January 21, 2015
Is your hair thinning and making you look much older? There are many options that can get you back to a full head of hair. But which one works? Watch as Gary gets hair transplant surgery here on The Younger You.
Troy: Today we’re talking about hair restoration and it’s being done on the blokes. Hair restoration is a procedure done by transferring hair from part of the head to another area where hair can continue to grow. Of course we called Dr. Thompson regarding more information on hair restoration. Hair transplant mean plugs to everyone at home, right?
Dr. Thompson: Yeah, I think that’s kind of the typically mentality that people don’t really realize. It’s progressed huge amounts, I mean worlds since it was first started. They used to take a full strip of hair and just move it to the bald spot…it couldn’t look more unnatural.
Troy: How does this procedure work?
Dr. Thompson: Now hair transplantation is done by what’s called micro follicular units so each unit of hair, which usually grows in a 1, 2, or 3 set of hairs is transplanted individually so it looks just like normal hair.
Troy: Hold on, so you basically take one piece of hair and it’s follicular…
Dr. Thompson: Yes, one unit of hair, one follicular unit which could have 2 – 5 hairs in that little follicle.
Troy: Can we call it stems or a piece of hair?
Dr. Thompson: Sure.
Troy: When you describe this technique to a patient, what are they thinking?
Dr. Thompson: I think a lot of people have the preconceived notions that you have already mentioned of what it is so I just have to explain what is is. There are different ways of doing it but the bottom line is, we take those individual pieces of hair or follicles and transplant them in a very natural, evenly spaced way as normal hair is.
Troy: Okay, so where you take the hair from…is there a gap?
Dr. Thompson: So there are a couple of ways to handle this. First of all, the back of the head tends to not lose the hair. We either take a strip of hair from the back and section it into individual hairs or we can actually take individual hairs from the back of the scalp too and that leaves no straight line scar but if we take a strip, we just close that together and it leaves a very fine line that’s very difficult to see honestly.
Troy: Would this work on someone who has alopecia?
Dr. Thompson: Well alopecia is just a term for hair loss, so yes, that’s what it’s for.
Troy: Okay, I didn’t know that. I thought alopecia was where you just had bald spots from traumatic stress, etc.
Dr. Thompson: Yeah, it can be from that or many other things.
Troy: I’m your new best friend because I’ve got a spot!
Dr. Thompson: Yeah, I’ve actually done that on a patient that had a large skin cancer defect on the back of his head. We closed it but he actually lost some of that hair because of the stress of the operation so we were able to transplant the hair to that area where he had a big bald spot, now he has hair growing.
Troy: How long does a procedure like this take?
Dr. Thompson: It takes anywhere from 2 to 8 hours depending on how many grafts we’re doing. It is a very tedious process and it takes more than one person, it’s a whole team that does it.
Troy: Oh, really? I can’t wait to see the procedure. Is it painful?
Dr. Thompson: No pain, except for getting the patient numb. There is an injection to get the area numb and then after that, there really is no pain at all.
Troy: You were very honest when you told me we were first going to film this. You said Troy, the best results are in 12 months.
Dr. Thompson: That is just the reality of this operation. We take those hair follicles and transplant them and within a month they’re all gone. The hairs actually fall out from the stress of the operation. And then over the next 6 to 12 months it all grows in. That’s when you see the final result…about 12 months.
Troy: After you have that initial transplant, can you go back and have more done?
Dr. Thompson: Yes, we call them sessions. So a person will come in and we’ll choose how large of an area we are going to do and that will determine how long the procedure is going to take. And if the person needs a larger area filled in we can actually go in and add to that area or different areas later on.
Troy: Okay, recovery time..
Dr. Thompson: With the strip method if we take an area of hair, we close that up and it just heals with some dissolvable sutures with a fine line. There is a little bit of wound care that has to happen. And for the transplanted area, you can actually wash it right away, very gently, and I usually just tell people to wear a hat because that will protect your head. But you can go right back to work the next day if you wanted to.
Troy: It’s come so far, even from 20 years ago.
Dr. Thompson: Yes, it really has. It used to be very obvious. And just the way transplants are done with the direction the hair grows out of head and the space…all that has really come a long way.
Troy: Dr. Thompson, why is this hair growth method better than others out on the market?
Dr. Thompson: It’s not necessarily better than other methods. There are topical medications we use, oral medications we use and those all have science behind them and they work. But a lot of times they are more aimed at preventing further hair loss and they might get some modest results in terms of hair loss. But there’s really nothing like this that can regenerate an area of the head that has lost it’s hair.
Troy: You’re a facial cosmetic surgeon. Why did you decide to also do your expertise in hair transplant?
Dr. Thompson: My training is basically everything from the neck up. It’s a very good question you ask because a lot of different specialties are involved in this procedure and you need to have special training to do it. It’s not limited to just plastic surgeons and facial plastic surgeons, there are dermatologists that do it and any other specialist as well.
Troy: How do you know if you’re the right candidate for this and is it for men and women?
Dr. Thompson: It is for men and women and there are occasions where somebody is just not a good candidate. If you’re really young and you’ve already lost hair from the top of your head, you may not be a very good candidate. Everybody’s a candidate for the medications but for this, it needs to be determined on an individual basis.
Troy: Dr. Thompson, I don’t normally do this but I want to ask you about candidacy. I’m receding here, it’s hereditary, my grandfather had it. Am I someone who could go down that road and do it?
Dr. Thompson: You have a very full head of hair and you’re just receding here, so I think you’re an excellent candidate. The younger you are the more hair loss you have, the more conservative we need to be about what we do. We don’t want to fill in an area and then have you lose everything else. Then it will no longer look natural.
Troy: Ah, interesting. Next question for you…let’s say you take it from the back and put it in my temples and then all the sudden I start losing from the front of my head, though my temples are looking good.
Dr. Thompson: Right, but you’re not going to lose all the hair from the front of your head, just based on the way you are aging. And that’s why it’s so important that we plan this.
Troy: Dr. Thompson, I’m cutting your questions short because I want to get to surgery and see what you did on Gary’s hair…let’s take a look.
Gary: My name is Gary, 52 years old. From my understanding, you’re going to cut some hair from the back and just start planting like a garden to the top.
Dr. Thompson: Yes, that’s about right. And fortunately, the hair grows down and will cover that fine line you’ll end up with on the back of your head.
Gary: The reason I’m having the hair transplant done today is because doc says I’m a good candidate for it, I’m not really losing all my hair so this would be a good time to do it. In my business I deal with a lot of people. I’ve always believed that attitude is everything. If you feel really good about yourself, it shows on the outside. If you can make yourself feel better and have more confidence, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Dr. Thompson really cares about his patients and asked him, what would be the difference if I went to Bosley, who is famous for it. I know nothing about them but this is all they do. He said the difference is that you can get personal care here, whereas with Bosley, every time you go back you might get a different doctor. Having only Dr. Thompson means a lot to me. Years ago I used to look at it and think this is just what you get so live with it. But the world we live in, I think it’s great if people have more confidence. Like I said, attitude is everything. I’m a true believer in success as attitude. If you have the right attitude, then you’re going to be successful. It’s going to draw people to you and it’s not a vanity thing. Life’s about choices…you have to change things yourself.
Dr. Thompson: So Gary, we’re essentially going to keep the same hairline you have, just add to it and eventually it will look very natural and you’ll have a lot thicker head of hair. The key here is that we cut the strip in a way to preserve as many of the follicles as we possibly can. We can see that we are parallel to the follicles and you can see all the little hairs lines up with the incision. How are you Gary?
Gary: I’m falling asleep.
Dr. Thompson: Good…
Back to the studio 1 year following his procedure
Troy: Alright Gary, we’ve watched your entire journey and I want to ask you why you wanted it?
Gary: Well, at first I didn’t really know what to expect. At first I wasn’t going to do it but then decided to do it once Dr. Thompson and his staff convinced me I was a good candidate for it.
Troy: It was that conviction of the team that allowed you the confidence to go through with it?
Gary: Yes, it was.
Troy: What did you think was going to happen when they said you’re the perfect candidate, here’s what we’re going to do…what was in your mind?
Gary: Just that it would look natural…that was the main thing. I told Dr. Thompson and his staff that that was my biggest concern. I wasn’t worried about the procedure or anything like that, I just wanted to look natural.
Troy: Really? Because I want to say to you that in the past when men have had transplants they look like the old fashioned word, plugs. Everyone talks about how bad it looks. You can’t tell me that that part didn’t go through your mind.
Gary: It did. That was a big concern.
Troy: Okay, so this new technology that Dr. Thompson does, how do you feel that conversation went with him and when did you feel like this is no longer the plugs but something I can do?
Gary: Everything was explained to me from top to bottom what would happen.
Troy: So what did your family think about you actually having this done?
Gary: Mixed emotions about it because they were thinking plugs too.
Troy: And everyone watching this at home will be thinking the same thing and wondering what it’s going to look like before and after. So let’s remind everyone that this has taken 12 months to be able to film. It’s not like a facelift or a breast enhancement. When you’re doing a hair transplant we need to show the results 12 months later. So here’s the before. Now when I see that, I say yeah, you needed to have something done.
Now here’s 1 month later…you can already see there’s some movement happening. Now we’re going to 3 months. If you notice the picture before, you were quite red at the forehead and now you can actually see how the hair is coming through. Now let’s look at 5 months…wow. Gary, I’m not kidding. I’ve been a hair dresser for 20 years in Australia and I’ve though to myself many times what a hair transplant today would look like with modern day technology and I think that’s what we’ve got…it’s incredible. And now that I look at your hair even more, I think I need to go in and have it done myself.
Gary: I’ve got the doctor for you.
Troy: Perfect, okay. When you look at those before and after shots do you think about how glad you are you did this?
Gary: I am…and I guess I didn’t realize how much my hair was thinning.
Troy: Who told you it was thinning?
Gary: The mirror? I guess I was okay with it but when he said I’m a great candidate for it, that’s what really pushed me over the edge.
Troy: When the doctor told you it would take up to 12 months to see the final results, what were you thinking?
Gary: I’m a pretty patient guy so it was okay.
Troy: Would you best hesitant to tell you buddy you had a hair transplant?
Gary: No, I really wouldn’t.
Troy: Has anyone noticed?
Gary: They’ve noticed but they don’t know what’s different. They come into my store and think I’ve lost weight or something.
Troy: A lot of women have the same feelings about their girlfriends and thing gee, you look rested and you look well when they’ve had a little Botox or a little bit of filler and it does make them feel more confident as well. I want you to take Dr. Thompson out of the equation for a minute. If it wasn’t Dr. Thompson who you got that confidence from, do you think you would have had it done with someone else?
Gary: Probably not to be honest with you.
Troy: What was it?
Gary: Originally, I went in because I couldn’t breathe and he had to go in and cut some stuff out.
Troy: Did he take the hair from your nose and put it on your head?!
Gary: Haha..yes, that’s the secret. But he did get out the cartilage and stuff and I had to go back and the hair thing came up at a follow up appointment and I did a little research and that’s how we got to that point.
Troy: Well you’ve had an incredible result. Are you happy?
Troy: Like more than what you thought was going to happen?
Gary: Yes..I really am happy.
Troy: It’s a big journey to ask someone to do this for 12 months for me so thank you, I appreciate it.
If you’re tired of your hair line falling further and further back a little like mine, perhaps you should consider a hair transplant. For more information about the program, please visit our website at theyoungeryou.tv for all the information about Dr. Thompson and this service.
Tags: follicular unit transplant, hair restoration, hair transplant
This post was written by Jenny Yergensen