My experience with HRBR has exceeded my expectations in all areas. As such, I would like to detail my experience to give anyone thinking about hair restoration an overview of how the process works and the key considerations when making your decision.
I had often thought of hair replacement surgery, however, I feared two things,
Firstly, I feared that that I would have to endure a sales type meeting, possibly overly focused on the cosmetic end of things. Of course, appearance is of considerable importance, however, it is only half of the consideration when making your selection; & Secondly, I was concerned that hair restoration procedures were carried out solely by cosmetic facilities, by this I mean clinics that specialise solely in cosmetic surgery, enhancements of one sort or another and may lack breadth and depth of medical training, qualification, expertise and experience.
As such, I came to two conclusions early on:
- From the start I would be conscious of the nature and content of advertisements, websites, etc. i.e. no discounts, no free trips, no incentives, no bold claims about using the newest/best/unique techniques etc. I had surgery to repair a hernia a few years ago, I logically didn’t seek out someone claiming to offer some unique technique, I went to my GP and asked one simple question, “who is the best surgeon performing hernia operations in Ireland”. I then got a referral from my GP to speak with the surgeon (note that I was speaking with the actual surgeon at my initial appointment, not a salesperson). A salesperson would seem odd if you were planning on having a hernia operation so logically it’s not really appropriate for a hair restoration consultation either.
- I ruled out all clinics that specialise in enhancements and cosmetic procedures. A surgeon and a team with a background in general surgery was a must for me. Essentially I wanted people who had a background doing surgery in general hospitals and who have experience performing the everyday non-optional surgeries.
Decision time – After all my deliberations I came to one conclusion, that HRBR has the greatest breadth and depth of professional medical staff and the best equipped facility in western Europe, and probably as good as anything available anywhere in the world. The fact that they were only a few miles from Dublin city centre was a bonus! I then made an appointment and met with Doctor Maurice Collins. The process was almost exactly like my hernia operation, I met in a world class professional medical facility and wasn’t being sold anything, it just seemed natural and professional. I explained my thinking and we had a very rewarding conversation where the options and procedures were detailed to me, including the things I could do to prevent further hair loss. I learned a lot from this meeting, not least the information I received about minimising future hair loss and stimulating the hair I still had. This alone was a massive step forward, I only wish I had such a consultation when I was in my twenties.
The decision was totally mine, no hard sell, in fact no sell at all, just treatment options, a wealth of information and resources to satisfy even the most curious or concerned individual. It only took me four years to make my mind up! I am pretty certain that nobody has spent more time and effort researching and pondering a hair treatment process as me. After four years I made an appointment for a follow up consultation where I met again with Dr. Collins and we went through everything again to ensure I was still fully up to speed. While I knew I wanted to proceed, the follow up consultation and the tour of the facility left me in no doubt. All that was left to do was to schedule my treatment and book some time of work.
One key thing I didn’t realise until I met with HRBR the first time is that people won’t know you have had the procedure, they genuinely won’t. Curiously, the people closest to you definitely won’t notice, at all. They will however definitely think you look younger, healthier, well rested, fitter, etc.
The procedure itself – In summary, you take some time off work (I took my normal two weeks annual leave), have the procedure performed and then wait! Over the next six months the new hair will grow out. Unless someone is doing time-lapse photography on you they won’t notice a thing. They’ll just assume you always looked well, that maybe you are fitter, healthier etc. Naturally my parents weren’t going to randomly notice I had more hair one day compared to the previous, as it is gradual. Having said that, once the hair has grown out it’s there to stay!
My testimonial is mainly to convey my deliberations and decision making process. The process for the procedure itself is well documented in the materials and videos available so I will keep my summary short. Once I had identified HRBR and made the decision to go ahead, the procedure itself was a pleasure. I arrived on the morning of the procedure and was personally attended to by a wealth of skilled experienced medical staff. Dr. Collins went through the procedure with me in detail on the morning of the procedure and any questions I had were answered. I then met with the team and we got the procedure underway. To be honest it was uneventful, just a simple procedure in the morning to prepare the strip of hair and a similar procedure in the afternoon. I just watched some movies and daydreamed for a day! I had selected my lunch in advance and this was provided midday. At the end of the day when the procedure was completed I was given instructions on how to treat the new implants overnight and was given the necessary spray. I went home and stayed up all night spraying the scalp area where the hair had been implanted. Of course, staying up all night isn’t compulsory.
Next morning I went back to HRBR and met with Dr. Collins and the team first thing. My scalp was checked meticulously to ensure that all was in order. I then went home for some sleep.
The next six to nine months were spent patiently and excitedly watching the hair grow out, it was kind of exciting to run my hand through my hair and feel the new hair growing through.
Interestingly, when getting my passport renewed last month I was concerned that I would have to get my photograph verified again as I didn’t look the same in both pictures. I asked the post office assistant if she though the passport office would reject the new picture, she looked at the picture from 10 years and the one from last month and commented that, “it’s definitely you, though you look younger now”! And that was after doing all I could do to hide the new head of hair – I’m nearly looking upwards in my current passport picture, a straight on picture would have showed too much hair!
I would recommend anyone thinking of the procedure to visit HRBR and speak with Dr. Collins. Ask Dr. Collins about the HRBR surgical facility, maybe ask to have a look around the facility, ask about the claims and assertions we hear every day on our radios from numerous clinics about unique techniques and non-invasive procedures etc.
In summary, it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made.