This article is not going to cover the mechanics and science behind hair transplant surgery. I’ve covered that in many of my other articles. This one is going to cover what I think is the most important side: emotional expectations. We’ll talk about the emotions you will experience before, during and after your hair transplant surgery.
I am very familiar with all the emotions experienced by people with hair loss and baldness, by those who have been the victims of a bad hair transplant and by those who have finally found someone truly interested in helping them. I have lived all these scenarios. This is my story.
I was a guy in my early 20s when I first started looking into hair transplants. There I was, a young man at an age when I shouldn’t have been worrying about going bald. But I was.
I found a local doctor doing hair transplant surgery in the area where I grew up. I had my first hair transplant. This doctor promised me 1500 to 2000 grafts and a short seven months later, I could literally count what was left – about one or two hundred. I had lost about 1300 to 1700 grafts, and that is hair that never grows back and are lost forever. It meant that if I went bald in the future, I would not be left with enough hair to fill my crown. I was devastated.
For years after, I did research. I even studied and got my BA in Hair Transplants. I studied every website and blog. I looked at every before and after photo I could find. I read and re-read every article. Eventually, I gained enough knowledge to sift through the schemes and scams and to actually see and understand the math and science of hair transplant surgery. I was able to see behind and through the slick ads and re-touched photos that are so many sites.
I knew I was going to have a repair done. My problem was I started thinking too much, got nervous and scared and came close to talking myself out of it completely. Then one day, I just did it. Nervous, but I did it. That night and the next, I put on a hat and went out. I couldn’t even remember why I was so worried.
I hit my wall emotionally around the one month mark. All the transplanted hairs shed, as they normally do. Now I had to wait from three to six months for the hair regrowth to happen. I would stand looking in the mirror for hours every day, trying to see hair growing, hoping they would. I was driving myself insane. I had been through so much devastation just for hair that I was more than ready to move past it.
Then, one day, about three months later, I could see the hairs beginning to sprout. Words cannot describe the joy and relief I felt. It had happened. I had worried and obsessed, wasted countless hours staring into the mirror, all without changing a thing. I had wasted so much time and energy.
The day came, around the six month mark, when I did something I had not been able to do for more than five years. I took a shower, got out and slicked my full head of hair back. I walked out the door. The freedom I felt was a brand new experience. No more worrying about blowing winds or how to style it to hide the baldness. It was unbelievable.
For the next two to three months I would check my reflection in shop windows or look into the mirror expecting the hair to be gone. I had spent so much time agonizing over the fact that I was balding at the age of 21. Every time I checked, my hair was still there. One day, around a year after surgery, I finally realized that my hair would always be there – full and thick. That was the most amazing sense of freedom I have known. Six years later, I still enjoy a full head of hair. A miracle for me, but it came through a remarkable and dedicated surgeon applying cutting edge techniques and science.
So, coming from someone who has been through it, my advice is to stop overthinking it. Get and understand the information, but then once your decision is made to have a hair transplant, just do it. Know that you will feel nervous, you will be anxious waiting for the hair to grow in. But a year later, you will be glad that you made that life-changing step.