The operation was pioneered in America and Mr Shahmalak brought it to the UK six years ago.
Since then he has performed the procedure on many women at his world famous clinic near Manchester airport. The main reason women come to him is because they have permanently damaged their lashes by sticking on flash eyelashes.
The result is that significant numbers of women permanently damaged their eyelashes to such an extent that they were left with a completely bald or very patchy lashes
Many women permanently damage their brows while suffering from a psychological condition known as trichotillomania. Sufferers have a compulsion to rip out their body hair and often target their eyebrows and lashes.
And some women have naturally very thin lashes and just want fuller lashes – a style made fashionable by stars such as X Factor's Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.
Eyelash Hair Transplants are surging in popularity as women seek ways to permanently restore or establish hair in the area. The process
typically involves removing a section of hair from the patient,
typically from the back of the head, and grafting the hair to the
eyelash, augmenting the existing lashes or replacing them completely if a patient has lost all their natural lashes. Maintenance of the
eyelashes is needed thereafter, as the hair continues to grow at the
same rate as on other parts of the body.
During a follicular unit extraction eyelash hair transplant procedure, the donor area is prepared first. An
area (2 inches X 3/8 inch) of scalp in the back of the head is numbed
with a local anesthetic. That section (scalp strip) is removed and the
gap is sewn shut with stitches. The scalp strip is given to a
technician who cuts and separates the hair tissue into single hair
follicular grafts. The grafts are then one by one implanted into the eyelids with a special needle. The
procedure takes approximately 2-3 hours and costs around £4,000.
It is performed under local anaesthetic and many patients comfortably fall asleep during the procedure.
The results are permanent and the new lashes will look at their best around 12 months after the procedure.
Hair grows in three stages so don’t be alarmed if you see some shedding after the hair transplant – it is normal. Hair growth varies between people and as the transplanted hair continues to grow, as it has done in the original donor area, you will need to trim and curl the new eyelash hairs in order to achieve and maintain the desired look. This is very rarely an issue for patients as most are used to plucking and shaving some part of their body regularly.
Successful eyelash transplant patient
Finance director Caroline Medcalf, 42, was the the first patient in the UK to go public
after having an eyelash transplant.
Finance director Caroline her life has been
transformed by the £4,000 operation at the Crown Clinic in Manchester.
Caroline said she wrecked her
natural eyelashes after becoming addicted to wearing false lashes.
Increasing numbers of women are damaging their eyelashes permanently
due the boom in synthetic lashes sparked by celebrities such as Cheryl
Caroline was left with just 3 eyelashes on her upper right lid and 19
on her upper left lid after years of damage through gluing on false
The damage was made worse when she got an gum eye infection
which caused itching and she rubbed off many of her already weakened
With almost completely bald upper lids, Caroline was too embarrassed
to leave her house or even let her family, boyfriend or friends see
her without her false eyelashes.
Caroline, from Worsley, Greater Manchester, said her life has been
transformed by the operation.
She said: “It feels like a miracle to have hair on my eyelids when for
so long there was nothing.
“I am so pleased that I have had it done.
“I will now have lovely long, natural eyelashes for the rest of my
life – and need never wear false eyelashes again.”
Dr Shahmalak transplanted 70 new eyelashes in each of Caroline's
eyelids in a three hour operation.
A strip of hair was taken from the back of Caroline's scalp and the
individual hair follicles removed.
The surgeon then transplanted the hair into her eyelids with a special
needle by threading them into the skin at the bottom of the lids.
Dr Shahmalak said that the procedure was becoming more popular in the
UK, though Caroline was the first patient to talk about her experience
He said: “Lots of women permanently damage their eyelashes by
overusing false ones. The glue can block the hair follicle and they
can end up losing their natural lash.”