Progress is updated regularly! Check back often to see current pictures and videos!

Monday, December 31, 2012

15 Weeks 3 Days! HAPPY NEW-"HAIR"!

It's New Year's eve and I'm posting a couple pictures of my new front hair line.  The first picture was taken last week and the other is from November 21st.!  It may not be as evident in this picture but my transplanted hair is really starting to grow!  My hair line is really becoming evident and certainly more obvious!  You can clearly see more growth when you look on the left side of each picture!  

I'm really looking forward to the NEW YEAR and NEW HAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!

Current hair line!

About 6 weeks ago!

Monday, December 24, 2012

14 Weeks & 3 Days!

Today I'm showing you a couple of head-shot pictures.  One was taken on November 9th and the other was taken yesterday....December 23rd.  Although it may be difficult to tell from the photos....quite a bit of hair has started to grow in the six weeks between photos!  I will post some comparison pictures of my hair line in the next few days.

November 9th

December 23rd

Friday, December 21, 2012

14 Weeks today!!!!

Remember, I was a high school biology teacher prior to becoming a school administrator and now retired!  Therefore, the science of this process is quite interesting to me.  Today I'm including a brief lesson on hair growth!  It's been 3 1/2 months since my surgery.  I can definitely see signs of new growth that I've documented in my blog with pictures. Today, I will discuss the two most important phases of hair growth (Anagen & Telogen) as it relates to my transplant.

Dr. Vories extracted hairs from my donor area and moved them to the recipient area.  This in all likelihood caused the individual follicles to move into the Telogen Phase which typically results in the hair falling out (referred to as "shock-out" in my blog).  This is part of the normal hair cycle we all experience throughout our lives.  However, the stress of the surgery moves each hair into this phase.  This resting period for the hair can last from 1-4 months.  

The Anagen Phase is the active phase of hair follicles.  The root of the hair are dividing rapidly, adding to the hair shaft.  During this phase the hair grows about a half inch per month!  The hair stays in this active phase of growth for 2-7 years.  The amount of time the hair follicle stays in the anagen phase is genetically determined.  The arbitrary time line of the two phases is what causes hair growth most of the time and finding hairs in your sink or shower part of the time!  Each hair has its own growth cycle!

My transplanted hair has experienced the shock and is resting in the Telogen phase.  However, it has become obvious to me that some of my transplanted hair is back in the Anagen phase and beginning to grow!!  Dr. Vories keeps reminding me to be patient and expect lots of hair growth over the next few months! 

I hope this brief overview of the growth cycle of hair has helped explain what is happening in the pictures on my blog!!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

13 Weeks!

Not a lot to report at this time.  I am including a quick picture of my crown area.  You can clearly see new hairs poking through the surface.  The numbness on top of my head still exists but I believe it is slowly going away.  Dr. Vories said it would take several months for the numbness to totally subside.

Monday, December 3, 2012

11 Wks. & 3 Days - Since Surgery!

We just celebrated Thanksgiving recently and I want to take this opportunity to also say thanks to Dr. Michael Vories at Carolina Hair Surgery for making my hair surgery possible!  I would never do "strip" surgery but Dr. Vories graciously performed a record breaking four day procedure that included 5,125 grafts!  Most doctors would never have attempted such a grand procedure in one session!  I also want to thank NeoGraft for developing the technology that made it possible!  It's an amazing process and the NeoGraft technology contributed to the record breaking procedure! (click on their names above and it will link you to their websites where you can find additional information).

I'm posting some new pictures today! I'm including a previous picture of my crown area taken on November 9th, (25 days ago). I think you can see more evidence of hair growth. I'm also including a very close up picture of the same area. You can plainly see a pimple in the picture. These are typical in-grown hairs from the procedure. I've had lots of pimples but all of them have been very small and inconsequential. The new hair finds its way to the surface and sometimes encounters a blocked path creating a pimple but eventually it breaks through the affected area and reaches the surface.

December 3rd

November 9th

Notice the pimple and new hairs!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

9 Weeks & 5 Days!

I'm posting a couple new pictures today.  One is a standard pose you have seen many times before.  The other is a close-up of my front hair line.  If you look close, you can see a few new hairs just starting to poke through the skin.  Although you cannot see much in the pictures, I can certainly feel new hair growth when I touch the top of my head.  My wife Michele feels the same thing and calls it "under-growth"!  She cut my hair the other day and it was the first hair cut I have had since the September 10th surgery.  My donor area looks great but needed a trim.  

I must be doing a good job of explaining the whole FUE transplant process on the blog because it has nearly 1,500 page views and no one has ever sent me a specific question.  Feel free to contact me anytime!

Friday, November 9, 2012

8 Weeks...Post-Op!!!!

Today I'm attempting to show several photos taken today November 9th, and compare them with October 10th, about a month ago.  The close up photos are of my crown area.  In the most recent one you can see many new little  hairs that have broken the surface!  The last photo is the same area of my head but a much closer image!  I'm excited to know that the new hairs appear to be growing!

October 10th


November 9th

October 10th (Crown Area)

November 9th (Crown Area)

Zoomed in Crown Area!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

7 Weeks and 3 days

I clearly can feel new hairs on the top of my head and my wife confirms it as well!  Prior to the surgery all I could feel was my scalp and a few hairs.  Now, I feel little "prickly" hairs everywhere.  I suppose they could be transplanted hairs but I believe they are new hairs.  

I haven't had a hair cut since the surgery but I'll be getting one soon.  My wife is a hair dresser so that makes it very convenient for me.  The donor area is no longer sensitive when you rub it so I consider it 95% healed at this point.  The recipient area is still a bit numb but Dr. Vories said that will remain for a little while longer.  

I'll post some new pictures soon! 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

6 Weeks & 5 Days! (AUDIO/VIDEO EDITION)

This is the first audio/video I've submitted to my blog but I wanted to give a more candid personal update on the process, my past experience, and my recently trip to the International Hair Surgery convention in the Bahamas. I know I made a lot of hair surgeons very nervous when I overtly expressed that I would never consider strip surgery and would only consider FUE!  I could tell it made some of them uncomfortable but lets be honest.....what is the best procedure for the patient????  Do you want an 8 inch strip of your scalp extracted, dissected then sutured with limited number of harvested grafts?  Or...would you like to move the necessary number of grafts in one procedure to the recipient area with literally no visible scarring what so ever!!!!!  The choice was easy for me!  Enjoy the audio blog and feel free to send me any questions you may have!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

5 Weeks and 5 Days!

What a great weekend!!!  I just returned from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery conference that was held at Atlantis in the Bahamas.  The ISHRS invited me and my wife to attend the conference as a live model and guest of Dr. Vories who performed the surgery. I was on display for all the surgeons to see.  They were obviously quite impressed with the work of Dr. Vories and many of them congratulated him on the largest FUE case ever accomplished in one surgical session.  The most famous hair surgeon in the world.....Dr. Lorenzo was there from Spain and offered Dr. Vories congratulations as well!  The doctors were extremely impressed at how good the donor area looked after just five weeks out of surgery.  For about two hours, I answered many questions regarding the procedure and Dr. Vories fielded all of the technical questions.  The representatives from NeoGraft were there and were overwhelmed with the results. They mentioned that t I was even invited back to next years conference so all the surgeons could see the results after one year.

Surgeons from all over the world examined my donor areas and the recipient area.  Dr. Vories even provided an instrument connected to his laptop that allowed the doctors to magnify the area and look at the individual grafts which was quite impressive.

I'm including pictures of Dr. Vories and I, surgeons examining my head, and a fun photo of me wearing a NeoGraft hat with hair attached!  Who knows....this picture could be real about a year from now!!!! 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

1 Month - 6 days!

It's been one month and six days since the surgery was completed on Sept.14th!  The donor area is just slightly tender but I hardly notice it unless I rub the area.  The recipient area is still a bit numb on the very top.  Shock-out has occurred.  My wife estimates about 75% of the transplanted hair has fallen out.  I hate loosing it but at the same time I'm glad because I'm now looking forward to the new hair growing back in.  I'm sure it will take 2-3 weeks to reach the surface and show evidence of growth. 

My next post will be Sunday night or Monday morning and I will have lots of updated photos and video to show you, so make sure you check back by Monday afternoon.  I'm spreading out the posts now because there is less to talk about and daily photos look very similar.  Monday will be a great post so make sure you check back!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 35 (October 14th)

Some exciting news I haven't talked about until today.  My wife and I will be attending the International Convention for Hair Surgeons in the Bahamas at Atlantis, the huge resort!  Dr. Vories was asked to bring a patient that would be of interest to this medical community.  Because my case is thought to be the largest FUE process ever completed (5,125 grafts) in one surgical session of four days.....the surgeons want to see my hair and ask me questions about the process and healing. They are sponsoring the entire trip for my wife and I to attend the conference in exchange for two hours of my time during one of the sessions! That's how much they respect Dr. Vories and the work he does!  He said they know the results will be great....they are especially interested in seeing my donor area after such a huge procedure.  I think they will be surprised because after just four weeks, my donor area looks like nothing was ever done to it!  It's pretty amazing when you realize that over 11,000 hairs were removed and you cannot even tell they are gone. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

4 Weeks Post-Op! (Oct. 11th)

Four weeks since surgery was completed at Carolina Hair Surgery!  Tomorrow is actually the 4 week anniversary but I won't be able to post on my blog tomorrow.  If you go back and review pictures and video from the beginning of this journey.....I think you will agree, the progress and healing is amazing!  The donor area is still slightly tender but its unnoticeable unless I rub my head, scratch my head, etc.  I know I'm experiencing some "shock-out" hair loss, but that is totally expected.  Actually I'm glad its happening now so I can look forward to the new growth!

I'm going to attach a bunch of pictures and a video because we are at the one month milestone!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 28 (Oct. 7th)

I do believe reality is setting in.  My wife and I agree that I may be experiencing the expected occurrence called "shock-out".  Some of my recipient hair may have fallen out.  I know this is the inevitable result and I know the new hair will grow in behind it but I'm still saddened a bit.  I've grown attached to it!  I just wish it was just as attached (permanently) to me!  I'm having fun with it and I know I have to be patient.  Good results will come in due time!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 27 (Oct. 6th)

Dr. Vories called me this morning checking on my progress.  He was on his long drive from his Charlotte SC clinic back to Charleston .  He reminded me that the appearance of a slight sun burn should be visible in the recipient area.  As you can see in the previous days photos, there is a slight redness on my head.  This was more pronounced several days ago and appears to be fading more and more each day.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 26 (Oct. 5th)

Everything is about the same.  I am adding some additional pictures taken today.  You can see everything is looking quite well.  I've probably experienced some "shock-out" but not "SHOCK and AWE!"  It's hard for me to determine but my wife thinks I've lost some hair.  Still feels pretty good to me when I touch the top of my head!!!!! 

Day 25 (Oct. 4th)

Another uneventful day.  The tenderness seems to fade a bit each day but I have detected several very small pimples which are located mostly in the donor area in the back.  I started going places without a hat on today and the people I typically see on a regular basis didn't notice a thing.  It looks like I just have a very close haircut. Pretty amazing after having over 10,000 holes placed in my head a little over three weeks ago!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 24 (Oct. 3rd)

Spoke to Dr. Vories and he assured me that pimples on my head are a direct result of the surgery.  He said it is very common and they will go away on their own and for me not to bother them.  He said these are typical in-grown hairs.  You can imagine...with 5,125 grafts averaging two hairs per graft, the potential to have a few in-grown hairs resulting in pimples is expected.  I'm sure I can handle it!

Day 23 (Oct. 2nd)

Practiced golf at an indoor practice facility.  I took my hat off and showed them my head.  Only one of the guys new that I had the surgery.  I really don't think they would have noticed other than having what looks like a military or "burr" haircut.  Its pretty amazing how much I've healed in just three weeks, especially when you think about the fact that I have over 10,000 new holes in my head!

Day 22 (Oct. 1st)

Really nothing new to report today.  The healing continues and the sensitivity of the donor area seems to be a little less tender each day.  It really doesn't bother me.  I typically notice it only when I wear a hat or lay my head down on the pillow at night to go to sleep. I have noticed a couple small pimples on my head.  I'm going to ask Dr. Vories if that is a typical occurrence associated with the surgery. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 21 (Sept. 30th)


Everything is going quite well. I mentioned yesterday that my donor area is still sensitive and tender.  Nothing uncomfortable but I can feel it.  The opposite is occurring on top of my head in the recipient area.  It actually is still a bit numb!  I know that sounds strange but when I touch the top of my head I can hardly feel it.  Dr. Vories did say that it would take some time before the numbness went away.

I also have something really strange to report!  As you know, I'm a huge golf fan and I've been watching the Ryder Cup this week.  It is so inspiring to see these guys playing golf for their country with NO prize money attached!  How refreshing!  Anyway....I get goose-bumps when I see the crowds cheering and the numerous incredible shots!  This is strange part.......we usually take goose-bumps for granted and they come and go naturally.  Well.....I can FEEL the goose-bumps on top of my head in the recipient area!  It's really strange!  It just sorta tingles and there is a strange sensation going on.  It's actually pretty exciting because I know the errector pili muscles attached to the transplanted hair is functioning  properly!

A mini-science lesson below.

Erector Pili Muscle:  One of the small fan-shaped smooth muscles associated with the base of each hair that contract when the body surface is chilled and erect the hairs, compress an oil gland above each muscle, and produce the appearance of gooseflesh.

Check out the video!  Three weeks out of surgery!!!!

Day 20 (Sept. 29th)

I do know that some of my recipient area hair has come out but I still have the vast majority of it.  I've accepted the shock-out but I can't wait for the new hair to surface.  It may take a while because it will be generated from the follicle and may take a couple weeks to reach the surface.  A man's hair grows about one half inch per month so I must continue to be patient.

One other thing to report.  My donor area looks really good but it is still tender to touch.  Nothing too uncomfortable but its still healing.  I can certainly feel it when I lay my head on the pillow at night.  However, it does not keep me from falling asleep.

Day 19 (Sept. 28th)


I know the inevitable must occur.  Dr. Vories made it very clear to me that I would experience what he refers to as "shock-out" of my hair in the recipient area.  That simple means that the transplanted hair will go through an accelerated natural cycle and the newly located hair will most likely fall out.  The good news WILL be replaced with new hair that will continue to grow and will go through a normal growth rate like the rest of the donor area hair that I've had forever!  Keep in mind, the genetics involved in my donor area hair is now the hair on top of my head.  The donor area hair knows that its job is to grow throughout most of your lifetime.  The donor hair doesn't care where it is located and will do the job wherever it is placed.  This is the beauty of the FUE process!  My donor area hair as you can see from previous photos already looks good and will continue to fill in and look better!  We are less than three weeks since starting surgery!  Over 5,000 graphs were removed (averaging 2 hairs per graph) and it already looks quite well. I've got to tell you...I have grown quite fond and attached to my hair on top of my head.  I just wish it would stay ATTACHED to my head!  I know that shock-out will occur.  I just don't want to see....SHOCK AND AWE!!!!!

I'm a retired Biology teacher so the above explanation is based on knowledge gained at Carolina Hair Surgery as well as my own research and personal education.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 18 (Sept. 27th)

Big day for me!  As you know I play a lot of golf and today is my first day back on the links!  It was also a special golf day because we were playing at an exclusively private course called Victoria National which is near Evansville Indiana.  We purchased the opportunity at a charitable auction.  Like Augusta National, you can only belong to Victoria National if you are invited to join.  I can't imagine what the initiation fee and monthly dues would be!  

This was a big day for me because my head has always typically sweated a lot during heavy activity and I was a bit concerned.  Naturally I wore a hat and the forecast was for a high of 78.  Fortunately, it was overcast most of the day and I didn't sweat a lot.  My head felt fine all day.  However, I was amazed at how often I tend to take my hat off during a round of golf.  I know this now because each time I reached for my hat I stopped and chose not to remove it....if possible.  Because my donor area is still tender, taking the hat on and off causes just a bit of discomfort but not that much.  Certainly not enough to keep me from golfing! 

Victoria National was the most beautiful and finest course I have ever played!  Shot 41 on the front nine which included 4 three-putts!  The greens were spectacular but difficult to read and putt.  Came back to earth on the back nine and shot 51 !!!!  I'm a 12 handicapper so the front nine was super for me!  I actually hit 8 of the 9 greens in regulation.  You golfers know what I'm talking about!  Check out the photo taken of me at Victoria National on a difficult but awesome par 4.

Day 17 (Sept. 26th)

We are going to see the Broadway Musical "WICKED" this evening.  My wife and I discussed whether to go hat-less or wear one. My head looks pretty darn good so I think we ligitimately have the option.  I decided to wear one of my english style golf hats.  You know, the ones Ben Hogan and Bobby Jones wore in the 1930's and 40's.  I'm a huge golf fan and golf historian so I still love the style and had several to pick from.

I had virtually no pain today and never took ibuprofen, so now....that has been eliminated as well!  Making more progress every day!  My head looks unbelievably good after just two weeks and over 10,000 holes in it!!!!!!!!

By the way....WICKED was absolutely amazing!  Go see it when it comes to your town and get the sound track and know the songs prior to the show!  AWESOME production!

Day 16 (Sept. 25th)

NO HYDROCODONE!  I am happy to say that yesterday I took no hydrocodone and only ibuprofen!  I really wanted to quit taking the heavier pain meds.  I do not have an addictive personality at all.  I have no fear of getting hooked on pain meds but I wanted to eliminate them from the equation.  Believe me, if I thought I needed the pain reliever, I would take it.

Showering is getting much better and scabbing sloughs off more each day!  Very little irritation from the shower today.

Day 15 (Sept. 24th)

My plan is to NOT take any hydrocodone today and see if ibuprofen is enough.  Each day is progressively better!  I was much more careful in the shower today and massaged very gently.  It still irritated my scalp a bit but I really want to get some of that scabbing "grud" off of my head.  I did take some ibuprofen.  I will see whether I think I need hydrocodone before going to bed.

Day 14 (Sept. 23rd)

I've been looking forward to today!  FULL SHOWER DAY!  Seems strange to blog about taking a shower but hey....I've been looking forward to this!  I kept the temperature warm when I started washing my head.  I normally take very hot showers.  I was also a bit cautious to let the water pressure hit directly on my first.  I deflected the pressure with my hands.  I continued to use the shampoo Dr. Vories gave me and lathered up my head pretty good.  I could definitely feel the scabbing sloughing off under my fingers.  I was very gentle because my head is so tender and didn't want to force the issue one bit.  I think this is very important. While rinsing, I could feel the little "flecks" of scabbing running into my eyelids.  I know that sounds strange but my closed eyes and eyelids collected lots of tiny residue from my head.  I lathered again and gently massaged my head and rinsed again deflecting the water pressure.

About 30 minutes after the shower, my head was stinging a bit.  Although I was very careful, I do believe that the scabbing under my fingers and hands was sloughing off during the event and I was actually moving the loose scabs over my head.  I could definitely feel this occurring under my hands.  I do believe this irritated my scalp and caused the discomfort after the shower. It was similar to massaging sand particles over my tender head and actually felt that way so please be careful.  I took some ibuprofen and that seemed to be enough.  I didn't need the hydrocodone. Check out the close ups!  Looking pretty good!

Day 13 (Sept. 22nd)

Looking forward to taking a full shower tomorrow which includes allowing the shower on my head!  Washing it in the sink has been a little bit of a pain but I have a wonderful wife who has assisted. Still felt some pain upon waking this morning so I took some hydrocodone.  Plan to take it again prior to going to bed.  Pretty uneventful far as my head is concerned.  Pain continues to lessen each day.  Check out the most recent pictures.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 12 (Sept. 21st)

Pain is getting less and less!  Met my buddies for lunch and they were quite impressed with how my head looks!  I really  do look like a guy with a military haircut. My wife still calls me G.I. Johnny (instead of Joe)!

I washed my own head this afternoon because my wife was gone all day.  She does a much better job than I do although I think I did a very respectable job.  The scabbing is "flaking" off more and more each day and the pain is much less.  I only took Hydro during the morning and will this evening before going to sleep! Here's a couple of close up pictures of my new hair and hair line.  You can still see the purple mark from the marker Dr. Vories used.  He said this will wear away as the days go by.

Day 11 (Sept. 20th)

Six days since the last day of surgery.  I'm doing quite well.  Dr. Vories has called me several times checking on my progress which I sure appreciate.  Same medication regiment.  Hydrocodone in the morning when I wake up with some pain, and before going to bed.  The rest of the day, I take Ibuprofen as needed, usually three 200 mg. tablets at lunch is all I need. My face is still a bit swollen but much better today!

Day 10 (Sept. 19th)

Because I took my meds about 10:30pm last night, I was able to fall asleep pretty quickly around 11:30pm.  The key is taking the meds about an hour or so before you plan to go to sleep.

I woke up with some soreness so I did take two hydros for the pain.  I can certainly say that the pain is subsiding more and more each day.  Dad a good day and plan the same medication regiment this evening.

My wife continues to wash my head over the sink.  Being a hair dresser, she is quite skilled at this and had washed the hair of clients in the past who had head injuries, stitches, etc.  She is quite gentle but is trying to carefully remove some of the scabbing.  The sink seems dotted with small pieces of scabbing.  After she washes my head I take a shower being careful not to let the water pressure hit the top of my head.

Day 9 (Sept. 18)

Had a much better night now that I have figured out how to regulate the meds.  I took the Hydrocodone about 9:30pm so I was pain free by the time I laid down about 11pm.  It is still difficult to lay my head on the pillow to find a comfortable position.  It takes a little maneuvering but I'm able to manage.

During the day I worked on the computer.  I teach for 3 universities online so I was reading and grading assignments from students all day.  I'm still trying to take it easy each day during this initial healing process.  I am retired but I think I can say with confidence that I could have been back to work had I needed to.  As long as the pain meds are available, I think anyone could be working through this.  I would suggest wearing the surgical cap because your head still looks a bit unpleasant, especially in the donor area.

Day 8 (Sept. 17)

Sunday night was the most difficult night so far.  It actually was VERY painful.  I took my meds too late in the evening and the pain was quite extreme.  I thought I could be a hero and fight through the pain but that was a major mistake.  I finally got to sleep about 2:30am.  I talked to Dr. Vories the next day and described my night.  He informed me that I MUST take the meds when I feel the pain coming on or I will experience a lot of discomfort. He told me to "not be a hero" and take the hydrocodone as instructed. I decided to heed his advice because last night was horrific!  I have to realize that I have over 10,000 holes in my head from the surgery.  An unprecedented amount according to Dr. V.

You can see the "puffy" eyes and face in the photos.  No pain at all but it just looks swollen.