Calum Best came to the Crown Clinic for his second hair transplant.
Like Wayne Rooney, Calum, 32, son of Manchester United soccer legend George Best, needed further work to stem his hair loss.
Our pictures show how Calum’s hairline has been transformed by having 1,257 grafts (amounting to 2,228 individual hairs) moved from the side of his scalp to the front. He was pictured before and after the procedure which was carried out by our surgeon Asim Shahmalak.
Calum could have avoided going under the knife again if had taken Propecia – a clinically-proven drug which prevents balding. But it hits the sex drive of 2% of men who take it – and Calum didn’t want to take the risk!
Calum admitted he had been inspired by men like Rooney in having a second operation. He said: “It is fact of life that hair loss is a continuous process. While the hair transplanted in my previous operation is permanent, I am continuing to lose my natural hair.
“I had the second procedure because I was so pleased with the first one and how it helped to boost my confidence and work opportunities.
“Once again, I have a much fuller hairline and the whole front of my scalp looks so much better. “The operation gives me a lot more flexibility with my hair. I can continue to wear it spiked up.”
Calum, who has been losing his hair since he was 23, said there was no longer a stigma attached to men seeking hair transplants. He said: “Stars like Rooney and James Nesbitt have made a big difference. They’ve been very open about what they have had done and most men and just say: ‘Good on them.’ And most women say: ‘Don’t they look better.'”
Calum admitted that he had been wary of taking hair loss treatments such as Propecia. He explained: “Obviously I’ve read a few stories about how Propecia can affect patients. I know only a tiny percentage suffer side effects, but I didn’t fancy taking the risk.
“Drugs like Propecia can halt future hair loss but it won’t help to grow new hair. The only way to keep my hair as I want it is through having hair transplants.” Calum admitted losing his hair had hit his confidence.
Calum said: “You worry when you go to auditions that directors are looking at your receding hairline. It’s a distraction you don’t need and, thankfully, one that can be remedied by a transplant.” Calum had his second transplant in November 2013, just over a year after his first procedure. It will take between six months and a year for the new hair to fully grow back.
Surgeon Shahmalak said the Calum had the same Follicular Unit Extraction technique as Rooney where individual follicles are taken from the back or the side of the scalp and replanted at the front.
Dr Shahmalak said: “What we’ve noticed in the last five years is that the age of our patients is coming down all the time.
“The fact is a third of men suffer hair loss by the time they are 30. More of them are deciding to have transplants immediately rather than waiting until middle age. Why suffer 20 years of loss of confidence if you can sort your problem now?”
Dr Shahmalak said: “For people in the public eye, their image is their career. You don’t see a lot of bald models or TV presenters.
“A simple procedure such a hair transplant can make an enormous difference to a man’s life.”
THE ROAD TO A FULL HEAD OF HAIR
Hair transplantation is the only method that is guaranteed to overcome hair loss and regain hair. Medications can halt hair loss but they will not lead to the regrowth of lost hair.
There types of hair transplant. In both cases, transplantation can be done so well that often a barber or stylist cannot even tell that grafts have been placed. The transplanted hair is permanent and in nearly all cases will stay in place for the rest of the patient’s life.
The most popular and cost-effective method is called Follicular Unit Transplantation – popularly known as ‘strip harvesting’ – where hair follicles are removed in a ‘strip’ of skin from the back or side of the head and moved to the thinning areas at the top of the scalp.
The second technique – and the one Calum Best had – is called Follicular United Extraction. It is more expensive than strip harvesting and is the procedure which was used on Wayne Rooney when he had his transplants in 2011 and earlier this year.
The main difference is the hairs follicles are removed and transplanted individually as opposed to in one single strip.
It is more time consuming – and therefore more expensive – than strip harvesting. This method is particularly popular with men who like to keep their hair short because there is virtually no scarring.
In Follicular Unit Extraction, or FUE, individual follicles are extracted directly from the back or side of the scalp, usually one at a time.
There will be some minor scarring – which looks like pinpricks – immediately after the operation but this disappears during the healing process which takes approximately 5-7 days after which any redness or slight swelling in the treatment area will have subsided.
FUE generally has a quicker patient recovery time and lower post-operative discomfort than strip harvesting.