If only I had £1 for every time I’d said “why can’t they make hair transplants for women too!?” My hairline is something that I have wanted to improve so badly for the past 15yrs at least and the female hair transplant is a surgical procedure that was never previously available for women because surgery focused solely on male pattern baldness and receding hairlines – neither of which apply to me.
You see, I have a high hairline and cowslick fringe which means my hair follicles grow in the opposite direction to what they should, leaving me with a big spring of hair that exposes a gap in my fringe and highlights my forehead which is exasperated by thinning hair that comes with age and having had two pregnancies.
As my hair colour is a muddy “dark blonde” number 7 on the colour chart I’m naturally too dark to be light and too light to be dark, so I seem to spend my entire life either lightening or darkening my hair to try to combat the damage caused by the bleaches and dyes. I don’t think I’ve ever just woken up and felt as though I’m having a good hair day. My hairline has always been something that I feel unhappy about, yet in the grand scheme of things I’m incredibly thankful to have hair, I just wish that I could improve what I have to feel better about it.
Over the years I have tried absolutely everything to improve the appearance of my locks to cover my forehead from wearing hair extensions and wigs to having PRP stemcell injections to my scalp, using expensive specialist shampoos and taking hair vitamins to thicken and regrow my hair; years of unknowingly wrecking my hair with bad brushing techniques, bleach, hair extensions, two pregnancies depleting my nutrients and a family history of baldness -with both my brother and father having no hair at all and my mothers hair also being thin- it seemed like an inevitable dead-end for me to share in the very same fate as my family… until now!
It was just a few months ago when I saw a girl share her hair transplant story online and I almost cried with joy for her. Seeing as it’s so new there isn’t a huge amount of female hair transplant content available yet as I’d imagine many women don’t want to publicly share their journey given that it’s such a personal and difficult experience – a major reason why I’m so happy to share my experience. Ladies you are not alone and do not have to suffer in silence any longer, we can do this together.
I’ve read heartbreaking testimonies about girls being bullied for having a large exposed forehead and high hairline, relationships ending and women feeling constant judgement, criticism and snide comments and stares which is absolutely gutting to think that this can happen all because of a woman’s hair. It’s obviously a huge thing for men with many shaving their head when their hair thins, having hair tattooed or sprayed on or having hair pieces made, as a strong mane turns back the clock years for men and has a huge impact on self-confidence and self-esteem; yet the very same thing also affects women but is rarely spoken about, scarcely confided and very little known about the help and treatments that are available to us.
So I’ll be sharing my hair transplant journey here in all of its entirety in a very honest, open and informative way as always to educate and advise others of the options that are available. Here you will see my journey from start to finish and beyond, my reasons why, the questions and concerns, the procedure, healing and aftercare and monthly check-in’s and updates to see my progress and new hair growth from day one to one year and beyond. It’s everything that I would like to know and see myself prior to my own journey beginning for understanding and peace of mind.
Seeing as the surgery takes place whilst you are conscious – using a local anaesthetic – I will be chatting away throughout, eating and stopping for comfort breaks whenever necessary across several hours which is why I have decided that I would like to live stream my surgery online so that I may take questions throughout and show everybody precisely what is involved, given that my phone signal is strong enough to live stream within the clinic of course.
So in several short weeks time I will be flying to Istanbul in Turkey for four days, or a long weekend, to do a spot of sight-seeing, have my hair transplant surgery and return home to my beloved children in time for tea. Absolutely everything that I go through will be meticulously blogged and put into a video-diary here for your reference. Whenever I consider having a procedure of any kind I spend a great deal of time doing my research, understanding the processes, weighing up the risks, pro’s and con’s and determining what a realistic result is likely to be for me as an individual to determine if it is necessary and worth it. I look into previous patients results, hunt the internet for any complaints about the surgery and surgeon and also trawl through reviews and recommendations so that there are no nasty surprises – to save you this time and effort I will share all of my findings here for you.
I will be having my surgery with Get More Hair in Istanbul, Turkey as I know others who have already had a hair transplant with them and they come highly recommended because of their exceptional aftercare and service. The company was founded in 2015 and is one of the UK’s top consultancies for hair transplants in Turkey with their patients travelling from theUK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to have surgery with them.The Turkish economy differs from the UK making costs far lower because of the exchange rate without compromising at all on quality or service, hence why surgery is often far more affordable outside of the UK. Like with any purchase that you make, please always seek the very best, most specialist and highly recommended as opposed to cheap and unexperienced deals which may be sub-standard.
Get More Hair will provide all of the information that I will need about the clinic, the surgeon, the procedure itself and give me a general understanding of how it all works and what I should expect throughout. They also have an emergency contact number available outside of office hours for urgent assistance and encourage communication to keep in touch and send progress pictures post-surgery to monitor results and provide feedback.
My Pre-Surgery Consultation
In order to be assessed for surgery I was asked to first take pictures from the top, front, back and both sides of my head so that the surgeon could determine if I’m a good candidate for surgery. Having submitted these I was then scheduled in to have a zoom call with my surgeon in Turkey and surgery co-ordinator in the UK from the comfort of my home where I was able to ask any questions that I had which I’ll share with you here.
My polite and friendly English speaking surgeon confirmed on the call that I would benefit from having my hairline lowered by around 1-1.5cm determined by the positioning of my facial muscles for which everybody is unique. I will have the receding sides of my hair caused by the tension of tying my hair up filled with follicles as well as having an eyebrow transplant to restore hair follicles and thicken my brows from years of plucking, and extreme over-plucking as a teenager!
It was such a relief to know that I can firstly lower my hairline to minimise the expanse of my forehead as well as correct the direction of the hair follicle growth in order to have a solid fringe for the very first time. Together this tackles the issues that I’ve felt about my hair for so many years and is a weight lifted from my shoulders to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
My Procedure will be their MICRO SAPPHIRE DHI which is a 1 Day Option of up to 3500 hair grafts costing £2600/€2990/$3650. If more hair follicles are needed to cover a larger area of skin they also have a 2 day option available for up to 5,500 grafts. This treatment includes my pre-assessment consultation, planning, hairline design with a senior nurse and final check with my surgeon.
Whilst there I will also receive PRP Therapy,which is a relatively new treatment that helps to regrow hair and stop existing hair from falling out. A small amount of blood is taken from the arm and the stem cell rich plasma is separated and injected into the scalp to help the transplanted hair as well as original hair.
My surgery costs also cover all airport pick-ups and transfers between the hotel and clinic, two nights hotel accommodation including breakfast and WiFi, an aftercare medication pack, shampoo, foam, a 4 month hair product pack, hat, pillow and headband, UK support and a 10yr guarantee on my surgical results.This covers a low or unsatisfactory result, should after 12 months it is clear that I have not achieved what was discussed with my surgeon I can send pictures to be assessed and may be invited back for a second surgery if necessary, free of charge.
There is a 96% success rate for FUE procedures across the hair transplant industry with unsuccessful results happening for several reasons, most likely caused by an underlying medical condition such as high blood pressure or undiagnosed diabetes. Following the aftercare instructions properly and taking care of the treated area is essential to maximising results as some people sabotage their own success by being unhygienic, smoking and ignoring aftercare advice. Similarly one person’s idea of a good result might be totally different to another person’s desired results so it’s important to have realistic expectations. Not everyone will be a good candidate for hair transplant surgery, especially if the donor area is weak or limited on graft numbers which will full coverage from being possible.
Whilst I do not have a very large area of skin to cover, the strip of hair that I am having added will make a huge difference to my appearance and allow me to have a fringe and reduce the height of my hairline, so even a very small change will be a huge bonus for me.
I’ve now begun preparing for items that I will need post-surgery which are a neck pillow – I’ve found one with a hood for use when I’m allowed to cover my head again – and front opening shirts as it’s not recommended that you wear any clothing that you have to pull off and on over the head after surgery. I also have some loose material headbands, caps and beanies to wear over the winter to disguise my healing when leaving the house or attending work which I’m able to wear after 1-4 weeks depending on my recovery.
My Post – Surgery Recovery Timeline
Let’s take a look at the breakdown of what to expect for my recovery and achieving my full and final results. I’ve timed my surgery for November to ensure that the majority of my recovery takes place during the winter when I’m able to discreetly cover my head like everybody else.
- Week 1 – The first seven days are vital for the settlement of my newly implanted follicles and I must take care to keep my head safe. On day 7 I will be able to wear a loose fitting cap, but nothing tight and must protect my transplant areas from the sun and rain
- Week 2 – I must massage the transplanted area to remove all of the scabs and am expecting some hairs to fall out of the newly transplanted follicles which will regrow. I am also allowed to have my hair cut with scissors
- Weeks 2 to 8 – My transplanted hair will continue to fall out during this period which is nothing to worry about as the follicles remain in place. By week 4 I can wear any kind of hat that I like providing it isn’t tight
- Months 2 to 4 – This is known as the stationary stage where new hairs begin appearing (approx. 5%) from month 3 onwards as the hair is in the process of thickening. After 4 months you are able to shave the donor area if you wish
- Months 4 to 6 – The transplanted hair will start to grow (15%/20%). After 6 months you can shave the transplanted area if you wish
- Months 6 to 9 – The transplanted hair growing through is far more visible (approx. 75%) as my hair will start to gain thickness and show natural density
- Months 9 to 12 – Results may start slowing down at this stage but another 20/25 % improvement can be seen before the final result
- Up to 18 months – The results upon the crown of the head can take up to 18 months to fully show, however this isn’t an area that I am having treated
I’m feeling incredibly excited and enthusiastic for my hair journey to begin as the countdown to my surgery is now just a month away! All that I have left to do is book my flights and make my way to the airport on the day as the team take care of everything else until I touchdown back home in the UK.
It’s reassuring to know that everything is taken care of and I can enjoy a weekend in Turkey with my boyfriend as I settle into my recovery before returning home to my family and rejoining the rat race of work. It’s been so cold, grey and wet in England this week, the thought of beautiful Turkey is so appealing to me right now, I can literally smell the food, cafes and spice markets from here!
Two Weeks Prior To Surgery
In preparation for my surgery, and to help disguise my recovery, I had my final hair cut and colour today and my hairdresser cut me a fringe. As it stands my cowslick will still expose my forehead and my fringe is pretty thin and whispy, but once my new hair grows in it will add density to my fringe and grow in the correct direction to give me the more uniformed results that I desire rather than bouncing off to each side and exposing the middle of my forehead.
I also had my hair slightly darkened by a few shades to return closer to my natural dark blonde colour as I’ll be recovering from surgery and have delayed my routine cut and colour to allow my hair follicles to heal – I’m already twitching over the thought of dark roots growing out!
Whilst I usually have a cut and highlights with foils every six weeks at the hair salon I’m going to wait 9 weeks after surgery before having my next appointment as the thought of having my hair pulled and scalp massaged when washed and feeling tender literally makes my toes curl. It’s recommended that you wait 4-6 weeks post hair transplant surgery before you colour your hair to reduce irritation and complications as all incisions must be fully closed before using hair dye, but I like to be extra cautious and as a result I always have a great recovery from surgery.
I’ve triple checked the Covid travel requirements for Turkey for which I do not need proof of a negative PCR test or vaccine anymore, and have been keeping in touch with the GetMoreHair team via whatsapp and email where I can ask any questions or request information.
The team have been absolutely wonderful at keeping in touch and it’s so reassuring to have everything taken care of. Due to the fact that I’ll be bringing aftercare medication and shampoo back with me it’s essential that I take a suitcase with me and not just a holdall, which I’ve booked with my flights. Finally, I’ll just need to complete an Entry To Turkey form the week of my flight to be able to leave the airport in Istanbul which is a free digital form online and simply involves inputting my name, date of birth and passport number.
I had a pre-surgery headwear try-on today to determine the challenges that I’ll face when trying to disguise the fact that I’m healing after having my surgery. The aim being to look as though I haven’t had surgery at all so that I can continue to work, socialise and spend time with my friends and family without creeping them out too badly, as I know that the healing process isn’t the most pleasant thing to look at.
I’ve now got a fairly good range of fashionable winter hats, caps and beanies along with headbands in different widths and colours and my hooded neck pillow to be able to get out and about incognito as well as relax safely at home. I will of course keep my head uncovered as much as possible whilst I work from home, but after I have the all clear from my surgeon I’ll look to safely cover the transplant site whilst around others.
The Day Before My Flight
I touched based with Get More Hair today via telephone conversation as they kindly called to check if there was anything that I needed to know or wanted to ask prior to my departure. I questioned the “Entry To Turkey” forms which I must do within 72hrs of my flight which I couldn’t find online, but as of today they are no longer necessary for entry into the country and have such been removed. It’s always important to check how rules and restrictions change for foreign countries prior to departure whether you are travelling for surgery or just a trip away.
They confirmed that my eyebrow transplant and hair transplant will take place on the same day rather than two separate appointments, which is wonderfully convenient as it means that we have a day to relax and go sight seeing the day after my surgery. Although I’m travelling for my hair transplant surgery, Get More Hair also offer other cosmetic services with dentistry being one of them, so I took the opportunity to also book in for a teeth whitening and deep cleaning session whilst I’m there as the price again is so much better than in the UK.
They’ve been so fantastic with communication, advice, information and arrangements throughout and I had a re-read of my welcome pack today to refresh my memory about the airport, itinerary and recovery process whilst I’m there. Now all I have to do is sit back and relax knowing everything is taken care of.
I’m just about to head to the airport, brimming with enthusiasm for my hair journey to begin! Whilst I’m in Turkey I will of course update my social media, blog and youtube channel with daily updates on my progress as well as taking questions and answers – and live streaming my procedure and recovery where possible – so pop back here shortly to see how I’m getting on!
Arriving In Turkey the Day Before My Surgery
I have arrived in Istanbul, Turkey for my surgery and checked into my hotel ready for my treatment in the morning. Here’s how I’m spending my final evening pre-op preparing…
The Day Of My Surgery
I’m laying in bed now writing this blog entry post-surgery as it’s been a pretty full on day at the clinic with my surgeon, and the local anaesthetic and sedatives have left me a little drowsy. Thankfully my partner and the staff captured lots of footage of the process for me to share, and look back upon, however I wasn’t able to live stream the procedure itself for health and safety reasons.
I will be making a video answering questions shortly but for now I’m focusing on getting settled, resting up and recovering from surgery. So lets run through the day of my surgery and everything (that I can remember) is involved in having a hair and eyebrow transplant surgery…
Having local anaesthetic, being awake for surgery, means that I didn’t have to fast from food or drink the night before and most importantly could eat and drink throughout the day of my surgery to keep my energy up and blood sugar levels on point which makes a huge difference when undergoing surgery as I’m all the better for it. Fasting takes place to reduce the risk of vomiting and other side effects whilst unconscious during a general anaesthetic and usually means going around 20hrs without food which can leave you feeling very tired and weak but also helps you to sleep well.
We were collected by our driver from the hotel this morning following breakfast and taken directly to the clinic with a group of other patients who would be having surgery today also. It was nice to share the journey with other people who were going through the same experience as me, as whilst it’s very comforting to be able to bring my partner along with me to everything, it’s also nice to know that others can directly relate to the thoughts and feelings that happen throughout as we were all very excited and a little nervous as to what to expect.
The staff at the clinic run through the entire process with such precision, professionalism and skill that it really puts the UK to shame for healthcare. Whilst we’re incredibly accustomed to having to wait around, queue and be left to our own accord for hours on end wondering what is going on in British hospitals, in Turkey the staff are all beautifully dressed, fresh faced, energetic and incredibly attentive; a far cry from the NHS as well as private hospitals in the UK which are very often understaffed, underpaid and overworked leading to a stiff-upper-lip, moody manager vibe rather that can easily put patients on edge.
Listening to music, drinking vegan coffee, eating fruit and chatting to my partner and other patients, the pre-surgery checks flew by in a series of micro-appointments where a member of staff would call my name and take me to a room to have my IV fitted in my left arm, my pre-surgery photos taken, a hair analysis test and meeting with my surgeon.
At the meeting with my surgeon I was able to discuss my hopes and dreams for my new eyebrows and hairline as well as understand what is individually possible for me to achieve as results of a hair transplant vary from person to person depending on the size and quality of the donor area available and the expanse of the area to transplant to.
I had thought that I would only be able to add one centimetre or so to my hairline as well as to partially fill in some of my temples, but Dr Acar informed me that I could achieve 2,500 grafts to my forehead, temples and into my parting where my scalp is exposed. I can’t even begin to explain the sense of relief and freedom that I felt to hear this as it were like a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders to fix all of my problems at once. Rather than just a small improvement to my receding hairline, I would in fact have a new fuller, thicker and more dense head of hair.
After talking through my hairline whilst holding a handheld mirror, Dr Acar used a marker pen to draw on where he believed it should be, along with marking out finer hairs and positions to create a natural looking hairline. Thicker and thinner hairs are used to compliment the natural way that hair falls in waves, rather than a blunt and strong straight line that looks very obviously fake. Even seeing the pen on my head looked like such a huge difference, it was twice what I thought I could ever achieve and I couldn’t stop myself from grinning from ear to ear.
I asked as many questions as I could think of, talked about the quality of my hair which is thin and far spaced out hence the exposure of my scalp, the importance of placing the single grafts that I have closer together in order to achieve coverage and therefore the need to shave the whole back of my head for donor hair rather than just a slither as 1 in every 5 hairs is taken from the back of the head to ensure that surgery is undetectable once healed.
Feeling so enthusiastic, ecstatic and inspired by my meeting with my surgeon I then headed back to the photography room to have pictures taken with the markings in place before having my hair shaved. I have never had my head shaved before and I wasn’t emotionally prepared to see my scalp exposed in such a vast way as when the back of my head and the sides of my temples were shaved down to the skin to make way for surgery.
When men have hair transplants, shaving their head is a widely acceptable, normal and somewhat fashionable thing to do as it’s not unusual to see a man in the street with a shaved head, but for women it’s quite shocking. To see my hair falling away and the pale skin of my scalp so boldly exposed I had to take a second to catch my breath as I didn’t recognise myself, it looked as though I’d had an illness, or something had gone wrong, despite it just being a dramatic haircut prior to surgery. It felt so cold and exposed and I was a little lost for words at the reality of having even more hair removed when for the past several years I’ve done everything in my power to hold on to every last strand of hair that I have left.
Something that made the process reassuring, aside from my donor area, was the ability to keep my existing shoulder length hair in place as this will allow it to cover my new hair as it grows through and make my regrowth far less noticeable. Had I have had to shave my entire head to my scalp for surgery to take place I still undoubtedly would have done it in order to have this procedure, but being able to keep as much of my hair as possible intact made it emotionally easier to deal with. It’s shocking to see our appearance change so drastically, particularly due to something that makes us feel vulnerable or insecure, but I know that with each day that passes after my surgery I will be one step closer to my new head of hair which I will cherish for a lifetime.
I absolutely loved having my partner with me throughout as a familiar face, hand to hold, to have a little hug and some reassuring kisses which make all of the difference when preparing for a big event such as this. Some patients looked nervous, others were excited and I was really a mix of the two. I couldn’t wait to get into the surgery room to have it over and done with but also wasn’t in a hurry to go through the procedure knowing that I struggle with people brushing and washing my hair with a sensitive scalp.
Changing into a surgery shirt, I removed my own top and put on a blue button up blouse ready for my procedure as this can be removed after surgery without needing to be taken off over the head. Saying my goodbyes to my partner, I was led by the team into the surgery room which is very similar to that of a dentist, a small room with a surgical bed surrounded by work surfaces for nurses to process the hair and a trolley with needles and swabs beside me.
I was asked to lay face down on the bed and place my face in a hole where I could look down at the floor and see the shoes of the nurses and surgeon as they performed my surgery. A nurse tied my hair up into a bun to expose the shaved donor area on the back of my head and then the treatment began. All staff spoke english and told me what they would do in advance of each stage of the procedure which was nice to know and meant that there were no surprises.
Several people were involved in the surgery process, from the nurse who fit my IV drip and covered me with a blanket to keep warm to those who administered the local anaesthetic, harvested the donor hair, processed the follicles, cut the incisions, transplanted the hair and cleaned me up. Again, the team were so incredibly good at communicating, orchestrating timings and completing each stage with such efficiency and professionalism, there were no periods of waiting or delays. The only time the procedure stopped was when I’d ask to have a toilet break and to eat a meal for which I had around four 5mins breaks to give my partner a kiss en route to the toilet and back again in my surgical cap to prevent infection.
The local anaesthetic was the most uncomfortable part of the entire process as this involved administering injections every centimetre or so apart across the whole area of the back, front, sides and top of my hairline and felt like a sharp pushing sensation with tingling from the fluid injected. However, each injection lasts just a second and as soon as it’s in the area turns numb, so it’s simply a case of closing your eyes, taking a deep breath and knowing that every second that passes is one less until it’s over.
From this point onwards I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort and it was more of a mental challenge to know what was happening and not react to it. Whilst I was sedated to feel drowsy, relaxed and tired, often falling asleep and closing my eyes, the noise and sensations of the treatment is something that I meditated through. To extract the hair follicles from the back of the head in the donor area I felt a pushing sensation on my head but couldn’t tell precisely where, followed by a crunchy, scratching sound caused by the removal tools.
Whilst it isn’t physically loud enough to hear by ear, the sound travels in your head and that’s what makes it so obvious. I found the internal sound of the first few cuts rather unsettling, but as the sedatives took effect and a few minutes passed I got used to it, as afterall, it is just a weird sound and not pain or discomfort. They also play music throughout, some absolute bangers came on and I found myself wanting to sing along and smile, almost forgetting that I was having surgery a few times.
The extraction process took around 1-2hrs before I was asked to turn onto my back so that I was laying facing upwards for my surgeon to place the incisions. Dr Acar is so wonderfully kind and caring and asked me how I was feeling throughout which really helped to put me at ease and we chatted away as he cut 2,500 microscopic slits for my hair to be transplanted into. It didn’t feel any different to going to a hairdressers and having my hair coloured, so everyday and casual, it was nice to have a chat and forget about what was happening – no doubt the sedatives helped me to relax too!
This part of the process took around 1-2hrs again and felt like a pushing sensation on my scalp. Throughout the entire procedure I was asked if my head was still numb and whether or not I could feel anything. At a couple of points further in I was able to feel a very light scratch for which I had another injection to re-numb the area, but overall my head stayed perfectly pain free and it was only pushing and pulling sensations that I felt. As my surgeon worked on opening the new hair channels, two nurses sat at a desk processing my extracted hair follicles beneath a microscope to separate any tissue and then divide them into hair types. This allowed them to identify thick and thin hairs, single and multiple follicles and determine which area of my transplant that each would be used in as the thicker stronger hairs are used to fill the body of my transplantation area and finer hairs to place along the edges for a soft and natural hairline.
Following this we stopped for me to have a meal and a drink, go to the toilet and see my partner for a hug. It was nice to sit upright and have a meal, as although I wasn’t particularly hungry I was able to look around, chat, use my phone and update my friends and family back home of my progress.
The third and final part of the process was the follicle transplantation which took another 1-2hrs to complete, taking my surgery to 6hrs in total as it began at 1pm and finished at 7pm but this included surgery prep, toilet and food breaks and the hair wash afterwards. For this final surgical stage I lay on my back with my eyes covered by a bandage as two nurses placed my processed hair follicles onto the back of their gloves, scooped each one into a small pencil-like tool and then pushed it into each incision. Whilst still being completely numb throughout, it felt like a pulling, stretching sensation as the skin was parted for the follicles to be slotted in.
My hair was sprayed with water throughout to wash away any blood and help the follicles to slide into place. At times my eyes were uncovered and then recovered again. By this point I fell asleep and don’t remember much of this stage as the lights were down low, the music played and I basically just smiled to myself in a world of my own thanks to the sedatives. The surgery was finished with a rinse of shampoo to remove blood from my hair as I remained on the bed as they collected the water and towels in a bowl beneath me. I then had a bandage placed over my donor area on the back of my head and the front of my head was left open to dry out.
I was invited to sit up slowly on the bed before my IV drip was removed. I didn’t feel dizzy, sick or shaky at all, it was quite a different experience to having a general anaesthetic as I wasn’t weak or unsteady, more sleepy and calm. Walking out of surgery to see my partner, he greeted me with a great big smile and I cheerful told him all about it as I thanked the staff, received a bouquet of flowers and our driver arrived to take us back to the hotel.
Whilst surgery day is a long process to remain conscious for with local anaesthetic, it wasn’t half as bad as I was expecting it to be. It’s certainly more the fear of the unknown that freaked me out and as you progress through each stage of the procedure the experiences that are initially new and strange quickly become familiar and comfortable. I’m absolutely thrilled that my treatment is complete and I’m looking forward to a wonderful nights sleep and catching up with my friends and family on facetime back home when the time difference is more favourable.
1 Day After Surgery
Lasts nights sleep was a dream as I laid at a forty-five degree angle propped up on pillows with my neck pillow. I used my saline spray every few hours to keep my follicles soft and soothed to prevent them from drying out. Still feeling a little drowsy from my sedatives I had a great sleep and feel well rested today.
After breakfast we were collected by the driver to return to the clinic for my post-surgery check and hair wash. I couldn’t wait to have my donor site bandage removed to see what it looks like and have some pampering treatments as the clinic also offer aesthetic services which you can book, so I decided to have my teeth whitened and some botox to my crows feet and bunny lines as I cannot have botox to my forehead for 30 days due to swelling.
My surgeon checked over my transplant and donor site and confirmed that everything had gone perfectly to plan during surgery and that I will be able to achieve great results once my healing process is complete over the coming year. Having my hair washed was a little tender, however the majority of my head is still fairly numb so isn’t as sensitive as I was expecting it to be. The hair wash took around ten minutes and allowed any dried blood to be removed in order to allow the grafts to heal effectively.
Seeing my donor area for the first time was a little shocking as the holes will now be left open for the rest of my recovery and I’ll use a neck pillow when sitting down or sleeping to prevent my head from touching any surfaces that could cause me to get an infection which is supported by my antibiotics for a week. Even with my hair still wet, my existing hair covers the donor area pretty well and even better when dry.
I’m also allowed to tie my hair up if I wish and prefer to have a low ponytail anyway as I find with a naturally sensitive scalp this doesn’t pull so much or make my hair ache. Post-surgery, a low ponytail is perfect for disguising the donor area with flashes of scalp only showing when you look really close.
As my hair starts to regrow my scalp in the donor area will recover within a couple of weeks to become entirely unnoticeable and return to the same length as my existing hair in around a years time. I will keep my hair cut short across this period in order to minimise the difference in lengths between new and old hair.
Follow my post-surgery check and hair wash I was given my haircare pack which contains all of the vitamins, supplements and products necessary to keep my hair and scalp healthy and strong over the coming years to maximise my results.
As these aftercare products contain shampoos, sprays and vitamins it is essential to have a suitcase to bring the items home in as this volume of liquids will not be allowed in a holdall bag in on the plane. Over a cup of coffee a wonderful member of staff kindly talked me through how to use each of the products as well as including an information sheet and youtube video about how to use each product effectively should this amount of information be overwhelming or difficult to remember once I return home.
I’m so impressed with the level of information and care provided by the team throughout this entire experience as from the moment of my booking I have had every single question and concern answered, been given information packs and links to videos, have direct conversations by phone, video calls and in person and had my every need met with kindness, consideration and absolute professionalism.
I could not have asked for a better service and aftercare and as a result of this it has made what could have been an anxious time for me so uplifting and positive, I haven’t stopped smiling from start to finish. The way that the process is organised and orchestrated makes a huge difference to the level of confidence and comfort that you feel about surgery and it is clear to see why the team are the absolute best at what they do and world-renowned in their services.
Having booked in for some aesthetic treatments, I had a consultation with Dr Funda Demir at the clinic to discuss and administer botox to my crows feet and bunny lines. Her exceptional understanding and experience in aesthetics instantly put me at ease and was perfect timing to combine my surgery with an anti-ageing treatment.
With numbing cream this procedure was so comfortable and quick as I had a series of several injections around the outer and inner corners of my eyes and towards the bridge of my nose to stop wrinkles when squinting and smiling. I’d have loved to have botox to my forehead at the same time but due to post-surgery swelling it would reverse the effects of botox, so I must wait thirty days to be able to treat my frown lines once home.
I also had my teeth cleaned, polished and whitened in their new state of the art dental clinic as I love having a bright white smile and always like to maintain my hygiene. Turkey is famous for dental treatments and it’s nice that I could combine these procedures with my surgery all in the same place.
As my teeth were already pretty white I only had to go up one shade on the scale to achieve maximum whiteness as this was more of a maintenance for me rather than makeover. Following the procedure I had an anti-sensitivity treatment applied and was advised to brush my teeth twice each day to protect the enamel and prevent staining as well as to avoid certain foods and drinks that could affect my results. The procedure took around an hour with three 15mins whitening sessions and I’m thrilled with how bright, white, fresh and clean my teeth are – just what I needed considering how much I’ve been smiling since having my surgery!
The driver collected us from the clinic to take us back to the hotel where we spent the afternoon relaxing and packing in preparation for the morning. We decided to have a date night for our final evening in Istanbul at a beautiful Michelin Star rooftop restaurant as we watched the sun set over the cityscape and it was so incredibly beautiful.
I wore a silk scarf to cover my head so to disguise the fact that I’d just had surgery and not offend the other diners at the restaurant. Being so lightweight it was really easy to tie the scarf around the neck without it pulling on my head or touching my wounds and as it has been 24hrs since my surgery my hair and skin were dry and didn’t stick to the material or catch at all.
It was such a stunning evening, the most wonderful way to finish our short trip away and for that moment made me entirely forget the fact that I’d just had surgery. Having my partner with me throughout has made this entire experience so much easier, however I have travelled abroad alone for surgery before and never had a problem.
We ate until we couldn’t eat another bite, held hands and talked by candle light, shared dessert and soaked up the magic and beauty of Istanbul. Our short but sweet trip was so rich and vibrant, the best of both worlds as we experienced and enjoyed the culture, were pampered and looked after and had moments alone to be together and relax.
Tomorrow we will return to the clinic for my final hair wash before we check out of the hotel to head home and I’m excited to see my friends, family, pets and bed again but equally I don’t want this wonderful trip to end. If I could bottle up this moment and keep it forever I would!
Returning Home To England 2 Days After Surgery
So today we’ll be returning home to England and I had my final appointment at the clinic to have my second and final hair wash. I really struggled to sleep last night as the back of my head in the donor area tickled and tingled all night which caused me to remain alert and awake so I’m feeling pretty tired today.
Following breakfast we were driven to the clinic for my hair wash which involved using a hair foam which was left to soak into my grafts on my eyebrows and hairline before being rinsed off and carefully patted dry. I now have thousands of tiny scabs around each of my hair follicles which indicates the first stage of my healing has begun and is going to plan.
I continue to use my saline spray every few hours to relieve itching and tingling and to keep my grafts clean and healthy. My treated areas look red at the moment but this will gradually fade as I recover and become less noticeable over the coming weeks.
So far I have managed not to lay on my head, itch or scratch at my grafts and if anything I have almost forgot the fact that I’ve had surgery as it’s not something that you really notice when it’s been done to you. It’s clear to others looking at me that I’ve been trough a procedure, but when the skin is calm and not tingling you really cannot feel anything.
Having my hair washed today was a delicate process without pain relief which I can’t say that I enjoyed at the time as I hate having my scalp and hair touched, even without having surgery, but I felt so much better afterwards for having it done. It really helps to soothe the scalp and relieve tension from tightening skin and tingling post-surgery and it’s nice to know that the hair specialists know what they are doing, as opposed to attempting to do it yourself and getting it wrong or causing damage to the transplanted follicles.
Once I return home and begin washing my own hair I will no doubt be far slower at this process and take my time to avoid touching my scalp. Knowing that I will also have to massage off my scabs from my 8th hair wash creeps me out a little but it’s still a few days away and with each day that passes I will no doubt become more familiar and at ease with handling my post-surgery hair.
Since landing I’m definitely starting to swell as my forehead and eyes are looking more plumped up and puffy but the plane journey and cabin pressure itself wasn’t a problem at all; having had surgery made no difference to my ability to fly and feel comfortable.
We landed back in the UK late this evening and arrived home just before midnight which felt like such a long time by the time that I got into bed as we’d checked out of our hotel room just after lunch time and had a coffee on the rooftop before heading to the airport for our four hour flight before driving for another hour or so to get home. My partner drove us home and we literally went straight to bed when we got in because we were both so tired from travelling. One things for sure, it’s nice to be home and back to routine, it all happened so fast over these past four day it almost feels like a dream…
3 Days After Surgery
Washing my hair today was just the relief that I needed from the tightness of the scabs along my grafts and donor area. Leaving the foam on my hair to soak is literally the most amazingly soothing and relaxing feeling but I know that looking at it isn’t the prettiest thing.
It’s been so cold, wet and windy here as it’s constant rain and grey skies which is literally perfect weather for hiding away inside, working from home and resting up as I continue my post-surgery recovery. I highly recommend having a hair transplant in the winter rather than summer for convenience.
I’m getting into a nice routine now with my aftercare and am half way through my medication as well as at ease with my hygiene routine and clothing as I continue to wear clothes that can be slipped on without going over my head so as not to cause an injury.
The swelling under my eyes seems to have reached its peak today as it’s pretty bulgy with fluid and has deepened in colour to a reddish-purple to match my scabs which would be so pretty as an eyeshadow, but not really the look I was going for on my face!
I spoke with GetMoreHair today to send across my recovery photos and check in with my progress as I wanted to double check that this level of swelling and bruising is in line with where I should be at three days post-surgery. The wonderful staff confirmed that everything is as expected and there is nothing to worry about. As I had hair grafts to my temples it meant that I couldn’t wear a compression band around my forehead to help to reduce swelling so it all built up and has to drain via the natural channels in my face for which I can gently apply a cool compress and massage around my eyes to assist in my recovery.
It looks far worse than how it feels as my eyes just feel warm and heavy with a little pressure as if I’ve hung upside down for too long, so I’m making sure that I keep upright all day, sleep on an incline at night and gently massage around my eyes whenever I have a spare moment between work and taking care of the children.
4 Days After Surgery
Today the back of my head feels a little tight from the scabs as it heals and it really impacted on my sleep last night as I only got around 4hrs. Whilst I’m using my neck pillow for the first week post-surgery for comfort, and to protect my healing, it still puts pressure on the back my head to lay on my donor site and makes me so restless in bed.
Sleeping on my back isn’t a problem, laying with a neck pillow isn’t a problem, it’s literally just the tenderness and pressure of trying to sleep on my donor site scabs but I know that it will pass with each day that I heal. During the day I don’t really notice my head anymore, it’s simply at bedtime that I become aware so I’ve got some additional painkillers to take just before bed tonight in order to feel more comfortable and hopefully stop me from waking up so frequently.
The swelling under my eyes is gradually reducing and my upper eyelids are now less puffy. The bruising around my forehead is turning a lighter shade of green/yellow and I’m hoping in a few days time I’ll be able to cover the darker parts beneath my eyes with makeup so that I can ditch my sunglasses in the rain and look a little more human.
I’m amazed at how fast my donor area is regrowing as I’ve never shaved my hair before to see the difference that four days make, but if my leg hair is anything to go by then I’d have to shave my head everyday to remain uncovered! Shorter hair seems to grow so fast which I love, but I’m prepared to have to wait for my length and thickness to return.
To ease the tingling sensation on the back of my scalp today I soaked the donor area with my hair foam prior to my shower which I use daily on my forehead. This helped to soften the scabs and bring some relief to the tightness of the healing skin and allowed me to rest a little more comfortably.
5 Days After Surgery
I’m starting to look like one of the Simpsons with how yellow my upper face is turning from the bruising healing which looks pretty funny given that it’s just on the upper part of my face. I spent a few minutes this evening massaging around my eyes to help to reduce the swelling and clear the excess fluid and I feel fresh, clean and ready for bed for hopefully a wonderful nights sleep because I really need it.
These images are so difficult for me to even look at, let alone share online, as I struggle with scabs, spots or anything pickable. It instantly creeps me out, puts me on edge and makes me want to rub it all off or cover it up when I can do neither right now, and so the biggest part of going through a hair transplant for me is definitely handling the healing as weird as that sounds. No mirrors for me!
When soaked in the shower the scabs turn a light white colour and lift up off of the scalp, however I haven’t touched or massaged them yet as I must wait a week to attempt to gently remove them. The skin on my forehead is still quite numb which is entirely normal, but when I pat it with my hands to apply my foam the small hairs which are popping out – along with the scabs – feel quite spiky and crunchy which isn’t a sensation that I particularly enjoy, but I know that it’s a part of my healing process and won’t last forever.
My eyebrow transplant has taken equally well and is healing wonderfully, seemingly without any additional bruising which is nice. The hairs used for my eyebrows are the same as those on my forehead and were taken from my donor area on the back of my head which means that the middle of my eyebrows are now able to grow as long as my normal hair and are not limited to a small lash length like normal eyebrows. Just as I pluck away any stray eyebrows each week I will also trim my new brows to prevent them from overgrowing which doesn’t drastically add to my existing beauty regime.
6 Days After Surgery
It’s seven days after surgery and the peak of my bruising has now been reached, I’m starting to notice the colours of purple and red getting lighter as my yellow forehead fading as my swelling continues to subside. I sent my one week progress pictures to the clinic today along with a few questions that I had, all of which I will share below.
The clinic confirmed that I am perfectly on track for my recovery process and am healing as I should which is very reassuring to know. I asked how long I should expect to feel a pressure in my head when looking downward and they informed me that this will pass within 1-2 weeks post-surgery and I’m already noticing that today is markedly better as I no longer feel the need to noticeably look upward when sitting down or looking at my phone for relief.
I also asked when I would be able to wear fake tan and makeup and they advised that I should wait 2-3 months to use a spray on fake tan but that I can wear makeup now, providing I keep it away from my transplant site. I’ve not worn makeup since my surgery and have enjoyed giving my skin a break away from products, instead just washing my face with water and enjoying relaxing and recovering at home as I didn’t like the thought of having to scrub my face to remove my makeup at the end of a day, potentially pulling on my skin.
I also wanted to double check when I should attempt to start removing my scabs from my forehead and they confirmed that it is from my 8th hair wash, so that makes it 9 days post-surgery as I wash my hair once each day and had two washes in clinic with five at home. To remove my scabs I must soak my hair with my medical foam as usual before rinsing it in the shower and this time gently massage the scabs away with my fingertips when they are softened.
Despite the fact that I can wear a hat from one week, I’m still sticking with my head scarf as I have quite a sensitive scalp naturally and don’t like to feel pressure on my head. Whilst I’m recovering and working from home it’s not necessary for me to cover my head anyway or disguise my surgery, and on the school run I pop on a loose silk head scarf and dark glasses to hide my surgery, bruising and swelling and nobody has realised that I’ve had anything done.
Whilst my scarf and glasses may look like an unusual fashion choice for England in November, it’s important to progress to each stage as and when you feel comfortable to do so. I’ve personally decided that I will only attempt to wear a hat when I am two weeks post-surgery to allow for the maximum period of healing before applying pressure or friction to my hair and also to increase my comfort with a sensitive scalp.
7 Days After Surgery
So today was my final normal hair wash before I attempt to remove my scabs tomorrow on post-surgery day 9 and it seems so alien to think about touching my grafts with my finger tips, let alone massaging my scalp after soaking the scabs for removal. I one million percent cannot wait for them to be gone, but at the same time it kind of creeps me out to think of the follicles being fragile and still so new.
It’s important to remove the scabs to prevent them from restricting new hair growth and a vital part of the healing journey. I can’t imagine seeing my hairline without them now, as although it’s only been around a week since my surgery, I’ve got so used to having them.
Something that I have been massaging is my donor area, as it has continued to feel tight and tingly since surgery, but each day that passes this sensation eases and the redness from the donor hair extraction is almost gone now. It’s really exciting to see my hair growing so fast and the large expanse of scalp gradually covering over.
I find lightly massaging the skin really helps to loosen and relieve the tension, especially in the evening, as bringing blood flow to the area assists in healing and helps to break up scar tissue.
8 Days After Surgery
The day is finally here! It is time for my scab removal and I’ve been psyching myself up literally all morning to hop into the shower and massage my scalp. My scabs are already naturally lifting up and many of them have travelled down the length of the new hair which will make it easier to remove them. The scabs are also starting to change from a red/brown colour to lighter yellow as they lift off which indicates that they are ready to be removed.
Looking at my donor area, the tension and tightness has all but passed now and it feels oddly nice to stroke the back of my head and feel the soft, fluffy hair regrowing on my scalp. Much like I would stroke my dog or my sons hair as he lays on my lap, I’m starting to enjoy having a shaved head which is something I never thought I would ever say, let alone experience. It’s really not that bad!
After soaking my hair for 30mins with the hair foam as usual, I hopped into the shower and allowed warm water to gently trickle over my hair for a few minutes before I attempted to touch my grafts. It really is such a weird sensation for me and I think most people will find it far easier than I did as I was just very hesitant to touch the soft scabs because of the sensation of it. I can’t stand chewy, squishy things and don’t eat jelly sweets because of the texture and removing the scabs basically felt like running my fingers across chopped up jelly sweets.
It didn’t hurt or cause me any discomfort at all, it was literally the gross factor of it that I struggled with. Whilst the aftercare instructions are to gently massage the scalp with fingertips to remove the scabs but I initially couldn’t bring myself to make contact with my skin at all. So I began by brushing over the tips of the new hair with my fingertips where I could feel the gooey scabs dropping out, catching in my long hair and eyelashes and falling down my face.
I had small white sticky scabs in blobs stuck to my fingers which I looked at closely, freaked out and convinced myself that I’d soaked my hair for far too long and somehow managed to soften my skin and allow my hair new follicles to fall out and leave bald patches. So I got out of the shower, dried and dressed myself and then looked in the mirror to find that hardly any scabs had come off at all.
Giving myself a pep talk I sucked it up and got back into the shower, confident that I hadn’t caused any damage to my hair grafts and recognised that I hadn’t been half as effective as I should be with my massaging technique. This time I used small and gentle circular massaging motions to lift up the scabs and didn’t panic when I felt them on my skin and face. It really is a case of trusting in the process.
Whilst I didn’t manage to get all of my scabs off in one go, it did make a big difference and I’m aware that it may take a few days to lift all of the scabs away. Of the ones that are left, mainly around my hairline, they have certainly lifted up to the ends of the hair now and will no doubt come off in the next wash or two. I feel more confident in my technique now and know that the sensation of touching the gooey scabs won’t be as shocking and unusual for me because now I know what to expect.
I have my final antibiotic to take tonight and all of my post-surgery medication is complete. I can now start my aftercare tablets which are my daily multi-vitamin and biotin capsules along with my anti-hairloss spray which I spray onto my hair once each day and leave on for a minimum of five hours which I put on after my shower this morning but will do before bed each night going forwards.
It’s really exciting to see the hair on my temples scab-free as the new hair grows through at a slightly slower rate than my donor area regrowth. I’m amazed at how one week can change my life so drastically and astounded at the difference that hair transplant surgery can make. I literally cannot stop smiling!
9 Days After Surgery
My second scab-removal hair wash today takes me one step closer to removing all of my scabs as I persevere with my softly-softly approach and managed to make fingertip contact with my scalp.
The skin on my scalp is still partially numb from surgery and isn’t tender or sore to the touch at all, even though it may look red and scabby please don’t be fooled! It’s literally just my own inability to touch things that creep me out. I think by tomorrows hair wash all of scabs will be totally gone and I’m excited to move into this new phase of my healing.
Whilst I still have some red/purple and yellow bruising under my eyes, the swelling has all but gone from my forehead now as you can see my resting frown lines creeping back out to say hello. My eyebrows looks absolutely amazing and it’s already impossible to tell where my natural hair once ended and my new transplanted hair now begins. It’s as if they have always been so naturally full and beautifully shaped as they are now.
My antibiotics have finished, I no longer need any pain relief to sleep and I’m feeling happy and confident enough to venture out without a head covering or wearing any makeup despite being bruised. I literally can’t stop myself from smiling all day everyday, and I don’t think the sheer gratitude and appreciation that I have for my new hairline and brows will ever diminish. This is beyond my wildest of dreams for what I could ever do to improve my hair and I still have to pinch myself that it even happened.
10 Days After Surgery
Today all of my scabs came off in the shower in my third scab-removal hair wash. I no longer need to sleep with a neck pillow which means that I can sleep on my back, front or side again and it’s absolutely wonderful to have such sense of freedom to move around in bed without feeling any pressure in my head.
It was easier than I thought to remain sleeping on my back for 9 days and I’m still being cautious now about how I sleep on my side as I’m using extra pillows to remain at a little incline because my swelling has subsided now but I still have a little bruising under my eyes and want to help it to clear before I attempt to sleep fully flat as normal. I went to the cinema last night and found reclining in the seats a little uncomfortable on the back of my head as the chairs were hard, so I used the hood of my jacket to create a little pillow which made it more comfortable – it didn’t cross my mind to take a neck pillow with me as whenever I sit down my head stays away from the back of the seat anyway, but in a reclining cinema chair having that extra padding was essential so soon after surgery.
Sharing my hair transplant journey online, whilst it’s been a cathartic journey for me to show the openness and honesty of it, it’s been surprisingly well received by women across the world with my first tik tok video posted about it receiving 2.4million views within 48hrs.
I was a little concerned if the pictures and footage of me bruised, swollen and having/healing from surgery would be too graphic or scary for people when this is precisely the content that I wanted to see prior to having my surgery in order to be fully informed and remove the fear of the unknown.
When I have had plastic surgery in the past some people congratulate and compliment my results whilst others online feel the need to attack, insult and find fault in changing my body. It’s been incredibly eye opening that whilst a hair transplant is a cosmetic procedure, and isn’t life and death, people online are incredibly kind and supportive of this surgery as it clearly affects so many people and they can directly sympathise with my reasons why as it’s likely they have felt the same way themselves whereas a breast augmentation or rhinoplasty is more of a controversial subject.
The support, and surprise that female hair and eyebrow transplant surgery actually exists, from women has been so amazing and I have never seen such kindness and praise online in the 17yrs that I have been in the media. It just goes to show how huge the impact of this surgery is on changing the lives of men and women alike and if I were a betting person I would say that female hair transplants, once known about, may well exceed the popularity and demand of breast augmentations in future for desirability.
2 Weeks After Surgery
Today I am two weeks post-surgery and it feels like the time has flown so fast now that I’m back to everyday life and the build up to Christmas. Work is hectic, family are hectic and my home is a hub of energy and enthusiasm which makes the time pass by so quickly as I’ve all but forgotten at times that I’ve even had surgery.
The most noticeable changes to my recovery that come with my second week of recovery are the sensations on my scalp subsiding with the very top back of my head being the final area to stop tingling and crawling. The front of my scalp, and hairline, is still partially numb to the touch which is perfectly normal and I know that sensation will return with time.
I sleep so soundly now, laying flat on my pillow on my back and sides just as I did before surgery with no tenderness or discomfort at all. It’s so nice to get my nightly eight hours in and I feel so much more human. The final tell-tale sign of my recovery is the tiny amount of bruising left just under my eyes which has shrunk into a small thin reddish-purple line under each eye and is shrinking by the day.
The yellowness of bruising across my forehead, temples and cheeks has now all but subsided and my skin colour has returned to normal, so I’m no longer looking like a member of the Simpson’s family which is great! The hair across my temples, hairline, scalp and donor area seems to be growing so fast no, it’s beginning to cover my skin and look more natural as it joins up the gaps and bare patches on my scalp to give an indication of the sheer volume of coverage that I will achieve once I’m fully healed which is so exciting to experience this progress.
I’ve been out and about, running errands, shopping, going on dates with my partner and seeing friends and family without feeling the need to cover my head or hide my surgery anymore as only the very middle of my hairline is visible when I wear my hair down, and even then as the hair is regrowing it is hiding my scalp so isn’t instantly obvious anymore. Over the coming weeks and months I feel that my hair will be long enough to comb into my hairline and be almost undetectable.
I’m feeling so positive, enthusiastic and thankful for having had my surgery which still surprises me when I catch my reflection in the mirror and see my new hair growing in areas that I had self-consciously hidden away for a decade. I’m so incredibly humbled to see that speaking about my hair loss journey has continued to make an impact in the media as my video diaries continue to grow by the day with one of them now topping 3.5million views. It warms my heart to share this message of hope with others around the world and I hope that my openness and honesty will help just one person to understand that they are not alone in their hair loss journey and something can be done to reclaim lost hair at any age and stage of life.
3 Weeks After Surgery
A quick little check-in at week three – hello thickness! I’ve noticed that my follicles are looking a little thicker and darker which may be a combination of growth as well as the assistance of my hair vitamins. As my natural hair is dark blonde colour, and I won’t be able to dye my transplanted hair for six months, I highly recommend that you try to adjust your hair colour prior to surgery to make the regrowth less noticable.
I’ve been gradually transitioning my hair colour from peroxide blonde to my natural blonde colour over the past year and love how my roots match with my overall colour of my hair, with highlights scattered throughout to break it up. In hindsight, I should have probably gone a few shades darker on my blonde to prepare for my new uncoloured hair to entirely disguise it, but I’m just grateful to now have hair where there hasn’t been any for so long!
All tingling sensations and sensitivity of any kind is completely gone and the areas of numbness to the front of my scalp is now at around 60% sensation as it continues to return.
Whilst I continue to use my surgery shampoo, I have yet to “scrub” the scalp in my transplanted area, as I’m still using a gentle fingertip massage which I know that I’ll have to increase with time. I’ve noticed a shedding of skin this week, like dandruff, to my transplanted area and eyebrows only and as such have ensured after each hair wash that I gently massage it away so as not to block my pores or prevent my new follicles from growing.
My eyebrows are growing longer by the day and teetering on the limit of needing their first trim soon which the clinic confirmed that I can safely do with scissors from this point onwards. Seeing as I have a few rogue eyebrows to pluck and tidy up anyway, I’m excited about my monthly brow trim becoming part of my body hair regime and will attempt this between weeks four to six as they’re not overly long at the moment.
I’m still merrily walking around in public without covering my hair or trying to disguise my surgery now that the scabs, swelling and bruising have gone. I think my sheer sense of elation for having hair far outweighs any thought of embarrassment over a “shaved hairline” or the latest hair fashion. It’s incredibly freeing and each day that passes my locks will become thicker and longer which is incredibly inspiring to say the least. I’m looking forward to sharing my week 4 results with you as I beaver away with work and family upon the build up to Christmas – with my new hairline! Whoopee!
Please note: I will continue to add more pictures, video diaries and text here over the coming days when I get around to writing it all up as there is a lot of information still to cover and I’m currently resting, working and tending to my family back home in England as I recover.
1 Month After Surgery
One month post-surgery and I feel amazing! I’m so pleased with my results and want to touch upon the questions that I’ve been receiving this week regarding my recovery. Literally everybody has been asking me about shedding which is the process of the newly transplanted hair falling out before it regrows again and something that, up until now, I hadn’t experienced yet.
Many patients who have said a hair transplant may feel shocked when the freshly transplanted hair suddenly falls out but there is no need to panic as it is a completely normal part of the process regardless of if you have the FUE hair transplant technique or Sapphire DHI that I had. A very lucky 5% of patients hair will continue to grow, without ever shedding, as if nothing has ever happened!
It’s predicted that transplanted hair will shed – or naturally fall out – around two to four weeks after surgery, as the hair grafts are briefly cut off from the blood supply during transplantation and can’t be provided with nutrients fro, the body. But much like a plant, when repotted, it will begin to grow again as the follicles settle into their new location in the hairline and grow stronger and healthier at around three months.
As you can see here, I have had a little shedding of hairs around my temples and hairline, which I was expecting, but about 75% of it is still in place. I’m unsure of if it will all come out, or just some. Whilst I don’t think I’m fortunate enough to be in the lucky 5% of patients who instantly keep all hair, it could be possible that the small amount of shedding is down to the natural life cycle of the hair and it is naturally their time to pop out regardless of having had surgery.
By 9 to 12 months a beautiful head of full hair has established, although at the latest this may take up to 18 months after surgery to be achieved, depending on the individual. As the transplanted hairs have the right genetic information, they will always be a permanent part of my appearance and my new hair will now last a lifetime.
My donor area will regrow without shedding, as this area was harvested and not transplanted, and my hair is getting to a length now where coverage is coming in. It’s actually really nice to stroke the back of my head and no longer feels so chilly in the winter or strange as I’ve got used to it.
My eyebrow transplant is also going from strength to strength and will shortly need a trim to keep it in line with the rest of my brows, but I have to say that I’m really enjoying the novelty of having a full and thick brow that I almost want to let it grow longer just so that I can comb it across! I’ve again lost a few hairs in my brow which I can’t determine to be shedding after surgery or natural hair fall. I guess the next week or so will determine which it is!
My Tik Tok video reached 5 million views this week which is absolutely mind blowing! As such the world media has started to write about it with news reaching England, Ireland and New York so far as more people join in my journey.
I have received so many kind words, messages of support and people sharing their fears and concerns over their own hair loss with me and my heart is literally swollen with love and hope. I know how difficult it was for me to make this decision and share it, and I know that others will be feeling equally as lost and sad as I had for so many years.
I hope that my journey may be a light in the darkness and message of hope. Let us open up a healthy conversation around hair loss and thinning and put this taboo to rest once and for all.
5 Weeks After Surgery
Five weeks after surgery and the time is passing so quickly now as we’re just a few weeks away from Christmas and work has been absolutely hectic! But it’s nice to know that time is passing whilst I heal each day and my hair continues to grow. I’ve all but forgotten about having had surgery now as my life is entirely back to normal and nobody mentions my hair or even seems to notice which is great as it’s not in-your-face obvious anymore.
I still haven’t covered my head to hide my regrowth, however with the frost and cold wind I will probably start wearing a wooly hat soon just to keep warm whilst outdoors – along with gloves, a scarf and winter boots.
Looking at my hairline, temples and eyebrows for shedding, my hair has remained pretty much the same percentage of shedding with about 75% of hairs still in place and growing longer whilst around 25% of the hair has fallen out and is now popping through as new stubble which is exciting.
My donor area is growing back wonderfully with a nice thick and full coverage, which once it gets a little longer and darkness up to cover my scalp, will make wearing my hair down in the wind far less discreet as I won’t have flashes of pale scalp exposed through my long hair.
My new hair now stands up on end, a bit like a fluffy chicken, as it’s not yet long enough to bend and lay flat but over the coming weeks it will. This is the thinnest my hair will look, as I continue to use my post-surgery vitamins and spray to thicken and provide nutrients to my hair which will establish and mature over the coming year.
I still find it so fascinating to see hair where there was none for so very long and I’m beyond excited to see how my hair will look, and the new hair styles that I can try for the very first time, once my results are complete next year. I’ve been waiting my whole life to be able to have a fringe and the finish line is finally in sight.
World media continue to be so very kind and supportive of my hair transplant journey as I strive to raise awareness for female hair transplants and hair loss solutions. Three of my Tik Tok Videos now total over 10million views which is unimaginable and I’ve been overjoyed to have so many people contact me to tell me they have booked consultations to begin their own journey’s after hiding their hair loss for many years also.
If I can give just one person hope through sharing my journey then I shall feel that my years spent suffering in silence were not in vain. Whilst I cannot turn back to clock and have found this solution for my hair loss in my twenties, I can help others by raising awareness for hair transplant surgery being a permanent solution for men and women alike. Sending love and light to you all wherever you are in your journey.
6 Weeks After Surgery
Week six post-surgery and I was really expecting the rest of my hair to have shed in preparation for regrowth but there is still a lot of it left! The gaps from fallen hair are more visible now as, with the dark hair gone, the small red dots show from where the follicles are still healing, which makes my hairline appear to be sore like it’s been grazed, but it feels absolutely fine and the redness isn’t tender or sensitive at all.
For the hair that has remained, it has grown to just over one centimetre in six weeks, which at this rate, may mean that I’m able to have a fringe down to my eyebrows in about 4-5months time – perfect for the summer!
I’ve also become accustomed to touching my skin in the transplanted area of my hairline, scalp and temples which may have encouraged some hairs to shed. As I’d noticed dandruff only in my transplanted area, I was conscious to give it a good clean to stop it from preventing my hair from growing. Now that my new hair is no longer blunt and spikey, as it grows in length it is softer and almost laying down now which makes it far easier to touch and feel less nervous about. I mean, a month and a half is a fair amount of time for anyone to get used to having had surgery!
I used a more firm, but still gentle, fingertip massage over my transplanted area and lifted off all dead skin/dandruff as it’s not normally something that I suffer with. It just goes to show that throughout recovery the body heals so well and doesn’t have to be as delicate and fragile as we think; but I always proceed with caution if in doubt.
My social media is still going crazy as I share my hair transplant journey, with just three of my videos now totalling over 12million views. I also held my first tik tok live talking about my surgery and taking questions from people all over the world and it received 92% more views than other content creators with the same following as me!
It just goes to show how many people hair loss actually affects and how much more we should talk about, and try to normalise, this topic. It’s not just for “men” or “old people” hair loss has the ability to affect everyone at any age and stage of life. Just because hundreds of thousands of women suffer in silence from hair loss concerns, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening. Together we can help to change this.
7 Weeks After Surgery
The past seven weeks have absolutely flown by since having my surgery and I can’t believe that I’m already approaching month two of my twelve month hair transformation! So looking at the shedding phase of my recovery and my new hair seems to have remained quite consistent in the quantity that I have lost, with the majority -around 75%- of it still staying in place and lengthening and thickening up nicely.
Sensation for my scalp in the transplanted area is at around 80% now and feels more like the surface of my skin has gone to sleep rather than rubbery and numb when there was absolutely no sensation at all. There is still some redness to the follicles at the transplantation site, but week by week as my hair grows it lessens in colour and is camouflaged by regrowth, so within another month or so I expect this to be hidden completely as it isn’t very noticeable now.
I have still yet to trim my new eyebrows as it’s still such a novelty for me to have hair there I’m just basking in the results and enjoying a thicker and fuller brow. I keep telling myself “I’ll probably do it next week” and when the time comes it’s replaced by “but they look so lovely, they really don’t need a trim yet!”
Despite using the exact same hair from the back of my head in my donor section, my eyebrows appear to be growing at a slower rate than that of my hairline for which I fully expected them to grow at the same pace and find this difference a little odd. Either way it means less maintenance for me and such beautiful brows so it’s a win-win scenario.
Finally, the donor area at the back of my head is thickening up beautifully and my pale scalp no longer shows – even when my hair blows in the bitter winter wind! For convenience I tie my hair into a low ponytail everyday with a little fringe down which has always been my go-to style and it’s a super discreet way to wear my hair without the fact that I’ve had a hair transplant being obvious.
The only part of my transplant that really shows is a small triangle at my parting where the hair in my scalp is regrowing, but as it’s the same colour as my existing hair it blends in wonderfully and is only noticeable if you were to look really hard up close or I point it out. It’s just a few days until Christmas and I’m so excited to be celebrating the start of a new year as a woman reborn!
2 Months After Surgery
Wow! I’m astounded to have 3.25cm of new hair growth just eight weeks post-surgery. As you can see from this weeks progress snaps I have continued to retain the majority of my hair throughout the shedding phase with the temples being the main area for loss as this is where I apply the most pressure to my scalp when sleeping.
My new hair is beginning to arch over and lay down now naturally with its length and weights as it is no longer short and spiky like freshly shaved hair. In areas where hairs have shed there is a slight pinkish-red shadow which indicates where my new hair will grow from and the density that I will achieve post-transplant.
When I scrape my hair back into a ponytail you can see the extent of the hair which has been added which is approximately 2cm-2.5cm to my hairline and 4.5cm to my temples at the widest point. Not only does this discreetly reduce the size of my forehead, but also adds thickness and density to my hairline, allowing my hair to grow in the correct direction to be able to finally have a fringe!
My donor area is making equally astounding progress as day by day my hair grows in length and provides greater coverage of my scalp to make my surgery undetectable whether I wear my hair up or down.
Despite it being winter I have totally avoided wearing hats and head coverings, which I think may have helped my hair not to shed through friction, as if it rains I simply pull my coat hood up which is loose and keeps me dry and warm. I really thought that I would spend this winter hiding away and covering my hair but it has surprised me by how carefree and proud I have felt to continue my life as normal as my new hair grows.
To appreciate the sheer extent of my progress I have attached my 8 week post-surgery pictures alongside my before photos. All that I can say is WOW! What a difference this has made to my life, my appearance and my self-esteem. To eradicate my hair loss concerns within a single afternoon has been the greatest gift that I could ever have wished for this Christmas and beyond.
There is still so much progress to be made in my hair regrowth, and whilst I shan’t wish my life away, I’m already feeling incredibly enthusiastic about my one year post-surgery comparison photos! Wishing you all a positive, prosperous and uplifting Happy New Year filled with hope and opportunity for all that 2023 has to offer.
9 Weeks After Surgery
This week I had my first hair appointment after surgery which I dragged out a little longer than my usual six week slot in order to allow myself a comfortable recovery window and avoid any hair products from affecting my transplant area too soon. I still haven’t worn fake tan and do not apply makeup to my forehead.
Seeing as I’m used to having short hairs from regrowth now, it seems as if the length has slowed down because there is not such a dramatic visual change as when my hair had been shaved and then regrew. Whilst my new hair was 3.25cm last week it is now at about 4cm this week at the longest point which is still amazing for being just nine weeks post surgery.
My temple shedding has also remained about the same as last week and so it feels like now I’ve entered the waiting stage of my recovery where not much will change in regrowth for a handful of weeks at a time.
I have to confess that I was a little nervous about having my first post surgery hairdressers appointment, as even though my roots needed dyeing – I only usually have a top section of soft blonde highlights – I also didn’t want to impact my transplanted area in any way or cause hair loss when it has remained in place so successfully.
I informed my hairdresser that I would be having a hair transplant prior to my surgery and delayed my routine cut and colour from every six weeks to nine weeks this time. She also avoided touching, dyeing or massaging my transplanted area during cutting, washing and colouring my hair.
Instead of a top section of foils that I would usually have I only had four or five put in further back to avoid the front of my hairline as my hair is naturally dark blonde and will regrow in this shade, so to have too much blonde at the front of my face would cause me to have a dark fringe growing through and make my surgery all the more obvious. When I had my conditioning treatment the front of my hairline was also avoided – I would rather be overly cautious than risk affecting my recovery.
Whilst my current hair still grows in the wrong direction, preventing me from having a fringe, the new follicles are positioned in the correct direction and will start to cover my forehead over the coming months which I’m incredibly excited about.
Having my hair subtly lightened with a few foils, my ends trimmed and a gentle fringe cut in has made such a huge difference to the coverage of my forehead and regrowth from surgery – and this is without the 2,500 hairs that will soon frame my face!
Already I feel like I have more hair – despite having less than ever from my donor area having to regrow – and my surgery is all but undetectable unless you know to look at my hairline very closely. It feels like I am coming closer and closer to having a fringe with everyday that passes and I can’t wait to see my full and final results along with the coverage that I can achieve. What a wonderful way to start a new year! Wishing you all a bright and beautiful 2023 x
10 Weeks After Surgery
Week 10 and the majority of my hair is 4cm now at the shortest parts – with some a little longer – and although I’m a little windswept from walking in the wind and rain right, on a normal day my new hair growth continues to look just as fluffy, much like a young chicken.
However my hair will thicken up, weigh itself down with length and the missing follicles will grow through for more coverage with time as my temples seem to be the only area where I have shed so far and I’m hoping that the rest of my hair retains and my final results are visible sooner than a year because of it.
Wearing my hair up or down provides coverage for my surgery, especially now that my transplanted area has grown as it no longer looks like stubble sticking up, but more baby hair naturally within my own hairline which is nice to see.
I can’t wait for the day when my donor area is as long as the rest of my hair again and my ponytails no longer need to be tied several times for a band to stay in my hair. It still feels so weird having a small wisp of hair at the back of my head, but it really isn’t noticeable to others and covers so well now that my scalp isn’t exposed.
I had a lovely lady reach out to me on Instagram to let me know that she too is having a hair transplant and has decided to leave her hair long rather than shaving it off because of seeing my videos showing how easy it is to hide regrowth beneath long hair.
She’s also vegan and appears to have received the same response to hair loss as many carnivores seem to think that leading a plant-based diet causes severe weight/muscle loss and hair loss which is entirely untrue. As a professional (plant-based) bodybuilder I am living proof of being able to build lean muscle without consuming meat, fish, eggs or dairy at all. Similarly, my fathers heritage saw him lose all of his hair by the age of 21yrs, my brother lost his by his thirties and my mother has had an exposed scalp for many years – none of them lead a plant-based diet, it’s simply genetics.
The more that we talk about our experiences, the brighter the light we mad shed on these areas, and ultimately the more people that we can reach with valuable information and advice. Whilst I haven’t become a hair specialist overnight simply because I’ve had a hair transplant myself, I can however show others what to expect and how I’ve handed this treatment myself. Research and personal experience are always useful to share.
My tik tok hair transplant videos have now amassed over 20 million views, with just three of them (which I’ve pinned to the top of my profile) totalling a combined 17.8 million views. With the population of England presently being 56 million that’s the equivalent of just over one in every three people in the country having seen my content – wow!
11 Weeks After Surgery
Contemplating my results today I suddenly realised that I now have full sensation to my scalp and transplanted areas – no more numbness! I’m just shy of three months post-surgery, a quarter of the way to achieving my final results already, and I’m at the stage now where my hair is looking more normal.
The length of my regrowth of transplanted hair allows it to sit against my face and add density and coverage to my hairline. Where some of the hairs have shed I’m now seeing tiny new hairs popping through, which I imagine my whole transplanted area would have looked like had I shed my hair like most people do following surgery.
Recovering from surgery creates such a conflicting timeline in the mind as sometimes I think to myself “wow, my hair has grown so much without me noticing this week” yet also “can’t it grow a little faster so I can have my final results already?” So I really can’t decide if my recovery feels like its progressing very quickly or going super slowly. I can simply remind myself to be grateful for my results and have patience in my progress.
I have however noted that the busier I am the faster time passes and when it comes around to my weekly photo comparison I always seem to feel so pleasantly surprised by the small but powerful changes. Had I have watched my hair grow each and every day it may have felt like a lifetime already, had I have only looked back at my progress after six months I may have missed the little moments. I think a weekly check-in is a nice way to keep tabs on my regrowth which I will move to a monthly check-in from week 12 onwards.
There are more new hairs popping up on my scalp now which is the triangular area that was filled in my hairline and to an extent they look like black dots as they emerge and stand on end, a little like a hedgehog, which was the post-surgery phase that my entire hair was at a few weeks ago. So I know exactly what to expect as this second wave of hair comes along to fill in the gaps and follow suit with my now half-fringe-length regrowth of transplanted hair.
My donor area is also looking and feeling great and I still feel surprised when I compare progress photos and think to myself “it was great last week but somehow it’s even thicker now!” With my natural hair colour coming through I have a chance for this to be virgin hair, free from chemicals and dyes and supplemented by my hair vitamins and surgery spray to make it the thickest, healthiest and happiest that it can possibly be. I’m really looking forward to my second chance of loving and taking care of my hair and will never again bleach or betray it.
3 Months After Surgery
I’m now three months into my one year recovery post-surgery, a quarter of the way, and I feel so excited and uplifted by my results already. Here’s a little recap of my progress which I will now be comparing once a month as I wait for my hair to grow in length and density.
Taking to the temples first and there is only a small amount of uncovered skin to cover on my left hand side which will take place when my shedded areas start to regrow. I have new hairs popping up which will be more visible over the coming weeks as they grow longer.
It’s amazing to see the sheer volume of new hair that I have to now frame my face, and come the summer I should have made suitable progress towards being able to have a fringe! Hoorah!
My hairline is beginning to look more and more natural as my new hair grows in length and any shedded areas start to grow back. As my hair now lays flat against my head I’m achieving such a wonderful coverage and density and my scalp is no longer visible.
When the final hairs come through, over the next month or two, I should have a better idea of the success of my transplant surgery. This should be an indication of where the grafts were placed and at which spacing and density to decide if I return for further treatment if necessary or remain with what I have as it is possible to have more than one hair transplant surgery to achieve your desired results.
The donor area of my hair is so thick and glossy now with beautiful healthy hair coming through at around 5-5.5cm in length. Seeing as this is my winter hair it is on the darker side of my natural dark blonde number 7 on the colour chart, and come the summer should lighten up a little as I continue to only hair a few highlights scattered across my T-section.
I am avoiding having the front of my hair coloured as I’m unable to colour my transplanted hair yet and having light blonde hair with a dark blonde fringe would be an unusual contrast that may make my surgery more obvious to spot. So I’m sticking with my darker natural tone as my hair regrows and will have it lifted a little when it is safe to do so.
After three months of healing I have finally had my first eyebrow trim which I did with an eyebrow trimmer set on 2mm length to tidy up my brows. I had hoped that some more of my shedded eyebrow hair would have regrown by now but it seems to be quite happy sleeping still, so I’ll keep a close eye on its regrowth and should expect to have my full and final brow results over the coming months.
My eyebrows are the area where I have definitely lost the most hair post-surgery which only makes me feel more thankful that my hairline has remained in place as it has so much further to grow to create a fringe in length than a 2mm eyebrow. I’m excited nonetheless to see how long it takes for my eyebrow transplant results to complete and will keep my blog updated accordingly.
Finally, I’ve been getting a lot of questions on social media this week about the hair vitamins and supplements that I take to keep my hair healthy and prevent hair loss after surgery so I’ve included them here for reference.
I will soon begin using my derma roller on my scalp to assist in the penetration of my spray on hair vitamins and will be making a video of this process. So for now I’ll carry on loving life, making memories and checking back on my hair regrowth once a month to update my blog. These past three months since surgery seem to have flown by already, it’s amazing to be a quarter of the way through my recovery and to have such incredible results already. Here’s to the next 9 months!
4 Months After Surgery
This past month has absolutely flown by and I had to leave a note on my calendar to make sure that remember I check in with my progress because it no longer feels like I’m recovering from surgery anymore, life is just so normal.
Day by day my hair grows and when you stop clock watching it seems so go so much faster! I’m literally in love with my new hairy temples and love how it frames my face and covers the wide expanse of forehead skin that would have otherwise been exposed and wispy.
The appearance of my hairline is thickening by the day and the triangle of hair missing from my middle parting has thickened up beautifully so that my scalp is no longer visible which is an absolutely huge deal for me – it’s life changing and I cannot say it enough.
Somebody asked me on Tik Tok yesterday if it will take 5yrs for my hair to regrow to the length that it was before it was shaved for surgery and I couldn’t resist doing some calculations based on the results that I have achieved so far. At an average, I have around 2 inches of new hair growth at 16 weeks post-surgery and my hair is 14 inches from the top of my head to its ends.
This means the lower half of my donor area should take around 15months to grow out and the top of my donor area around 24months if my hair continues to grow at this same pace and I do not cut it.
Given these estimations I will have a fringe in no time at all! Being a third of the way through my surgery recovery, come the summer I will have a cool new look and layers in my hair. Being a model I had a photoshoot this week and did not use any hair extensions or hats and accessories to cover my surgery.
The hairdresser moved my parting from the middle of my head to one side and slicked my hair into a ponytail, in doing so she was able to disguise my hair regrowth entirely to the point that nobody on the shoot could tell that I’d ever suffered from hair loss, let alone had recently been to hospital. I love the photos that were captured and feel so empowered to rock my regrowth with pride!
And when a hairdresser, stylist and makeup artist isn’t to hand, I have my middle parting as usual and leave my hair down, which is how I looked at an awards ceremony this week. My hairline is filling in with my shedded hair which makes the new hairs popping up a little more noticeable than a regular hairline but still a million times better than when my scalp was exposed and my temples were missing.
As always, I don’t attempt to cover my regrowth or wear hats, I put on my lipstick and heels and go out and have a wonderful time, no longer self conscious of if people will notice my missing hair or regrowth. I’m just so incredibly thankful, fortunate and happy to have a second chance with my hair and think that everybody should be able to take control of the challenges that they face in life in exactly the same way.
No more hiding, feeling ashamed or suffering in silence; let us face our battles head on and overcome them! At the very least we can change our mindset to feel love and gratitude for who we are as individuals, and at best we remove the problem entirely from our lives just as I have with my new permanent, life long and wonderful hairline. Sending love and light to you all.
5 Months After Surgery
Oh hello thick and glossy brows, look which follicles have woken up and finally joined the party! My eyebrows have definitely been the slowest-to-grow area from surgery, despite my hair and eyebrow transplant using follicles taken from the very same donor area on the back of my head.
As you can see from these pictures before my surgery where I had multi-directional hair strokes discreetly tattooed to fill in the missing ends of my eyebrows, I now have a patch of healthy and happy hair and purposely included this rather wild photo before trimming them to length to show just how much hair has been transplanted.
My brows have now had several trims and are settling in nicely as I had approximately 1cm of my brows transplanted to fill these gaps. I’m so thrilled with the results and promise that I trim and comb the hair back into place after taking photos so that my surgery is entirely undetectable – I don’t walk around like this!
Sharing a flawless picture of my brows looking pristine after a trim and shape up could lead people to think that they are indeed natural eyebrows and perhaps believe that I’ve not had surgery, when my purpose here is to highlight my surgery and make the difference in hair as obvious as possible in photos.
I’m feeling so at ease with my natural hair colour now and have embraced my dark blonde locks which seems to be light, dark and everything in between all at once on any given day as the weather changes. Whilst I enjoyed being a lighter blonde for the majority of my life, it has been a cathartic experience for me to return to my natural hair colour for the very first time in many, many years.
Whilst my donor area and transplanted hair is regrowing, the length of the rest of my hair continues to get longer day by day too and I now have to make the decision to keep my hair short until the regrowth catches up and the difference is minimised or to grow my hair out to a little below shoulder length for summer as it feels as though I’ve shorted my hair for such a long time now and I miss it being long. Obviously my hair won’t look as thick when it is long, due to the underneath not being long enough to tie up, but there is still enough of my long hair to make it look as though I haven’t had surgery.
I saw my hairdresser this week and had a chat about my length and colour options as I’ve always had blonde highlights and have purposely been keeping my hair shorter for/from surgery. I’m toying with whether or not to change to a balayage instead of highlighting my dark roots where the ends and mid length would be lightened instead leaving my roots dark as I cannot dye my transplanted hair yet and so my fringe, hairline and temples stay dark.
Instead, this time I had just a handful of highlights scattered across my parting, staying away from my fringe and hairline just to lighten the overall appearance of my hair in preparation for summer. I may very well ditch all colouring entirely with time; the choices really are endless and I’m excited to experiment with my new hairline and style once it has fully grown. All suggestions are welcome x
5.5 Months After Surgery
So technically this is a two week update and not monthly, but I have some very exciting news to share that has prompted me to pop onto my blog prematurely at 22wks post-surgery. I was invited by the media to do a photoshoot discussing female hair transplants in the UK and this is the resultant newspaper spread for Femail Magazine in the Daily Mail news.
I had a wonderful time at their London headquarters getting glammed up for this shoot, rocking my new locks and speaking from the heart about the amazing difference that this procedure has made to my life, self-confidence and wellbeing as a whole. Almost half way into my one year recovery from surgery and I’m literally still pinching myself that this is real when I walk past a mirror – I finally have hair!
No more visible scalp or chasing my parting across my head to hide thinning and receding. Instead I have such healthy, glossy new hair filling in all of the gaps that a decade of hair loss heartbreakingly left me with.
The donor area hair regrowth on the back of my head is now 3″ long – enough to tie into the most tiny stump of a ponytail which feels like such a victory! My new fringe is around the same length and is gradually growing by the day, emerging from beneath my highlighted top-section of hair like a well-hibernated hedgehog.
I’m still so incredibly excited to meet my full and final fringe once all of my hair has grown out to the fullest length and density that it can achieve, and think that a sweeping side fringe, rather than a blunt fringe, may be a lovely summer style.
I’d like thank each and every one of you once again for joining me on my journey to restore my hair, throughout my recovery and beyond. Your kindness, acceptance and words of encouragement mean the world and make such a sad and difficult time for me as a woman feel like such an empowering experience. Let us shout it from the rooftops that hair transplants are finally here for women too! There is hope and that is so beautifully freeing x
6 Months After Surgery
I’m so excited to have potentially reached the half way point of my recovery from surgery, as full and final results are seen from 12-18months depending on how fast your hair grows. So here’s a quick update video on how I’ve been getting on…
I also thought it would be interesting to share this picture of my childhood hair and my hair directly before surgery. At the age of 6yrs I was a bridesmaid for my aunt and uncles wedding and have very vivid memories of the hairdresser getting incredibly flustered over trying to tame my cowlick fringe to prevent it from separating and bouncing into two pieces – it was as if she had a personal vendetta against it when it was something that I was completely oblivious of as a child.
She tried wetting it, blowdrying, applied a ridiculous amount of hairspray and told me not to move too quickly purely for the satisfaction of a symmetrical fringe for the all important wedding photos before it instantly bounced back into oblivion and my forehead rejoined the party! The one and only time I’ve ever had a blunt fringe in my entire life and what a hassle it was.
Seeing this image of me as a child besides my pre-surgery photo is so alarming at the difference in my hair quality. Granted, without the hairdresser my fringe never covered my forehead as a child and was instead swept like curtains to each side and cut from far back to add weight to the hair.
My hair was so much healthier, thicker, more glossy and had such life to it as a child. After having my two children and years of bleaching my hair is now very fine, brittle, fly-away and limp in comparison – not to mention my receded temples and exposed scalp. But I never could have predicted from my childhood photos quite how sickly my hair would become as an adult.
To compare my six month surgery progress pictures now brings back the most beautiful familiarity of my childhood bob and blunt fringe combo that I sported for so many years throughout my youth. Embracing my natural hair colour as my hair regrows makes me feel so sentimentally like me again, when I may never have returned to my natural colour ever by choice if I hadn’t have had surgery.
My donor area is growing so quickly and can now be tied into the sweetest little stump of a ponytail, which undoubtedly would slip out in a second, but goes to show how quickly you can recover from having your hair shaved. For men who have had their whole hair entirely shaved after surgery I would expect the three to four month results to make their surgery undetectable and thickness to increase until the 12-18month mark. It’s simply the difference between my existing long hair and the shorter regrowth that gives the game away for me.
The biggest difference for me right now is the fact that my scalp is no longer visible through my hairline anymore which feels beyond incredible and was my greatest concern when it came to my hair. A lot of people ask me why I didn’t have my forehead reduced at the same time, which would involve cutting away excess skin to drag the hairline lower, and I’ve found myself constantly reiterating that my intention was to fill in the gaps where hair has been lost and not to add hair where there never was any.
Whilst my hairline has indeed been lowered ever so slightly by 1-2cm from restoring my lost hair, once my fringe is long and heavy enough to lay against my face I will have a greater coverage of my forehead anyway. As you can see from these pictures my fringe is still in its somewhat spikey phase of standing up and laying into my hair rather than onto my forehead. Once it’s grown a few more inches I will be able to brush it into position without it blowing about or sticking up – hopefully!
I can’t wait to share with you my 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and potentially up to 18th month progress pictures depending on how long my full and final results take. So keep an eye out on my social media and remember to check back soon for my monthly updates as I complete the final part of my hair transplant recovery. Sending love and light to you all x
7 Months After Surgery
It’s now seven months since my surgery and life has been pretty hectic recently!
I’ve had a lot of media events and red carpets and took a family trip to Ireland with my two children. The only part of my surgery routine is to take my daily hair vitamin when I wake up, otherwise the maintenance post-surgery is now non-existent as life is back to normal.
My fringe is now as long as my eyebrows but springs up and out like I’ve climbed through a bush or gone back-combing crazy to add volume. As my hair was so limp, flat and see-through before, I love the fact that I now have a full and thick hairline that completely covers my scalp, it just needs to lengthen by a few more inches for me to be able to style it across my forehead.
I love how natural and wavy my new hairline is, as when people see me they have absolutely no idea that I’ve had a hair transplant because there are no signs of surgery or scars from healing due to the precise method used by my surgeon. I’ve still kept my hair colour a little darker overall until now, as I haven’t dyed my newly transplanted hair yet. As it’s summer I’m going to have my transplanted hair lightened at my next hair appointment as you’re allowed to colour new hair 6 months after surgery but I wanted to wait a little longer just incase.
My eyebrows are also gloriously thick and shapely, having fully grown in now, and I feel like my crowning glory has well and truly been restored – if not being even better than before my own hair fell out and receded!
When I reach 10 months post-surgery I’m able to derma roller my transplanted area only, once every 30 days, which isn’t far from now and is very exciting to see how it affects my hair growth and recovery process.
I will be having a makeover to welcome in my new fringe over the coming months by celebrity hairdresser Dar Barot who creates individual hair styles for Hollywood A-listers and royals from across the world, and it’s safe to say that I’m very excited to see what he can do to my hair! My regrowth is my rebirth and I’m looking forward to welcoming in my 36th birthday with my new found freedom from hair loss and brand new look. Watch this space for what’s to come…!
Fringe Update: 7.5 Months After Surgery
At my hairdressers this week – my final makeover will take place once my results are complete – we discussed my level of blondeness and the length of my transplanted hair. We decided not to dye my fringe at all, as to use foils to highlight my hair it would have to be pulled quite hard to get the foil on and may cause damage.
So instead I had a couple of blonde highlights put through the top section of my hair, followed by some darker foils to break up the regrowth of my dark blonde roots that that I may move my hair colouring to a natural balayage (just the tips of the hair being light) over the coming months. This way my. hair is only minimally coloured and allows it to remain in the healthiest condition possible.
I then had my new fringe cut into shape, with my hairdresser encouraging me to blow dry my fringe downwards to prevent it from curling and puffing up as it has done up until now. I avoid using heat treatments on my hair wherever possible and only have straightening or blow dry’s for work when I’m on camera, otherwise I keep my hair tied up and don’t touch it.
So, at the age of 35yrs, I popped out to buy a hairdryer with a nozzle that directs the air into a line rather than an all over area. This allows me to direct a warm stream of air downwards over my fringe area only and has a straightening effect also.
Whilst my fringe is still growing and thickening up, it’s not as full and heavy as it will be when I reach 12-18 months after surgery and so it can blow about and move out of position. I’m trying out some different partings and styles with the length that I currently have, from a side parting to middle part and brushed down fringe as I’m not keen on using hair spray or forcing it into position.
It’s lovely to finally be able to tame my somewhat wild regrowth, and look and feel more glam by using my hairdryer on a cool setting to gently encourage my fringe into position. How wonderful it is to be able to enjoy styling my hair and rocking a fringe for the first time in a decade!
9 Months After Surgery
Happy summer holidays! What a busy time it’s been with the children off of school as I juggle working from home and keeping them entertained; where has the time gone since my last update? It only felt like yesterday! So, here’s a long overdue update for you all…
My fringe is now long enough to pull into a hairband and keep off of my face as it loves to bounce around or tickle my eyelashes at that kind of awkward mid-length stage of growth now.
I’m able to do a mini side-sweep, centre parting or scraped back fringe now which has given me some more versatility for styles and fashion but there is still plenty of progress to be made with length and growth.
My donor area hair regrowth is now approaching shoulder length with just a few more inches needed to catch up with the rest of my hairs length and my surgery will then be totally undetectable – or perhaps confused for a random haircut instead?
I’ve decided to take a break from going to the hairdressers for the next three months, until my 1yr post-surgery mark, as this will allow my hair to grow in length instead of being purposely kept short, as well as my blonde highlights to grow out so that I can have a wonderful transformation glow-up without being limited to a bob and short fringe for styling.
I’ve always loved having my hair at around bra length, so perhaps six inches longer than it is now, and look forward to it becoming more versatile and natural with time as the finish line for my transformation is in sight!
I can also begin derma-rollering my scalp at month 10, just 30 days from now, which will help to stimulate blood flow, nutrient penetration and regrowth, so that will be my next update from here. Thank you all once again for your kind love and support for this journey that I am on. I can’t wait to show you my final before and after photos in the not-so-distant future! Eek!
Derma Rollering 10 Months After Surgery
The day has finally arrived that I begin the final phase of my surgery recovery – derma rollering! And I’ve been both excited and a little nervous about what this experience would look and feel like, so I’ve captured it all on camera for you to join in with me here…
My results are 10 months post-surgery are amazing and I’m so happy with the placement of my hair follicles to my hairline, scalp and temples for which we can compare my before and after photos here.
Prior to having my surgery my hairline had receded on the temples, was thin all over and exposed my scalp. I didn’t like how wispy and see through it had become, as well as the large expanse of forehead and scalp on show.
When my hair, and fringe, are down it’s literally impossible to tell that I’ve had surgery, but I’ve scraped it back here in a headband to expose as much of my scalp as possible in order to accurately compare my before and after results as well as show my temples which I hope to thicken with derma rollering.
I have a 0.50mm derma roller needle which was provided to me by my surgeon in my aftercare pack to use 10 months after surgery, along with a Clinical Hair Cocktail Meso Serum to penetrate deep into the transplanted hair follicles to allow them to grow thick and strong.
My donor area is regrowing wonderfully and looking thicker, fuller and longer by the day and compared to when I first had it shaved for surgery it feels like I’m wearing hair extensions for how much of it there is now as the thickness has returned.
The derma rollering itself isn’t half as difficult as I was expecting it to be, as you simply pass the roller in the star shape -up and down, left to right and diagonal- across each section of the hair transplant area until the skin turns red or shows pin pricks of blood on the surface.
You can build up to apply a mild to medium pressure by pushing your finger onto the top of the roller, similar to using a razor to shave, as you pass over the skin. I applied a mild pressure for my first experience of rollering which allowed my skin to turn red to show that it has effectively caused controlled trauma to the scalp with pin prick holes to allow the serum to penetrate beyond the surface.
The sensation feels like having a very relieving scratch, like when you itch through jeans or ask somebody to reach an area of your back that you can’t get to – it’s a wonderful sensation that mades an odd kind of crunching sound like crushing cereal that you hear as a vibration in your head as opposed to out loud with your ears.
The process doesn’t hurt and isn’t sore or tender in any way, as a series of fine needles create tiny dots in the scalp for the serum to absorb into. It’s recommended that you do not wash your hair for at least 5hrs to allow the serum to penetrate effectively and best to leave your hair alone for 24hrs, as much like a cut, they are tiny open wounds that needs to close over to avoid infection.
This process takes just a handful of minutes to do once per week and can continue for as long as I wish, as results take weeks, if not months, to become consistent and won’t happen overnight. This is a great way to assist in my natural recovery post-surgery and with deeper needles up to 1.5mm in length can replace the need for hair vitamins entirely by encouraging blood flow and natural regrowth stimulated in the deeper layers of the skin. I’ll see you all at month 11!
11 Months After Surgery
I am creeping so very close to my first major milestone of my 12-18 month full surgical recovery as I am just 30 days away from being one year post-op – how exciting!
I thought that I’d share a selfie taken at a photoshoot today to celebrate the thickness and fullness of my new hairline for which the awe certainly hasn’t worn off as I feel so incredibly thankful beyond words.
The back of my hair, the donor area, continues to grow longer by the day, but as I’ve left my hair to grow out now without being trimmed every month the difference in length between my surgery regrowth is no longer decreasing.
I’m looking to grow my hair and fringe out to then have a restyle with as much length and volume as possible available and am excited to be able to consider suitable hairstyles for my makeover. I love how natural my hairline is which makes my surgery entirely undetectable and in keeping with my natural appearance. Had it have been too straight, too full or too low it wouldn’t have fit with my features or could have been mistaken as a wig.
My hairline, temples, eyebrows and scalp that had previously thinned and receded prior to surgery are now so elegant, natural and undetectably enhanced and have made a world of difference to my life, confidence and happiness.
I feel like a bit of a stuck record repeating how insanely happy I feel about my results, but it’s true! So instead of gushing over how ecstatic I am with my hair transplant results, I’ll instead ask you to continue to be patient with my progress so that I can show you my one year post-surgery pictures and reveal my new look!
One Year After Surgery
They say that a picture speaks a thousand words, so excuse me whilst I literally squeal, clap and jump on the spot right now as I compile these before and after photos for comparison!
My one year hairiversary is by far one of the most remarkable moments in my life. I look and feel like a new woman and still pinch myself at the fact that my hair is healthy, permanent and care-free after a decade of sadness and suffering as my one full locks washed away in the plug hole.
I love how natural my hairline looks, rather than a blunt thick line that is too precisely perfect that it looks fake or stuck on, I instead have this beautifully wavy and natural hairline just like my own used to be. Baby hairs frame my face as the transplanted follicles merge seamlessly into my existing hair without any gaps or bald patches.
I now have so much fullness and volume without the need to back comb, dowse it in cans of hair spray or add in hair extensions and accessories to zhoosh up my previously lacking and limp see-through hairline. Instead I find myself tucking my hair behind my ears and pulling it back from my face with a hairband to keep the sheer amount of it out of the way!
My new hairline and eyebrows frame my face so naturally, concealing my once visible scalp and bringing balance and symmetry to my face. I no longer look sick or weak, which most people presume when you suffer from hairloss, and the fact that I can’t wipe my smile from my face every time that I get ready to go out says it all!
Whether I wear my hair up or down, styled, natural or scraped back with a hair band, I am entirely free from all thought, worries and fears of hair loss and no longer fret about trying to conceal my receding hairline and exposed scalp from direct sunlight or an unexpected gust of wind.
Not only has this surgery made a monumental difference to my personal life by restoring my self-confidence, but it’s also had such a wonderful impact on my modelling career as well as my love life! I have never felt so grateful to have a full head of my own natural hair, so blessed to worry free and so determined to treat my locks with the love and respect that they deserve for the rest of my life.
No more bleaching, no more hard brushes, excessive heat styling and skipping hair treatments. From this day forward I will treat my crowning glory like the precious and priceless possession that it is. Although considering my hair transplant surgery only cost £2,600, it may just be the biggest and most monumental bargain of my life!
Roll on 18 months post surgery for my final before and after photos…