Why more men are turning to hair transplant surgery

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More men are turning to hair transplantation surgery to restore their thinning hair – and the procedures work just as well for women, too.

Over the last five years, we have seen a 25% rise in bookings at Crown Clinic with many men copying their favourite celebrities such as Wayne Rooney and Calum Best in

seeking help with their hair.

This trend has continued over the last few years with more male celebrities being honest about their procedures including Robbie Williams and Crown Clinic patients such as 

the former international footballer Didi Hamann and the TV presenter Martin Roberts.

Another factor driving the growth in popularity for hair transplantation has been improvements in the technology over the last decade.

At Crown Clinic around 80% of our consultant hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak's patients now opt for the more modern FUE (follicular unit extraction) technique.

This is where the donor hair is extracted individually. Patients have some red pin pricks scarring from where the donor hair is extracted and replanted to restore the balding areas, but these

go away after a few weeks. Most of the celebrities you see with hair transplants have opted for FUE.

Some patients are put off having FUE by reports that they have to shave all of their head to obtain the donor hair. This is not the case at Crown Clinic where our surgeon

Dr Shahmalak has developed a long haired FUE technique which allows patients to avoid a full shave. We shave only a very small section of the back or side of the scalp to obtain the

donor hair. The shaved section is either in a square shape or, more likely, in small lines down the back of the scalp. An upper layer of hair is lifted and then we shave underneath,

allowing the hair above to fall over the shaved area – covering it up. The shaved area is only really detectable to those who know you have had a transplant, and obviously

the hair in the shaved area grows back quickly.

Around 20% of Crown Clinic patients still use the traditional form of hair transplantation, FUT (follicular unit transplantation), also known as strip surgery.

With FUT a strip of skin is removed from the back of side or the scalp to obtain the donor hair. This leaves a scar on the scalp which is not visible if you like to wear your hair long.

The TV doctor Christian Jessen has had two FUT transplants with Dr Shahmalak.

Patients can see the outline of their new hairline immediately following treatment and the hair will start to grow right away. However, it is normal for some of the new hair to shed

a few weeks after treatment before growing back. Hair growth comes progressively, with a good indication of the final look being seen after five to six

months. The full results are achieved after approximately a year.

Hair transplantation for women 

Both FUE and FUT are available for women, with FUE the most popular option. According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, of which Dr Shahmalak is a member,

over half of women undergoing hair restoration surgery are aged 30 to 49 – similar to men. Genetics are the most common cause of hair loss, so patients are encouraged

to manage their expectations.

Hair transplanted from the back and sides of the head has no genetic predisposition to fall out, so it will last a lifetime. However, grafts will not stop the progression of hereditary

hair loss and gaps may form on the head. These may need to be repaired through additional surgery, meaning some patients may require more than one procedure in their lifetime.

Crown Clinic patient Calum Best has had three hair transplants with Dr Shahmalak. He said the results have been 'life changing' and

 the boost to his self-esteem has been 'immeasurable.'

Three important tips

1 Hair transplants are considered non-essential so they are not usually available on the NHS. However, your GP might be the place to start your research and enquiries. They can offer

guidance and advice and may be able to refer you to a practitioner who specialises in the field.

2 Finding the right surgeon for your type of procedure is crucial to success. Check that the hospital or clinic you are considering is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC),

which regulates cosmetic treatments that involve surgical procedures.

3 For further information on hair loss treatment and restoration, visit the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery’s website, ishrs.org.

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.