What Makes A Good Hair Transplant Surgeon

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It can be challenging to identify an excellent and skilled hair transplant surgeon to a dodgy and reckless one. Unfortunately, there are still too many people getting caught out by inexperienced surgeons, particularly within the hair loss industry, leaving patients feeling more anxious and having to spend more to rectify the careless mistakes. Fortunately, you won’t get this treatment at Crown Clinic.  

Crown Clinic is one of the most renowned hair restoration clinics in the UK. Not only do we have an excellent and endorsed reputation, but we also one of the leading hair transplant surgeons in the world – Dr Shahmalak. Recognised for his pioneering techniques, regular media appearances and global charity work, Dr Shahmalak has opened up a door to allow those suffering from hair loss to speak up, not feel embarrassed and get the treatment they deserve.  

Dr Shahmalak understands the anxiety that hair loss can have and has the rare ability to transform this empathy and ground-breaking techniques into his hair transplant surgeries. The results speak for themselves. 

While Crown Clinic is in a fortunate position, many hair transplant clinics in the UK don’t have the same accreditations and reputation. 


Tips for Choosing the Right Hair Surgeon


When considering hair transplant surgery or other private surgical treatments, you must do your research first and seek advice. Sadly, cosmetic procedures are sometimes overlooked and unregulated, which is why you must research your options first and speak with medical professionals. 

Healthcare professionals can often recommend a reputable and skilled surgeon, so it’s worth asking around.


Qualifications and Terminology 


The most important factor when considering which hair transplant clinic to book with is the qualifications and the type of terminology they use. 

The physician should be able to provide you with their education, training, and qualifications. If they cannot disclose this with you, go no further.  

The British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (BAHRS) was founded in 1996 and published a Constitution to ‘promote the understanding and reputation of hair restoration surgery in the United Kingdom’. 

When it comes to a hair transplant, there are terminology misconceptions that should be avoided by both patients and surgeons. These include: 

  • Cosmetic Surgeon 
  • Cosmetic Doctor 
  • Cosmetic Physician 

While it’s common to refer to hair restoration surgery with a cosmetic procedure, it’s not the current terminology to use for the hair loss industry. 

BAHRS promotes the usage of ‘hair transplant surgeon’ as oppose to ‘hair transplant doctor’ to its practitioners.  

When researching clinics and surgeons, consider the terminology being used both in communication and in other content materials that are being advertised.


Face-to-Face Consultations 


While most hair loss clinics provide a consultation service, make sure it’s face-to-face and not over the phone. Having a face-to-face consultation allows you to meet the surgeon and build a rapport. If you don’t feel comfortable with the surgeon after your meeting, then you’re unlikely to have confidence in having your hair transplant done at that clinic, and you might save yourself from having a bad experience. The same applies to clinics who don’t offer face-to-face appointments.  

Here are some questions to ask the clinician during your consultation: 

  • Do you dissect grafts using a stereo-microscope? 
  • Are all the technicians experienced with using this type of equipment? 
  • Do you work with a single-bladed knife to extract from the donor area? 

Fortunately, Crown Clinic offers face-to-face consultations to discuss the best form of treatment, as well as allow you to meet the surgeon and ask any concerning questions. Contact us today to book your hair loss consultation.


Hair Loss Results 


Always ask to see past-results and patient testimonials if possible – taking into consideration patient confidentiality. If you’re able to see past and most recent results, you’ll get more of an understanding of the surgeon’s skill set and experience.  

When viewing hair restoration images, check the legitimacy of the before and after shots. Different lighting, angles, and locations in the photos are a big giveaway to determine a legit and fake result. 

If you’re unsure on the legitimacy of the photographs or testimonials, don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek a second opinion. 

Crown Clinic has built an excellent reputation and regularly welcomes celebrities through our doors, as well as being open to answering any questions. You can view our image gallery and hair transplant case studies on our website.  


Hair Transplant Cost 

Hair transplant surgery varies in cost, but sometimes, if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is. This is a critical factor to consider for having the procedure done abroad, especially if it turns into a holiday package that includes, flights and hotel. 

Hair transplants in the UK and overseas are expensive, but due to the specialist skillset that is required, they shouldn’t be cheap.  

Some clinics will cut corners and use trainee technicians rather than fully qualified hair restoration surgeons. During the procedure, a doctor will oversee the trainees, which is exceptionally dangerous, and any mistakes made can lead to long-term damage. If you’re told trainees will undertake the surgery, or you sense that a qualified clinician won’t be performing the surgery, go elsewhere, as not only is it dangerous, but you’ll also lose a substantial amount of money. 


Dr Shahmalak – The UK’s Leading Hair Transplant Surgeon 


With an illustrious career in general surgery, Dr Shahmalak was already an established and well-thought-out individual within the medical industry.  

His career began in 1990 following the completion of his initial training, Dr Shahmalak moved to the Republic of Ireland to become a Senior House Officer in General Surgery. He later became a Specialist Registrar in general surgery. In 1995, Dr Shahmalak became a member of the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) and moved to the UK in 1996 to become a general surgeon in the NHS with a career spanning 15 years. 

Following his 15-year career as a reputable NHS general surgeon, Dr Shahmalak began his career as a private hair transplant physician in 2005, before establishing the most recognised hair restoration clinic in the UK in 2007 – Crown Clinic. 

Today, Dr Shahmalak is undoubtedly the most established and leading hair transplant surgeon in the UK, who takes pride in the work that he does, working to an exceptionally high standard.  

Click here to learn more about Dr Shahmalak or book in a consultation with him by calling us on 0345 2 100 300. 


The above are all critical factors to take into consideration when selecting a genuine hair restoration clinic and surgeon to an illegitimate one. If you’ve been a victim of a bad hair restoration procedure, Crown Clinic also specialises in hair transplant repairs. Get in touch with us today for more information. 

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.