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New Standards and Regulation of Hair Restoration Surgery

We operate to the very highest standards at Crown Clinic.

This means we regularly have to pass an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which examines all aspects of the care we provide.

Our consultant surgeon Asim Shahmalak is a member of medical bodies which have been set up to maintain the highest quality of care in hair transplantation surgery (HRS) and expose any clinics which do not meet these standards.

One of these bodies is the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (BAHRS),  of which Dr Shahmalak is proud to be a member.

Last month, the BAHRS announced it had contributed to the development of a CQC inspection guide on hair restoration surgery with the aim of promoting patient safety in the HRS field. The guide is said, by BAHRS President and hair transplant surgeon Dr Greg Williams, to provide CQC specialist advisors with clear guidance when inspecting clinics that provide HRS, to ensure they meet CQC standards.

By law, clinics offering surgical procedures must register with the CQC. Some time after registration, a CQC team, including specialist advisors, should inspect the clinic to ensure that it meets CQC standards. The new HRS guide aims to assist the specialist advisors, who are unlikely to have specific knowledge on professional areas such as HRS, to make a proper and valid assessment. According to Dr Williams, it will give the advisors a general description on the different types of hair restoration surgery procedures and the areas of patient care that need extra scrutiny.

Confusion over HRS registration

There has been recent confusion over whether all HRS clinics need to register with the CQC. The BAHRS and surgeons such as Crown Clinic’s Dr Shahmalak strongly believe that all HRS clinic should have to register. This is a fundamental safeguard for any patient planning HRS surgey.

Why has this confusion arisen?

Crown Clinic offers two types of hair transplantation procedure. The first is strip follicular unit transplantation (FUT), which involves an incision in the skin to obtain the donor hair for transplantation and is clearly surgery. Around 20% of patients at Crown Clinic have FUT. The second procedure is follicular unit extraction (FUE)– where the harvesting of the donor hair is achieved by extracting grafts with multiple small round punch incisions. Around 80% of patients at Crown Clinc have FUE procedures. Some practitioners claim that FUE is not surgery because it is less invasive than FUT. The BAHRS and Dr Shahmalak strongly dispute this point. With FUE, the total cross-sectional area of the round incisions is large and there is potential for significant bleeding and serious complications. The newly formed Cosmetic Practice Standards Authority (CPSA) has clearly acknowledged both techniques as Level 1b invasive surgical procedures.

Some hair transplant clincs are not registered with the CQC

This confusion has lead some practitioners to possibly put themselves at risk of breaching the law by not being registered with the CQC. “I believe that there are a large number of clinics offering HRS that are not CQC registered,” says Dr Williams. He explains: “Some practitioners may have misinterpreted the scope, some may have realised it was vague and therefore chosen to interpret it differently, and others may have been told they did not need to register.”

HRS now comes under the authority of the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP). The CQC has now recently clarified that all hair restoration surgery procedures are indeed ‘in scope’, and therefore all clinics offering these procedures must be registered with the CQC.

The BAHRS will report all clinics who are not registered with the CQC

The BAHRS will be reporting all clinics it is aware of that are offering HRS but are not registered. Once reported, it is up to the CQC to take steps to stop clinics operating until they are registered.

Dr Williams said: “Any service provider offering hair transplant surgery or prosthetic hair fibre implantation must be registered with the CQC. A service provider can be an individual, a partnership or an organisation [such as companies, charities, NHS trusts and local authorities]. A service provider, which is a subsidiary of another company that is CQC registered must still, itself, be registered.”

Future developments

Two new HRS standards are due to be released in early 2018 by the CPSA – one on hair transplant surgery and one on prosthetic hair fibre implantation. For practitioners who practice HRS, to be included on the JCCP register, they must meet the standards of the procedures they offer to patients.

Dr Williams, who has worked with the CPSA on these standards, explains: “We can certainly say at this stage, it is proposed that only GMC registered doctors should perform the surgical steps of hair transplantation procedures, which includes making FUE incisions to harvest donor hair, and that only GMC registered doctors who are also hair transplant surgeons should offer prosthetic hair fibre implantation.” The standards will also reiterate that both forms of HRS must be undertaken by CQC registered service providers.

However, Dr Williams says patients need to be made more aware of the dangers, “I think there needs to be wider public awareness campaigns about HRS, who can offer it, and the type of facility where it should be performed. I also believe patients and practitioners should not hesitate to report any clinics to the CQC that offer HRS and are not registered.” Dr Williams concludes, “If you are operating on patients in a non-CQC registered hair transplant clinic then you are operating illegally.”

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.