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Six questions you need to ask before having a hair transplant

Having a hair transplant is a big decision and not one anyone should take lightly. A good procedure can transform a patient’s life – improving their appearance, self confidence and even earning power.

There are six key questions anyone should answer before taking the plunge and booking a procedure.

1 Choice of surgeon

This is the most important decision you will make. The right surgeon can make a huge difference to the appearance of your new hair. There are a few small steps you can take to ensure that you pick the right surgeon. The most important consideration is actually meeting your surgeon face-to-face at the first consultation so you can properly plan what procedure is right for you. Lots of clinics in the UK and abroad have sales people as their first points of contact who are more interested in simply booking a fresh procedure than they are in the client’s welfare. These types of clinics are to be avoided. Look for surgeon-run clinics such as Crown Clinic where all your needs will be addressed by the surgeon such as our consultant surgeon Asim Shahmalak from day one. You should check the clinic’s website for testimonials – multiple, positive recent testimonials are a good sign that you are in good hands. Remember that all UK clinics are regulated by the Care Quality Commission – they can be closed down immediately if they do not meet stringent standards of care. Foreign clinics, particulary those in Turkey, do not face such vigorous regulation. Finally, you should look to see if you are surgeon is affialiated to a recognised medical body such as the BAHRS (British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery).

2 Type of procedure

There are two types of hair transplant procedure carried out by most clinics in the UK. The most popular is FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction), chosen by 80% of patients at Crown Clinic. This is where individual follicles are removed from the donor area on the back and sides of the scalp and replanted in the balding areas. The real skill in hair transplant surgery comes in this replanting. This is where the surgeon really shows their skill by blending the transplanted hair alongside the remaining natural hair for a really natural look. FUE has really grown in popularity in the last five years thanks to high profile celebrity hair transplant cases such as Calum Best from Crown Clinic, Wayne Rooney and other Crown Clinic celebrity patient such as Gogglebox star Chris Steed, soccer star Didi Hamann and Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts. A key advantage of FUE is the post-operative scarring is almost invisible. Patients are left with red pin pricks in the donor area and where the new hair is transplanted but these go away after a few weeks.

The second most popular form of hair transplantation is FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation), also known as strip surgery. This is where a strip of skin is surgically removed from the back or side of the scalp to obtain the donor hair and then extracted from the skin under the microscope. The advantage of this method is all the donor hair is taken in one go.  It is less time consuming than FUE and therefore more affordable. Some research suggests that more follicles survive this kind of extraction than under FUE. High profile FUE Crown Clinic patients include the TV doctor Christian Jessen. The disadvantage of this method is the scarring from the removal of the strip is more noticeable than under FUE. If you wear your hair reasonably long like Christian the scar is not visible but FUT is not advisable to patients who like to wear their hair shaved or short.

3 Should I go abroad for a treatment?

You may well have seen that hair transplant procedures are cheaper in countries such as Turkey. But do you really want to take a risk on such an important decision on what could be a completely unregulated clinic. The main drawback of going abroad for a procedure is that patients have almost no recourse if the procedure goes wrong or they don’t get the result they desired. Do you really want to start legal proceedings in a Turkish court and would you have the first idea about what to do? If you need further care from the surgeon, you will need to fly thousands of miles for a remedy which again may not work. It may be a little more expensive to have treatment in the UK but it is money very well spent.

4 Are there drugs I can take to improve my chances of keeping my natural hair?

Yes, there are. At Crown Clinic, our surgeon Asim Shahmalak prescribes two drugs which are clinically proven to halt or at least slow down hair loss in most patients. Dr Shahmalak often recommends using one of these drugs, Finasteride, in conjuction with a hair transplant procedure. Hair loss is a continual process but the use of Finasteride can completely halt or slow down the loss of natural hair. All the new transplanted hair is permant and should last the patient for the rest of their lives. However, they are in danger of losing more of their natural hair and that is why Finasteride (also known as Propecia) is necessary. Another drug Dr Shahmalak prescribes is Minoxidil, also clinically proven to combat pattern baldness. This is often applied as a mousse.

5 Will I need to take time off after my hair transplant procedure?

Most patients at Crown Clinic are in and out in a day. The procedure starts first thing in the morning and they can go home at the end of the working day – either with a lift from a friend or relative or by train or plane. We are handily placed right by Manchester Airport and its railway station and we don’t recommend that patients drive themselves home after a procedure because they could still be feely groggy from the anaesthetic. We recommend that patients take a week off work after a procedure. This allows for the scarring to go down and means they can maintain an optimum environment while the new hair beds in. You should sleep slightlyupright in the first few days after a procedure to protect the new hair. Patients should avoid using a pullover which can dislodge the transplanted hair – wearing a button up shirt instead. Vigorous exercise such as going to the gym should be avoided for the first week. But other than that patients can live their lives normally.

6 Will I need more than one hair transplant?

No two patients are the same. A high profile celebrity patient such as Wayne Rooney, who first experienced male pattern baldness in his late teens and whose has a strong family history of hair loss (his father is almost completely bald) was always going to need more than one procedure after having his first hair transplant at 25. There is some research to suggest that a drug such as Finasteride may make a footballer like Wayne less aggressive on the pitch – so that may have put him off combining his procedures with a medical remedy.

If your hair loss happens at a more advanced age – in your 40s or 50s or even 60s – there is every chance that one procedure will be sufficient. The way to help ensure that you do not need further treatment is by taking the clinically proven medical remedies. Most patients at Crown Clinic are happy with a single procedure.

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.