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Crown Clinic Guide to Hair Transplants

Guide to hair transplants 

We are often asked by patients to give a basic guide to hair transplants at Crown Clinic.

This guide from our surgeon Asim Shahmalak below covers all the key questions about the two main procedures – FUT and FUE – about cost, effectiveness and when your hair will start looking better. We have also included some before and after pictures of our of our most famous patients, Calum Best.

The prep

I have a 30-minute consultation with every patient to check they are suitable for a hair transplant. The procedure is most effective in the early to middling stages of MPB (male pattern baldness). Leave it too late and there is a limit to what I can do – there will simply be too big a bald area for me to cover.
Most men are suitable for hair transplants but not all. Patients with alopecia, for instance, are normally ruled out.
Virtually all men have a permanent horseshoe-shaped ring of hair at the back and sides of their scalp which stays with them for life, regardless of the extent of MPB elsewhere. It is this area which is used to harvest the hair follicles for transplants which are then moved to the balding areas. Transplanted hair lasts for life and will not fall out as a man gets older.
The only other prep a man needs to do beyond the initial consultation is not to shave his hair too short before the procedure. Unless you work from home, it is normally a good idea to book a week off from work if you are having a procedure because there will be some scarring or swelling which lasts for a week to ten days
Operations are done under a local anaesthetic and nearly all patients are free to go home on the same day as the procedure. More extensive hair transplants, where large numbers of hair follicles are transplanted on men with extensive MPB, can take two days.
Apart from the scarring, you’ll feel fine the day after a procedure.

The operation

There are two types of hair transplant procedure available.

1 Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), or strip harvesting, is the technique favoured by Crown Clinic patient Christian Jessen and is our most popular procedure.

A strip of hair is removed from the back or side of the scalp. FUT allows the surgeon to safely transplant thousands of hair grafts in a single session, which maximizes the cosmetic impact of the procedure.

The strip is removed surgically under local anaesthetic. There can be some minimal scarring at the back of the scalp following the removal of the strip. For this reason FUT may not be appropriate for men who like to wear their hair shaved or very short because the scar may be visible following the procedure.
If men wear their hair a little longer, the scar tends to be hidden.
Christian Jessen has had two FUT procedures. There is virtually no scarring visible at the back of his scalp from the two procedures because he wears his hair longer.

A typical FUT procedure will cost around £6,000.

2 Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is where individual follicular units are extracted from the back or side of a patient’s scalp and transplanted into the balding area. This was the technique used for the footballer Wayne Rooney’s hair transplant. Crown Clinic patients Calum Best and the BBC1 property presenter Martin Roberts both had the FUE procedures.
It is more expensive than FUT – at roughly twice the cost. This is because the procedure is much more labour-intensive.
Each hair follicle needs to be removed individually.
The advantages are that no strip is taken from the back of the scalp so scarring is minimal. Most patients have some red spots in the harvested area for a week to ten days after the procedure – which then go away.
FUE is more appropriate for men who like to wear their hair short or shaved because of the scarring caused by FUT.

A typical FUE procedure will cost around £8,000.


We advise most patients to take a week off work if they are having a procedure. Most patients will have swelling following the operation which we control with steroids. If you don’t take steroids you can end up with swelling around the face, as was experienced by Gordon Ramsay following a procedure in North America four years ago. There were some well-known pictures of Ramsay in the media with visible swelling around his face. He almost certainly would not have had this swelling if he had taken steroids.
For FUE procedures, patients will have red spots in the harvested area for a week to ten days but no longer in most cases.
FUT patients will have some scarring from where the initial ‘strip’ is removed from the back or side of the scalp – this scarring won’t be visible in patients who do not wear their hair short.

Does the hair continue to grow?

It takes between six months to a year for the transplanted hair to fully grow back and look at its best. In the first few months, the transplanted hair can fall out while the new hair follicles become established in transplanted area.
Over the course of the first year following a hair transplant, all the transplanted hair grows back and patients  see an appreciable difference in the affected area after six months and can enjoy the full benefits of the procedure by 12 months.
Transplanted hair is permanent and will last for the rest of the patient’s life. It grows in exactly the same way as it did when it was in another part of the scalp.

What kind of men do you have have coming to your surgery?

Four out of ten of men experience some kind of hair loss by the time they reach their forties. Our core clientele used to be men in that 40-55 age group. They are experiencing MPB and this affects their body confidence and possibly their careers, too.
They see a hair transplant as a pick-me-up in the same way women might have a boob job. It is amazing what restoring a man’s hair can do to his whole outlook on life.
We treat lots of celebrities who tells us they need to keep their hair to look good in the media. A famous actor like James Nesbitt has said that, in having three hair transplants, he has secured acting roles he never would have got as a bald man.
Calum Best said that his MPB undermined him as a model and made it more difficult to get jobs.
In recent years we have seen increasing numbers of young men coming in for procedures. There has been a 25% increase in the 25-40 age group since Wayne Rooney had a his first procedure three years. Before then, a lot of men in this younger group simply didn’t think a transplant was an option for them. Wayne Rooney changed all that.

Are men vainer than ever?

In a word: YES. And why not? Why should cosmetic procedures only be available to women.
The most obvious sign of this increased vanity is the fact that our booking is up by more than 40% in the last three years. Hair transplant technology has improved markedly over this period and increasing numbers of men are realising the procedure is the most effective way of combating ageing.
It is not just hair transplant men are seeking. Beard and sideburn transplants are growing in popularity – another sign that men are becoming vainer.
Could you imagine a man having a hair transplant in the 70s when hardmen like Clint Eastwood were the hunkiest role models?

Do you do beard transplants?

Yes. Around half the men in the UK cannot grow a ‘full’ beard like David Beckham or Hugh Jackman. Instead, they have patches in their beards or sideburns – meaning they have to spend their lives clean shaven when they long for the macho look of a full beard.
We can fill in those patches with a beard or sideburn transplant at Crown Clinic.
A beard or sideburn transplant works in just the same way as a hair transplant. Hair is harvested from the back or the side or the scalp and transplanted in the patches of the beard or sideburns.

How much is the procedure?

All costs are subject to consultation. As a guideline, FUE procedures cost around £5 her graft. In Calum Best’s case, he had 1,200 grafts for his first hair transplant – so a cost of £6,000.
Prices for the cheaper FUT procedure start from around £4,000 for a full transplant.
Beard or sideburn transplants are usually around £4,000 but can be more if the patient needs a lot of grafts.

Our Surgeon

Dr. Asim Shahmalak

Dr Asim Shahmalak is a world-renowned hair transplant surgeon who performed the UK’s first eyelash transplant in 2009. He runs Crown Clinic – one of Britain’s most successful and best known hair transplant clinics. He has treated a number of high-profile industry leaders and celebrities including the medical broadcaster Dr Christian Jessen, best known for Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies.

Expert hair transplant surgery by Dr Shahmalak

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Hair transplants – where hair from the back of the scalp is extracted and transplanted in balding areas – may be a well-known or even commonplace procedure nowadays, but did you know that body hair transplants are also possible? 

Body hair transplants are certainly a lesser-known procedure, but still one that can be viable for the right candidate – here’s what you should know. 

How do body hair transplants work? 

Body hair transplants work in a very similar way to traditional hair transplants, except that hair is extracted from – you guessed it – donor sites on the body. Patients seeking this type of transplant have typically undergone several hair transplants already and exhausted their supply of donor hair on their scalp. However, for some patients, a body hair transplant is a preferable option if they have naturally thin, patchy hair or if they have acquired a scalp injury that impacts the typical donor areas.

Generally, donor areas for body hair transplants are the abdomen, chest and back. Hair follicles on the arms and legs may be in abundant supply, but the hairs tend to be too fine to use on the scalp. 

The body hair transplant process itself closely mirrors traditional hair transplants. The donor area is shaved before the surgery, and during the procedure the hairs are extracted from the donor area under local anaesthetic, before being transplanted into the thinning areas of the scalp. The length of the procedure depends on how many grafts are needed and the recovery process is comparable to standard hair transplants. 

Can hair be transplanted from the head to the body? 

Body hair transplants can work the other way around, where hairs from the scalp are transplanted in other areas of the body. A common example of this is eyebrow transplants, but head hair can be transplanted in other areas such as the chest or pubic region. Although a less common form of surgery, it can be an option for people who have lost body hair through genetic or external factors such as chemotherapy or injury. 

What are the results of body hair transplants? 

It’s worth noting that often body hair transplants do have a lower success rate than typical hair transplants, partially due to the lower levels of compatibility between the hairs on the head and the hairs on the body and the different structures of the hairs. However, during your consultation you will be able to discuss any potential issues with your surgeon. 

To find out more about body hair transplants and to find out if you may be a suitable candidate for the surgery, get in touch with Crown Clinic. 


For many men, the inability to grow a beard is something that they feel particularly self-conscious of. For those who can grow a beard, they often find that it doesn’t always grow in a uniform fashion, resulting in patchy facial hair.

Beard transplants are a permanent way to create a natural-looking, full beard. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge, here’s what you need to know if you’re considering undergoing beard transplant surgery.

What happens during a beard transplant

Beard transplants are carried out through either follicular unit extraction (FUE) or follicular unit transplantation (FUT). FUE is the most common transplantation technique for beard transplants, which involves individual hair follicles being removed from the donor area and transplanted in the sparse areas of the beard.

The surgeon will determine the direction that the hair should grow in to make sure the new hairs blend in seamlessly with the existing beard hair and to create the desired look.

If you’re a good candidate for beard transplantation

To be eligible for a beard transplant, prospective patients must have an adequate supply of donor hair – this is typically hair from the back of the head, as it tends to be one of the last areas to go bald.

However, beard to beard transplants are also sometimes an option for disguising smaller areas of hair loss. This technique involves follicles being taken from the area below the jawline and transplanted in the sparse areas.

When having your beard transplant consultation, your surgeon should give you a thorough examination to determine if you are a suitable candidate for surgery and discuss your options with you.

What the potential side effects are

Although beard transplants are a generally safe procedure, it’s important to follow the aftercare instructions provided to reduce the risk of infection. Your face and scalp may experience minor swelling and irritation in the days after the surgery, but this will be eased by sticking to the aftercare routine.

FUE surgery does often cause some scarring in the donor area, but the scars are so small that the natural hair growth will disguise them.

How much a beard transplant costs

The price of the beard transplant depends on several different factors, such as the number of hair grafts required. During your consultation, your surgeon will be able to give you an accurate quote for the surgery.

Booking a beard transplant consultation

Crown Clinic is one of the UK’s most reputable hair transplant clinics, offering state-of-the-art facilities and procedures under the care of Dr Asim Shahmalak, a world-renowned hair transplant surgeon. If you’d like to find out more about beard transplants, get in touch or book a consultation.

Whether you’ve had a disastrous haircut that you’re desperately trying to grow out or are simply bored of your current hairstyle, there’s a good chance you will have searched for ways to grow your hair faster – but is that actually possible?

It’s worth noting that even the healthiest hair only grows around an average of half an inch per month, or six inches over the course of a year. Understandably, this can make people feel as if their hair is growing at a glacial pace – especially when you consider that we also lose up to 100 hairs per day.

How does the hair grow?

Hair grows from the follicle – or root – that is underneath the skin. The blood vessels in the scalp around the base of the follicles supply the roots with oxygen and nutrients, which will help the hairs to grow.

Does scalp massage help the hair grow?

Scalp massagers – brushes with soft, silicone bristles designed to be used when washing the hair – are currently proving popular, but are they actually worth the money?

Although scalp massage can increase blood flow to the scalp, and therefore bring more nutrients to the follicle, there is no evidence that massage will stimulate hair growth. However, scalp massagers can help to remove product buildup and excess oil from the scalp, which will improve the overall health of the hair.

Does cutting hair make it grow faster?

One of the biggest hair myths around is that getting regular hair trims can make the hair grow faster. This is, of course, completely false. Hair grows from the follicles, which are unaffected when the ends are cut off the hair.

Getting a trim can get rid of split ends, which occur when the ends of the hair become dry and damaged. Split ends can gradually progress up the length of the hair, meaning that hair is more prone to breakage – so if you feel as if your hair has been the same length for months, it could be due to split ends. Keep on top of them with regular trims to keep your hair looking healthy.

Will hair vitamins help my hair grow?

Although you will have undoubtedly seen countless influencers pushing pastel-coloured supplements on their Instagram feeds, claiming they have transformed their hair, this unfortunately isn’t true in most cases.

If you are suffering from hair loss due to a nutritional deficiency, then supplements may boost your hair growth, but you will need to consult with a GP to make sure that you are getting everything you need. If you have no deficiencies, hair growth supplements are unlikely to have any impact on the hair.

There may not be any quick fixes to hurry along your hair growth, but the best thing you can do for the health of your hair is to look after your overall health – take a look at Crown Clinic’s expert advice to find out how to keep your hair looking its best.