Hair Restoration Diary – Tim Penfold
Decision Making and Meeting Courthouse Clinics
I’m 35 today, and although I’m happy with where my life is going, I’m depressed because I’m losing my hair. Every guy’s nightmare, I guess. I feel old, and to keep me in good spirits for meeting friends tonight, I feel I need to take some action regarding my hair loss before it’s too late. My hair loss became evident at 30, and has progressively worsened since. So, my decision is made: Hair restoration enquiry needed. I have scheduled an appointment with Courthouse Clinics to see what can be done.
5th April – Consult with Hair Loss Team – Courthouse Clinics
Went to the clinic today, where I received a warm and professional welcome. The hair loss team explained all the options available in great detail, enabling me to make the decision for a hair transplant. I found myself a little apprehensive, however I was shown before and after pictures and we discussed the full procedure in great detail – it has helped put my mind at ease. I feel confident with Courthouse, as their surgeons have a great deal of experience. Now I’ve made the decision the next step is to meet the specialist surgeon. I just want to get things moving now, it all sounds positive.
7th June – Pre-Consult with Specialist Hair Surgeon & Procedure
I was greeted today by my surgeon who was professional, direct, and honest regarding the full procedure. He advised me of the pros and cons and was very patient in answering all of my questions. He certainly didn’t rush me and he confirmed what I should expect to achieve from the procedure, taking time to recommend follow-up aftercare routines too. I feel more at east about it all now. Excitedly wanting my hair to start growing back as soon as possible (as it can take 3–6 months after the transplant, for the follicles to grow fully).
It all went very well, it was an early start. The nursing team were incredible, four of them fussing over me. The surgeon briefed me beforehand; he was consistent, positive and instilled confidence in me. I knew I’d chosen the right clinic and the right surgeon. I didn’t experience any pain as they administered a local anesthetic along with a mild sedative to make me more comfortable in the chair as the procedure takes approximately 3-4 hours. I had a light snooze and was talkative again before the end of the treatment. I received a high amount of hair follicles through the transplant, so I know it was a great success. I can already see where I now will have a hair line (fringe) again, as I can see where the hair follicles have been placed at the front of my head. My crown area also looks fuller: amazing! Afterwards I experienced a headache and some discomfort where the incision was made to the back of my head, but all was made bearable with pain killers.
Post treatment – symptoms, side-effects and progress
Woke up this morning with some swelling to the forehead, post-op care is to take anti-inflammatory tablets, pain killers, and a cold compress every hour to an hour and a half for 15 mins, held on the swollen area.
The swelling traveled south today down to my eyes. I was rather puffy. It was little daunting. A cold compress soon helped bring that down. No discomfort from the swelling at all though. The only discomfort is the tightness around the incision area, which you would expect.
Majority of the swelling has reduced today, a little under the eyes and in the cheek area. Thankfully I can wash the back and sides of my hair for the first time today which is great.
The swelling has cleared up today, looking so much better! I am able to wash sides and back of hair daily and even rinse the top of my head where the transplanted follicles are, which is a nice feeling, too. Soothing. Feeling better in myself today, so the healing process is accelerating now.
The hair follicles that have been transplanted have small bloodlet scabs around them which are just to be left alone. The healing is creating a slightly itchy scalp, but that means progress, which is great. Incision area is tender but not feeling so tight today.
Today I found many of the scabs were flaking off the scalp which is eliminating some of the itching. From tomorrow I can wash my hair all over, including the transplanted hair follicles area (using a soft sponge). Looking forward to that! Not taking painkillers so much now. Overall it will be a week tomorrow since the surgery, so the body does heal quite quickly. All I have to do now is excitedly wait for the hair to grow!
Washing my hair today – all over, I mean- for the first time was a joy. Naturally I washed my hair gently with a sponge as directed by the nurses who were so good and thorough in providing all the information needed for the best aftercare.
Today was my follow up visit at the clinic with the nurse, which had all been pre-arranged by Courthouse. They make everything go like clockwork, so you can relax and have peace of mind that all is in hand. I had my stitches out today, and I have to say I didn’t even feel them being removed. It’s so vital to follow the after care programme correctly – I feel I’m having speedy and excellent results.
July – August – October
Naturally this is the waiting period which you would expect, and of course the consultant explained to me the hair growth cycle process, so patience is key. Taking painkillers completely stopped in June, I needed them less and less. July and August I have had a little discomfort and some itching on the incision area where the skin is healing, but certainly this was not painful and no painkillers were needed at anytime. I was just aware of the tightness. By September this was minimal.
It’s here! Really exciting – the new hairs are starting to come through, it’s quite amazing. I have lots of hairs sprouting out of the transplanted follicles at the front where my hairline had receded, and also on my crown area. I can feel the ones on my crown, it’s like a crew cut with the bristles sticking up. I know that sounds crazy but it’s a great feeling! By December I got the anticipated hair growth, it has definitely grown by half an inch – it’s evident that I have a hairline in place now, and it is looking really good. The crown is starting to show much better coverage and will look great when I have a little more length there. I am really happy. It can only get even better now.
Today I had my first proper haircut since I can remember! My hair is growing at a very healthy speed now. Also my hair looks in great condition so the careful precision of the surgeon and his nurse team clearly do a great job in ensuring the hairs are transplanted and placed in the applicable areas appropriately and effectively. That said, admittedly, and advised by the surgeon, to achieve an ever denser coverage/fullness then I could have a second and final procedure (stage two). I have now booked in for this.
In conclusion, I am absolutely and positively delighted with the outcome from my procedure, the current density is a significantly substantial improvement in hair growth and will naturally continue to improve and thicken further in time. Overall to date, my hair is looking so healthy, friends have commented on its thickness (and I didn’t even tell those ones that I was having it done, shhhhh!). I am able to style my hair with confidence each day and that is the biggest Christmas present I could have given myself this year. I certainly would urge any guy with reservations about losing his hair to just go for it and treat himself!