Coronavirus / Covid-19 Information – HRBR Service Update & FAQs

Hair Loss in the Visually Impaired

It might be difficult to understand how a man in his 20’s with damaged optic nerves and only 7% sight in both eyes could be bothered by the fact that his hair is falling out. But when I found myself in this position the hair loss became a major source of discomfort for me. The poor eyesight is currently incurable by the medical profession and so I have come to accept it. The hair loss on the other hand is a problem that is treatable and I desperately wanted to treat it.

To me hair loss went far beyond looking at myself in a mirror and not liking what I saw. My sight isn’t good enough to see the full extent of my hair loss but my tactile senses are good enough to be a constant reminder of my situation. How often does one touch their head throughout a day? I dare say we do it much more frequently than we have the opportunity to look in a mirror. A routine scratch of the head could have me repulsed by the absence of hair and more upset by the increasing amount of those smooth areas of skin where I wanted to feel hair coverage. The wind in my hair was another tactile reminder for me. A breeze to the tactile sensitive could be felt in such a way that I could pinpoint the areas of my head that were thinning. Every day I showered and washed my hair I felt areas of bald scalp becoming more common.

After many years of distress over my hair loss I decided to go for a consultation and went on to get 2,000 follicles transplanted. Unfortunately, because it was so personal to me, I didn’t discuss it with anyone and my hasty, naïve research led me to a reckless charlatan of a surgeon in Cork. As time went by it didn’t feel to me that the situation was improving to the extent I had hoped. There was some hair growing but not nearly as much as I was expecting.

After several more years of unhappiness I went for a second opinion on my hair loss and it transpired that I had indeed, along with many others, been mutilated by a charlatan. After a thorough consultation in Dublin, I realized that the majority of my transplanted follicles had been allowed to die and that’s why I saw no improvement. At his point I was actually worse off because I had some hairs growing in a way that was totally unnatural. I was assured that a reconstruction would be possible and this second opinion was so professional and contrasting to my first experience that I had no doubts or worries that the situation could be rectified.

The second experience compared to the first was like night and day. This time, I left the clinic feeling much better about how things had went. Over the following days I was surprised that I didn’t suffer any pain at the back of my head. After my first treatment I was on painkillers 3 times a day for 3 weeks post-surgery compared to 3 individual painkillers I took after the second procedure, which were taken for precaution rather than necessity.

Very soon I was able to feel the fruits of this procedure. Two months after the surgery I could feel the hair growing but my first moment of real joy was about 4 months post-surgery. I have a vivid memory of walking through a field on my own and as I ran my hand through my hair it was an experience I hadn’t felt for 10 years. The new hair was quite obviously growing and thickening again and instinctively a broad smile came across my face. There was no one around and I was walking through a field with a beaming smile on my face. That was the moment I knew that my hair transplant surgery was successful. And it continued to grow and thicken for another 8 months. During this time I had countless moments of uncontrolled spontaneous smiling.

I’ve now let my hair grow a little longer at the front. Now when I wash my hair it triggers a smile rather than a grimace. If I don’t comb it after I shower it flops down and I can feel it on my forehead. Now either a gentle breeze or a gale force wind can blow through my hair, toss it all up and I just smile to myself. I feel the wind in my hair and I’m filled with happiness.

As well as feeling the benefits of this procedure I also hear them frequently. Over the last 12 months people are regularly telling me how great I’m looking and how it’s younger I’m getting. As I wasn’t completely bald, just severely thinning, the transformation was gradual and completely unnoticed. Nobody I didn’t personally tell has suspected that I have had hair transplant surgery. But yet they notice I look younger and can’t figure out why.

There are people who lose their hair and are not bothered by it. Then there are those whose hair loss becomes all-consuming. I was in the latter group but now I’m alive again. It’s not as thick as a person who does not suffer from male pattern baldness but it’s definitely thick enough to make me enjoy every day again.

After my 18 months post-surgery checkup I was given a full set of before and after photos. Whilst examining these with magnification software on my computer I couldn’t believe the difference. The old me looked even worse than I had thought when placed side by side with the new me. The man from 18 months ago looked 5 years older than the new guy. I showed these pictures to my mother and she pointed out another interesting thing about the photos. The guy from 18 months ago looked miserable and the new guy had a beaming smile on his face. This was not by design – it’s simply my new reality. The mental relief on the inside is visible on the outside.

Contact Us

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience and analyse site traffic. Read about how we use cookies and how you can control them in our Cookie Policy. If you continue to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies and our legal T&Cs.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.