Back in 2013, England captain Wayne Rooney hit the headlines after being seen visiting The Harley Street Hair Clinic for a reported hair re-growth consultation.
Jokes were made, laugher ensued, and a good deal of finger pointing happened. But in reality, Rooney has had the last laugh. He’s proved his critics wrong and is now showing the results of a very successful hair transplant.
As the dust settled over Rooney’s new barnet, it was clear something way more important was at play. Suddenly, us mere mortals (with our own follicle challenges) saw the first reassuring glimmer of light. Could we have a hair transplant?
Five years on, and the hair transplant industry has become an increasingly common part of the male grooming landscape; with reality TV stars, Premier League coaches and the cashed-up everyman all getting in on the action. The very real stigma of renovating your thatch up top is fading fast.
Sadly, for many of us gents with high hopes and thinning locks, undergoing the procedure is not as easy as expected. In fact, the stipulations you need to meet to be eligible for a hair transplant are notoriously tough; with the number of successful applicants sparser than the hair on their heads.
Who exactly is the best candidate for a hair transplant?
You must get educated and be informed on the consequences and potential variables you bring to the table.
No two patients are the same and there are far too many clinics out there who will tell you what you want to hear and not what you need to hear. Research is vital. Remember surgery is a last resort!
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Your hair colour – and in particular how it works with your natural skin colour – is significant. The lower the contrast between your hair and scalp colour, the better placed you will be to undergo the procedure. This is due to the potential for improved coverage being higher.
So, let’s say you have fair skin and light-coloured hair, the appearance of baldness tends to happen after significant hair loss has already occurred. This is generally due to the fact that a person’s skin and hair colour appears to blend better.
In contrast, those with darker hair and a lighter skin tone will look like they’ve lost more hair as the contrast is higher. This means a bigger number of transplants will be required to achieve effective coverage.
Hair shape and thickness
The calibre of your hair (the cross-sectional area) plays a huge role in determining whether you’re the right person to undergo hair transplant surgery. Baldness tends to be emphasised more when light penetrates through thinning hair, and mirrors back on to the scalp. And so it goes that the more hair there is to block out the light, the better chance you’ll have of reducing the appearance of baldness.
Hair shape is equally important. Broadly speaking, hair that is wavier or has more curls results in greater coverage to the scalp. A perfect example is Afro-Caribbean hair, which is often has tight rings or kinks. The result is exceptional coverage due to the thickness above the scalp which stops light permeating.
It Is so important when considering a hair transplant that you understand the potential risk of further hair loss.
Ideal candidates are patients with minimal loss and no further loss ahead of them. Without a solid regime to help prevent against further hair loss, a hair transplant can only get you so far before you are possibly back in the chair. Proven treatments such as finasteride and minoxidil are well worth considering.
Hair Loss Treatments
You shouldn’t have any diseases of the scalp or Alopecia. Unfortunately, men with ‘Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia’ are shown to have a donor supply which is not at a healthy level. If this is you, then you may not be a good candidate for a transplant. Plus, there’s the added risk of wasting thousands of pounds on ineffective procedures.
It feels vulgar to talk about money, but those that don’t have the cash to continue their hair restoration journey over the long haul should think very carefully before they begin the process. Figures suggest that the average starting cost for most hair transplants is around £2500, going up to around £7000.
Hair restoration is not a sprint, it’s a marathon; with evidence showing that a number of surgeries may be needed to achieve the desired result. No ones just gets 1 hair transplant. so make sure you are an eligible candidate and understand all the implications before you pull the trigger.
The IAHRS.org is a great starting point to find a surgeon near you to gain insight into the facts for you. Do your research and think ahead. Don’t allow your desperation to get the best of you.
Before taking the plunge and having your first hair transplant, you should take the time to sit down and ask yourself a few questions
Start by picturing yourself with a full head of luscious locks…
- Have a think about what your ‘new’ life might be like with that hair.
- What do you see in the mirror and what is your inner voice now saying?
- What are you really feeling? Take a moment to scribble down your emotions? Use descriptive words like happy, confident, free and avoid fluffy, meaningless phrases.
- Now, honing in on those words, what do you already do or have in your life right now that gives you the same feelings? Would a hair transplant really be the best way to achieve these feelings?
Having a hair transplant is not the golden ticket to a perfect life. So it’s important to be real and honest about what the outcomes might be for you. There’s a fair chance it won’t be the answer to all your issues and is there is no guarantee it will make you happy.
For you guys on the fence, you can call The Bald Truth radio show where thousands of people tune in to share – and voice – their concerns. Rest assured – you are not alone in the quest. Hair has the potential to enhance your life and give you more confidence. But let’s face it, there are other ways you can achieve this too!