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Hair factor Louis' £30k transplant

13.12.2011 in HAIR TRANSPLANT SURGERY

X Factor judge Louis Walsh has admitted having a hair transplant, it has emerged.

According to the Mirror, the Irish music manager opted for the operation – which costs a reported £30,000 – after show boss Simon Cowell taunted him over his hair loss.

The procedure is said to have involved taking hair from the back of his head and implanting it in places where it was thinning.

Walsh, 59, described it as “maintenance”.

He is quoted by the newspaper as saying: “It’s not a wig or a syrup of figs or an Irish jig.

“It’s just me with my own hair, feeling better.

“It’s like going to the doctor and getting something done to your heart before it goes.”

Millions are expected to tune into the X Factor final this weekend, but fans may not notice the results of the transplant immediately.

Walsh says it will take about a year before the transplanted hair comes through fully.

He reportedly decided to go public after stars including Wayne Rooney, actor James Nesbitt and Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner all confessed to having the treatment.

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Should Wayne Rooney have had a hair transplant?

23.06.2011 in HAIR TRANSPLANT SURGERY

 

Wayne Rooney might think he’s tackled his receding hairline, but he’s in for a shock – those bristles on his bonce are going to fall out.

The 25-year-old Man Utd ace proudly tweeted a photo of his stubbly new do and confessed to having had a hair transplant.

Experts say more young men than ever are asking for follicular unit extraction, like Wayne, which can cure baldness.

The eight-hour procedure takes hairs from the back of the head and moves them to the front.

Truck driver Paul Hawkins, 41, pictured below – before and after – has had the same procedure and doesn’t regret it at all. He knows how elated Wayne is feeling right now – and how dejected he will be in the weeks ahead.

Married dad of three Paul, from Grays, Essex, says: “The difference straight after the procedure is very noticeable – you can see the little hairs sticking out.

“But within a couple of weeks they all fall out and you don’t see any more for four months.

The hair actually dies and re-grows like baby hair. It takes a year, sometimes 18 months, before it’s fully matured and you see the hair you’ll end up with. It’s such a slow process but definitely worth it in the end.” His surgeon, Dr Bessam Farjo, the Medical Director at the Institute of Trichologists, has seen a huge rise in enquiries about hair transplants from younger men – and even from the parents of boys as young as 16.

But he warns things aren’t always so straightforward when the procedure is performed on people so young.

Dr Farjo says: “I prefer to operate on someone who is 30 or over and I’d certainly avoid anybody who’s 25 or younger. There are two main reasons. The first is the younger you are, the higher your expectations – you don’t have the maturity to look into the future and think you need to look good when you’re 40 and 50.

The second is that younger men with a strong family history of hair loss are likely to lose a lot more hair, which makes their hair loss much more unpredictable. With younger guys we encourage them to concentrate first on controlling their hair loss by using medication. Low level light therapy may slow down hair loss. There’s also Regaine, an over the counter lotion or foam, which you apply to balding areas.”

Paul turned to Dr Farjo for help after all else failed.

He says: “I started losing my hair when I was 17. It was really noticeable by the time I was 18. By then I’d met my wife Wendy but had lost half of my hair. I tried various lotions and potions. I also cut it very short, but I had lost so much hair I couldn’t hide it.

“When we moved to a new area I think the neighbours thought I was a gangster or bouncer because I looked a right thug. My kids’ friends were a bit scared of me, too. People said I looked like Grant Mitchell in EastEnders.

“One morning I was watching TV and Shaun Williamson, who played Barry in EastEnders, was talking about his own hair transplant. I was really impressed and decided to use the same expert as him – Dr Farjo.”

But each treatment costs up to £6,000, and he remortgaged his house to pay for it all.

Paul adds: “I had to have it done in three separate procedures. I had the second two years later. And next week I am having the final one… It’s fantastic that someone like Rooney has come out and said he’s had it done.

“It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Or follow Trichologist Gary Heron advice:

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How vain must a man be to pay £30,000 to lose his bald patch?

23.06.2011 in HAIR TRANSPLANT SURGERY

By Vince Graff 

First, it was Cold Feet actor James Nesbitt, next came fiery chef Gordon Ramsay and acid-tongued Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner.

Now footballer Wayne Rooney is the latest, and youngest, celebrity to admit to undergoing a hair transplant.

Fed up with teasing over his baldness, Rooney revealed on Twitter at the weekend that he has taken action.
‘I was going bald at 25 why not [sic]. I’m delighted with the result,’ he posted, adding: ‘It’s still a bit bruised and swollen.’ 

That’s hardly surprising: a hair transplant is a brutal, as well as an expensive, process, with the full works costing as much at £32,000 (admittedly not a problem for someone paid £150,000 a week to kick a ball).

Dr Maurice Collins, the surgeon who performed Irish actor James Nesbitt’s two highly publicised operations, charges £7.60 for each hair follicle he transplants at the Hair Restoration Blackrock clinic, in Dublin.

Given that a patient is likely to need anything from 1,000 to 4,500 follicles transplanted, the procedure would cost a bare minimum of £7,000.

Gordon Ramsay’s treatment at the Alvi Armani centre in Beverly Hills is said to have set him back £30,000.

But what is involved in a hair transplant and is it worth the hefty investment?

‘The hair at the back of your head is immune to the balding process — there’s always a “horseshoe”,’ says Dr Collins.

‘We take little strips of skin from there, meticulously dissect each hair follicle and transplant them one by one, using microscopes.’

In other words, you don’t get any extra hair; you merely move it from a place where it won’t be missed to a place that needs it.

There is typically a team of 18 people working on a transplant, which can take eight hours. The technicians, nurses and surgeon need to ensure the hair is kept alive when it is deprived of oxygen outside the body.

The key is getting it back into the patient’s head as soon as possible.

‘And I’m pleased to say 98 per cent of the transplanted hairs go on to thrive,’ says Dr Collins.

‘You need dense hair at the back and lots of cash’There are videos of the procedure on his clinic’s website. The sight of a surgeon carving off tiny slices of a man’s head — and then these slithers being cut into smaller pieces — made me feel a little queasy.

But the patient is awake throughout ‘and there is no pain during or afterwards’, insists Dr Collins. Some patients even amuse themselves by watching DVDs.

Surely the local anaesthetic, administered by injection to the scalp, hurts?

‘A tiny sting like an acupuncture needle,’ claims Dr Collins.

So how good are the results? Professor Andrew Messenger is a consultant dermatologist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, who specialises in hair loss.

An NHS doctor and president of the Institute Of Trichologists, he has no axe to grind.

‘With a good surgeon, transplants work very well,’ he says. So long as the patient ‘has got good hair density at the back of the scalp — and quite a lot of money’.
Things have changed since Elton John got his much-mocked hair transplant in the early Eighties.

‘It’s not like the old days where you got all of these sprouts sticking up,’ says Prof Messenger.

‘If the procedure has been carried out by a decent surgeon, I would probably not be able to tell without a close examination.’

Rooney’s surgeon at the Harley Street Hair Clinic performed the newest form of transplant on his scalp: follicular unit extraction (FUE), which leaves no scars, allowing the Manchester United and England star to show off his new hair within seven days.

FUE is a technique in which a small, custom-built punch is used to extract units of hair follicles from an area of dense growth so they can be transferred to an area of sparse growth, each unit containing one to four hairs.

With half of all men losing a significant amount of hair by the age of 50, baldness is big business — many companies, not all of them reputable, claim to ‘cure’ the condition.

No one knows the precise cause of male hair-loss, but three factors need to be present: the ‘wrong’ genes (and not, as widely thought, just from your mother’s side); advancing age; and DHT, a male sex hormone synthesised from the less potent testosterone and more prevalent in some men than others.

A Google search of ‘hair-loss cures’ yields more than 80 million hits.

Treatments on offer include lotions, laser combs, caffeine pills, soya capsules and even oil taken from emus. (Well, Rod Hull had a fine head of hair, didn’t he?)

‘People with hair loss are vulnerable to being exploited,’ says Prof Messenger. ‘Desperate people seek desperate cures.’

‘The hair is with you for life but it does go grey’One of Dr Collins’s clients admitted to rubbing his own urine on to his bald patch after reading it would halt hair loss.

So, what does work? Only two substances have reliably led to new hair growth in clinical trials: Minoxidil, sold under the brand name Regaine shampoo; and Finasteride, which is the active ingredient in Propecia tablets.

But, says Prof Messenger, even those products increase hair density by, at best, 10 to 15 per cent. And once you stop using them, the new hair falls out.

This may explain why Wayne Rooney sought a more radical solution.

Transplanted hair — assuming it’s taken from a part of the head that wasn’t going to go bald in any case — is with you for life, though it does go grey.

Dr Collins insists that the first thing he tells his patients is ‘nobody needs a hair transplant. You can live a perfectly normal life without hair on your head’.

But as the queues of people waiting to pay £30,000 to end their baldness prove, some men aren’t convinced — and Rooney was obviously one of them.

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The bald truth about hair loss

23.06.2011 in HAIR TRANSPLANT SURGERY

By Kara Dolman

You have to hand it to Wayne Rooney. You write him off as yet another stone-skulled, macho footballer and in one fell tweet he turns your preconceptions on their head.

When the Manchester United and England star striker revealed that he had undergone a hair transplant last week he confessed that his hair loss had left him feeling sensitive.

At the weekend he tweeted, “Just to confirm to all my followers I have had a hair transplant. I was going bald at 25, why not. I’m delighted with the result.”

He is not alone. Rooney is the latest in a list of celebrities, reportedly including actor Jude Law and restaurant owner Gordon Ramsay (who deny it), and Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner, actor James Nesbitt and the Standard’s Dr Christian Jessen (who don’t), who have launched a strike against their shedding scalps.

Now experts agree that baldness, once an inevitability for most men, is becoming a choice.

“Over the past decade, there has been massive advancement in our technology and science,” explains hair restoration surgeon Dr Raghu Reddy, who works out of The Private Clinic on Harley Street. “There are now so many options available, it really is a decision based on lifestyle and your personality.”

Dr Reddy practises an advanced version of the FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) technique, the one that Rooney opted for.

Unlike more traditional strip method – where skin from the dense hair area at the back of the head is cut away before being placed onto balding sections – FUE uses tiny needles to transfer individual follicles to where they are needed, without scarring. Reddy, who charges £2.50 per hair follicle transferred, says demand for this treatment is “humongous”.

At the Hair Science Institute’s London clinic, the waiting list for its HST procedure (hair stem-cell transplantation) currently runs up to February 2012.

“If he had opted for our technique, Wayne would have avoided looking like Quasimodo,” says the institute’s Dr Coen Gho, referring to a picture that Rooney tweeted of his new hairline saying, “Hi all, there’s my head. It will take a few months to grow. Still a bit bloody too but that’s all normal. #hairwego.”

“HST extracts the hair, rather than the entire follicle, meaning we penetrate no more than two to three millimetres deep. The dentist is worse,” says Gho.

However, a hair transplant will take much longer and cost considerably more than your average filling.

Rooney reportedly booked in for a two-day, £30,000 procedure at the Harley Street Hair Clinic last Thursday. Dr Gho says patients will need to have a spare 10 hours and £4,000-£8,000 for a HST at the Hair Science Institute’s London clinic.

However, more affordable help is available if you tackle hair loss earlier.

Finasteride, prescribed and sold in the UK as Propecia, is an anti-baldness drug which is extremely effective at “blocking” DHT, the male sex hormone behind hair loss.

“It won’t encourage hair regrowth but it will stop you losing more,” says Jason Cocking, director of Lisa Shepherd London, who has been taking Propecia for three years. “Baldness runs in my family and when I started to lose my hair in my late twenties, it really affected my confidence.”

Cocking’s GP gave him a private prescription of the drug – which costs £35 a month – and his hair loss stopped in its tracks. As in the course of his work he has to mingle in the hyper-critical fashion and media industries, this was a huge relief.

Radio presenter Johnny Vaughan has previously told the Standard he believes going bald cost him his TV career, but many hair stylists now agree that their male clients aren’t embarrassed about acting on hair loss any more. Increasingly they are cutting the hair of men who have had treatment and are happy to admit it.

“Attitudes have changed, hair loss is much less of a taboo subject now,” says top stylist and creative director at Hari’s, Dar. “The bottom line is a full head of hair makes you look and feel fantastic, being bald does not. Prince William, he should absolutely go for this!”

Yet Prince William, 28, and Rooney should pause for thought. The pattern of men’s hair loss does not usually stabilise until their mid- to late thirties, meaning any transplant treatment before that age might need to be repeated.

Merck, the company that makes Propecia, also notes on its website that a small number of men – less than two per cent – could suffer sexual side-effects, such as impotence, while taking the drug.

With these anti-hair loss options now available, you have to ask: is baldness worse than the expense and minor risks involved in treatment?

Dar is adamant: “For us men, yes. We are like Samson – once we lose our hair, we lose our power. It’s in our blood.” Look out for that slogan on a bottle on anti-hair loss shampoo coming to you, soon.

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Was it really worth it, Gordon? Ramsay shows off his hair transplant for the first time… but does he look any different?

01.02.2011 in HAIR TRANSPLANT SURGERY

He might have had a hair transplant in an attempt to make himself look and feel younger.

But after spending tens of thousands of pounds on surgery to boost his follicles, Gordon Ramsay’s hair doesn’t appear to look any different than before.

The celebrity chef showed off his surgically enhanced locks for the first time yesterday as he arrived on set of his TV show in Los Angeles.


Backcombed: Gordon Ramsay’s unveils his bouffant hair transplant for the first time

Just before the New Year, the 44-year-old spent 12 hours at a clinic in the city having follicles removed from lush patches of his scalp before they were reinserted where his hairline is thinning.

Gordon debuted his new hair as he arrived for a day’s filming of his US-based show Kitchen Nightmares.

Vanity: Gordon’s £30,000 hair op doesn’t appear to have made any big difference

And while it looked slightly more bouffant than before, it really didn’t look that much different to his previous hairstyle.

Last week he was snapped leaving the Alvi Armani centre in Beverly Hills wearing a black surgical-style cap on his swathed head.

A source said: ‘While his hair may not have been obviously receding, it had become an issue for him.

Spot the difference? Apart from it being a more natural looking blonde, Ramsay’s hair doesn’t look much different to how it did a year ago (R)

‘Some will call it vanity – but to TV producers and Gordon it’s a pre-emptive action to stop him suddenly going on TV with obvious thinning.

‘It’s better to act now than have countless pictures and comment scrutinising his hairline in years to come.’

Hair transplant guru Dr Antonio Armani – the clinic’s founder – is believed to have performed a radical new treatment on Ramsay called ‘follicular unit extraction’.

Puffy-faced: Ramsay’s swollen eyes and cheeks were very prominent as he, his family and the Beckhams went to a safari park

Swollen: Ramsay looks like he’s struggling to see out of his eyes as he and David Beckham make a coffee run

Performed under local anaesthetic, it requires no stitches – and leaves no scars.

But it may have contributed to Ramsay’s rather puffy face which he sported on a day out to a safari park in North Carolina with the Beckhams.

Ramsay’s eyes were almost hidden under the swelling of his face as he, wife Tana and their four children, Victoria and David Beckham and their three sons walked and rode round the park looking at the animals, and even had a close encounter with a giraffe.

Fun day out: Ramsay walks ahead as wife Tana and their children and Victoria and David Beckham stroll along behind

Hello there: A giraffe comes to greet the famous group as they take a ride round the animal park

And one medical expert said his transplant procedure probably left him with the swollen after-effect.

Speaking to the Sun, Dr Mabroor Bhatti, of Transform cosmetic surgery, said: “It would appear he has had a reaction from his heavy hair transplant.

“Patients can experience swelling which can work itself from the head to the bottom of the face. Gordon seems to have suffered more than usual.”

It was just another in a line of procedures the fiery and foul-mouthed chef has had done in the past year.

Under wraps: Ramsay is snapped leaving an LA clinic after his hair transplant last week

Last summer, he unveiled a gleaming white strip of perfect teeth, prompting whispers that he may have treated himself to dental veneers.

The procedure, which costs between £7,000 and £10,000, involves a thin layer of porcelain being placed over the existing teeth, making them whiter and more even.

Snd in 2009, on the advice of X Factor boss Simon Cowell, Ramsay had Botox injections in his face that filled in the deep crevices in his chin and lines on his forehead.

Smooth: Ramsay showed off his Botoxed face and a mouth of gleaming white veneers on TV in August last year.

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