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Shaft

My Two Cents!

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Dear fellow DHT sufferers,

 

I have decided to post a short hair-biography detailing the history of my hair loss, and my personal journey through the restorative process. My reason for doing this is in the hope that my previous experiences can be used as a cautionary tale for virgin heads. I have found the posts on this website to be extremely helpful, and I really hope to give something back by helping those who have yet to take the plunge.

 

So without further ado, I will begin.

 

I first started noticing my hair loss when I was about thirteen / fourteen years of age. The puberty stage is not a good time to lose your hair, especially when you have a mile-high forehead which kids choose to slap as they walk past you… it’s a good job I'm nails and managed to slap the little sh*ts back! :D Anyway, at that stage in my life there was nothing I could do about it. I remember spending hours looking in the mirror wishing I could afford hair transplants. In hindsight, it’s probably best that I couldn’t, as I believe that only cornfield procedures existed in the early 90’s.

 

At the age of seventeen (1997), my hairline had become increasingly worse. It had begun thinning at the very front of my forehead. This only helped to accentuate what I had lost at the sides. I tried all manner of remedies, from Minoxidil to doing a handstand everyday (supposedly the blood rushing to your head would prevent it from falling out!). :rolleyes: It eventually dawned on me, that the only way I was ever going to have a full head of hair was by either buying a wig or having hair transplants… I eventually decided to save my money for the latter.

 

I had, for many years, seen the glossy adverts shown in magazines such as Maxim and FHM - all promising a solution to a thinning scalp. I now know how stupid I was for being taken in by these adverts, but in my defence, I don’t believe there was a forum like this one back in the 90’s. Anyway, at that time, my 56k modem was used purely for downloading fake-nude pictures of Jennifer Aniston (line by painfully slow line) instead of for research.

 

Having been suckered in by false advertisement, and a Machiavellian consultant, I decided to have my first hair transplant operation with… wait for it… the Noble Clinic. Even as I write this I can hear all of your collective sighs. I feel it is worth pointing out at this juncture that Nobles consultant guaranteed me that I would be left with a perfect hairline after just one operation. I should also point out that due to my naivety, I actually believed him.

 

Anyway, the big day came and I was a mixture of panic and excitement. Panic, because at that point in my life I had never had an operation, and excitement, because I finally felt that I would be able to rid myself of my low self-esteem. For those who are interested, I have attached a photo taken at the Noble Clinic from my first consultation – the line drawn in pen was done by their consultant indicating where my new ‘perfect’ hairline would be. You obviously can’t see my crown from this shot, but that was also starting to thin.

 

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I’m sure I don’t need to tell any of you the pain of losing your hair, but for clarity purposes I’ll briefly cover a few points on how it affected me:

 

* Whenever I was walking outside I would constantly be staring at the floor (like some juvenile child). If even the slightest breeze caught my hair, I would feel that everybody was staring at my balding spot!

 

* I would spend sometimes up to an hour trying to style my hair in such a way that I had covered up all of the thinning areas. Sometimes I would feel successful, but more often than not I hated even leaving the house. This wasn’t helped by people I worked with, who would think nothing of announcing to the whole office ‘my God you’re going bald’ or ‘have you ordered your wig yet?’

 

* With the exception of one serious girlfriend (who didn’t care what I looked like) the only girls that I managed to pull were drunk ones that couldn’t see my thinning locks in the nightclubs. When I would meet these girls again for a date (which would normally be in daylight hours, or places with good lighting) they quickly decided that I wasn’t the guy for them. You may draw the conclusion that this could be because my personality sucks something awful, but believe me you would be wrong – I’m Mr Loveable. :D

 

Anyway, I’m digressing. Back to my big day at the Noble Clinic. The date was the 16th October 1999 and I had paid £2000.00 for the procedure. The following was my experience:

 

* The place where I was operated on was horrible. It was a bare room with a chair, a small work station and a tiny 14” TV with reception so bad that I couldn’t even watch it.

 

* The staff were very friendly and seemed to genuinely care. They also seemed confident of their abilities (although they could have just been good actors).

 

* After the procedure they wrapped my head with bandages. I’m not sure if it was this tightness, or the anaesthetic they used, but I felt incredibly ill that night. I had a huge headache and felt really sick.

 

* The place they put me up at was okay enough, but nothing special. It was a house where a lady rented out rooms. She made what looked like a nice dinner, however, I couldn’t eat it as I felt so ill.

 

* The next day, the clinic removed the bandages and gave me instructions to follow to look after my new transplant.

 

Below is a photo of me after my first operation:

 

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After waiting patiently for many months (seemed like an eternity) I started to notice growth. However, the hair that was coming through was nothing like the promised perfect hairline. As such, I revisited Noble and spoke with the same ‘I make false promises and have no conscious’ consultant with whom I had dealt with originally. He advised me that some people require a second operation to get that perfect hairline, and once again I stupidly believed him… again without carrying out any internet investigation (damn the good quality of those Jennifer Aniston fakes).

 

So, on 3rd July 2000 I paid £1,495.00 for a second operation with Noble. It’s only now, as I write this, that I realise not even a year had passed since they carried out my first operation – just goes to show how professional they are! The scenario was much like before, although this time my head wasn’t bandaged afterwards, and I didn’t feel sick later that evening. I had 1500 hair roots transferred (I believe this translates to less than 1000 grafts). Below are two photos, one showing my hairline before the second operation and the other showing what it looked like straight after (sorry for the poor quality, I scanned these in to my computer).

 

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After a year of waiting I actually started to show some improvement. In fact, I was able to completely change my hairstyle. This isn’t to say that it was a huge improvement (I still had to have my hair brushed forward), but I could now cut it shorter and it felt much better than before. It was at this point in my life that I started dating… oh what a sweet time! Well until I realised that most women are the Anti-Christ, especially the pretty ones. I guess Prince (or symbol) was right when he sang about the beautiful ones!

 

Things were definitely better for me at this time, but, I still wanted to thicken up the front of my hairline. Not because I’m an operation junkie, but mainly because when I styled my hair upwards, you could easily see the puncture holes of where the grafts were laid.

 

This time, I decided not to go back to Noble. Whilst I was happier with my hairline, they still hadn’t delivered what they had promised. I started flipping through magazines again and found a company that had restored Status Quo. I remember thinking that if they were good enough to work on celebrities then they were good enough to work on me. The company was then known as Wellsbourne and is now known as The H******* *****. Go on then, sigh again!

 

I went for a consultation with a Mr Steven Barnes. Like Noble’s consultant, this man is nothing more than a glorified salesman. He told me that Wellsbourne do a lot of repair work for people who had used Noble and that they could give me that elusive perfect hairline that I had previously been promised.

 

Again I was suckered in.

 

The operation was carried out on the 23rd August 2002 for a price of £2,000.00 for 750 grafts. This was my experience with them:

 

* The procedure did actually seem more professional than Noble – the place I was operated on was in much nicer condition.

 

* The staff were all amazingly friendly with the exception of a very supercilious doctor who performed the actual procedure. That is when he turned up. Basically, the guy who was supposed to be operating on me never arrived, so they had to call in the other doc.

 

* I was offered a pill to calm my nerves, at this point I was not looking forward to going through another procedure, so the pill was a welcome relief. Not that the procedures are anything to worry about, but at the same time they’re no wild night of passion with Ms Aniston.

 

* I was offered a more natural hairline than Noble had given me, basically the front was made more jagged, as this is how hairlines are naturally... or so I'm told.

 

* Steven Barnes introduced me to Propecia, and in his defence, he did actually advise me that I may get it cheaper from my doctor than from them – he was right.

 

* The stitches that were put in decided to come lose a day or two after the operation. I was told that I could either go back to them or see my local doctor. Due to the distance I lived from them I went to my local surgery. Here I was told that the wound wasn’t coming apart so I was very lucky – I guess I heal quickly.

 

Below are two photo's taken after my third operation:

 

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About six months after this procedure, Wellsbourne asked me back for a follow-up. They said that they like to see all patients afterwards to make sure everything went well. I thought this was a nice touch, but I now realise that it’s more about them getting their pitch in for another operation. I nearly fell for it as well, I just wanted to save up some more money first.

 

I had another consultation with Mr Barnes in 2005. Here he recommended that I swap from Propecia to Avodart (I was still thinning with Propecia). He even offered me a two year deal which worked out cheaper than going to my doctor. I came very close to booking another procedure with Wellsbourne but (thankfully) I didn’t have the time at that point.

 

I eventually embraced the wonders of broadband a couple of years ago and luckily found this site. Reading the comments here made me realise just how lucky I’ve been. Yes, I’ve spent a lot of money (just under £5,500.00 and that’s not including the cost of Propecia or Avodart), but I have still come out with an okay ‘ish’ hairline. No, it doesn’t look like I’d hoped, but it has still helped my self-confidence greatly.

 

Like you guys, I would never recommend going to a British surgeon for a hair transplant. At the same time, I thought it was important to note on this site that whilst my experiences haven’t been the greatest, they haven’t been the worst either. Maybe offer a glimmer of hope to those who have just had an operation by either Noble or The H******* *****, and then found this site!

 

Below are some photo's showing my hairline in its present state (three were taken by Spex last year, and the last one was taken by Dr Feller at the London consultation this year):

 

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So, on March 7th I'm taking the plunge with the main man himself - Dr Feller. I am once again a mixture of excitement and panic. Here's hoping that I come away with a hairline as good as Spex!

 

I will keep you all informed.

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Best of Luck Shaft!!!!!!!!!

 

Feller has saved many people from poor work at other places! You are in good hands, rest assured.

 

Hopefully you've browsed this site and seen the transformations other people have had even after going through a bad procedure before seeing Feller.

 

Good Luck!

 

BiB

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Hi Shaft,

 

Very educational post, thanks. Although the transplanted hair you have looks very unnatural, I'm sure it will help add density to the hair Dr Feller packs in and around giving you a pleasing end result.

 

I hope you'll keep us posted with how your Feller HT goes.

 

All the best.

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All the very best Shaft! Your research will pay off :) The previous work especially the placement looks horrible :blink: I am sure after the many reports i have read about Dr Feller that he will be able to repair you also. I met him in London and found him to be a very nice guy who has a great passion for repair patients from our conversation :)

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Shaft your right mate your result isnt that bad as ive seen worse. Its definately a good base for Dr feller to work with. You will get a superb result me thinks, how many grafts you going for?

 

Its good to give a little hope to guys who have had work done by uk clinics and then found this site and others like it.

 

I was in the chair on 7th of march last year bud, i'll be thinking of you on my anniverasry :D

 

All the best

 

Tom

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Best of luck mate - you have a good base to work around it looks like. Your story certainly hit a nerve for me - isn't having a high hairline that kids bully you about enough?! let alone recession at an early age... i feel you bro.

 

Impressed you have kept your sense of humour through all this and stay positive (im sure it's not always easy), respect, and again good luck in march.

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Excellent post Shaft, thanks for sharing. I can spot the photos from H******* ***** a mile away :ph34r:! Looks like Greaves to me. Hows your scarring situation? I'm sure you'll be rewarded with a great HT from Dr Feller.

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Hi Guys,

 

Thanks for all of the positive responses, I really appreciate it.

 

Some of you asked questions so I'll get straight to answering:

 

Tommy Two - I'm going for between 2000 - 2500 grafts my friend. I'm hoping that will hide the dents I have in my head where the previous hairs have been implanted - that and also leave me with enough hair that I don't have to brush forward anymore!

 

I'll make sure I sip back on a cold one in honour of your anniversary (obviously the cold one will be diet coke due to the alcohol ban that is required).

 

Bal - I completely forgot to mention the scaring in my original post, but suffice to say, it isn't great. At the consultation Dr Feller gave me hope that he'll be able to eliminate most of my top scar, but I'm not sure how things will work with my bottom scar - which was done far too low. I remember Noble starting a second cut and only going half way across, The H******* ***** continued along that scar - so I guess I have both of them to blame! Obviously I'm hoping for the sweetest result - total annihilation of both scars. I'll have to let you know after the operation bud.

 

I'm really not sure who did my operation. On my receipt it says that the surgeon would be Dr Hartley / Dr Greaves. I do know that the surgeon who was supposed to work on me didn't turn up and that the other stepped in, just can't remember which one it was. I guess if Dr Greaves was supposed to work on me but didn't turn up then I had a very lucky escape! I seem to remember that the surgeon was South African, Caucasian, tall, pompous, with dark hair - does anyone know if that sounds like Dr Greaves or Dr Hartley?

 

Anyway, I would once again like to thank all of you for your kind posts - I really do feel more optimistic now. Whatever stage you are all at, I wish you all the best with your hair growth or your upcoming operation.

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I guess if Dr Greaves was supposed to work on me but didn't turn up then I had a very lucky escape! I seem to remember that the surgeon was South African, Caucasian, tall, pompous, with dark hair - does anyone know if that sounds like Dr Greaves or Dr Hartley?

 

Thats Hartley he also works for Norton :o

Greaves or Hartley? Thats like having to choose between losing an arm or a leg.

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Thanks for the reply S.A.F.

 

OMG - so I was originally supposed to have Greaves working on my head! I think I feel some shooting pains in my arm!

 

Saying that, I've been working my way through some previous posts just recently and I can't say that Norton sound any better. I wonder if Hartley still works for The H******* ***** or if he works with Norton full time now!

 

Either way, I'm just thankful that I haven't had as bad an experience as some of the guys on this site. I've just finished reading a topic about a poor guy who had been butchered by Norton and it's left me feeling sick!

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Seriously mate, Dr feller is up there with the best so you really cant go far wrong. As i mentioned i'll be exactly a year out on your op day and its one of, if not the, best decisions ive ever made!

 

Seriously you'll be fine, with the base that you have your gonna get an amazing result ;)

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Seriously mate, Dr feller is up there with the best so you really cant go far wrong. As i mentioned i'll be exactly a year out on your op day and its one of, if not the, best decisions ive ever made!

 

Seriously you'll be fine, with the base that you have your gonna get an amazing result ;)

 

Cheers Tommy Two - I really appreciate your insight.

 

Just so people don't get the wrong impression; I'm not doubting Dr Feller at all. I have seen plenty of proof that he is definitely a fantastic surgeon (wish I had known about him before my first op!). I'm just a little 'glass is half empty' when I think of my operation, again not because of the doc, but because I, like so many of you, have been down this path before (three times in fact). I just (every so slightly) worry that something might go wrong with my op - but I guess that's human nature.

 

To be honest, I feel that I have grown an incredible amount since my last operation (or become more cynical perhaps) and if I didn't feel confident that Dr F could make a vast difference then I wouldn't have decided to go through with it.

 

Not looking forward to the injections or the staples though! :(

 

Once again, thanks for the support Tommy - and to everyone.

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Its all good matey - try not worry too much now as you will only drive yourself crackers! Its worse going to the dentist ;)

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I seem to remember that the surgeon was South African, Caucasian, tall, pompous, with dark hair - does anyone know if that sounds like Dr Greaves or Dr Hartley?

 

Yeah sounds like Hartley since Greaves has grey hair. You've got nothing to worry about this time around as Feller's very capable and has worked on many repair patients like me.

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Cheers Spex and BAL. Whilst I obviously have a few nerves, I am also very excited. Can't wait to see New York!

 

I know that I have a long wait after this op, but just knowing that the little buggers are sitting in my bonce waiting to sprout will be comfort enough. Although, please remind me I said that when I'm moaning in a few months that I've seen no development! :)

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