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Crown Clinic’s surgeon Asim Shahmalak answers eight of the most common questions about hair loss

Crown Clinic’s surgeon Asim Shahmalak is one of the UK’s leading hair transplant surgeons.  Patients often ask him questions about hair loss and we thought it would be good to detail his answers to eight of the most common questions.

At what age is hair loss most common?

Hair loss is a continual process which affects men at different ages. It can start as early as the late-teens and affect men right through to old age.
Two-thirds of men face hair loss by the age of 35, and a bad genetic hand is often to blame. Male-pattern baldness is an inherited sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT, a by-product of testosterone), which leads to finer hair, a receding hairline, and finally a deserted scalp.
The most common age for the onset of hair loss is between the ages of 30 and 50.

Is it only hereditary or  can men suffer hair loss for other reasons?

Male Pattern baldness, medically known as androgenetic alopecia, is overwhelmingly caused by your genes. It is a myth that the baldness gene passes down more commonly on the mother’s side – both sides of the family can cause it. Yes, there are lots of other causes for hair loss, but none of the others is nearly as significant as the hereditary cause.

What other factors can cause hair loss in men?

There are lots of other reasons for hair loss and a few include:
* Stress – severe physical stress (like surgery) or severe psychological stress (like a death in the family) can cause profound changes in the body and lead to telogen effluvium, a shedding of the hair. The good news is that the hair may well go back when the stress goes away.
* Vitamin/mineral deficiency – red blood cells are important because they carry oxygen to nearly every cell in the body, helping those cells maintain normal function. Deficiencies in other nutrients such as vitamin B and protein are thought to contribute to hair loss as well.
* Medication – we all know chemotherapy can lead to hair loss but lots of other drugs can also make your hair fall out. These include anti-thyroid medications, hormonal therapies and anti-convulsants (for epilepsy).
* Trichotillomania – this is an obsessive compulsive disorder in which sufferers rip out their hair.

What do you recommend a man suffering from hair loss to do?

It really depends how bad his male pattern baldness is. Take Prince Harry for example. He is showing the early stages of male pattern baldness – particularly around his crown. He has a strong baldness gene and if he allows this hair loss to carry on without treatment he will eventually suffer from significant hair loss – just like his brother (Prince William), his father (Prince Charles) and his grandfather (Prince Philip).
One thing men losing their hair shouldn’t do is nothing if they are interested in keeping their hair. Once it starts falling out, it is likely to continue.

Are there are any tips or advice you can share to help or reassure men suffering from hair loss?

My main advice to men losing their hair is don’t be down-hearted. Around half the middle-aged male population suffer from hair loss.
There are ways you can halt this hair loss – through a transplant or by taking clinically proven medication.
A transplant offers a permanent solution to the problem. The transplanted hair is permanent and should last a patient for the rest of his life.
Look at my patient Calum Best, who has had three hair transplants at Crown Clinic. He would be almost almost completely bald on the top of his scalp if he had not taken action.
But Calum has completely restored his lost hair and, aged 35, is able to maintain a successful career as a model.
Calum didn’t get down-hearted; he took action and was able to completely change his life.

How much is your hair loss solution, what does it involve and how much is it?

We offer two types of hair transplant at Crown Clinic.
FUT (follicular unit transplantation), or strip harvesting, involves surgically removing a strip of skin from the back or side of the scalp to obtain the donor hair which is then replanted in the balding areas – typically the hairline, temples, mid-scalp and crown. FUT prices start around £6,000. Well-known FUT patients include the TV doctor Christian Jessen who has had two FUT procedures at Crown Clinic. The main drawback from this procedure is that the removal of the strip of skin can leave scarring on the scalp. It is not advisable for men who like to wear their hair short.
FUE (follicular unit extraction) – around 80% of Crown Clinics clients use this method, favoured by celebrities such as Crown Clinic patient Calum Best and Wayne Rooney. With FUE, hair grafts are removed individually from the donor area, leaving small red dotted scars immediately after the operation which normally go away after a few days. These grafts are then replanted in the balding areas. The main drawback for this method is that it is a time-consuming, involving grafts being removed one-by-one rather than en masse in a strip. For that reason it is more expensive than FUT – with prices starting at around £6,000 (the cost goes up according to how many grafts a patient has).

How often would your patient need to keep coming back to you to keep the hair loss at bay?

This obviously depends on the patient. Most of my patients see me only once.

Do you have anything else you might want to share?

Studies consistently show that male pattern baldness is men’s chief worry about their appearance. Men with a full head of hair tend to earn more than those who are bald. They feel younger and more confident and this impacts positively on their relationships both at home and in business.
Men think nothing of spending £6,000-£10,000 on upgrading their car but are sometimes reluctant to make a similar investment in their appearance. It is a false economy. Men who invest in a hair transplant know that it is money very well spent.

Dr Shahmalak’s clients include the TV doctor Christian Jessen, the model Calum Best and the former footballer Didi Hamann. He is the hair loss expert on the Channel 4 medical show Embarrassing Bodies.

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.