4 Months

So month 4 has arrived! The growth which has occured since last month is obvious. In fact the difference between now and 2 weeks ago is clear to me when I look up close. As you can imagine, I’m paying close attention.

I chose to have the photos taken without any styling products – I wanted them completely natural. But my hair is now very stylable. More stylable than it has been in many years. I went to a new barber and he had no idea I’d had anything done, although I did tell him and he had many questions. I normally decline styling products at the barbers as I’m going to wash my hair as soon as I get home, but I decided to let him put a little product in and, well, it was extremely satisfying to have a hairline that I can do something with. For close to a decade now I had given up on trying to achieve a proper style with it, as my hairline was too receded and thin to allow for it and products always made it look worse. I had forgotten what it was like to be able to quickly and easily make it look good. Now I’ve already forgotten what it was like to be receding!

I had these taken last week but delayed posting due to illness.

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3 Months

So here I am, at the 3 month milestone!

At this stage my hair is improving very quickly and I really think it looks better to the eye than it does in the photos, which aren’t flattering to say the least. Of course the full density isn’t there yet, but sometimes I look in the mirror under indirect light and I feel like I’m catching a glimpse of the future of my hairline – and I like what I see.

I had been wearing a hat most of the time because, since the procedure, I’ve been in a state of mind that I no longer want to display that I have hair loss, and the front is still thin as you’d expect at month 3. However, I’ve never kept my procedure a secret from anyone and lots of people are getting a look. The feedback is all good, including from those of a younger age group. I’ll explain that:

A girl I’d noticed around town for a while now gave me her number and we’ve seen a lot of each other over the past 12 days. I knew she was young and it turns out she just turned 20 (I’m 32). She told me my hair looks great and I should just ditch the hat. What more does a guy need to hear? (I’m still self-conscious of her seeing my crazy ‘bed head’, though!) She must’ve told her friends as one of them said “so you’re hair transplant guy!” upon being introduced.  I think I can live with this being my defining feature for the time being!

Yesterday I was told that my hair had got noticably thicker over the last 2 weeks. Being open about my hair transplant has been helpful as I’m getting this feedback and confirmation of what I’m seeing myself.

The photos:

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Stay tuned for next month!

A Week At Brookline Guesthouse

Brookline Guesthouse

My procedure with Dr Rahal was always going to happen, and likewise it was inevitable that I’d stay at Brookline Guesthouse during my time in town.

For those who don’t know, this is the private B&B-style house situated on a street less than 5 minutes’ walk from the clinic. Only Rahal patients can stay there and it’s been set up to make the procedure experience easy for those who don’t live locally. It does this in two, equally important ways. I’ll begin with the most obvious:

Comfort & Convenience

I’ve mentioned already how close the house is to the clinic. I actually timed the walk and it came in at 3 minutes 45 seconds. Patients get a ride back after the procedure, but the proximity makes it easy to drop back in daily for check-ups. It will also save you money on cab fares.

Each room is furnished with reclining chairs, as is the living room.  These offer the optimal sleeping position during the post-op period.

Camaraderie & Support

This is less obvious and might not even enter your head when planning your procedure, but to me it’s what makes Brookline special. All of the guests are there for the same reason and are all sharing the same experience and emotions. This generates trust and openness between the guests and can help patients feel at ease before their big day. I noticed that it was common to immediately start talking about hair loss with a new guest as soon as they arrive. This would be weird anywhere else, but at Brookline it’s totally normal.

I hope my experience below will expand on the above.

My Arrival

I got a lift from the airport to Brookline and already knew the house from those times I’d ‘rolled by’ on Google Street View. It’s a very nice looking house, I knew that already, but I hadn’t seen much of the interior.

Mahesh, the owner/manager, was there to greet me – as he does with all his guests. I was surprised by the high ceilings in the hallway and living room. First impressions are that it’s a very spacious and impressive home.

Mahesh gave me the full tour, showing me the kitchen (well stocked with food and drink) living room and bedrooms. He also showed me the laundry room and the massive basement boiler which keeps the house toasty.

The First Days

During my first days at Brookline there were four other guests, and I met them at the kitchen and living room area where everyone tended to congregate. They were Michael from Texas, Alex from Italy, Adam from California and Nick from London. I had actually met Nick back home when he came in for a consultation. I soon realized that Adam was a patient who I’d exchanged many emails with. Most guests won’t have that prior contact with the others, but it was a bonus for me.

Left to right: Mike, Alex, Nick and Adam

As I’m a patient advisor everyone had questions and wanted me to comment on how their freshly completed procedures looked. That’s another thing that other guests won’t experience, but what you will find is that it helps to be able to chat about what you’ve just done and what you can expect in the months ahead. It’s that support aspect I mentioned above.

Michael was actually born in Vietnam and he spotted a Vietnamese restaurant up the road. We all layered up for the cold and headed out for a bite to eat. Actually more of a slurp as we ordered soup on Michael’s recommendation. Alex got the meat

I’m sure local residents are used to the blue caps by now

I think Michael influenced us all in his dietary habits. He’s big on juicing – and by that I mean liquefying fruit and veg to create a highly nutritious drink. It seems to be a daily ritual for him and every morning he was busy preparing his ingredients and his juicing machine (brought with him all the way from Texas) was put into action. Most of us enjoyed his green concoctions and I’m betting that Adam from California now owns a juicer!

The next day was another day for eating out. We found a Thai place, also down the road, and stuffed our faces. I think we all had one eye on the beers behind the bar, but we had to do without as drinking is forbidden before and immediately after a hair transplant (the beer store across the road from the clinic also offers temptation!)

That day we had a new arrival – “Niceguy” Joel from near Toronto. Joel’s procedure was set for the next day, so during my transplant he was in the next room having his. I’ll never forget my Procedure Day Buddy!

“Niceguy” Joel – my Procedure Day Buddy!

That evening was the night of the Superbowl and the living room was pretty rowdy. As I’m not interested in football I retired to my room fairly early. Hey, my procedure was the next day and I had to be up at the crack of dawn!

The Final Days

After the first couple of days I spent most of my time at the office. I would’ve liked to have spent more time with the guys but I wasn’t there on vacation! Guests came and went. First there was Gary, a Bloodstock Agent from Canada. An interesting guy who knows how to place bets and win!

Alex, from Italy – the final arrival during my stay

Next new arrival was Edward. He was another patient who I’d been consulting with. He drove all the way from New York to be there and his hairline will look amazing once it grows. The final guest/patient to turn up on the scene during my stay was another Alex from Italy. I liked him and his Sicilian character livened up that evening. I regretted that it was my last night in town.

Last Word

My experience of Brookline Guesthouse was overwhelmingly positive. It was always exciting to see who would turn up next, knowing they could be anyone from literally anywhere on the planet. It will be hard to forget those nights hanging out with those guys – nice surroundings, good company, endless slices of melon (courtesy of Joel!) and when it came time to leave I wished I didn’t have a plane to catch, so I could delay my departure and stay one more night. Or another week.

I’ll be back.

 

4 Weeks

The past month has blown by and the photos below were taken 4 weeks after my procedure. My native hair has grown a considerable amount over those 4 weeks and I’m toying with having the back/sides trimmed a bit. Maybe I’ll wait a little longer. I have shed some transplanted hair which is to be expected, but I did think I’d shed more by this stage. I wonder if they’ll stay? We shall see. I am still wearing a hat when I go out, but everyone who I show my hair to says “wow!”. They ain’t see nothing yet!

Day 14

Two weeks after the procedure. The crusting came away this morning – I was eager to be rid of it and it offered no resistance! Now we’re looking at some minor pinkness. My hair grows pretty fast.

 

 

Day 8

Not much change when compared to to yesterday, but I did promise to be thorough! The healing has been remarkable from the start.

 

Day 7

I’ll be updating frequently and found a local photographer to take the photos. These are the first set taken since I got back and show me 1 week after the procedure.

Day 4

As you can see, the extraction site had calmed down by day 4.

Day 3

Not much change from day 2. I felt fine and spent the day in the office. I was a normal office worker, albeit wearing a blue surgical cap and periodically spraying my head with saline!

Day 2

These photos were taken the day following the procedure, shortly after removal of the bandages. I’m really liking the hairline shape! Some mocked my shirt, but I like it.