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30's Androgenetic Alopecia transplant was not a success -updated

Discussion in 'Hair Transplants for Women' started by applebox, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. applebox

    applebox Guest

    I've’ been lurking on this site so long it is high time to post. Especially since I am 3 weeks post op, have shockloss like crazy, and will be trolling the topper section for a new solution! Lol, such is life with hair loss....

    First and foremost thanks to this site and to all who post. Wonderful, wonderful website.

    Yep, I had a hair transplant and have my fingers crossed. All I can do is wait and see and it may be a long and unpleasant road. What is certain is that I knew the risks (shockloss, poor result), I did my research the best I could and at the moment am at peace with my choice. It’s definitely a lot of time, money and stress, without a lot of success stories out there, so buyer beware. I guess I am just a risk taker. Or just very very vain lol.

    My case:
    I’m in my 30’s, thinning for 8 years or so, Androgenetic Alopecia by default (although no females in my family are thin). No hormone issues other than slightly elevated DHEAS. Am on Yasmins, Spironolactone, 5% minoxidil.
    The transplant docs I visited said that because only my crown and top were very thin, and the rest pretty normal (back and hairline), I was a very unique – and good – candidate. Out of about 8 of them, only one did not want to do it because he was concerned about permanent shockloss to all the miniaturized hair on top. (Now I am also concerned about this more than ever). Emotionally, I am in a good place. Financially - well, I have a decent line of credit lol.

    Research:
    Online, hands down the website hairtransplant network, its forums and bald truth talk tell you everything you need to know about the procedure and recommended doctors. There are some doctor-posted photos of female transplants, but its all men pretty much on the site. Female transplant stories as you can tell even from this site, are very scarce.


    Doctor Choice
    In person and through online consult I eventually found a location and doctor that came very highly recommended, I found trustworthy, and I also clicked with (i.e. not arrogant).
    For me, this was worth travelling anywhere within North America for. If it doesn’t work, the last thing I want is to think “what if I went to someone with a REALLY great reputationâ€. I didn’t want feel awkward about getting post-op advice or asking many questions. Same thing goes for price - I don't want to look back wondering if it didn't work because I tried to save some money. Personally, I also liked getting it done out of town so no here knows I did it.

    The procedure:
    The forums I mentioned have great medical and personal accounts describing it all. I got 2000 grafts, top and crown area. For my two cents, I am sure glad I took two weeks off. It's emotional to go through, your head feels weird, it's hard to sleep, you have buyers remorse, you might swell the first few days, you are constantly preoccupied, and self conscious.

    Post-op:
    Now at three weeks post op and I am getting the dreaded shockloss which most docs told me to brace for (women and diffuse thinners are a higher risk – up to 50%). This is when your native hair falls out from the â€shock†of the procedure. I can have shockloss continue for several more weeks, and it will take months to grow back because once it falls out it is in a resting phase for 3 months or so. I’m glad headbands are still so in – I’ll be wearing them a while. I am using toppix too, which I like. And yep, I am going to look at toppers now. My scalp feels numb in places, which is expected for several months as well.

    Expectations
    So, its going to be a long road – I wonder why the heck I did this when summer (long sunny days and nights outdoors OMG) is so close. I may look worse than ever for while! Really, for the next several months likely nothing will happen (grafts are in resting phase too) or worse thinning.I can see why some women disappear on this after getting it done. It will be so long before I have any definitive answers and it could be tough emotionally to revisit any “non success†by posting the next while. They say it can take 8 months before you see anything at all.

    So that’s it for now! Hopeful and realistic. Thanks again all.
     
  2. Deirdre

    Deirdre Senior Member

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    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    I hope you are one of those who is a success story. Keep us posted as to what happens. I went for a consult as I have thick hair around the bottom of my head too but it seems really risky and not too effective in most women. But everyone is different and having known that you have tried everything out there does make a difference. That is why I flew to NYC to see Dr Redmond. Good luck!
     
  3. applebox

    applebox Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    Thanks! I will definitely make an effort to update.

    4 weeks post op today. Not so nonchalant today about it. It's a very sunny bright day outside, and now the top of my head has about a tennis-ball sized area that's really bare looking. Ugh, it would be pretty much bald it the grafts weren't there - small stubble and that's it. Felt like hiding all day. Never realized how much I hid behind my hair before . I always wore it long and down and over my face. Now its all headbands and pony tails.

    So, it's safe to say that at the moment I am MUCH thinner than before the transplant at the crown -and maybe 30% thinner on the rest of the top - which was a very real prospect and is supposed to be temporary. Fingers crossed the shedding stops soon!
     
  4. CarliGali

    CarliGali Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    applebox - how are you? I do visit the idea of transplants and I even have seen an especialist about it. (Dr Bauman). Please keep us updated. GOOD LUCK!
     
  5. sadie_2008

    sadie_2008 Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    Thanks for informing us about your procedure. You are very brave! Fingers crossed you will see results over the next few months :)
     
  6. kimm

    kimm Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    Thanks so much for posting applebox!

    You're right, most women who announce their procedures here don't come back for an update.

    I wish you nothing but success with your procedure!

    And you're right, there are wonderful supplemental hair options for you out there in the meantime. I'm very thankful for those who post about their experiences with those as well!

    I love your positive attitude! A very tough thing to do when you're dealing with hair loss!

    I hope you hang around! :)
     
  7. applebox

    applebox Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    Hey everyone, thank you all very much for the support! It's incredible to realize how much you feel connected to the people here and the comfort of kind words. Made me a bit teary.

    So it's week five. A big BOO this week as the grafts are continuing to fall out (supposed to happen at this stage but I was hopeful).

    Biggest mistake so far was doing this in March. In order to give myself an 8 month window for obvious improvement, should have been done in fall to avoid summer altogether.

    On that note, if anyone knows any good books/sites for positive visualization techniques and the like let me know! Couldn't hurt as we all know with hair loss it does get hard to keep a healthy attitude....
     
  8. applebox

    applebox Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    Small victory today - about 40 hairs lost in the shower! Compared to the 170+ plus (I would stop counting 'cause I was mortified) over many days. Hopefully the mega-shockloss-dreadshed is on its way out!
     
  9. CarliGali

    CarliGali Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    I am keeping fingers crossed for you and wish you much success, please keep us updated.
     
  10. applebox

    applebox Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    Time for an update and it's unfortunately not good news so far. Shock loss is still continuing at almost 8 weeks. Hundreds in the shower today, and a large grapefruit sized area thats bald or just about. With couvre, toppix, hairspray, careful arrangement and a headband that pushes my bangs (which are hanging on barely) completely to the back, I can hide it to some success (including wishful thinking!)

    Signs of transplant success is months to come but I definitely wouldn't recommend this so far for diffuse thinners. It seems that "worst case scenario" shockloss was in the cards for me, adding to the stress of wondering if Ill even get back my bio hair now. My grafts took longer to fall out than expected, which I presume has also delayed the resting phase and with continuing shockloss the timeline for results could be even farther away than I suspected.

    Not much I can do but soldier on. I'm gonna call a wig lady today and maybe henna my hair to dye the scalp somewhat. That's it for now - just wanted to keep the forum posted on my experience.
     
  11. Lily

    Lily Senior Member

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    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you. I consulted with a doctor about a hair transplant, but I have too much diffuse thinning and my donor area (nape of neck) isn't all that red hot, although I do have more hair there than anyplace else. I think, being younger, (I'm 62) that you have a better chance than I did. Keep us posted!
     
  12. applebox

    applebox Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    A pretty awful news update. Shockloss continues, way beyond the treated area, and way longer that anyone anticipated (even the clinic said they have seen it up to eight weeks...this is going on 13). 300+ (easily!) in the shower alone. 8-10 just running my fingers through parts of my hair sometimes.

    I called the doctor and was told that I just have to wait it out, it should start come back. But maybe not till months 7-8 now. And even worse - he also told me while it is extremely rare, he has had one female case (diffuse thinner as well) where the hair did not come back at all.

    So now, I can only pray and pray and pray that it will stop soon....and ALSO come back eventually. But at this rate of loss, OMG. Let me serve as a lesson to others thinking of this. I went to the "top" docs. I paid a premium price. I have no idea what the next day, week and month will bring. It's a really, really tough time.
     
  13. Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    I will say a prayer for you. :grouphug:
     
  14. Martha716

    Martha716 Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    Dear Applebox,

    I can't imagine what you are going through right now, but at least you have done EVERYTHING you could to work with your bio hair. We all have wondered whether we ought to try this or that measure and certainly we've all considered grafts. I have diffuse loss, too, and could easily have tried grafts. The price along put me off, plus I always thought my hair would just fall out whatever I did (a fatalists approach, I suppose).

    I really hope this works for you in the end and that we have an update soon that shows some big improvements for you. You are very brave and I have so much admiration for you.

    Martha
     
  15. snowflake

    snowflake Experienced Member

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    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    Yes Applebox please keep us updated. I am thinking things will turn around for you soon.
     
  16. applebox

    applebox Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    The support is so much appreciated. It helps me stay positive when it feels impossible to!
     
  17. ihatethis

    ihatethis Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    Applebox....I went to Bosley for a transplant consultation about 7 years ago but they said I wasn't a good candidate because of my diffuse thinning.

    I've gotten pretty desperate about my hairloss at times and if someone had given me even a glimmer of hope a transplant may work and I could afford it...I'd probably be in your shoes as well.

    I will keep you in my prayers tonight. Tonight instead of praying for my hair to return, I will pray for yours to...perhaps I have better luck praying for others rather than myself. :)
     
  18. bluegirl

    bluegirl Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    sending positive vibes your way!!!! ;)
     
  19. applebox

    applebox Guest

    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    Time flies! So, at 4.5 months, the shockloss is now finally significantly slowing down just in the LAST WEEK or so. Can barely believe it....shocking, lol. So, I am thankful for that, although the shedding is still 2-3 times more every day than pre-procedure.

    Now the wait to see if it will grow, this massive bald top of mine (the full top of my head has next to nothing, bigger than grapefruit now about the size of a side plate, up to front hairline and the edges curving down to the sides, plus random patches on the sides).

    The doctor has been responsive, always returning my calls promptly, saying I should see growth by month 7 or 8 and that he thinks I've seen the worst of it. Ya think? Holy bajeezus this has been brutal.

    I am going to try and not think about it for a couple of months (in a relative sense.) Keep some eternal optimism going....lose the battle win the war idea. Just thought I'd keep y'all posted.

    It's nice to learn one positive thing about myself in this whole process/debacle. Between the stress and the tears, the fear and hopelessness, at the end of the day I do tend to pick my chin up and move on. My spirt is tough!

    Have a good day ladies. As been said by others before - we are more than our hair!
     
  20. Deirdre

    Deirdre Senior Member

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    Re: I went for it! 30's Androgenetic Alopecia. But next stop, toppers!

    Let us know what happens!
     

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