I started losing my hair when I was 18/19. I shaved it all off and it never grew back.
I’d become aware of SMP by doing what everyone else does, searching the internet for an answer – a cure to baldness. I came across one of the big companies and was impressed with their work. They had a TV clip of Paul Clark and the treatment he’d performed on a guy called Aldomar – it looked like a pretty good solution to me.
‘I did my research’
I continued to watch many videos of different companies performing SMP. I did plenty of research, looking everywhere for what could go wrong with the treatment, but could only find little things like some people weren’t happy that the ink faded too quickly or that the hairline wasn’t how they imagined it to be.
After about 4 years of anticipation I decided to take the leap and go for a consultation at their HQ. I went with the big name as they had the most clinics, YouTube videos and were ‘world leaders in SMP’.
At my consultation, I asked for Paul Clark as I had seen a lot of his work on the internet and I wanted someone’s work I had seen. I was told that Paul Clark was working abroad, so I asked for Simon Lane and they said that ‘he is no longer doing SMP as he’s spending time with his family’.
I ask for the best qualified tech they have as I want to make sure I get the best treatment possible. January 5th, 2017 I and 2 of my close friends were all booked in for our first session of SMP. First session down. We all return a week later for session two, the same procedure as session one but with a lot more density.
‘Brandwood basically saved my life’
It’s about a week after session two that I begin to get nervous. The treatment hadn’t blended as well as I would’ve expected. I message them because I’ve not been able to remove my hat since the first session, two weeks on my SMP is looking patchy as hell. I was just not confident enough to remove my hat in public, in fact the only place I didn’t wear a hat was in bed!
We return during the first week in February for our final session. We are all told that this is where the settling and blending really takes place! Third session is a 5hr session of treatment, it seemed to take forever – it’s a long time to be stuck in the chair.
About a week later I’m still not seeing any signs of my SMP blending and the treatment looks so dark, the back just looks like a giant mass of ink. I’m told by them that it will settle, it just needs time. Another week goes by and I’m getting impatient as I’m still wearing a hat everywhere and I’m beginning to doubt what I’ve been told. I decide to send some pictures to a company that popped up on Facebook (Brandwood Clinic) I sent my photos over to them about 6am (I just couldn’t sleep with the stress) and by 9am I receive an email to say someone will call you shortly to discuss it.
Around mid-day I get a phone call from a guy at Brandwood saying he had seen my pictures and was mortified and upset at the treatment I had received. By this time, I’m in town shopping with my wife and then he hits me with the bombshell “I’m sorry Chris there is nothing we can do to salvage that as it’s way too dark. You’re going to need laser to remove it”. When I heard the words laser my legs turned to jelly and I went into an anxiety mode of some sort. I really can’t remember what else was said as I went into a panic state.
We left town straight away and I went home, I then called the original clinic to report on what I’d been told. I sent them pictures and found that they agreed – I do need laser to remove the SMP as it’s been done incorrectly!!
Over the next couple of months, I go through a process of arguing with them over the treatment and how it will be resolved. In March and April I have laser sessions in Harley Street. I was so anxious it was beyond a joke. I found the whole experience extremely painful even though I have quite a high pain threshold.
By this time, I’d spent about 12 weeks under a hat. I’d look in the mirror and think ‘why have I done this’? It’s a horrific experience to go through.
I was finally able to come to Brandwood for treatment in May. I realised what a mistake I’d made following the big company name, I should’ve looked harder for Paul & Simon. They were immediately dedicated to helping me out. They’d be messaging me the night before I went for laser, wishing me luck. To send me a message at midnight saying, ‘good luck for tomorrow’, when they were some of the very few people that knew, it gave me that extra boost and the belief that I’d now made the right decision. They’re like friends to me now, I’d recommend anyone to Brandwood. Do your homework but you won’t need to if you just come to Brandwood
I’ve become more confident again. Spending all that time hiding away I put a stone and a half on in weight, I’ve now dropped that and I’m back at the gym. Brandwood have basically saved my life from the hell I went through. When you go to Brandwood you’re going to get ‘second-to-none’ treatment, I guarantee it. When you walk out that door you’re not going to be unhappy with the result you get, 100%.
Chris’s story is a sobering tale of what can happen if you make the wrong choice of practitioner or provider. This is a very visible treatment and if you think it’s imperfect it will greatly affect your quality of life.
We include his original photographs not to shame the initial practitioner but to indicate the differences in quality and styles of treatment available.
Chris – before and after
Chris’s original treatment
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