I am 51 years old and my hair has been thinning slowly for the last 15 years or so. I started researching hair transplants approximately 5 years ago and conducted an immense amount of due diligence, mostly from the internet. As usual there are plenty of scare stories, but you need to factor that in. I looked at many countries and indeed had a consultation in Belgium as well as another in the UK.
My biggest concerns were;
- ‘concealing’ the fact that I had a hair transplant.
- making sure I had someone who was more than capable, that I knew would
do an excellent job - the last thing I wanted was a botched procedure.
Due to the necessity of shaving the donor site - hiding this was going to be difficult. Having it completed in Turkey, England or Belgium still meant I had to get a flight home with my donor area newly shaven. On further investigation of Turkey my chances of getting a reasonable job done felt at best 50/50 so I started looking at getting the job done at home. After probably too much searching, I finally came across Paradigm who would conduct the procedure in N.I. by an expert in plastic surgery.
I made contact and the ever-efficient Joanne kicked into top gear. I saw Dr Fogarty himself inside a few days- who is so down to earth you cannot feel anything other than comfortable. That plus the fact that he will be the actual person conducting the procedure (I don’t say surgery because the process doesn’t feel that surgical). Within 8 weeks of seeing Dr Fogarty there I was in the chair, having my hair shaved. I had 2200 graphs taken out and inserted over the course of two days. Having the anaesthetic injections is a bit painful, hardly excruciating but similar to an injection you have at the dentists so not overly pleasant. After that it’s a morning of hair removal, lunch, then insertions in the afternoon whilst you watch a box set on your pc. You are there from around 9am to 5pm each day.
I drove to and from the surgery both days, without any issues. As I had kept the procedure secret the more difficult part is keeping yourself out of sight of family, friends and visitors once you get home. After a weekend of this, I decided to book an Airbnb for the next week and that was ideal. I would recommend booking to go away somewhere for a fortnight and just save yourself the hassle of trying to explain the state of your head/hair. Now, to the important stuff - the hair. The first week is a regime of spraying water every 15-30 mins on your head which avoids scabbing and itchiness, you very quickly get into the habit and it does feel soothing. One of the nurses told me that you cannot do this enough, so I sprayed relentlessly.
Be prepared to sleep in an inclined position for a couple of nights. Although not specifically recommended I spent a week sleeping on an inclined lounger with a horseshoe shaped travel pillow which was comfortable. I slept really well and protected my head from any disturbance. You shower and gently wash your hair daily; I followed the instructions given religiously. Luckily, I had no forehead swelling and the puncture wounds healed exceptionally quickly.
I am currently over 3 weeks post-surgery, I do believe that my constant care and religiously following the few instructions has paid dividends, that said, I am pretty sure Brendan’s surgical skills have played an even larger part!
Regarding a haircut, I would recommend you get a high skin fade a few days before your procedure, by about 2 weeks it will have grown a surprising amount. I decided not to go back to work until 3 weeks later just to be on the safe side. It still looks like a short haircut, but no-one would ever suspect it is as the result of a hair transplant. I was able to leave my hair longer on top, as is the fashion at the minute. A good barber will go a long way to having the shaved area ‘grow’ into a passable style.
I was extremely cautious in taking the decision to have a hair transplant, however, it’s not that traumatic in reality. The key for me was finding a surgeon I was comfortable with and confident in; taking the correct precautions to avoid not being seen if you are wanting to keep it secret and finally being disciplined with the post op care, which only lasts for 10 days.
On the first point, I can honestly say Brendan, Joanne and the team are first class, the entire experience was a breeze and much easier than I could have hoped for, that in the main was down to the choice of picking the right surgeon. I honestly couldn’t recommend them enough from initial engagement through to post-op care and from what I can see so far; fantastic results.
Being at the top of the London hair scene for over 30 years I have managed to learn an awful lot about who the very best people are in our industry. When deciding who to consult for a transplant I was lucky enough to meet Joanne and Brendan from Paradigm. There are many with technical ability but few who have the eye to create a natural and realistic hairline. This aesthetic is crucial if you don't want to be the guy in the office (or salon!) that looks like he had a (cheap) transplant!
Bredan and Joanne have years of experience at making transplants look undetectable. My experience was very enjoyable. I got honest answers, great advise, and most importantly my expectation was perfectly managed.Thank you both. Looking forward to my next visit.
Windle and Moodie, Covent Garden, London.
My hair started to recede and thin about 7-8 years ago when I was in my mid to late twenties. I found this extremely difficult and stressful as I would take a lot of pride in how I look and the fact that I was losing my hair was very difficult to deal with. After about a year of watching my hair fall out I decided to seek advice. A friend had started taking the drug Finasteride which had shown him great results so I spoke with my GP about it and started to take the drug myself. Initially over the first few years of taking Finasteride I also had great results where the balding process seemed to stop or greatly slow down. This was great that it had slowed down but I had already receded quite a bit and it was constantly on my mind. I would permanently be trying to fix my hair to ensure that the receding sides were covered, using hairspray to try and keep my hair in place and buying all sorts of hair products to try and thicken the hair. This went on for a few years and every year it got more depressing and it would be taking up more of my mind.
A couple of years later the friend who told me about the Finasteride drug had decided to get a hair transplant through a well known hair clinic. He went to England to have the procedure where they remove a strip of skin from the back of your head and use the hairs from that strip to implant on the balding areas. Shortly after I went to see a hair loss consultant myself to discuss having this procedure but I was put off by the idea as the removal of the strip of skin from the back of the head would result in leaving a scar and as I wear my hair short this would be noticeable. In hindsight I am glad I didn’t go ahead with this procedure as my friend was very disappointed with the results and has since had another hair transplant (this time the FUE procedure). So for another few years I carried on with the Finasteride and driving myself up the walls trying to keep my hair in place!
Just over a year ago my hairdresser told me about a new hair transplant process (FUE) and how another one of his clients had this procedure carried out by a Surgeon here in Belfast who was pioneering the FUE procedure - Dr Fogarty. My hairdresser said the results of his client were excellent and that the procedure was very straight forward. I immediately arranged a consultation with Dr Fogarty.
My initial consultation with Dr Fogarty could not have gone any better, we were both on the same page when it came to what I wanted from the the procedure. I wanted to fill in the receding parts, bring my hair line forward a bit and ensure that the hair in behind would not start to thin out, while making sure I retained a natural looking hairline so that it would not be noticeable to other people that I have had a hair transplant. He explained the procedure in detail to me, how there would be no visible scarring and the minimal time I would need to take off work etc. He ensured me that everything would be private as anonymity was very important to me. The procedure itself would take place in a private place so that no one would see you coming to or going to the surgery. We looked through 'before and after' photos of previous patients of Dr Fogarty’s and by the end of the consultation I was very confident of going forward with the procedure. I can honestly say that even just after leaving the consultation it felt like a huge relief and weight off my shoulders.
A number of weeks after my consultation I was booked in for the procedure.
The day of the procedure itself was extremely straightforward. I met with Dr Fogarty and his fantastic team in the morning. They drew where the hairline would be on my head, provided pain relief, explained how the day would go and if I needed any breaks etc that was no problem. Dr Fogarty and his team couldn’t have been nicer or more welcoming and put to bed any nerves that I had that day. The actual procedure was very easy and I had no pain. I had been advised that there would be no pain beforehand but I was shocked at just easy how the day was. I spent a lot of the day on my iPad. I even think at one stage they had to ask me to stop talking as they were trying to concentrate! I was there most of the day and had someone drop me off and collect me when I was finished.
The days after the procedure were again very straightforward, I had very little pain and if I did that was relieved with paracetamol. There was a little bit of work to do to looking after my head and making sure to keep it clean by using a spray etc. Dr Fogarty sent me home with all the advice needed along with any medical supplies required. He also gave me his number and told me to call him anytime if I had any questions or anything. I took a week off work and this was more than enough time (I work in an office).
I am now about 10 months along after my procedure and already I cannot believe the results. It is truly amazing. The hair growth was noticeable after about 6 months and each month that goes on my hair is coming through more and thickening more. I really can’t wait to see how it further develops over the next year or so when I have been advised I will see the full results. I have gone from constantly thinking and worrying about my hair, checking it and fixing it every time I walk past a mirror to now where I don’t even think about it at all as I am so confident with the results already.
I can honestly say that having the procedure has really changed my life and I would definitely recommend anyone thinking about it to go for it and book that consultation with Dr Fogarty. Dr Fogarty and his team are really great and I am extremely pleased with how they treated me and the after care I have received, I couldn’t recommend them highly enough. I am aware that the FUE procedure is a lot of money like any surgery is, but it has been worth every penny.
I am in my late 40’s.
I have been thinking about doing something with my hair situation for many years. I spoke to lots of people/companies over a period of many years about the options of a hair transplant and always felt that their primary focus was a business transaction with no real regard as to my wishes and concerns. From my late 30’s my hair had began to thin in places and gradually got to the stage where it was a major negative factor in how I felt. I used lots of different products to slow the hair loss and in more recent years used specific products to disguise the hair loss.
I am a naturally confident person and have been successful in my career to date. However my loss of hair played a major part in my confidence diminishing.
I never really had the courage or belief that a hair transplant would be the right thing to do. This was due to the guilt associated with the potential cost and also the apparent vanity aspect. My wife had made it clear that she did not care whether I had a full head of hair or not but that she would support my decision either way.
Things changed after I was referred to Paradigm by a very close friend who Knows Brendan personally.
After a consultation with Brendan and Joanne, I knew not only had I found the right team, but their passion, straight talking and most of all the feeling they gave me allowed the decision to have a transplant(fue)become easy.
I will say that it is not a decision to be taken lightly due to the financial outlay, however it really does change your life. This may sound a little far fetched, however if you are or have feelings and anguish about your hair loss Joanne and Brendan are the people to meet. They are very keen to meet all prospective clients and they make it clear that there is no obligation.
There is no hard sell indeed they merely advised (very openly and frankly) what they believed was possible. They were realistic and informed me that in their experience they were optimistic of a successful outcome. They managed my expectation and explained what would be the best options for me.
I had the procedure carried out in Dec 2017 and the day itself was much easier than I had ever imagined. Brendan’s entire team showed the same level of professionalism and care that I encountered from my very first consultation.
It is now Apr 2018,everything that I was told from my initial meeting with the guys about the before during and after has proven to be correct. There have been a few phone calls made by myself and a couple of follow ups to serve as reassurance as at times I can be a little demanding, all my queries/concerns were dealt with and allayed promptly. This has merely reinforced my belief that Paradigm are at the pinnacle of Hair restoration.(FUE)
The day of the procedure was actually very straightforward and even though my hair growth is still at the early stages my confidence is gradually returning.
I would happily speak to anyone about my experience as I believe strongly that if you are serious and can afford it ,we are very lucky to have such dedicated specialists here in Belfast.
BG, Belfast April 2018