David Beckham’s male pattern baldness and signs he may have had a hair transplant

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Britain's leading hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak said that David Beckham was showing clear signs of having a hair transplant and he would have done it to protect the earning power of Brand Beckham.
Dr Shahmalak, from Crown Clinic in Manchester, said: “If you look at the pictures of David Beckham in Miami he is showing fairly advanced signs of male pattern baldness in his mid scalp and towards the crown and the back of his head.
“However, if you look at the front of his hairline, there is greater density there.
“This could be a trick of the light or it could be the signs that David Beckham has had a hair transplant because the darker appearance of his hair at the front is where the transplanted hair would have been planted.
“Men having their first hair transplant typically address the front of the hairline first where the balding is most clearly visible.
“They will have up to 2,000 grafts (around 3,000 individual hairs) taken from the back and sides of the scalp and then replanted in the balding area.
“In this way, they can cover up their bald spots and keep a full hairline.
“When male pattern baldness is fairly advanced, as it is in Beckham's case, you cannot cover the whole of the scalp in one procedure.
“Patients come back for a second or even third procedure to provide further hair cover towards the back in the scalp.
“This is what happened with my celebrity hair transplant client Calum Best who has had three hair transplants at Crown Clinic.”
Dr Shahmalak said that lots of footballers and ex-footballers seek hair transplants to protect their image rights.
He said: “These are worth millions to leading sports stars. Big brands like Nike or Adidas don't want to sign up stars who are bald. They want stars who have great hair and look young and fresh.
“If Beckham has had a hair transplant he has made a very clever move to protect the earning power of Brand Beckham.”
Dr Shahmalak said that Beckham has a strong family baldness gene through his father Ted who has lost most of his hair.
He said: “It is a myth that the baldness gene only runs through the mother's side of the family – both sides are equally important.
“The overwhelming cause of male pattern baldness is family history – if your father is bald, chances you will be, too.
“So Beckham's hair loss is entirely to be expected, particularly at his age of 43.
“He will continue to lose his hair throughout his 40s and the only long-term permanent solution to hair loss is a hair transplant.”
Dr Shahmalak said that most celebrities choose the modern FUE (follicular unit extraction) method, used by Wayne Rooney and Calum Best. This is where the follicles are removed individually from the back and side of the scalp rather than cut in a single strip as in the more traditional method, FUT (follicular unit transplantation).
Dr Shahmalak said that Beckham's close friend Gordon Ramsay had had at least two FUE transplants and had been pictured previously recovering from the procedures.
Dr Shahmalak said: “Ramsay got a fantastic result and really bolstered the front of his hairline with at least two hair transplants. It is entirely possible that he has recommended his surgeon to Beckham and urged him to do the same. We cannot say for certain because Beckham has not commented on any procedure.”
Dr Shahmalak is known as the surgeon to the stars because of his work with a number of high profile patients.
As well as Calum Best, he has provided hair transplants to former footballer Didi Hamann, Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts and Gogglebox star Chris Butland-Steed who all had the FUE method used by Rooney. Dr Shahmalak has also operated on the TV doctor Christian Jessen, who opted for the traditional FUT method.
Dr Shahmalak operates on leading Premiership footballers all the time who prefer to remain anonymous.
He said: “They come to me in the summer break when they have several weeks off and have a hair transplant. It takes up to a year for the new hair to fully grow back. I have even had players who have had a procedure while they have been out injured during the season.”

David Beckham pictured recently in Miami

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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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.

However you are spending your summer, if you have any questions or queries about your hair, take a look at our hair advice or give our team a call.

Over the past few months, there have been a significant number of reports in the news of people experiencing hair loss after being diagnosed with COVID-19. As a result, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed hair loss as a possible long-term effect of the illness, along with symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness and joint pain. 

A study published by the medical journal The Lancet reported that 22% of the patients it had observed suffered from some degree of hair loss six months after falling ill, with women being more affected than men. 


Why does COVID-19 cause hair loss? 


Although there are several studies linking coronavirus and hair loss, many of the reports we hear about are anecdotal – at the moment, it’s too soon for scientists to officially establish a link between the two. 

However, the type of hair loss that COVID-19 sufferers are reporting seems to be consistent with telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium occurs when more hairs than usual suddenly enter the shedding phase of the hair growth cycle at once, causing a more noticeable amount of hair to shed at once. It’s normal to lose up to 150 hairs per day, but if you spot that you’re losing much more than that – such as clumps coming out when you’re brushing or washing your hair – it could be telogen effluvium. 

Due to the length of the hair cycle, telogen effluvium typically occurs two or three months after a period of significant stress, which can include illnesses such as COVID-19. When undergoing stressful situations, the body puts all its resources into maintaining essential functions only – which, unsurprisingly, does not include hair growth. As a result, you end up with hair loss. 

However, several other conditions can cause hair loss – such as thyroid issues or nutritional deficiencies – so if you are concerned, visit your GP, who can rule out other underlying causes with a simple blood test. 


Will my hair grow back after having COVID? 


If the hair loss is the result of telogen effluvium, most people will find that the hair will eventually grow back without the need for treatment. Typically, once the trigger or stressor is removed, the hair will grow back on its own. 

If you notice that the hair loss is persisting, there are a number of medical, cosmetic and hair transplant treatments available to help – Crown Clinic offers a range of options to support those struggling with hair loss, so don’t hesitate to get in touch

When performed by a qualified, experienced hair transplant surgeon, hair transplants are a very safe procedure. Hair restoration is a minimally invasive treatment that allows patients to return home the same day, with the procedure only requiring local anaesthetic. 

However, if you undergo a hair transplant abroad – such as in Turkey – the risk attached is much higher. 


Risks of hair transplants in Turkey 


It’s no secret that undergoing hair transplant surgery in countries such as Turkey is a gamble. Every year, countless patients are reeled in by the low prices and package deals offered by overseas clinics. Many of the clinics boast ‘five-star’ ratings and an active social media presence, duping unsuspecting patients into thinking they are visiting a reputable clinic. Although, when you dig a little deeper, you may discover the reviews are faked and the ‘after’ pictures are heavily edited or taken from other clinics. 

Another trick that patients fall for is believing that a surgeon will be carrying out the procedure, as many of the clinics advertise that a surgeon leads them to convince patients that they are legitimate. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean a surgeon will be carrying out the hair transplant itself. In fact, many clinics hire under-qualified technicians with little training to keep the costs down, only seeking the supervision of a surgeon if the procedure goes wrong. 

Over the years, Crown Clinic has fixed countless botched hair transplants, mainly from overseas clinics. The most common problems that we see are unnatural-looking hairlines and unsightly scarring as the result of the surgery being carried out by unlicensed practitioners. Other risks are infections, as sanitation is often extremely poor at the clinics and damage to the scalp due to the result of the incorrect tools being used to carry out the surgery. 


Are there any side effects to having a hair transplant? 


If you choose to have a hair transplant in the UK with a reputable surgeon, side effects will be minimal. The hygiene standards will be incredibly high, meaning the risk of infection is negligible, and you will be given clear instructions on how to take care of your scalp after the procedure. Crown Clinic has an excellent aftercare service, offering a day-by-day guide to ensure optimum healing and results.  

Unlike at overseas clinics, where it can be impossible to follow up after the procedure to discuss any concerns related to your hair transplant, Crown Clinic is more than happy to answer any questions you may have during this phase.