This is an in-depth 3-part interview on hair transplants, hair loss and male pattern baldness with an expert on the subject. A must read for all men, whether balding or not!
Guys, you know by now that at Manly Curls we constantly seek to bring you the best advice and content when it comes to hair (curly or otherwise) as well as lifestyle. One topic which is crucial to most men is that of hair loss, or to be more precise, male pattern baldness (MPB).
About 50% of men will go bald by age 50, it is a sad yet true fact, and I have covered and continue to cover the topic of men’s hair loss here at Manly Curls because not only do we, men, need to have good hair but we need it now since it has an expiry date.
All of the above is the reason why I went on an exhaustive search to bring you the best advice on the very hot hair loss related topic of hair transplants (HT). Now, I am not a surgeon nor a doctor (despite what I may tell the ladies I like to play as in the bedroom) so I decided to seek the best advice I could on hair transplants for you folks. Of course, the Internet is full of scammers trying to pass silly wigs as “hair restoration systems” so the task was not easy, though lucky for me I already had some solid leads from my years of scanning the internet for all hair-related (yes, I’m a bit of a hair geek, in my manly ways).
So, after this exhaustive search, I found Bill Seemiller, managing publisher of the Hair Transplant Network, who not only is highly knowledgeable on the topic of hair transplants, but has been a patient himself and his results speak wonders for what good hair transplants can do. What is to follow below is our interview with Bill, who has gone in length to describe his story and all about hair transplants. I recommend you to read his words and check out his plethora of hair restoration resources, they are the best for hair transplant information. Bill and I have gone so much in detail that the interview was too long to be posted in one go and I will post parts 2 and 3 in the next coming days, so do keep an eye out because this 3-part interview can open a new door to your life.
For what is worth, and because the hair loss industry is full of scammers and crap content, I will tell you now that this interview is non-paid, didn’t involve any exchange of favors and it was me who initially approached Bill. His advice is solid and he has helped dozens of men with male pattern baldness and hair loss throughout the years via his network and forums. I trust his advice and I am 100% sure this interview will be of help to those of you experiencing MPB and considering the option of a hair transplant. So without further ado, let’s kick it!
Hello Bill, thanks for passing by and taking the time to share your words and experience with us on the hot topics of hair loss, male pattern baldness (MPB) and hair transplants (HT). Can you introduce yourself to my readers?
Like anyone else suffering from hair loss, I’m just a regular guy who tries to enjoys all the experiences life has to offer. I enjoy spending time with my family, my friends and indulging in various hobbies. I’m a huge car enthusiast, I work out regularly and I’m known to be a bit of a workaholic.
As a true believer in higher education, I spent several years at various universities. In 2001, I received my bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Temple University and in 2008, I completed and received a master’s degree in Christian counseling. I believe true beauty radiates from within and that all people long for unconditional love and to make an impact in their world. I worked for years in Information Technology and for the last 4 years, after restoring my own hair through surgical hair restoration, I’ve been the managing publisher for various hair loss related resources including the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, the Hair Loss Forum and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.
Bill before he started his first hair transplant
Bill after the hair transplants
Now, your hair loss case was a bit premature, wasn’t it, Bill? Male pattern baldness tends to show its signs in most men in their late 20s and early 30s. Do you know why MPB hit you so early?
Male pattern baldness is not age discriminatory and is genetically passed on from either side of the family (mom or dad). As for me, members of both my mother’s and father’s side of the family experienced at least some degree of balding, some, at very early ages. I was just one of the “unprivileged” few who started experiencing hair loss in his early 20s.
Was your male pattern baldness case the common “temples go first” as per the Norwood Scale? Did you suddenly notice the receding on the mirror or were you instead hinting that you were slowly losing hairs in the temples? How did you first notice it?
Actually, while some experience this, my temples were never a problem. To date, I still possess “high sides” and no temple recession. However, all of the natural hair on top of my scalp is long gone. My hair loss started when I was approximately 21 years old and began as a thinning area in the vertex (crown). This rather quickly transformed into a large and growing bald spot. It wasn’t until I was 24 or 25 when I saw signs of a thinning (rather than receding) hairline. I first noticed signs of thinning/balding at the crown after a few “foot in mouth” friends and family pointed and declared that I was going bald. I learned quickly that some people really have no couth.
What was your wake-up call to do something about your hair loss? When and how did you accept that you were suffering from MPB and that you had to so something about it?
I was in denial for the first year but when I was 22 years old I finally decided that I wanted to do something about it. As silly as it may sound, hair was a part of my identity and the thought of losing it concerned me. I began wearing hats more frequently to hide what most people would call only mild thinning. Frankly, I don’t think I ever “accepted” (at least emotionally) that I was suffering from male pattern baldness although I recognized it intellectually within the first year.
Hair loss really affected my confidence and while I really wanted to do something about it in the beginning, I didn’t get real serious about it until I was about 27. That’s when I had my first hair transplant.
I see that you did what the hair loss experts recommend when you first noticed the male pattern baldness creeping in, you tried minoxidil (Rogaine) first, instead of going straight to the side-effect prone finasteride (Propecia). How were the results with minoxidil? Would you recommend minoxidil to those men who are in the earlier stages of MPB (Norwood I to III)?
I decided to try Rogaine 5% liquid (before the foam variation was available) in the thinning area of my crown after learning about my own father’s success with it. Rogaine appeared to be working for me during the first year of use but for reasons I can’t remember, I decided shortly after to stop using it. I believe I was under the impression that I didn’t need to continue ongoing treatment in order to maintain hair regrowth from the drug. Unfortunately for me, I was wrong and lost a lot more hair rather quickly. In another unfortunate turn of events, restarting treatment was not only unsuccessful, but I experienced significant scalp itch this time around and had to stop treatment and begin using the 2% minoxidil variation. Frankly, this did virtually nothing for me and my hair loss continued to get worse.
I personally believe Rogaine can be very successful for men and women in the very early stages of genetic hair loss. However, no non-surgical hair loss treatment is proven to grow hair in completely bald areas. Thus, I would recommend Rogaine (especially the foam) for men and women experiencing early signs of pattern baldness.
That said, I always advise men and women to research all treatments they are considering, including the possibility of side effects.
Now, onto the hair transplants. I must say that one of the things that got my attention on your forum was how good your hair looked, Bill. You are an illustration of how good hair transplants can work wonders. Tell us why you decided to take this extra step (a hair transplant) instead of leaving it to the minoxidil/finasteride alone as the majority of men do.
I appreciate the compliment. My hair restoration journey was a long one but was one that could never have been accomplished by non-surgical treatments alone. By the time I was 27 years of age, I was experiencing significant hair loss and very insecure about the way I looked. I wore a hat almost everywhere I went and felt ashamed to take off my hat in front of others. I know that most of my problem was not really to do with my hair but how I felt others were interpreting the way I looked without it. This significantly affected my self confidence and I decided to start researching my options.
After seeing a late night infomercial for Bosley and doing a simple search for “hair transplant” online, I found Patrick Hennessey’s (publisher of the Hair Transplant Network) personal website sharing his own hair restoration journey, experience and photos. It was only then when I felt confident that hair transplantation was the “real deal” and I began researching local doctors who performed the procedure on the Hair Transplant Network website.
Bill before hair transplants
Bill after hair transplants
While I’m very happy with my hair transplant results, looking back, I do wonder whether or not I would have ever needed hair transplant surgery if I started taking finasteride right away in conjunction with ongoing Rogaine treatment. But then again, if I didn’t go through the journey, I wouldn’t know what I know today nor would I be able to dedicate my time in helping countless others get past the hype and find real information and treatments that best suit them.
Editor’s note: Guys, I will post Part 2 of this interview this weekend so stay tuned as Bill talks about the actual hair transplant procedure and much more on hair loss and male pattern baldness. In the meantime, Like/Tweet/+1 and share the word online! All the best. Rogelio.