Woman has eyelash transplant to aid medical science at FUE Europe conference at Crown Clinic

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A woman has undergone an eyelash transplant to aid medical science at the FUE Europe conference at Crown Clinic. 

Itinder Kaur was filmed as surgeons Asim Shahmalak and Parsa Mohebi performed the unusual procedure.

Itinder, 30, permanently damaged the eyelashes in her right eye after a night out with friends five years ago.

She fell on some gravel and a quarter of the eyelashes right in the centre of her upper right eyelid were ripped out when a well-meaning friend tried to pick her up but accidentally dragged her face down across the stones.

Itinder had 16 new eyelashes transplanted into the gap from hair extracted from the back of her scalp.

Footage of the operation was beamed to a giant screen in a conference suite where dozens of surgeons from around the world watched and were taught how to perform the intricate procedure.

Only a handful of surgeons in the world can currently perform eyelash transplants which have been used by Dr Shahmalak to help women horrifically scarred by acid attacks in Pakistan.

Itinder said: “I am thrilled to have my eyelashes back. It will be a few months before they grow back properly but then I will have lovely lashes right across my upper eyelid again.

“I cannot thank the doctors enough and I hope lots of new surgeons will start carrying out the procedure so that more people can benefit.”

Dr Shahmalak agreed to do the £4,000 operation for free at the FUE Europe conference in Manchester because he was keen for other surgeons to benefit from his knowledge – particularly in countries such as Pakistan where acid attacks are rife.

Because head hair is transplanted, it will need to be curled and trimmed so that it blends seamlessly with her remaining natural eyelashes.

Itinder, an associate director at the Tech Research Company, said she did not blame her friend for her injury.

She said: “It was very unfortunate accident.

“I ended up splitting my eyelid after a fall when I was out on a night out with friends and one of them tried to pick me up.

“I had an immediate operation to repair the damage. They stitched up my eyelid but a few days later the stitches fell out and I need further surgery.

“Because of the trauma to the eyelid, blood stopped flowing to the central area and I lost around 25% of my eyelash cover in my right eye.

“Before the accident, I had always had gorgeous long eyelashes and people used to say that I had beautiful eyes. I was very proud of them.

“Obviously it was very upsetting to suddenly have this gap in my eyelash cover. Your eyes are such a crucial part of your overall beauty.

“I would cover it up by wearing eyeliner when I was on a night out but I was always aware of the problem. I chose not to wear glued on false eyelashes.

“I am so glad that I have now found a permanent solution to the problem.”

Dr Shahmalak was the first surgeon in the UK to carry out an eyelash transplant – on a woman from Greater Manchester in 2009.

It can benefit patients who have permanently lost their eyelashes in accidents as well as people with the psychological condition trichotillomania where sufferers rip out their body hair.

Lots of women have damaged their eyelashes through the misuse of glued-on false eyelashes and others have naturally thin eyelashes and want to mimic the look of celebrities with Megan Fox and Kim Kardashian, famous for their long, thick eyelashes.

Dr Shahmalak said: “Along with Parsa Mohebi, I was delighted to be able to teach so many news surgeons this usual technique so that thousands more people benefit from the procedure.

“I have travelled to Pakistan many times to help the victims of acid attacks and it has been some of the most rewarding work I have ever done as a surgeon.

“I am so thankful to Itinder for agreeing to be filmed. The operation went very well and Itinder’s eyelashes should be fully restored in the next six months.

Dr Shahmalak is known as the surgeon to the stars because of his work at Crown Clinic with celebrity hair transplant patients such as Jack P Shepherd, who plays David Platt in Coronation Street, former footballer Didi Hamann and Homes Under The Hammer star Martin Roberts.

He has conducted several mercy missions to his native Pakistan, providing free eyelash, eyebrow and hair transplants to women attacked with acid.

His patients included beauty parlour worker Kanwal Ashar, 24, from Karachi, who was given a free eyebrow transplant by Dr Shahmalak. She was doused with acid by a man whose marriage proposal she rejected.

Dr Shahmalak, who lives in Cheadle with his GP wife Rubina, said: “It is nice to give something back and help these women who have been left with such horrific injuries that you want to weep.

“I was delighted that my colleague from Pakistan, Dr Mohammad Humayun Mohmand, was in the audience and will be able to learn how to perform the eyelash operation, too.”

Hair transplant surgeons from around the world travelled to Manchester for the three-day conference at Crown Clinic and the Radisson Blu hotel to learn new techniques in FUE (follicular unit extraction) hair transplants.

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.