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Hair Transplant
Learn Hub

If you're considering a hair transplant or other similar treatment, this learn hub is the place to find the information you need, allowing you to make a more informed decision about your hair.

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Coping with hair loss

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.

Both in the UK and throughout the rest of the world, cowboy hair transplant surgeons are risking the health of those suffering from hair loss in search of quick profit. Over the past few years, the number of patients who have been left with botched hair transplants from unregulated clinics has soared.

The popularity of hair transplant can be attributed largely to celebrities such as Wayne Rooney and Rafael Nadal undergoing the procedure, but also the pressures of social media creating new beauty standards. This demand has, unfortunately, lead to an increase in illicit clinics cutting corners to offer procedures at discounted prices.

This is concerning for a number of reasons. Hair transplants are a serious medical procedure that must be performed by skilled, qualified and experienced surgeons – however, a shocking number of clinics allow technicians with no medical background to carry them out. A poorly performed hair transplant can lead to long-term or even permanent damage and may cost thousands of pounds to remedy.

If you’re considering hair transplant surgery, you must undertake research and understand the warning signs that malpractice is at play – here are some of the common signs to look for if you suspect a surgeon or hair transplant clinic is illegitimate.

The cost of a hair transplant

Is it too good to be true? To put it plainly, hair transplants are not cheap, and for good reason. They require intricate surgery to be performed by a highly trained medical professional using state-of-the-art equipment.

One of the ways illegal clinics cut corners is to use trainee technicians rather than qualified surgeons. Often a group of up to 12 ‘technicians’ will be overseen by a single doctor, which is highly dangerous. Your scalp is not something that you should entrust to somebody who is not appropriately trained, as the potential for significant damage is high.

Qualifications

Anybody that performs a hair transplant should be qualified. An inability to prove a high level of education and training should be treated as suspect. Don’t be afraid to ask the medical credentials of whoever will be carrying out your surgery – any respectable clinic will be happy to provide these.

Before and after photographs

When examining before and after photographs, look for consistencies not only in the work being performed but the location, lighting and camera work. Trust your gut when looking through the gallery – if you feel as if something doesn’t add up, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions.

Testimonials and reviews

As well as before and after photographs, ask for testimonials. This is not an unusual request. Many clinics are happy for you to speak to their former patients about their hair transplant experience. It’s also worth looking at reviews for the clinic, either on Google or on a third-party site such as Trustpilot if they have it.

An introduction to Dr Shahmalak, Head Surgeon at Crown Clinic

Dr Shahmalak opened Crown Clinic in 2007 after completing an exemplary career in general surgery. His reputation is one of a responsible, skilled and an experienced medical professional.

Upon finishing his initial training in 1990, he relocated to Ireland work as a Senior House Officer in General Surgery. He was later promoted to the position of Specialist Registrar in general surgery.

In 1995, he became a member of the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), and in 1996 he moved to the UK where he worked as a general surgeon within the NHS for 15 years.

In 2005, he began working privately as a hair transplant surgeon. Today he is a leading consultant, working to an exceptionally high standard. His procedures involve the use of 8x magnification and can include the extraction of up to 3,000 grafts per session.

If you would like to arrange a consultation with Dr Shahmalak or find out more about his skills and experience as a hair transplant surgeon, get in touch with Crown Clinic.

Veganuary has been quickly gaining popularity over the last few years, helping to spread the message around veganism and its benefits.

The charity encourages those who have not yet tried a vegan diet, to put the animal products to one side and try to live life as a vegan for one whole month. So, whether you’re just going meat-free for January or switching to a permanently plant-based diet, there’s a chance it could have an impact on your hair – here’s how to help.

My hair is falling out since going vegan

Some people have reported that a lack of animal protein in their diet since going vegan has accelerated or even kick-started hair loss.

The hair loss noticed by these individuals is most likely caused by a nutritional deficiency, causing hair to fall out prematurely. When changing diet, many of us fail to do the proper research and planning to ensure we are still getting all the vitamins and minerals that we need. As a result, there can be adverse effects to our health.

It is completely possible to get everything you need from plant-based foods and have a balanced vegan diet, but it may mean that you have to have a varied mix of different grains, pulses, beans and vegetables. You may also have to eat more than you would normally, as plant-based foods can be significantly lower in calories.

How to go vegan and stay healthy

In spite of this, don’t be put off by the extra legwork included in switching to a vegan diet – for many people, it’s totally worth it. There are plenty of things you can do to make sure you get everything you need, without spending hours planning your meals or spending a fortune buying health food products!

Take vegan specific supplements

Many vegans will take vegan specific supplements, that help to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need. However, it should be stressed that these should be taken in conjunction with a balanced wholesome diet, they are not a substitute for a poor diet. Vitamin B12 is a common deficiency amongst those on a plant-based diet, as it is primarily found in animal products – as is Vitamin D, another vitamin that many vegans are lacking.

Hire a nutritionist short-term

If you are serious about sticking to a vegan diet, it could be worth seeking expert advice. There are plenty of freelance nutritionists out there that can help you create an easy to follow a vegan diet plan and educate you properly on how to stay healthy.

Although it may seem like an unnecessary cost, hiring a professional to help you navigate the world of veganism can help you to identify the best foods to eat to maintain your health. Your health is an important investment, after all.

Identify vegan sources of protein

Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, so making sure you have enough protein in your diet is key to healthy hair. Thankfully, there are plenty of vegan sources of protein – beans, peas, tempeh and tofu are all packed full of protein, to name but a few sources. Make sure to incorporate a mix of vegan proteins into your diet to get everything you need.

What to do if you suffer severe hair loss

If you are noticing significant hair loss, make sure to visit your GP to check for any deficiencies that could be causing it and rule out any other underlying conditions.

Crown Clinic is always happy to discuss your concerns around hair loss and help you to find a solution that suits you – get in touch with the clinic.

Hair Transplant Surgery

One question we hear a lot from our patients is if they can go on holiday after their hair transplant. As looking overseas for cut-price transplants has become more popular in recent years, many clinics try to reel in potential patients with the promise of sun, sea and sand straight after their surgery.
However, if you have had an FUE or FUT hair transplant, good aftercare is crucial to ensure that you get the best results from your surgery and, surprisingly, the sun and sea can do more harm than good if you don’t follow the necessary precautions.

Can I sunbathe following a hair transplant?

Unfortunately for any sun-seekers out there, we advise against sunbathing for the first few weeks after a hair transplant, for several reasons.
After an FUE or FUT hair transplant, your scalp will have surgical incisions that need time to heal. Exposing the incisions to sunlight can hinder the healing process and damage the deeper layers of the scalp tissue, potentially leading to scarring and damaged follicles.

Your scalp also may feel slightly numb after your surgery, meaning that if your scalp starts to burn under the sun’s harmful rays, you might not notice in time to protect yourself from sunburn. Although it is unlikely to impact the long-term results of your surgery, it can be painful and slow down the recovery process.

If you must sit in the sun, wear a loose sun hat that doesn’t rub against your scalp too much, and, once the incisions have healed, use sunscreen on your scalp to protect your skin.

Will sweating affect my hair transplant?

If you are planning on jetting off to sunnier climes, the hot weather will also cause you to sweat more. Just after a hair transplant, your scalp is more sensitive than usual, so perspiration can irritate the scalp and hair follicles. Sweating can cause a build-up of bacteria on the skin, potentially leading to infections.
To help keep cool, make sure you stay in the shade whenever possible and avoid any strenuous activities that can lead to increased perspiration, such as running, for around a week after your surgery.

Keeping your scalp clean can lower your risk of infection, so you can start washing your hair again 48 hours after your transplant, using lukewarm water and being careful not to rub your scalp. Steer clear of power showers for the first few days post-surgery, as the pressure of the water can cause irritation.

 

Get in touch with Crown Clinic to find out more about hair transplants

Can I go swimming after hair transplant surgery?

The first thing many of us want to do on our holidays is to take a dip in the pool, of course, people want to know if you can swim with a hair transplant. However, chlorine is notorious for drying out your hair, making it more brittle and fragile. To avoid any potential damage to your new grafts, wait until your scalp is healed before exposing it to unnecessary chemicals.

Salt water may be healing, but unfortunately, there is no way to be sure how clean the ocean is or what pollutants may be lurking in the water, so swimming in the sea during the healing process is also not advised. Everyone heals at different rates, but for the first two weeks post-surgery, it’s better to be too cautious!

Can I wear a hat after a hair transplant?

After a hair transplant, you need to treat your scalp and the hair carefully, so it is important to avoid any kind of tight-fitting cap until after the grafts have been taken properly. Most would recommend that you wait at least 10 days before wearing any fitted caps or hats.

If being in the sun is unavoidable after your transplant, wear a loose sun hat or fishing hat that won’t rub against your scalp to allow the incisions to heal properly. If you have any concerns, make sure to contact us directly and talk about it when proper aftercare is discussed.

How long should I wait to go on holiday after my hair transplant?

Ultimately, it is at the patient’s discretion if they choose to go on holiday immediately after hair transplant surgery, but many of the indulgences that come with going abroad can potentially compromise the results of your hair transplant.

It may feel like an inconvenience when you would rather be sitting in the sun but following medical advice will give you the best chance to heal. Your new head of hair will be worth it!

To find out more about hair transplants and what your options are, get in touch with Crown Clinic to book your consultation with Dr Shahmalak.

After undergoing FUT or FUE hair transplant surgery, you may be eager to get back to your day-to-day life as soon as possible, but it’s important that you don’t rush into anything that may affect your recovery. Exercise is undoubtedly very important to our overall health, but in the short term, your post-surgical recovery should be your main priority.

Both FUE surgery (Follicular Unit Extraction) and FUT surgery (Follicular Unit Transplantation) involve hair follicles being taken from a donor area at the back of the scalp and transplanted to areas that have been affected by hair loss. After the surgery, the newly transplanted hair grafts will need to be looked after correctly to ensure that the scalp can heal – so how long should you wait before exercising after a hair transplant?

What are the risks of exercising after a hair transplant?

The reason why it’s recommended that you avoid exercise soon after surgery is to protect your new hair grafts and reduce the risk of infections, to help promote healthy hair growth. Some of the potential issues associated with exercising after a transplant include:

  • Sweating – Sweating is unlikely to affect the results of your hair transplant but after surgery, the scalp can be very sensitive, and sweating can cause irritation. It can also potentially lead to infections around the surgical sites.
  • Stretching – Some types of exercise, such as sit-ups, can stretch and strain the back of the neck. If you have undergone FUT surgery, this is a particular risk, as the scar on the donor site will still be healing. The stitches may tear, which can lead to bleeding.
  • Blood pressure – Strenuous exercise increases your heart rate which, in turn, will raise your blood pressure. Increased blood flow to the scalp can lead to swelling and potentially bleeding.
  • Head injury  – Contact sports, such as rugby or boxing, put patients at a higher risk of head injury, which can damage the hair follicles and have an adverse effect on the outcome of your hair transplant.

 

Get a free consultation from Crown Clinic

 

When can I start exercising again after hair transplant surgery?

If you have had FUE surgery, you should be able to resume exercise as normal after two weeks, but it’s better to err on the side of caution and ease yourself back into it gently. For those patients who have undergone FUT surgery, you should generally wait around a month before returning to your normal exercise routine.

In the first 1-3 days after surgery, exercise should be kept to an absolute minimum – if possible, you should even avoid walking anywhere. During those first few days post-transplant, you should allow yourself to take things easy.

After the first week or so, you can start to re-introduce gentle exercise, such as walking. For the time being, avoid any type of exercise that will raise your heart rate or cause sweating.

For contact sports and weight training, four weeks post-surgery will usually be an acceptable time to start participating again. You can also start swimming again around this point, as the scalp will have healed enough for the risk of infection to be reduced.

It’s worth noting that everyone heals at different rates, so although there are general guidelines on when you can start exercising again after your transplant, it’s different for everyone, so make sure to speak to your doctor to discuss what is best for you.

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. 

 

TV Appearances

Crown Clinic surgeon Dr Asim Shahmalak honoured by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. View the award here

Media Appearances
Our final report on the Manchester surgeon helping acid attack victims
Manchester surgeon explains why he was compelled to help acid attack victims
Video: Manchester Surgeon helps victims of acid attacks
Video: Manchester Surgeon helps victims of acid attacks

Hair Loss FAQs

Although the bald look may work for the likes of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and heavyweight hardman Tyson Fury, for many people, baldness can feel like a curse. 

For centuries, scientists around the world have searched for a cure, confident that they would stumble on a breakthrough discovery – but a miracle solution still evades them. It doesn’t mean there will never be a cure for hair loss, but for now, there are plenty of options for people who are struggling with it, from temporary solutions such as wigs and hair pieces, to hair loss medications and hair transplants

There are many causes behind hair loss, for both men and women. Hereditary hair loss, determined by our genes, is the most common cause of hair loss for all genders. Other common causes include ageing, Alopecia areata and hormonal imbalances. 

The short answer is yes, hair transplants really do work! The principle of hair transplants is the same as any other type of transplant – however, as the tissue is coming from your own scalp, it won’t be rejected. 

The hair is taken from a donor area at the back of the head, before the follicles are surgically implanted in the recipient site and maintained by the constant blood supply to the scalp. The hair will keep the same characteristics as the rest of the patient’s hair and will continue to grow – so it should be no surprise that around 50,000 people undergo hair restoration surgery every year. 

Proper aftercare is a very important part of the hair transplant process, so you must adhere to the instructions provided in your care plan to ensure optimum healing. Crown Clinic has a very detailed aftercare plan that gives you day-by-day instructions to make the process as easy as possible. 

In terms of hair growth, the donor hair should shed within around 14 – 28 days of the surgery, before the new hair growth commences after approximately 4 – 6 months. 

As with most minor surgery, hair transplant surgery can cause discomfort. However, it is conducted under local anaesthetic so the procedure is painless, and a minor sedative may also be issued. Patients can watch a film or read a book during their surgery – many patients actually find they are so relaxed that they fall asleep! 

The standard period of time is five days post-op, but this will be discussed with your consultant when planning your tailored aftercare plan. 

The initial outlay of a hair transplant is more expensive than other temporary solutions, but as it is permanent, it is much more cost-effective in the long run. We understand that it can be a significant sum to pay upfront, which is why Crown Clinic offers interest-free finance for hair transplant surgery. 

This depends on the patient’s specific hair type and requirements. At your hair transplant consultation, your hair density will be assessed along with the size of the restoration area to determine the number of grafts needed to create your ideal look.