David’s NeoGraft Journey:
A 34 year-old male patient came to the Nashville Hair Doctor for a hair transplant. He had noticed some thinning hair on his crown and also wanted to do something about his receding hairline. The friendly consultant at the Hair Doctor practice in Brentwood advised that a 2,800 graft NeoGraft hair transplant would produce the best results on his dark, coarse and wavy hair to reverse his hair loss due to male pattern baldness.
Male Patient, 34 years old | 2800 Grafts
Practice: Nashville Hair Doctor | Nashville, Tennessee
Hair loss is different for everyone. It’s medical. It’s emotional. It’s a tangled web of feelings about attractiveness, health concerns, professional aspirations, and it’s all magnified by our increasingly image-obsessed culture. This story is part of our mission collect a range of stories covering patients’ motivations, their procedures, their fears, their recoveries— everything. Because when all those stories come together, they take hair loss from something people whisper about to an open honest conversation about a medical condition that happens to every gender, creed, and color.
David had a hair transplant using the NeoGraft technology, which uses a concept called Follicular Unit Extraction. He had 2,800 grafts transplanted in a one-day procedure that lasted approximately eight hours. Above you can see the timeline, in pictures, of his hair transplant results up until the 6-month mark, with more growth still expected up until around 14 months.
What made you want to get a hair transplant?
Answer: Basically, I started noticing that the crown of my head was showing. It’s not a spot you typically see, so I had no idea that I had this bald spot. I actually always thought I had good hair because of genetics, so it was quite a shock to learn otherwise.
When you decided to have a hair transplant, what were you most concerned about going in?
Answer: I wasn’t really concerned about the procedure. Maybe the fact that I had to sit there for 8 hours, I was a little wary of that.
Did the procedure last longer or shorter than you expected? How did you pass the time?
Answer: It was just about as long as I thought. I got to watch TV most of the time, so looking back it doesn’t seem that long at all. I had a remote control and could turn on whatever I wanted. I had to sit in different positions depending on where they worked.
Was it painful, or how would you describe the feeling?
Answer: They numbed the areas they worked on with lidocaine, so I didn’t feel much of anything. I could sometimes feel a little pinch from where they extracted hair, or a little pinprick where it was inserted. But it was easy to manage because I was in control of the pain level.
"I would say the secret to good hair transplant results is to “baby” your hair that first week and not do anything that might harm those grafts."
What was your recovery like, i.e. did you have any discomfort afterwards, how did you sleep, was there any swelling, etc.?
Answer: My recovery lasted about a week. I wasn’t in any pain, but I waited about that long before showing myself in public again. I had some swelling that started at the top of the head and came down to the jaw on the 2nd day. I slept with my head elevated, and this is a big deal. When you lay flat is when you swell. One night I slipped off the pillow and slept normal and that is when my face was swollen. It took 1-2 days to disappear again. They recommend sleeping in a recliner for the first 7 days, and if I did it again, that’s what I would do.
Was your head itchy afterwards? How long did you wait before washing your hair?
Answer: The back of my head was itchy where they extracted the hair. I kept a squirt bottle to spray water on it whenever it felt itchy. I waited 3 days before washing my hair. After that I used a cup to pour soapy water on my head, just like Shauna at the Hair Doctor had instructed me. I got a set of instructions on when I could wear a hat again, how to wash my hair, etc. My tip is to follow those instructions. If anything, I was even more careful. I would say the secret to good hair transplant results is to “baby” your hair that first week and not do anything that might harm those grafts. Whatever they tell you not to do, don’t do it!
How soon after your procedure did you return to work?
Answer: I went back after 1 week. Physically I could have go sooner but I wanted to give time for swelling and scabs to go away.
When did you see the first results, and were they as expected?
Answer: I would say at about 2-3 months. At 6 months I’m definitely further along than I anticipated. I think it’s because I did everything like instructed. I didn’t wear tight fitting hats at all for the first few months.
- Post-op Photo:
The patient was happy with how “normal” he looked, with donor and recipient areas starting to scab over.
- Day 3 Photo:
On Day 2, the patient experienced swelling form the top of the head down to the rest of his face. He made sure to keep his head elevated the next night and by Day 3 the swelling had subsided again.
- Day 5 Photo:
The patient was thrilled with his hair looking almost back to normal, with hardly any scabs showing and hair growing in nicely.
- 6 Month Photo:
The patient is very happy with the results, with the hairline having gained almost an inch, and his crown almost completely covered. He was told to expect his best results at 14 months and was not expecting so much growth just 6 months in.