jerry E. Cooley, MD