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Dr. Christopher Varona is known in the industry as the top doctor for hair restoration – and it’s easy to see why. I underwent a twelve-hour surgery, one that was much easier than I expected, to correct a receding hair line which was prematurely aging me. I flew from New York to Dr. Varona’s beautiful offices in Newport Beach, California to undergo the procedure. He and his team were not only friendly and professional, but took all the time needed to be sure I was comfortable. What is special about Dr. Varona is his breadth of experience, but also his humbleness.

Being a big name in the industry, he doesn’t follow in many other doctor’s footsteps by outsourcing the hair follicle placement to other practitioners. Instead, he painstakingly designs and implements a combined vision to make your hair goals a reality. One by one, Dr. Varona removed and replaced over 4,000 individual hair follicles in my FUE hair restoration procedure – all while I watched Netflix and dosed off to sleep. The healing process that followed was a cinch.

Dr. Varona gave me specific instructions for ten days of post-operative care that I followed closely. This included antibiotics, pain medicine (which I didn’t need after day two) and specialty foam shampoo to clean the delicate follicles which had just been replanted in the front of my head. The ten days that follow the hair restoration are most crucial in terms of ensuring the survival of the follicles – so adhering to instructions is of utmost importance. I shampooed the follicles daily as instructed, which slowly loosened any scabbing or dried blood left over from the healing. I gently massaged my forehead and neck to ease swelling and kept the area out of the sun.

Typically the hairs that are implanted go through what is known as a dormant stage after the restoration surgery. The actual hair that was removed from elsewhere on your scalp attached to the follicle falls out. But the follicle remains in tact. The follicle sleeps for nearly four months, and then reawakens ready to grow fresh hair. This happened to some of my hairs, but some continued to grow and never fell out. I look at this as a testament at how gentle and careful Dr. Varona is with each follicle – alleviating the shock of these delicate follicles he had transplanted. After my ten days of post-operative care, I lived life normally – but chose to wear a hat to cover and protect the freshly planted hairline. It’s important to keep the area out of the sun and be sure it’s treated well.

Many people are afraid of undergoing hair restoration surgery because they feel they might look…well…crazy during the regrowth period. And, it’s no lie that, yes, it does look a little odd. But, keeping your hair short around the area will help with that and I learned to love hats during this period. No one in my life would have ever known I had anything done had I not pointed it out. In these photos, my hair is longer than the transplanted hairline, but I trimmed it soon after the pictures were taken.

Patience is key during your hair’s regrowth as it can take up to a year before seeing the final result. This sounds like a long time, but I assure you it’s not. With each passing month I noticed my hair getting thicker, bolder and filling-in nicely. Dr. Varona and his team were there every step of the way to answer any question I had. We made virtual follow-ups and the rest was just about time. I cannot express how easy this was for me and how my fears were really all in my head. I was able to get through this healing and regrowth period as easily as one can imagine and just couldn’t wait for the final results.

My final article will show befores and afters – and the final results are astounding.