Covid-19 gave me the opportunity for the first time in a long time to attempt to grow my hair.
As there had been a radical change in society I thought well hey – why not make a radical change to my hair as well?
In this instance – the change would come from growing my hair.
As the months passed and the hair kept growing – I quickly decided I would love the idea of trying to grow a ponytail – or top bun. Something that only someone who had long hair could do with their locks.
As I grew my hair out it became more and more apparent that actually, the hair on the top of my head – the crown – was thinning.
It became especially apparent when I got my hair trimmed in time for a visit to see Daniela’s family in Italy and it seemed sensible to look less like a jungle animal and more like a well-groomed but longer-haired partner.
This bought along with it, the stark evidence of the thinning hair atop my head.
I at first began to notice it, and then several members of my family did. It became quickly apparent, to my disappointment, that any hope of having a ponytail was probably over if we were talking about taking hair from the top of my head.
Lately, I’ve kept bringing it up in conversation, so it has become more and more apparent that it is something that bothers me.
I’d had several discussions via video WhatsApp messages with my good friend Amir about the whole thing, and then as fate/the gods would have it, another friend of mine (Craig Campbell) happened to tell me he’d just come back from Turkey where he’d had a hair transplant.
This was several days ago with what ended up being a wholesale series of Whatsapp back and forths between Craig and I. He went out to Istanbul to have his 2nd hair transplant and had just come back.
I remembered the first time he’d had a transplant and how much bruising and swelling there had been alongside the scar it had left him with. It seemed to be an intense procedure that required a heavy amount of recovery.
In Craig’s words – or rather the words of the Turkish company that reviewed his previous transplant – it was barbaric.
I thought about how much better the idea of having a full head of hair appealed to me. I was continually being called ‘baldy’ and the like by my family and the truth is (not was – as I’ve not had the operation yet) – is that it would make me feel better having more hair on my head.
Soon enough – I asked for the name of the company that Craig used – and set up a phone call consultation with them.
Craig continually kept reassuring me that the procedure using the Follicular Unit Extraction method (FUE) was perfectly safe – and the latest way to do hair transplants that were safe, natural and permanent.
When men go bald, they tend to go bald down the middle of their head, and never the sides. The sides stay thick and healthy many years longer than the crown (in my case) does – and so is the perfect place to effectively transplant the hair from.
So the hair used in the procedure was all my own, and it would ultimately go from the side of my head – where there was hair in abundance – to the top of my head…where I have a similar amount of hair to my dad.
Of course – my dad is 30 years older than me, so it shouldn’t be like that at all. Upon showing the top of my head to my siblings and some family, they were also surprised at just how quickly my hair was thinning.
I have 4 siblings, and it seems that three of us have hair loss issues – my two elder sisters and I. For them, of course, the situation affects them much more than it does me. Now that I’m experiencing the minor impact of what hair loss does on my psyche, I can only imagine the impact it has on my sisters’ feelings.
After I booked an appointment for a phone consultation with the clinic – I got a call from Turkey requesting that I send photos of my hair via Whatsapp so they could make a clinical assessment via the images of my hair.
I was impressed by the modernness of this company, Longevita. I’m not used to being contacted on Whatsapp via a company requesting images as a means of moving forward.
‘You come to Istanbul and we take care of everything apart from flights. Currently, because of the pandemic, the price is £1350, whereas normally it’s £2,000+’.
Both prices seemed ridiculously cheap to me in any event. The only saving grace of this company was that Craig had already used them and had an excellent experience. I was seeing his complete lack of swelling and impressive hair regrowth in a matter of days as compared to how it was previously.
And upon asking Craig – he only went to this place because one of his own friends had had the transplant done there as well.
In such an environment – personal recommendations trump everything else, and so that has given me reassurance going on.
The surgery itself lasts 6-8 hours as they numb the side of your head, load it up with saline to help reduce swelling and then pluck hairs from the side of your head one by one. Once this process is complete they then give you local anaesthetic before you go for lunch to allow the crown of your head to numb.
Once this has happened they prepare the hairs from the side of your head and prepare to implant them into the crown of your head
Once the surgery is complete you are given antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to prevent infection and to speed up recovery and are asked to sleep at a 45-degree angle to allow your hair those critical hours to allow it time to heal.
The total recovery process takes up to a year before you get to see the full impact this has on your hairline.
Having spent some time ‘googling’ celebrities that have had hair transplants – I’ve discovered that many many stars have – and talk about how it’s turned their life around.
It was reassuring to see how commonplace it is, and also as I did my due diligence of Longevita, to discover that several minor celebrities (a Love Island star) have had their hair transplant done with them.
I’ve had a conversation with their onboarding team and today will pay my deposit. I am still debating whether to fly and get it done immediately rather than wait.
Covid restrictions make it problematic when I return – meaning I have to go into self-isolation. But I don’t want to wait and may deal with that upon my return. Right now it’s unclear to me.
Regardless, I didn’t see this decision coming, and having had extensive discussions with Craig, told my family what I intend to do – sought approval from Daniela, whose opinion I care about…I’m all but ready to go on this journey.
As I said to Craig, I’m excited at the idea of seeing how this will effectively make me look much younger than I am. That and dying my hair – which I’ll probably get onto next :p
Who knew I cared this much about the way I look?
Well – whatever makes you happy right?
And from all the research I’ve done – there’s no downside to this – and as I asked Amir – it turned out his brother-in-law had a hair transplant – and his brother is on the verge of doing it too. So – the decision of getting this done has been made all the more simple by all the approval I’ve been met with.
I’ll let you know how it goes :p