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Hair Restoration

By Rick Monkman
Eleven years ago, Rick Monkman sold his share of a beverage distribution company to enter the realm of residential real estate. A solid midlife career move, he felt. Only downside: his own curb appeal. At the age of 58, he frequently hid his thin-ning hair under a baseball cap. Monkman thought his window had closed on hair restoration because he had scant to work with, but a consult with a Johns Hopkins hair transplant specialist convinced the Delaware native he could retire his cap and reclaim the locks of his youth.

My worst day

My hair has been thinning since I turned 30. I knew what was coming. The hairline just gradually worked its way back and then a bald patch appeared. One morning, I stood in front of a mirror and thought, ‘Enough is enough.’

What I did to get better

Some friends and family advised me to let nature take its course, or just shave it all off. But I wanted my hair back. A friend had a hair transplant procedure done and referred me to Dr. Lisa Ishii. It's an outpatient procedure. They harvest hair follicles from the back of your scalp and then graft them in where needed. 

For me, the worst part was hearing the scalp being cut, but you don't feel it because they anesthetize you. Once they cut the area out, they hand it to a tech-nician who is literally splitting hairs for the next two to three hours. Then they staple the area back together. Later, they numbed my forehead and I'm counting the holes [the doctor] is making with this tool where the grafts will be placed.

Me now

I had the first procedure in fall 2010 and three more since. The results are wonderful. I’ve seen people who’ve been butchered by transplants or just look OK. But my hair looks full and natural. How I come across to clients was certainly part of the thought process going into this. I think it’s helped business. I can tell you, it certainly hasn’t hurt.

man rowing a boat on head of hair

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