Coronation Street star Jack P Shepherd has told how he had a hair transplant at Crown Clinic after stress made him go bald.
The actor said there had been a 'dramatic' escalation in hair loss at the front of his scalp due to off-screen pressures and insomnia in the last year.
He had more than 3,000 hairs transplanted into the front of his hairline by our surgeon Asim Shahmalak at the clinic near Manchester Airport.
Jack had the procedure just before Christmas (2018) and it will take up to year for all the new hair to fully grow back.
Jack, 31, who has played David Platt in the soap since he was 12, said: ''It is such a common thing for guys to have now – like a male version of the boob job.
''I decided to have it done because my hair loss has really escalated in the last year, particularly at the front of my scalp.
''I remember seeing myself on screen and thinking: 'Oh my God, it is really falling out.'
''One of my mates had a transplant and he looked so much better afterwards that I didn't recognise him. I was blown away by the improvement and he told me he wished he had done it earlier.
''I thought if I am going to do it, I should act now so that I can get the benefits for longer.
''I want to get my hair back to what it was like before so that I can style it at the front any way that I like. It would great to be in a position to have an Elvis quiff and really have some fun with my hair.''
At the start of Coronation Street's two week Christmas break, Jack had the same follicular unit extraction procedure as stars such as Wayne Rooney and Calum Best.
Follicles were removed individually from the back of his scalp and then replanted by Dr Shahmalak in the balding areas around his temples and at the very front of his hairline.
The surgeon shaved only a small area at the back of his scalp to obtain the donor hair so viewers did not notice any difference in his appearance after filming resumed in January.
Because it takes up to a year for the transplanted hair to grow back fully, viewers won't immediately notice any difference in his character David Platt's appearance.
Jack said he had been losing his hair for the last decade but it is only in the last year that he felt he needed a hair transplant.
He said: ''I could see the difference when I watched myself on screen and when I was travelling in a lift and the mirror would highlight my hair loss.
''A few of the make-up girls at Corrie suggested that I should have it done and I have talked it through with a few people at work.
''My hair loss has definitely accelerated in the last year. I have had a few personal issues off-screen which have been stressful and I am also an insomniac which just adds to my stress levels.
''No one likes to lose their hair and hopefully I can make really difference to my appearance because I am losing it right at the front where you notice it the most.''
Jack said that being in the public eye since childhood had probably aged him prematurely.
He said: ''I have been working around adults since I was ten. So I have always felt really old – like I was about 80!
''I would not say that I was vain, but I just want to be able to do what I want with my hair.''
Jack chose Dr Shahmalak for the procedure because of his global reputation for excellence and his work with other celebrities such as Calum Best, TV doctor Christian Jessen,
former footballer Didi Hamann and Home Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts.
Jack said: ''A hair transplant is just about the only cosmetic procedure us blokes can have. It is the modern day version of the boob job.
''People would raise a few eyebrows if a woman had a boob job 20 years ago, but now it is just seen as perfectly normal. It is the same with hair transplants for men.
''I decided if I was going to have it done I would go to one of the world's best surgeons. You want your hair to look right and for the transplant to be completely natural.
''Dr Shahmalak was recommended to me and, so far, I have been delighted with the results.
''I cannot wait to see what it looks like when the transplanted hair is fully grown back in a year's time.''
Dr Shahmalak said that he treated a lot a famous men who feel under pressure to look younger.
He said: ''Wayne Rooney was a watershed moment and bookings have been up by about 25% since then.
''He made it seem perfectly normal for a man to totally change his appearance with a hair transplant and look years younger.
''I can really make a difference with a patient like Jack who has quite pronounced male pattern baldness at the front of the scalp.
''The 3,000 hairs that I have moved into this area will really fill out his hairline and there is no reason why he won't be able to grow an Elvis quiff in a year's time.''
When the sun comes out, we know that we need to apply sunscreen to protect our skin, but many people forget to pay the same care to protecting their hair. Between the sun, sea and swimming pools, many of our favourite summer activities can significantly damage our hair – so the next time you go out to enjoy the sunshine, find out what you can do to protect it.
Why does sun damage the hair?
Sun damage to the hair is caused by the harmful UVA and UVB rays, which damage the outermost layer of the layer – the cuticle – and weaken the protein structure of the hair, making it dry, brittle and more prone to breaking. Some people find that their hair lightens in the sun, as the rays act in a similar fashion to bleach, stripping the melanin from the hair.
Protecting your hair from the sun
Wearing a hat is an easy way to protect your hair and scalp from the sun, especially if you’re outside when the sun is at its strongest. Hair SPF is also an option, which can usually be bought as a spray to be misted over the hair. Pay extra attention to the scalp – many people forget that the scalp can burn just as easily as the rest of the skin, ending up with an itchy, flaky, burnt scalp. If you do burn your scalp, rinse your hair in cool water and apply aloe vera to the affected areas, and make sure to keep your head covered when going outdoors.
If your hair is looking dry, try a deep conditioning treatment to restore some of the lost moisture to the hair, and avoid wearing your hair in any tight styles that may pull on the scalp. Summer is also a good time to temporarily stop using hairdryers, straighteners and any other hot tools to avoid adding to the sun damage.
Protecting your hair from the sea
Salt water is notorious for drying out the hair. It leaches moisture out of it, making it incredibly brittle and tangled, which can cause significant breakage. Before you go swimming, saturate your hair with clean water to prevent it from absorbing as much salt water, and don’t let it sit in your hair – rinse it thoroughly as soon as you get out of the sea. Deep conditioners and hair masks will also help replenish the moisture.
Protecting your hair in a swimming pool
Just like salt water, chlorinated water is very harsh and drying on the hair, so you can take similar precautions to swim in the sea. You could also try a swimming cap, as this not only prevents the chlorine from damaging your hair, but it will also protect your scalp from sunburn. If you have highlighted or blonde hair, be especially careful when in a swimming pool, as the copper and chlorine in the water have been known to form a film that sticks to the proteins in hair, turning it a green shade. Thankfully, this isn’t permanent, but make sure to enter the pool with wet hair and rinse it as soon as you get out.