My Hair Loss History
“You should know that my dad is bald and once upon a time, my mom married a man with a beautiful head of hair. Some days you sure can feel some slight buyer’s remorse. Hence, at a very young age, I knew losing your hair stinks.
Growing up people would reassure me with cocksure wisdom, “You’ve got nothing to worry about. Baldness comes from your mother’s father. Grandpa Vince and all your mom’s brothers have great hair, you’ll be fine!” I often wonder how this false knowledge keeps getting passed on? Why do so many people confidently believe this ridiculous myth of hair genetics? It’s nothing but dirty-rotten follicle fiction.
Somewhere along the line in my mid-twenties, I noticed it — the thinning hairline, the diminishing corners, it just doesn’t spike up like it used to. Nowadays, it’s a flat casual side part and a stage three combover. When it’s long, dry and fluffy I’m okay. But fresh out of the pool or in the gentle winds of a golf course the true state of recession is revealed. I’m a balding man!
I’ve tried to fight back with some natural ways, adding lots of salmon to my diet and buying any bottle of shampoo or conditioner that reads “thicker and fuller” on the label. I’ve used products with collagen and biotin, and I eat multivitamins with biotin too. I’ve even dabbled with Topik powder. If you don’t know, it’s a pile of soot you shake on to your head — hair makeup if you will.
For years, I’ve googled for cures. The internet solutions start with the usual suspects: Rogaine®, Propecia and hair transplants. I’m not down with the price, taking pills, or the side effects of something that isn’t guaranteed to work. I’ve booked a consultation with a well-known competitor and they suggested we harvest a strip from the back of my head, dissect it hair by hair and place it back into the front. But no matter how many before and afters I see, I just can’t imagine how that would come out looking natural. It sounds like a painful procedure. And butchered results could be a pain for the rest of my life.
When you add that with the debauchery of Leo Dicaprio using horseradish on his head, it just doesn’t seem like anybody has it figured it out. I thought maybe I should just wait five years and they’ll have some super laser that reawakens the scalp. Or maybe I should try PRP.
The Struggle is Real
PRP, platelet rich plasma, for hair loss actually has consistently solid reviews and seems to be a shimmering win for people losing their hair. The concept for the patient is pretty simple too — a blood draw and a few injections in the scalp — sounds reasonable and safe. This lady from The Doctor’s [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebko8EOl1Ig] swears by it too.
But my personal fears and anxieties lingered. What if I start growing weird things besides hair? What if I start growing a tumor or some extreme, character-defining shape that makes me look like a hairy teletubby? Returning to logic, it’s my own blood from my own body. There’s nothing to be worried about. But what if I put my lungs in my legs, they won’t work very well, now will they?
What I’m trying to say is that I was scared, and I believe that’s a relatable concern. Plus I didn’t need to do this. Going bald isn’t a debilitating disease. I could be bald, Mr. Clean is cool. I’d have a hairless head and life would go on as I’d look 88% less attractive. But in reality that’s fine. Bald even looks good on some people.
The fact that I was doing something that was considered cosmetic was a hurdle to get over in of itself. Going forward with this means I care about how I look. And I do. Of course I do, but doing something about it takes your personal vanity to another level…. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, I’m either a bald guy or a pretty boy.
Some guys go bald. It’s a natural thing. But I like my hair, I value having it on top of my head and if there’s something I can do to keep it, why the heck wouldn’t I do it? As of today, I’m 29 and still a single man, I might need every hair I can get!
My PRP Experience at Allure
So I did PRP. Lindsey and Angela at Allure took great care of me. The blood draw was easy, but a test of my patience and mind. They take eight tubes, it’s a decent amount of blood. They spin it in a centrifuge machine, then extract the platelet rich plasma.
That stuff got injected right back into my head in about fourteen different spots. They used a teeny-tiny needle designed for the optimal depth into the scalp. Not going to sugar coat it here, this part hurt. I went without lidocaine because the numbing adds extra stress to the scalp. They simply iced my head and used a massage device to distract the sensation of the needle and pressure caused from the injections. It felt like someone twisting a fingernail into my head. Or maybe like a tattoo, I dunno, I’ve never had a tatoo, but it wasn’t by any means a scalp massage. During the injections I transferred my anxiety into a purple stress ball. That helped.
When I was done I felt a little woozy. I was instructed to ice my head to prevent any swelling. I did that for a few hours right after the procedure and later in the evening as well. My head felt a little heavy and there was some minor swelling. If I moved my eyebrows or my ears to do anything expressive, I felt a flash of pain across my head, it was sore and tight. Like I had stitches or a really bad sunburn. That night, I slept elevated to avoid putting any strenuous pressure on my head. If I had to pick something up, I bent at the knees and kept my head straight. The good news is that after two days I was back to normal — moving my eyebrows and exercising it up. Looking back, it goes away pretty quick.
As they say, beauty is pain, and I say a little pain is better than using Rogaine.® So if I do grow some hair, I figure it’ll all be worth it. I have a couple more treatments coming up and as I continue this journey as a Human Chia Pet, I’ll keep you posted.
Johnny Michael/Allure Medical Patient