- HeisenbergMemberJanuary 24, 2016 at 2:28 amPost count: 5
Firstly I would like to say thank you to Paul, Simon, Katie, Wayne and any others at the Brandwood Clinic who I am yet to meet. I am only half way through my treatments and already Brandwood have made a significant impact on my life, for which I am grateful.
This is my story and I hope it helps others in making the right decision.
I am 47 years old and work in a very public role in London. Hair loss first became an issue about 22 years ago. I was finding more and more hairs on my pillow and more of my scalp was becoming visible. My father was a NW7 and I knew which way my own hair loss was going. I tried to convince myself that it was normal hair loss. I’d read that men could loose between 25 -100 hairs a day. I started to count the hairs on the pillow and even fish them out of the shower to count. This was now impacting on my life, I was spending so much time thinking about hair loss and how others would see me. I started to make my hair appear thicker by washing it to remove the grease and blow drying it. The over washing only increased oil production so this became a vicious circle. I felt I was too young to loose my hair and tried other ways to halt the process. I paid over the odds for Finasteride tablets, I tried Minoxdil but this did very little to slow the pace of hair loss. I remember sitting in an examination and running my fingers through my hair and watching the hairs fall one by one onto the white paper. I was desperate to find a solution.
With no stopping of hair falling out I had to find another solution and this is when I saw an advert for HT. For many reading this you have probably been drawn in by similar adverts. I thought I had found the answer and underwent 4 HT procedures, Both strip and plug. Now it would be easy for me to blame the surgeons who carried out the procedure but anyone thinking straight can work out that removing hair in one area to put into another area is not clever, however not thinking straight I went with it and have regretted it ever since. The first two procedures involved the surgeon removing a long strip from the back of the head. When the painkillers wore off I was in so much pain, I remember crying and questioned what I had gone and done. Stupidly I went and did the same again and again in the hope that it would give me the answer that I wanted. For those that have had HT you know it is not the answer. For those considering it, DON’T DO IT. Read all the forums, there is very little positive comments about HT procedures. Whilst SMP is well documented and people like me who have had SMP are happy to meet those considering it. This is not the case with HT.
I waited months to see if the transplanted hairs would grow. In the meantime I was told not to engage in sport as it could cause the newly inserted hair to be pushed out. Only now with a shaved head I can fully see the extent of the scaring and also the failure of the HT procedure. I had been left with extensive scarring and indents to the scalp. With more hair loss the front of my head was beginning to look like a dolls head. It was getting worse by the day. I started to use Main (thickening) spray. This also brought with it, it’s own issues. I could not sweat too much or be caught out in the rain. The spray would leave a mess on the pillows. Years went by and I was having to hide my hair loss. I was becoming withdrawn from social life, avoiding social drinks. The only time I went out socially I wore a cap.
I went and paid a visit to a hair replacement company called Advanced Hair Studios (AHS). They effectively sold me a wig for £2500. They don’t call it a wig but a hair system. They said that it was made with the finest European hair and that the system would last for five years. Anyone wearing a system will know that getting any more than 6 months out of system is hard. This company totally ripped me off and told nothing but lies. They told me that my own hair would grow through the membrane and that I would only have to have the system fitted once every 6-8 weeks. For those not familiar to hair systems it’s effectively a wig with various types of bases onto which hair is attached. There are those that have a very thin membrane and are one use only. The unit is attached by shaving the head and glue being applied across the head and the unit attached to it, Some use a double sided tape. I was told that I could lead a normal active life, they show you pictures with persons swimming in deep water. This is all false. I have worn a system for 15 years and believe me it has major implications. Firstly your told that the membrane is breathable. Whilst the membrane could be breathable as it could have small holes it, what good is that when the entire scalp is covered in glue that blocks the holes. After a few days the head begins to smell so you wash the head which causes the glue to become wet and loose. So another costly visit to have the system reapplied. Over washing also causes the hair to become brittle, thus requiring a new hair piece. I must admit that some units do look very good and natural. I left AHS and found a clinic in Solihull. This clinic was charging a fair price for the hair systems and maintenance. I spent one day every 3-4 weeks travelling to Solihull to have the system reattached. In the industry it’s called a re-fusion. One day every 3-4 weeks is very costly when you have a family and childcare responsibilities. It also meant that I could not enjoy holidays as I wanted, for instance I’d make sure I kept my hair out of the water as I did not want the adhesive to get wet. I was limited to the time I could go away for as the system would require a re-fusion. So those thinking about a hair system please consider the long term cost and the maintenance.
About 2 years ago I was looking for an alternative solution, when I came across SMP. Having had loads take advantage of me I was very sceptical, but having gone through all the forums I found nothing but positive reviews. Last December the lady who ran the hair clinic suddenly announced that she was retiring and that she would not open in the new year. Panic set in I had a maximum of four weeks to find another clinic before I needed a re-fusion. The festive period did not help with many companies closing during this period. Companies that I did manage to speak to were no different to AHS, charging silly prices telling me that I could wear a unit for 10 weeks before re-attending a salon. This is when I thought I would give SMP a chance. I booked an appointment with HIS, however cancelled that appointment after I read HIS went into liquidation. I had been following the HIS forums and began to notice that they had started to remove the practitioners names but somehow or rather fate I found Paul Clark and Simon Lane. I did my research and found Paul and Simon at the Brandwood Clinic. I even found a clip of Paul on the Frank Skinner show.
I spoke to Paul just before Christmas and decided to have a consultation. On 08/01/16 I attended the Brandwood Clinic. The location is easy to get to with lots of parking. The clinic is ideal for an SMP business, it is modern with great décor and furnishings. Katie at the reception was very friendly and made me a nice coffee. I then met Paul and Simon. They came across as very nice people and spoke with sincerity. Paul even said I will look you straight in the eye and promise to do my best for you. I have met many cowboys during my quest to deal with hair loss and I would like to think that I am a good judge of character. These two are what I would describe as genuine good guys. They told me how they set up Brandwood and we spoke about personal values and their time at HIS. They shared the same values as me in that they want to help others. This is one of the reasons I am writing this, I help others in my professional life and wanted to extend this like many other before me on the SMP forums. There was no hard sell and Simon who has had the procedure done looked great. I was sold on the SMP idea, paid a deposit and booked in for my first procedure on 14/01/16.
On the night of the 13th I took off the hair system and washed my head.
On the 14th I drove down from London and on one hand was anxious but on the other excited. Katie made me another coffee and took payment. There was no going back. Paul and Simon then took me to the treatment room. They took their time and we discussed hairlines and the procedure. Paul took photographs of my head and drew a hairline. They both decided on a colour (22) and Paul then shaved off the rest of my hair. I was pleasantly surprised I had a good head shape and my scars were flat and not red. Paul then started the procedure. This took about 6 hours with a 30 minute break in between. The pain level was 3 out of 10. It was more uncomfortable than pain. I had taken paracetamol before hand. To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. I was blown away with the results. The scar was invisible and I had a hairline. That evening I went home and my family liked the new look. Two days late I went out with my family showing off my great new look. Simon was right when he said that I would repeatedly look in the mirror. There was minor redning at the time of the proceduire but that subsided by the time I had driven home (2hrs). I had been given a piece of my life back. I went to church the next day and said thank you to God and asked that the Brandwood Clinic flourishes.
On the 20/01/16 I had my second treatment. This is when the density was applied and the hairline slightly lowered. There pain was slightly more this time especially in the scar area and around the ears, I guess this was because the head was still healing from the previous week. Again there was redning but it had faded before I got home. I asked for a feathered, soft with slight receding hairline and that is exactly what Paul CLARK delivered. I have my third appointment on 10/02/16. I have given Paul my permission to use my head images to show others my before and after photos , not facial images as I am a private individual. However as long as Brandwood Clinic agrees you’re more than welcome to come and meet me in person on the 10/02/16.
Post procedure reaction:
I have had nothing but positive responses. These are some of the things that have been said. “It suits you”. “You look much younger”. “It’s sharp”. “Looking good”. One woman in my office has said that she will not talk to me if I grew it again. Others have said that they will shave their hair short. One said at least you have the option of growing it back and he does not as his is thinning.
I hope what I have written helps others make the right choice. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
I would like to finish as I started to thank the team at Brandwood Clinic.RobParticipantJanuary 24, 2016 at 11:55 amPost count: 144
Firstly, what a fantastic write up! I’m sure it will assist others. I’m very lucky that when I had my SMP with Simon starting back in January 2013 that I was simply suffering from hair loss and although distressing I hadn’t searched for solutions or procedures so hadn’t endured the trauma you so clearly have. I’m so surprised the HT industry is allowed to make the claims that they do, they seem to leave so many in a worse position both mentally, physically and financially than they were before they thought they’d found the answer to their prayers.
Done properly SMP really does deliver what it says on the tin. On the HIS forum I diarised in great detail about my positive experience with Simon and Paul and the problem that stemmed from letting another practitioner do a ‘touch up’. I found the process of writing it all down and helping others very therapeutic in a way.
I was absolutely thrilled to discover that Simon and Paul had started Brandwood Clinic, not are these boys only at the top of their game but you genuinely couldn’t meet a nice pair of blokes, the sort of people you’d consider lifelong friends because of what they do: ‘changing people’s lives everyday’.HeisenbergMemberJanuary 26, 2016 at 2:23 pmPost count: 5
Rob your absolutely right Paul and Simon are top men. Today,six days after my 2nd treatment I used the Remington R91 and used a baby shampoo to gently cleasnse the scalp. I used the Nivea non alcohol sensitive moisturiser and been admiring the clean look. You had the treatment in 2013. Have you required any touch up’s ?.
What maintenance do you follow and what products do you use.?
For those wishing to meet due to work commitment I have had to change my appointment to 12/02/16. Again as long as team Brandwood are happy it would be good to see you. The forums are good but seeing it in person will convince many that this is the answer to their hair loss, especially as I also has scarring which Paul has magiced away.RobParticipantJanuary 26, 2016 at 6:49 pmPost count: 144
Hello buddy, my 3 planned treatment sessions were with Simon over Jan and Feb 2013. I suffered a little fading as I mentioned as I bled heavily on my 2nd session through not preparing my scalp properly for the treatment. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
I returned in April as I mentioned in my post and had a touch up session by another practitioner. I allowed it time to settle but wasn’t happy with the changes he’d made so went to Harley Steet in August 2013 for a laser amendment to remove part of what he’d done before returning again to see Simon for one last touch up. September 2013 was the last time since my scalp received any ink and I haven’t needed it. I’m only returning now because the boys keep pushing the boundaries and making improvements (and I didn’t let Simon touch my sides after the laser session) but now think the boys can improve my smp with their new techniques. I’m massively excited. I massively enjoyed the whole SMP process.
Enjoy your forthcoming session.RobParticipantJanuary 26, 2016 at 6:57 pmPost count: 144
Sorry, forgot to address your question…my routine is very simple: I use a thread headed rotary shaver first (Remington R6150 Titanium X for last 3 years, just bought the 7150x which is expected this week) then I go over again with a Braun Series 7 foil shaver which is closer still. Then I wash and moisturise. I’ve used Simple Derma (google it- there’s no perfumes or additives etc). I’ve used all sorts of anti-shine products, Pinaud Clubman flesh coloured talc is decent but can be too dry after shaving, Peter Thomas Roth is a superb product but too expensive, for work I just slap on a bit of Headlube Matte these days and for holidays I use Headlube Matte SPF 30 suncream. If I can help with anything at all then just ask away.HeisenbergMemberJanuary 28, 2016 at 8:15 pmPost count: 5
Rob, sorry for a late reply, have been working late. Thank you for your post and advice. Today I noticed a bit of fading and could see the scar. I spoke with Simon and he has assured me that slight fading is common and that it is nothing to worry about. When I had my consultation he did say I would require 4 possibly 5 sessions, especially as I had scaring. Having read your post regarding fading and speaking with Simon I’m confident it will all come together. Take care.RobParticipantJanuary 28, 2016 at 9:35 pmPost count: 144
Fading is part of the process and sadly scar tissue is unpredictable in how well it holds the ink, sometimes it’ll fade and then all of a sudden it will ‘stick’ and all will be good. Just be patient (I know it’s tough) and it’ll come good.HeisenbergMemberFebruary 25, 2016 at 1:55 pmPost count: 5
I had my third treatment on 12/02/16. This was just over three weeks since the second treatment. Between the second and third treatment I had felt that the pigment in the scarring had not held very well, however Paul reassured me that that it and that we had to go for a darker pigment. As I go through the SMP process I am beginning to understand it more and more. Paul explained that they start off with a lighter shade and then gradually increase the density. If you have read other forums you will see that this is what others have said, so don’t panic if you feel the pigment is initially too light. The Brandwood team know what they are doing.
On the third treatment Paul used a darker pigment and did the 3D scatter. Well what can I say it really does look like a days growth and is very natural looking. Paul commented that my skin was in a good condition. Between the second and third treatment I moisturised a lot, this really is very important. I used olive oil which i got from Boots and left this on when I was at home. Post shave and when I go out to work I use the nivea men’s alcohol free sensitive moisturiser.
After the third session I left it for 9 days before using the Remington foil shaver. In the 9 days I had felt that the scarring was still showing, however this became almost invisible once I had shaved. So those with scars do not panic, remember that the hair around the scar will grow and in my case it’s very dark and in the scar it does not grow so it will look ligher. I would say that slightly more work is still required in the scar but I’m confident that after my 4th session it will be perfect.
SMP has really boosted my confidence and highly recommend it. If your in any doubt I am more that happy to meet for a coffee or have a chat on the phone. I live in West London and work in central London. Brandwood clinic have my phone number. I want to help others and the Brandwood clinic as they have done a great deal for me.
Hope my post helps, and again thank you to all at the Brandwood clinic.KBurtonParticipantApril 4, 2017 at 8:06 pmPost count: 6
It’s rather enlightening and uplifting to read of your progress, Heisenberg! I am glad that you seemed to have such a positive experience with the procedure. I am still on the fence about mine but reading successful stories and positive feedback really makes me feel hopeful. I’ve been playing it safe and making use of some men’s wigs which the wife suggested: https://www.godivassecretwigs.com/mens-wigs/
Quite frankly, I’m starting to grow tired of the safe bet and I would like to have a semblance of my old hair back. Your post might have just been the catalyst that I needed to finally push me to make the decision to make an appointment at Brandwood clinic.
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