GENETIC TESTING

So its been over 3 years since my eyebrow implants. I have to say one important thing to anyone wanting to do this procedure- including informing the clinic. My point isn’t to destroy anyone’s hard working reputation, as the care I got there was stellar. Except there is some new info now, that I wish could of been checked by this clinic, due to the fact that they are specialized in implants and hair. So I will give everyone the benifit of the doubt in that they were not informed. Even if I am genuinely upset about this slip on your part.

It turns out I have a genetic immune disease called Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia. Basically my body attacks my hair follicles and sees it as a foreign entity. It destroys my roots and makes my hair fall. Therefore no implants can ever survive because the “soil”, as they call it, is scarred and nothing could ever grow or stay. This being said, I strongly believe that as a hair specialist, checking the soil in which the hair will be planted should of been part of the process in making sure the procedure would be a success. Giving your patient as many cards on their side in order to keep the new implants. Blood tests were brought to Dr. Rahal for my thyroid and HIV testing, but none of the genetic testing was ever done prior to my eyebrow implants.

I would of saved money, pain, and more importantly; I would of been over 3 years ahead of the game with proper care, prior to permanently losing my hair. There is no cure but there is a way to control it, and that is to have injections put on my hair follicles. If I would of known this 4 years ago, I would of had more hair today. Eyebrow and hair.

I turned to you, Dr. Rahal, as a hair specialist. This should of been caught 4 years ago. Please check out Dr. Jerry Shapiro for more info on this disease, and please check ALL of your future female patients for this genetic disease prior to doing anything on them.

How the hell isn’t this part of the procedure? That’s like being a construction worker without the right tools. Considering over 2500 people have read my posts, I think this is something that should be taken seriously, and I wouldn’t want to mislead anyone in going through the same sad road to discovery I just went through.

 

 

 

Regards,

10 months post

HI Everyone,

 

First I’m sorry it took forever. Ive had a lot going on and its taken the back burner.
10 months have past since the transplant and I’m very happy with my eyebrows, they look normal. They grow quite fast, I trim them once a week. But that’s ok. It doesn’t bother me. I noticed that they have tamed down, as opposed to at the beginning where they would grow straight out. I still apply hair paste to it, when I do my make up, to make sure all strands are laying low. And I fill the little gaps here and there with make up. I started wearing my hair back again, pulled away from my face, because my eyebrows are shaping my face. I look younger too. The only negative part is that because I need to cut them, when you look at me from the side, you do see them standing up a little bit. Not the best look. But its such a small price to pay to get eyebrows back. And a lot of people have bushy eyebrows so it passes very well, and kinda just looks like a normal thing. I’m just not used to it, because my real eyebrows were fine and contoured my face naturally. But this being said, I have zero regrets. The people who would notice are usually extremely close to my face and know I did this. Otherwise, no one will be able to tell or said anything.
Larissa has asked me to send in some professional photos, I have myself tentatively scheduled to take some this week. I will do my best to post something new. Until then all I have is my iphone photos here.
First photo is without make up first thing in the morning.
The second is with foundation, hair paste (to tame it down) and pencil to fill in a little bit (but i did this fast and depending on where I’m going, I sometimes go a little darker with my eyebrow pencil) I’m just showing you what it looks like as natural as possible. because lets face it, we all want to look good natural.
And last shot is a profile so you can see what I mean by the cutting and the lift away from the face.

that’s it for now.
Hope this helps ladies!
Do it, honestly if you’re really obsessed with your eyebrows, its a no brainer..lots of patience when you do it for a good 4 months, but then its smooth sailing.

10 m

no make up, natural and no product on the eyebrow. eyebrows have been trimmed

10 months with make up

10 months with little make up foundation and pencil fill in. hair paste to tame it down a little

photo_side 1- months

Side photo to show how they do stand up a little bit. check out the eyebrow further left to understand. eyebrow have hair paste and pencil very very little make up

4 months after

hi Ladies,

 

Ok I have two people requesting for a photo of me now, 4 months in. I can tell you that my eyebrows look full. I don’t think they will ever look like “normal” eyebrows, but I also think that I have looked at eyebrows, their texture and shapes more than the regular person. So no one person will comment or has for that matter.
I am not sure if they’re full on grown. They tell me it will keep on getting fuller, and by my late night or early morning mild itchiness I think they’re right. However, if they stop growing at this point, its ok too. I’m happy with its fullness.

Attached is a photo of me with and without make up (I’m brave). When I put make up, I simply pencil it in so it completes the make up. Otherwise, if I go around with no make up, I’m ok with not filling them in at all. I do have to put some kind of hair gel to keep them down. I’ll return to this in a minute.

What you need to know: you have to be prepared to trim them often. Unlike your old eyebrows that grow at the same time and pluck at the same time, these hairs grow sporadically in different times. So you may go to work with one length and come home and have a few longer hairs.

The only thing I don’t like is because I have straight hair, if you look at me from my profile, you can see them sticking out straight. I put hair gel under my make up to keep them down, but its not working so well, and I still have to continue research on what product works best for my hair type. I need it to be firm, but not glossy. Which is the finish gel gives me.  I will keep you posted when I do. The curve around the nose bridge tend to stick out straight (due to my straight hair) so it takes a little patience and effort to tame them down, but with pencil it blends in. So unless you are looking only at my eyebrows, it is only noticeable to me and who ever I point it out to. If others notice, they haven’t mentioned it to me. Unlike when I didn’t have eyebrows and I kept on hearing how tired I looked.

I feel like I look younger. The eyebrows just makes me look vibrant. So I am very pleased with the results.

Here are two photos of me. One is this morning with no make up, and one is from yesterday going to work with make up.
Hope this helps. Sorry for my picture with no make up is scary. I figured it was useful to see what it will look like bare.

hope this helps Jeannine, Jane and my new friend Crystal who is getting it done next month! 🙂 eyebrow 4 months no make upeyebrows month 4

3 months later its spring on my face

Hi there everyone…..Well, I can’t say it hasn’t been a journey!!  The last time I wrote something, was under 2 weeks post surgery. There are  lot of (ugly) phases to go through, after that.

First thing you need to know is that, so far no regrets. Then the second thing you need to know is the word PATIENCE is the key word to remember and continuously remind yourself. I have posted here a few photos. The photo where you see me with make up is 2 weeks post operation. Don’t get excited, those are not my new eyebrows but my implanted hair. That fell off 2 days after that photo was taken, and the following photos are in chronological order so you can tell how they look when they are bare with no make up. (sorry in advance)
Ugly stages:

1) Crusty eyebrows….This was for me the most disgusting part. I had crust from healing skin trying to fall off but because the implants were still there, I couldn’t’ really touch it and help its exit. So I stayed home for 10 days (that’s how long that lasted)  They tell you to spray wash it, I did a lot of that and I think it helped slip out the dead skin.

2) Pimples….Tons of acne on the brow!! When I asked why (because lets face it my eyebrows are ugly enough) Larissa told me it was just part of the healing. And so you have tons of HUGE pimples you CAN’T POP (not allowed)….Hey remember that word? PATIENCE….riiighht….that got difficult.

3) Pimples gone, flakes gone, pink skin and bare brows: Next part was shock. What I mean is that the hairs I actually had had, were gone. Making me fully depend on the process now…..So the penciling in was a must when leaving the house. And holding my breath was another, as I saw me worst than when I had gone. The good news is that the part of the skin where the implants were put in, stayed pink and textured, so once you pencil it in, it looks real! You have to be close to realize there is very little or no hair there. So now I’m back in my comfort zone. What I knew but with a bit less hair/more texture.

The last photo was taken just a few days ago this week. I now simply shade in my shape. Hair is starting to grow. Some very quickly so I had to cut it, and some slowly. The direction of its growth is a success. The only negative thing is that my hair is by nature straight, so it seems to stay straight out instead of curving my head even if its direction is correct. I may be speaking too soon, because I have another 3 months to see it fuller, but so far my theory is that I think this transplant would be best with people with wavy to curly hair more than straight hair. This description of the hair staying straight out can be seen only if you look at me from the side. That’s where it stays up a little bit (even if its planted right)  But I also think that once the hair starts filling in a bit and I start getting used to grooming it (its lengths etc), I will know if this will still be true. Right now, I’m speculating.

Hope my posts are helping others

Good luck to all,

 

I feel better already. I can’t wait to see more, but so far, so good!! The journey has been long to get to this part. Its like end of winter….and then spring….Its spring on my face

 

day 13

2 weeks after the transplant. These are not my new eyebrows but my transplant hairs.

day 16

My transplant hairs are significantly starting to fall out

day 19

The pink shade of my skin shows where the transplant was done. it is also a great guide for me to trace in when I do my make up. A trick I discovered was to put foundation FIRST over my eyebrows and then pencil it in, this way, the pink is less shown and the penciling makes my eyebrows look more real. That trick helped a lot

day 22photo

Acne. They are not painful. But huge and gross. And all had a white head. I was told not to touch them. This made it very difficult to be in public. This happened 22 days post op, and lasted 12-14 days. Pencil this part in, work from home if you must.

day 27 photo

This is what putting foundation over your whole eyebrow part looks like. yes they are bare, but the skin is now blending in so Once the penciling in happens, it will look natural. Day 27 post op.

eyebrow with make up 3 months

This is 3 months post op. What you see now are some new hairs, and some old. And one (upper right) that I need to trim. The only make up I have is a faint brushing in of eye shadow. I didn’t even need to pencil it in. So far, the process looks very good to me. Granted I have no make up on on the rest of my face, but I can garantee you, once I am all put together, I already look better than I did pre-op.

I

I lost my eyebrows

I lost my eyebrows slowly about 3 years ago. I was getting my make up done by my favorite make up artist and she said ” hey you’re balding on your eyebrows!” Little did I know it was the beginning of the end. Truth be told, I never really noticed or gave a damn about my eyebrows. I cared about how I applied my make up and took care of myself, but eyebrows were…well, secondary. I got them taken care of back in my 20’s by shaping them professionally by my aesthetician with electrolosys but that’s pretty much all the attention I’ve ever gave them for a lifetime. Until recently.

I hadn’t seen a friend in a while and when she saw me she asked me why I looked so tired. I wasn’t! I couldn’t understand why everyone was asking me if I was. I’m full of energy all the time. I noticed that I had to wear make up often because I had to pencil my eyebrows in in order to frame my eyes. And when I did, I took one good look at them and realized…they were gone! Completely bald on one eyebrow and losing it slowing on the other. But why?…I did blood tests, went to see my doctor, and all results were negative. My thyroid which is the ringing bell to eyebrow loss was fine. Everything was fine. “are you stressed?” asked my doctor. “who isn’t?” was my reply….I’m as stressed as the next person.

And so my research started….

I am based out of Montreal and so I obviously wanted to have a doctor in my town. But who? I didn’t know anyone who has ever done a transplant before. I found one online, went to visit..I paid for a consultation. His face was so botoxed he couldn’t even speak. I left there thinking if he can’t even take care of his own face, how can he take care of mine…he’s x-out. And so the long nights of research started. I found what seemed to be a brillant doctor in Miami and NYC, but 7000$ and a fligth there later….were my eyebrows really worth that much? Hell, I’d rather go to Europe with that money. I was really left discouraged. Until I hit forums and Dr. Rahal’s name just kept on coming up. So I did plenty of research on him and found a lot of information and decided to call. Chad returned my calls and my many questions without any hesitation. Larissa followed up with pleasant emails and put me at ease. And I just knew I was going the right direction for this. They seemed like a tight shop! (And they were)

I decided I was doing it.

And so off I went to Ottawa, that 2 hour drive was filled with “Wow, I’m really doing this? I’m really driving my butt 2 hours to rip hair off my head and plant them on my face? Who am I? …wow…” And then the other part of me was also happy  and thinking  “By the time my birthday comes around, I will have a full set of eyebrows again!  So happy! Less make up and more natural…yay for eyebrows!!” (Just a little side note to understand the build up getting to a transplant: as women we always look at what other women have “she has great hair”, “great legs”, ” love her dress”…but can I just say I was becoming obsessed with eyebrows!! I’d turn to my boyfriend and be like “wow! Did you see that girl’s eyebrows?” – my poor and patient boyfriend. God Bless him. I knew I had to do this.)

And so I arrived at the clinic. For those of you reading this and wondering what its like. My first thought was “it smells nice in here”. The place is clean, modern and fresh. The receptionist is a breath of fresh hair (ha ha). Larissa, came to introduce herself and all of a sudden I felt more comfortable. The consultation with the doctor was short but to the point. He traced my eyebrows and looked at it properly and repeatedly asked me to speak up if I wasn’t sure or happy. Clearly his intentions were to make sure I was happy and sure of my decision. Minutes later, a nurse named April came to get me, photos were done, and the prep started.

The Transplant:

Can I just hear a hurray for Ativan? yap…

I was relaxed and pain free. Unconcerned at all, until a nurse brought me two stress balls with smiley faces on them. I was high on Ativan so I laughed and said “oh so cute” until it hit me…wait a minute. “Why are you giving me stress balls?..will I be in pain?”
“You will need these”, she said, and walked away…Oh sweet Ativan, stay with me…

I did need them!

The donor area hurt a little bit but was nothing compared to the injections they give you to freeze your eyebrows. Its painful, and it burns. Luckily, Dr. Rahal is quick. But yeah…that pain was brutal. Luckily, after that, its easy breezy..no pain.

 

4 hours and a meal later (they feed you) , I was driven down the street to their guest house (http://brooklineguesthouse.com) and stayed there overnight. It was clean and comfortable and right down the street. Two more guys were there one from NYC and the other from Australia, both Dr. Rahal’s patients. They were sweet and offered to order food for all of us, but I was too tired to eat so I slept pretty much the whole time I was there.

The next day I went back, Dr.Rahal checked me and so did the head nurse April. She gave me a good explanation on how to take care of myself in post-op. Its quite elaborate and more detailed that I thought. I wasn’t expecting it to be so high maintenance (vitamin e application x2 day, wash x2 a day, saline spray every 2 hours). If you’re going to do this; take 2 weeks off. I’m on day 6, sleeping is difficult because you don’t want to touch your graphs, but they itch, and your donor area is filled with polysporin so your hair is just greasy no matter how often you wash it. You will NEED a lazyboy or a sleep method that allows you to sleep at a 45 degree. Its a must. So organize that prior to your graph. It will help your swelling tremendously.

 

I’m on day 6 recovery now. My only problem is ITCHINESS.  Its a good sign of healing.

Hope this helps all of you,

I posted my eyebrows before, the drawing the day after, up to day 5. Just so you can get an idea. I will post more as soon as I get an update.

This is me, pre transplant. As you can see i was left with a few hair...

This is me, pre transplant. As you can see i was left with a few hairs…

 

post op

post-op- 4 hours transplant: I was very swollen and couldn’t blink. But I was in no pain whatsoever.

 

swelling is going down but this bruising isn't just yet.

day 2: swelling is going down but this bruising isn’t just yet.

 

swelling is almost gone.

day 3: swelling is almost gone.

 

day 4

day 4

day 5 super itchy

day 5 super itchy

EyebrowQueen