This is a first for us, reposting a forum contribution to our blog is not something we have done before. We are sure you will see why we did it though.
On The Way To The Forum
Our forum is the best resource on the web for personal testimony on every aspect of SMP. For years it has built to become what it is today, a place where the curious still come to ask their questions with a community that is willing and able to answer. As such there are regular contributions which are truly amazing in their generosity. Nothing has ever matched the post of forum member SebUK, a superb piece of writing that takes us, over decades, through him discovering his hair loss to today. With some great contributions from his wife thrown in. So with our heartfelt thanks to SebUK for his efforts...
This is going to be quite a long post as I wanted to explain my full journey up to this point so sorry if this bores anyone to death! I started to notice my hair was thinning whilst at uni back in the late nineties early 2000’s. I had really annoying wavy hair and always hated it in school, I wanted cool straight hair but instead it was crinkly when wet and bloody irritating. I think looking back I must have had a serious psychological problem as it stopped me from doing activities in case it frizzed out and really had an effect on my confidence growing up. I used to wear a cap a lot and when heat tongs came out I used to secretly try and straighten it, that worked great until my mates found the tongs once behind my curtains hahaha that was really awkward.
Anyway my complex was that bad I used to only trust one barber and would travel over 50 miles to get it cut when I moved away. When at Uni I would travel back just to get it cut everyone thought it was pretty odd I guess. Looking back I should have just cut it short and not worried but hindsight is a hellava thing, ridiculous thinking about it. So I went from cursing this stupid hair to suddenly one day thinking…Damn the hairdresser has overly thinned the front, I’ll ask them not to do that next time. Then a few months later my mate at Uni started pointing it out and drew this shocking cartoon of the stages I would go through from a happy face with full hair to this unhappy egg-in-the-nest head I was suddenly shocked I couldn’t believe this was going to happen. I never thought it would happen especially that young.
My dad had a comb-over which was always pretty scary but he grew up in the 60’s and 70’s so you see that a lot it wasn’t uncommon back then. I knew right away there was no chance that could work these days. Well I started looking in to all kinds of solutions, there wasn’t really the internet yet so I booked in to see a guy that sold wigs. I drove for miles and nervously went in. He did an assessment and then told me a toupe would be the way to go as I still had a lot of hair and until it all came out a full head wig just wasn’t an option. I wanted to shave my head and wear the wig but he said it would be a nightmare job doing that every day. He said a toupe would be best, he said you could always shave it off but even then it doesn’t work because of the shadow left. That worried me a lot too. I left feeling dejected and pretty miserable.
For years as my hair receded my confidence got worse, I remember going to the cinema with a girl and Austin Powers was on. I don’t remember which movie but it was the one where his son loses his hair…oh perfect. I laughed nervously at the bald jokes as the kid in the movie tried different hairstyles to hide his hair loss sinking further and further in to my seat. I dropped her off and never saw her again.
I met my wife a while later and well when you meet the right one you just know, everything was going to be alright. I few years later I shaved my head down to a grade 2/3 and then a grade 1, she was initially surprised but accepted it in the way any supporting partner does. Then over the years my hairline thinned right out to reveal a few strands at the front and leaving a huge bare forehead. This is a familiar scene most of us on here will recall, your eyes instantly inspecting the bald areas every glance in a reflection.
For a while it didn’t bother me but I guess in the end it just really got to me. I would hate looking in the mirror. I hated the way work colleagues would unconsciously f*****g flick their glance up to the top of my head when chatting to me. I hated the comments because I felt completely defenceless and this was made many many times worse as I am in education and the kids are ruthless. Believe me they go for the throat if they can and even if you try to laugh it off 50 times a day there’s still that 51st
time that makes you rage. You really start to resent people and that’s when I knew I had to do something about it as it was affecting me like all those years ago growing up. I would look in the mirror and the first thing I would do after flicking my own gaze up to that distant hairline was think to myself ‘you f*****g bald t**t!’ haha sounds horrendous I know but it got me so depressed.
The kids knew it wasn’t a good look, they would say ‘why don’t you shave it all off like van diesel’ then they would say ‘actually no you would have this weird high line where your hair is’. Probably the worst is when they came up with how my head looked as a part of the body, no it wasn’t anything rude but it stuck and would be shouted out. What made it worse is that it did resemble that and even colleagues would say ‘Oooh yeah I get what they mean now’ like some f****g medical breakthrough had occurred lol imagine my distress. It sounds like I was bullied by the staff but that was just guy’s banter in a private office not professional and the kids rip it out of everyone that’s just how it is.
Outwardly I was pretty much the same person but slowly my resolve grew until one day I told the wife I had been looking in to SMP.
The wife was instantly negative, she will say she wasn’t but oh God she really depressed me those first few conversations. ‘No, no my friend is a fitness instructor she gets these guys in it looks fake as hell, she says NEVER do it you will regret it.’. She suggested saving up several thousand pounds for a hair transplant but I instantly dismissed it. F**k that! I hated my old hair there was no way I wanted to pay thousands for that to come back not when my wife had her own mobility issues that would be in much higher need for money to sort out. That just wasn’t an option.
I browsed the forums and trawled through hundreds of videos – damn they all looked dodgy in my honest opinion but surely by some miracle mine would look ok right? I convinced myself that I could live with it, in the end I knew even if it was a right c**k-up it would still be an improvement on this stupid look I currently have. One or two looked pretty decent so I showed my wife, then did some mock-ups in photoshop and she started to come round slowly. I bought some hair power (God I used that to disastrous effect in my wedding a few years earlier) and showed her what it might be like. Then I had a great idea of using grey eyeliner to colour in my head to look like a shaved area it worked bloody well try it if you want to see guys. She was finally feeling ok about it, her heart was in the right place she just knew if it looked terrible I would get destroyed at work that’s all.
Sod it I will tell you about the wedding thing, I used that hair powder a few days before and it looked great. Then the night before the wedding I washed my hair in the shower at our friends where we were staying and to my absolute HORROR I am convinced much more of my hair washed out with it. Either that or my mind quickly adjusted to how I looked with more hair because when I towelled off my hair in the mirror I almost fell over. How the hell could I get married the next day looking completely different in front of everyone than I did 20 mins before this shower. It was like suddenly reliving every bad moment from first discovering my hairloss to present day in 20 seconds in the bathroom mirror.
Well the big day came and actually I managed to patch it up pretty good with the hair powder and spray but that was a dreadful moment in my life only matched by another event to come…read on.
So finally having the courage to book up I had my consultation with (edited) from Birmingham (who I could have hugged he was so supportive and friendly), I attended and it was a great experience. I got booked in and waited for my first session. That big day came and (edited) from Manchester made the day an absolute blast, honestly guys the lads from HisHair are fantastic blokes who completely sympathise with you, they have gone through it all themselves. It felt like sitting in front of the barber it GTA5 and selecting your ideal haircut it was great. I had the first treatment and was actually a bit horrified when I looked in the mirror. I thought it looked pretty bad and was convinced at that moment I had made the wrong choice. I hurriedly put my cap on, said my goodbyes with a million thoughts rushing through my head and drove home. Incidentally parking is right outside HisHair in Manchester you multistory in the same street is only £10 or so and macdonalds is right across the road.
I took the cap off driving home and we did laugh at how red my head was. The wife was with me and she kept saying ‘It looks ok actually its not that bad’ I felt the opposite but couldn’t help flicking my eyes up in to the rear view mirror to catch a look at this low hairline…hmmm.
At home I rushed in to inspect it and after a while thought damn this could work. The next few days it did start to get less red and looked more natural. I didn’t show the rest of the family and kept my cap on when they were around.
A week later I had my second appointment, I was feeling much more confident and enjoyed the drive in. I had a shower the night before and was upbeat as we pulled in to the multistory and got a mcdonalds breakfast. I had my second treatment and was bouncing on the way home. I got home it looked pretty decent with a better hairline adjusted and I started to feel confident about the future. Then 5 days later I washed my hair and HOLY S**T I was immediately thrown right back in to the night before my wedding in that toilet looking at the mirror – it was f*****g washing off! NOO! What the hell it was washing out, look at the towel there is gunk on it and there is actually clean skin on my head where the dots used to be! I can’t describe in words the devastation in my mind at that point. A thousand miles an hour I was trying to cope with all my hopes being dashed, thousands of pounds spent and the prospect of school starting again with this disaster. What was I going to do? I called (edited) in Manchester the next morning and asked for a call back. I was shocked.
(edited) called me back and in his usual cool tone replied, yeah don’t worry it’s cool this happens now and again we will nail it just relax. Oh f*****g boy did that relax me, suddenly I was momentarily back in that chair with (edited) in Manchester telling me about how it would be fine, don’t worry we got this. He explained there was a lot of damaged skin that didn’t get repaired in that week and sometimes the needle doesn’t penetrate to the right depth. Just makes sure I exfoliate well for the next session, we still have plenty of time just relax. I was so greatful for that so I booked in again for session 3 and counted down the days.
When I went back for session 3 most of the tattoo had gone I was pretty much day 1 all over again so (edited) pushed deeper with the needle and went a few shades darker (almost as low as 20 I think) and did a pretty full coverage. I drove home and then a few weeks later thank God it didn’t wash out so much although it did fade a lot as it healed. Session 4 was about 3 weeks before school started and a few finishing touches were applied. By September I was feeling far more confident, none of the family made any comments about my head so they either didn’t notice or have chosen to just say nothing. Given our relationships I would be surprised if they chose the latter to be honest so I guess weeks of wearing a cap on and off they just forgot what I looked like before as my head was never shaven so short.
Now school started and no one bloody said anything, the kids still made baldy jokes but that was obvious as they even call each other that when their hair is shorter than an inch. The jokes about my hairline stopped completely and it never got mentioned again, that was the big deal. I don’t notice anyone glancing up any more they just accept it is shaved and either consciously or subconsciously don’t feel the need to investigate my hairline visually. No one has ever made any comment about it looking fake. You have to understand young adults are utterly without mercy with their teachers, if there is any small point they can call you out on they will. It has never been mentioned and you are working extremely closely in that environment, if you are leaning down to help someone the person behind has a perfect view under strong lights.
So how does it look to me? It looks pretty good and I am delighted. The real delight for me though is every morning when I jump out of bed I am instantly greeted with a view in the mirror and it never stops filling me with joy at seeing that low hairline and not staring at ‘that baldy t**t’ in my own words that I used to think to myself. That is the major point, it is about your own opinion much more than others and this has been the whole point for me I think. No one else will really care that much to be honest I am surprised what little effect it has had with people. I am still that bald guy to people but there is a dramatic difference, I am that bald guy because he chose to shave his head, it wasn’t decided for him. The only way I can describe it is I feel like a millionaire walking around in rags, I have that shadow that says it is my choice to look this way and that is hugely empowering.
I don’t mind being bald now, I get compared to people like the footballer Skrtel rather than anything really nasty. For instance in a parents evening the other night a parent looked at me and said ‘If I had to teach kids like mine all day I would be as bald as you’ then she followed with ‘Im joking – I know you have hair’. Comments like that just fill you with energy. I can’t express in words the emotion I felt when a kid I really hated (I shouldn’t say that but at times they make everything so personal you do develop bad emotions to individuals) said in class ‘sir you are not really bald are you? If you were you wouldn’t have a hairline’ and you just want to raise them up on your shoulders and jump around for an hour in delight haha honestly it is quite empowering. After years of feeling sorry for myself I can just forget all about it, well almost. The aftercare I will mention.
You need to shave your head once a day really with a face shaver, then moisturise. I use that Loreal matt lotion its around £10 and lasts about a month. I also never really go outside without a cap, that might depress people here but I honestly prefer to wear a cap rather than sun cream lotion that is greasy and risk damaging my tattoo. Indoors I don’t wear one but out and about I always wear one. A year later and although I think I will book in for a top-up this summer I think it has lasted really well. I am sure it has faded quite a bit now so think it is probably in need.
I never stop inspecting my hairline, that never changed from the second I first got it done I take every opportunity to look at it from every angle. The dots are indistinguishable from real hair the illusion is incredible. I just can’t help inspecting it. It is not a vanity thing just curiosity really. I am also terrified every shower I rush out a towel pat my head dry and rush in to the bedroom to carefully inspect in case suddenly its GONE again. It is like a nightmare that will one day come true again you know. I still don’t think I shower enough as I am scared it will go again.
Well as I say this is 12 months on and I do not regret a second of it. The team at HisHair were fantastic at every stage and I find it hard to put in words my gratitude for this help. Honestly if you are having thoughts like I was then just go and have a chat to them at HisHair. At the end of the day you can always get it laser removed so there is no bad points honestly. It is ideal for guys that are already semi-ok with a shaved head and just want to not have that high or missing hairline. If you miss your perfect hair then I don’t know maybe transplant might appeal to you more but damn that is a lot of money and results vary.
I included my pics, it shows best in low light like this, in brighter conditions I look pretty bald as many will confirm on these forums from their own experience. I also asked my wife to include her side of things below so you can compare what her thoughts were prior to my treatment and post-treatment. Peace out guys and thanks for reading if you made it this far!
Comments from my wife:
‘’When my husband said he was going ahead with an appointment to see HisHair, I was extremely sceptical to say the least. It was never an issue for me, him losing his hair that is. Of course I knew he felt awful about it and maybe you think I was wrong not to be 100% supportive from the off. The big problem I had with it was:
1) the pictures I saw just did not look natural at all – very severe hairlines.
2) the fact he was going to spend so much cash on something to potentially make himself look like he had a huge tattoo on his head
3) how he would feel if my worst fears were true? If he felt bad now how would he feel with an obvious badly done tattoo on his head?
I can’t recall the guy we 1st
had a consultation with, but he answered all my questions, let me look at his micro pigmentation very close up in various lights and even touch it so I could see how it was blended with natural hair just to satisfy my curiosity.
I was still very dubious especially about the potential hairline and it looking fake like the photos you sometimes see online.
I went with him to every appointment and helped him ‘design’ his hairline with (edited) the very pleasant guy who did his treatment in Manchester.
We asked for a lightish shaved look with slightly broken hairline to look more natural and I actually think it looked decent after the 1st
session. Unfortunately it did not really take and after 2 weeks my husband was gutted, he was so upset and I have to say I felt a little sorry for him.
We called up (edited) who said try not to worry and w ewould go heavier next time and he would make sure by end of process he would have something to show for it. As it happened 3 treatments later and he had a hairline on his forehead something that he had been missing for many years, as he started to lose his hair in his mid 20’s.
It has faded a little but I actually think it looks more natural.
The acid test was going to the school where he teaches – a tough inner city school where the kids would slaughter him if it looked wrong.
No-one said anything at all, one made a skinhead comment followed up with he has a hairline so isn’t bald!
Anyway I am pleased with the results not because it makes him look better but because of the confidence he has gained and that’s something that has caused him so much self loathing and insecurity was much less of an issue.
He still worries about if it has faded too much but in all honesty as can be seen from the photographs it is still there.
I have also said he can have a top-up if he wants it as it was worth every penny to sort something that was such a huge issue to him.’’
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