Jessi's NeoGraft Journey
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.
Question: When did you first notice your hair was thinning?
Jessi: I had a full head of long curly locks until after my first son. During pregnancy, it’s common knowledge that women’s hair grows real thick, then can fall out during nursing, but for most women it grows back. My hair didn’t exactly bounce back, but it wasn’t a huge deal. Then after my second child, there was a noticeable thin spot smack in the middle of my hair line. Mother nature isn’t the most kind to women, but my two boys were totally worth it.
Question: What did you do about your hair loss?
Jessi: Mostly, I just kind of accepted it, and went about raising my children. Everyone has a thing they are insecure about, I thought hair loss was just going to be mine. Not that I gave up, but I didn’t let it dominate my life. My hair stylist would recommend options, and we had fun trying them all: spray fibers, shampoos, topical treatments, thickening agents, but most of that stuff just helps with the hair you have, it doesn’t grow new hair.
Question: Interesting, you said you had fun trying hair loss solutions.
Jessi: Oh yeah. Don’t pity me. I have a great life and sense of humor. Hair loss is upsetting, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy life. I love my hair stylist, we love hanging, and trying products or hair loss solutions. If they worked, great. If not, I was still hanging out with a friend of mine.
Question: So how did you hear about NeoGraft?
Jessi: Another friend of mine knew about NeoGraft. She’s the kind of friend that doesn’t worry about hurting my feelings. She says it like it is, thought I might be a good candidate for a hair transplant, and she recommended a Hair Restoration Practice in Charlotte, North Carolina called HKB.
Question: What was the hair transplant consultation like?
Jessi: The hair consultation was so natural. Dr. Kortesis listened to my whole story, then did some tests to determine that my hair loss wasn’t related to hormones or other health concerns. Once he knew I was a candidate, he explained that NeoGraft doesn’t leave a visible scar, the recovery is relatively fast, and that it takes 6-12 months before the hair starts to grow. Most importantly, he didn’t sell NeoGraft as a miracle cure. And that the key to hair restoration is teaming up with the right doctor to create a lifetime of hair, and that NeoGraft is part of that comprehensive solution. In my six years of hair loss, this was the first time a doctor or company didn’t sell some one-trick-fix-all.
Question: What was the NeoGraft procedure like?
Jessi: The procedure was relatively comfortable. Of course, the valium helped. As a woman, getting segments of the back of your head shaved for the donor area was concerning, but I have long hair, so covering it up that was no problem. Their team is a bunch of pros and made it all very seamless. The whole process took about 7 hours; which sounds like a long time, but I had an iPad and a new season of Orange is the New Black to watch. So I breezed through the whole season of my favorite show and got a whole new head of hair. Seems like a fair deal to me.
Question: What was the worst part of the transplant process?
Jessi: It’s all relative. Compared to a “traditional” hair transplant, where they cut flesh out of your scalp and staple your head back together, NeoGraft is a massage. With that other procedure, those men and women can’t pick up their kids for months. That’s a non-starter for me and my two boys. Now, NeoGraft is minimally invasive, but it’s still a procedure where they harvested 1200 follicles from the back of my head and implanted them to the front of my hair line. So, it’s understandable that I had some swelling in my forehead, not much bruising, but a significant amount of itching. They gave me this “calming spray” that I can’t recommend more. After those first three days of discomfort, I was able to return to my regular routine. From there, the hardest part is the anticipation, because the hair follicles go dormant for 6 months before they start to grow again. That’s a lot of time for doubt to creep in, but my doctor prepared me for it.
Question: When did you realize that NeoGraft worked?
Jessi: There were three points that really let me know NeoGraft worked. First, when the hair started growing in, I had these sprouts of hair that weren’t as long as my other hair, my stylist and I had to figure out a new haircut. Basically, I had bangs for a couple months. Second, out of nowhere, my mother complimented how full the front of my hairline looked. Then she added how she thought NeoGraft was just another phoney miracle cure, now she recommends NeoGraft to other women she knows. Third, my husband randomly commented on how thick my hair looked. He’s the kind of guy that never notices if I got a haircut, but he noticed my hair transplant. But here’s the part that matters. I didn’t get a hair transplant for my mom or my husband, I got NeoGraft for me. And I noticed it was working at about 6 months.
Ladies need to look out for each other, be informed about what actually works, be sensitive, yet be honest with each other about female hair loss.
Question: Why do you think more women don’t talk about hair loss and NeoGraft?
Jessi: That’s a complicated question. There’s definitely a stigma around female hair loss. Part of it goes back to how women are raised. We’re taught not to illuminate peoples’ faults and focus on their strengths, which is a good thing. Finding the beauty in everyone is a genuine strength, but life is short, and if hair loss bothers you, you don’t need to suffer through it. And this day in age, it’s tough to trust all the garbage on the Internet. After going through 6 years of hair loss myself, and wasting money on all those “miracle cures”, I look at it like this… Ladies need to look out for each other, be informed about what actually works, be sensitive, yet be honest with each other about female hair loss. That’s why I’m comfortable talking about it. Sure, it’d be nice if no one knew I needed a hair transplant, but it’s way more important to let women know that NeoGraft is a legitimate, bonafide, and trustworthy solution for female hair loss.