Zarev - March 2021 Consultation and December 2021 Operation

Omega2327

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Last month I traveled to Bulgaria for my consultation with Dr. Zarev. It was pretty important for me to have him to a thorough assessment of my scalp in person to determine 1. How many total grafts I have and 2. How many total grafts I would need with my projected final pattern, as well as give me additional comfort that he’s the right surgeon for me. All in all, I’m super glad I went and I have my surgery scheduled for December 2021.

We first sat down and just talked through his process and he answered a bunch of questions I had. He educated me more on his technique and how such large extractions are possible. He inspected my scalp, took dozens of pictures (both with a regular camera and micro camera), and performed some pretty detailed calculations to assess my situation. It was concluded that I have 10.5k grafts (50% of my donor) in total and that if I were to fully reach my projected final pattern, I would need 10.9k grafts. Close enough! I have average donor density and fine-average hair thickness. He had me share pictures of my dad, both grandfathers, uncles, etc. No one in my family is beyond a NW6. Upon inspection of my scalp, he could pretty much detect exactly where the balding process was active and where it wasn’t. It’s weird because I’m a ~NW2.5 and I can nearly style my hair to look like I don’t have hair loss, but under a micro camera he could see that the balding process is active in the entire NW6 region. I may not actually get there all the way but of course we’re planning for it when it comes to donor management. There are clean breaks in the balding and non balding regions under a micro camera. So the risk that I would go beyond NW6 is extremely low.

Towards the end of the consultation, I asked him if I could see more of his cases and he was very open to it. He had a folder with hundreds of not thousands of cases and let me pick names at random to see their before and after photos. Overall I was extremely impressed with the quality of his work and his great results certainly aren’t just limited to the ones he has in his website. He had some killer repair cases. One I remember specifically, the patient had a bunch of synthetic hair implants, which Dr. Zarev had to extract and then replace with his own hair. It was an absolute f*****g mess but the final result was amazing.

I’m 30 years old - not on minoxidil nor finasteride and don’t have plans to hop on either of them. I tried min once but it gave me heart palpitations and I just refuse to risk it with finasteride. I do use zix + micro needling, as well as 1% keto shampoo 3x per week. Zarev recommend that I use 2% keto every day, which I thought was interesting. Anyway none of these are strong enough to stop my hair loss in its tracks so I plan to progressively fix with incremental hair transplants, which I won’t shave my recipient area for so that the transplant won’t be obvious. This was one of my main concerns, how much a shaved head transplant vs. non shaved head impacted the final result. It’s always been my assumption that a shaved head would lead to a better final result. He strongly emphasized there is no impact to the final result whatsoever and that the only difference is that it will take him longer to perform the procedure. This is pretty huge for me because I can’t stand the thought of walking into work with a shaved head and it being so obvious I had work done. It honestly may have been a deal breaker for me. I thankfully have enough hair so that I’ll be able to conceal any evidence of a transplant as it grows in. My first surgery is scheduled for December and the plan is 3,300 grafts - 2,200 in the crown area and 1,100 in the hairline. May get a few hundred more in the front.

I can’t say enough great things about Dr. Zarev. He was super friendly, nice, energetic, and intelligent. He only learned English a couple of years ago and still doesn’t know how to say a variety of words (I taught him the word “comb” lol), yet he was able to impressively articulate anything and everything I wanted to know. I personally truly believe he is the best surgeon in the world, especially when it comes to larger cases, and I can’t wait for my operation in December. I spent years with my fingers crossed for Tsuji to come through and save me. I still remember thinking several years ago I’d only have to wait until 2020 to get cloning.... yikes. I’m sure we will eventually get cloning but it’s hard to predict when and the reality is there are likely to be additional delays along the way. I’m very satisfied I have an alternative long-term option to correct my situation without having to worry about hormonal side effects.

Pics here:
 
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trialAcc

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Wow 10k grafts available as a NW6, that's pretty insane. I wouldn't hesitate at all to get a hair transplant if I knew I had that many grafts in the bank without an FUT. Good luck!
 

Zon Ama

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Wow 10k grafts available as a NW6, that's pretty insane. I wouldn't hesitate at all to get a hair transplant if I knew I had that many grafts in the bank without an FUT. Good luck!
Did I understand it right that Zarev only can harvest this much grafts because of his technique?
Would be very interesting what another doctor would say how many grafts you have available.

Anyway, I was thinking to visit him also. Thank you for your post. Very helpful, Ill be following.
 

coolio

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Don't get too fixated on the numbers. Any Doctor can transplant 10,000 little chunks of skin. But they don't always deliver 10,000 grafts worth of hair restoration from it.
 

Spanishboy97

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By the way did he talk about the price? Does he charge 4 euro per graft even in megasessions or he makes special prices for that? If not we could be looking at 40k euros for a Nw6..
 

Omega2327

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By the way did he talk about the price? Does he charge 4 euro per graft even in megasessions or he makes special prices for that? If not we could be looking at 40k euros for a Nw6..
My understanding is that it’s 4 euros per graft regardless of the number of grafts, though I didn’t specially ask about megasession pricing. I do think 4 euros is pretty reasonable considering what you’re getting. A lot of US clinics charge $8 and even $12 per graft. He also performs all of the extractions and implants himself, which is rare. For my case, I’ll only be paying 13k euros for the first session and the rest of it will be spread out over 15-20 years or so. More than worth it in my opinion!
 

nicoandgello

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You chose great surgeon, planning and coverage wise, he is one of the best. 4 euro per graft is quite a lot for Bulgaria tho. Do you know if he has any age bias, would he operate on someone below 25?
 

baldlygoing

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Was December first available or what fit your timeline best? If these group purchases don't work this is my next step. Been trying to hold out as long as possible with all these new treatments on the horizon.

My frontal loss is similar to yours (but my head is wider lol) so will be keeping track of your progress. Godspeed, man.
 

trialAcc

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Was December first available or what fit your timeline best? If these group purchases don't work this is my next step. Been trying to hold out as long as possible with all these new treatments on the horizon.

My frontal loss is similar to yours (but my head is wider lol) so will be keeping track of your progress. Godspeed, man.
Did you buy KY or SMI?
 

Omega2327

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You chose great surgeon, planning and coverage wise, he is one of the best. 4 euro per graft is quite a lot for Bulgaria tho. Do you know if he has any age bias, would he operate on someone below 25?
Thanks. I’m not aware of any age restrictions of his. I think the main thing is that he has to be able to predict your final pattern with a reasonable degree of confidence to determine if you’re a suitable candidate and ultimately have enough donor resources to cover your future loss.
 

Omega2327

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Was December first available or what fit your timeline best? If these group purchases don't work this is my next step. Been trying to hold out as long as possible with all these new treatments on the horizon.

My frontal loss is similar to yours (but my head is wider lol) so will be keeping track of your progress. Godspeed, man.
December fit my timeline best. I booked that date this past September, and at that point in time his first available surgery was in May, so an 8 month wait.

Just curious what group purchases are you referring to? I don’t keep up with the new research and tech section like I used to.
 

baldlygoing

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Purchased SMI. Waiting to see how that works before trying KY. Plus cost for both is more than I'm willing right now.
 

abovedagame

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Does zarev use magnification during extraction? In his latest video of performing a procedure, he was punching extractions with his bare eyes
 

shami26

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Thanks for sharing your consultation experience with Zarev. All the hair loss forums and reddit have been talking about this doctor.
 

nahte42

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Awesome stuff. Really appreciate you doing all this to help gain information.

I am a Norwood 6-7 at age 25. I am seriously desperate to be evaluated by someone like Zarev to see what he thinks is possible in my case.

I had a consultation with Dr. Shaver/Bernstein in NYC last month. If you are unfamiliar, Dr. Shaver was trained and mentored by Dr. William Rassman who was a leading pioneer of the FUE. I brought up Dr. Zarev to Dr. Shaver and showed her pictures of his Instagram and explained his procedure, and she straight up wouldn't believe that he was a legit doctor. She never heard of him, and after I explained how he does his transplants and showed her pictures of his cases, she told me he's "probably a scam." She said it was physically impossible to do what he's doing and that taking hair from beyond the traditional "safe" donor region was barbaric and scammy. I even told her that her mentor, Dr. Rassman, knows Dr. Zarev and has endorsed his work, and then she got very defensive and continued to say she knows nothing about him.

My main goal as a Norwood 6-7 who wants to have something done asap is to eliminate the horseshoe ring pattern on my head. I don't even care about a full head of hair with thick density everywhere. It's the ring pattern that makes my head look sickly and I simply want even density across the entire head.

I am confident that this could be achieved, but I would ask that a doctor take donor hair from the sides of my head too; not just the back. I see that Zarev is willing to do this. For example, I have thick *** sideburn areas...please take some follicles from there and move them up top.

Do you have any advice for getting in contact with Dr. Zarev? I don't know if I'd be able to travel there for a consultation. I am also exploring a doctor in the U.S. who may be very open to quickly learning a technique like the vacuum assisted one Zarev uses.
 

trialAcc

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Awesome stuff. Really appreciate you doing all this to help gain information.

I am a Norwood 6-7 at age 25. I am seriously desperate to be evaluated by someone like Zarev to see what he thinks is possible in my case.

I had a consultation with Dr. Shaver/Bernstein in NYC last month. If you are unfamiliar, Dr. Shaver was trained and mentored by Dr. William Rassman who was a leading pioneer of the FUE. I brought up Dr. Zarev to Dr. Shaver and showed her pictures of his Instagram and explained his procedure, and she straight up wouldn't believe that he was a legit doctor. She never heard of him, and after I explained how he does his transplants and showed her pictures of his cases, she told me he's "probably a scam." She said it was physically impossible to do what he's doing and that taking hair from beyond the traditional "safe" donor region was barbaric and scammy. I even told her that her mentor, Dr. Rassman, knows Dr. Zarev and has endorsed his work, and then she got very defensive and continued to say she knows nothing about him.

My main goal as a Norwood 6-7 who wants to have something done asap is to eliminate the horseshoe ring pattern on my head. I don't even care about a full head of hair with thick density everywhere. It's the ring pattern that makes my head look sickly and I simply want even density across the entire head.

I am confident that this could be achieved, but I would ask that a doctor take donor hair from the sides of my head too; not just the back. I see that Zarev is willing to do this. For example, I have thick *** sideburn areas...please take some follicles from there and move them up top.

Do you have any advice for getting in contact with Dr. Zarev? I don't know if I'd be able to travel there for a consultation. I am also exploring a doctor in the U.S. who may be very open to quickly learning a technique like the vacuum assisted one Zarev uses.
Most FUE doctors take hair from the sides of the head. What you're proposing seems like a huge waste of money and potential for serious scarring when you'd probably never be able to have wearable density. If you scar up badly you won't want to shave and you'd be stuck with thin hair that doesn't look respectable on a dude in their 20s both up top and in the donor area.

If your goal is to eliminate the horse shoe then just research the top SMP clinics and get a non-full procedure done (ie don't restore a perfect hairline or anything just extend the horse shoe upwards so it looks more like NW3 or 4 with thinning). That, or just save your efforts and wet shave.
 
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nahte42

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Most FUE doctors take hair from the sides of the head. What you're proposing seems like a huge waste of money and potential for serious scarring when you'd probably never be able to have wearable density. If you scar up badly you won't want to shave and you'd be stuck with thin hair that doesn't look respectable on a dude in their 20s.

If your goal is to eliminate the horse shoe then just research the top SMP clinics and get a non-full procedure done (ie don't restore a perfect hairline or anything just extend the horse shoe upwards so it looks more like NW3 or 4 with thinning). That, or just save your efforts and wet shave.
I just don't quite understand why it wouldn't be wearable density. I understand I probably wouldn't be able to grow it out beyond a cm or so, but that's ok, if I could get a short buzz cut look with no horseshoe ring pattern that would be satisfying and frame my head better. Yes the density all over would be low, but it would be consistent.

I do not like SMP. Looks totally fake. I would only ever utilize it after a transplant to darken areas with hair already to give the illusion of thicker hair. I would never get SMP on a bald area; it looks awful.

Can't shave daily because of sensitive skin and even shaving leaves the horseshoe pattern because of how dark my hair is in the back. I have zero good options but I'm not willing to settle for continuing to walk around with this ring on my head at my age.
 

trialAcc

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I just don't quite understand why it wouldn't be wearable density. I understand I probably wouldn't be able to grow it out beyond a cm or so, but that's ok, if I could get a short buzz cut look with no horseshoe ring pattern that would be satisfying and frame my head better. Yes the density all over would be low, but it would be consistent.

I do not like SMP. Looks totally fake. I would only ever utilize it after a transplant to darken areas with hair already to give the illusion of thicker hair. I would never get SMP on a bald area; it looks awful.

Can't shave daily because of sensitive skin and even shaving leaves the horseshoe pattern because of how dark my hair is in the back. I have zero good options but I'm not willing to settle for continuing to walk around with this ring on my head at my age.
You're going to have the FUE scars visible at that length unless you heal just perfect either way, but as a NW7 you just don't have the grafts available to cover your entire head. Anyways, SMP totally does look bad for people who get those straight perfect hairlines drawn on. If you do it correctly and just do a light fade up it looks fine.

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If none of these work and you can't shave, laser the horse shoe off.
 
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