The Daily Mail
A husband revealed he has spent almost £20,000 to keep his ‘youthful look’ having a hair transplant, upper eye surgery and an anti-ageing light treatment.
Graham Satchwell, 66, from the Wallops, Hampshire, underwent a £15,000 transplant after losing his hair gradually from the age of 23.
He also had a £3,600 upper-eye lift and £500 sessions of intense pulsed light (IPL) to tone down reddened skin but said he didn’t have the procedures to boost his confidence but as a matter of ‘vanity.’
Graham told FEMAIL: ‘It’s viewed as superficial and vain – and I agree with that. But it makes me feel good and makes me look a few years younger.
‘That’s always been important to me and always will be.
Graham, who’s now retired, first started to lose his hair at 23 while in the police force.
Graham said: ‘I remember it well as I was a police sergeant at the time, and the constant wearing of a police helmet provided a crease around my scalp that made it very easy to see the gradual hair recession. I hated it.’
Graham thinks that wearing a police hat for such long hours in a day was ‘not a good idea’ and had a negative impact on his hairline.
He said: ‘By my mid-30s my hair had receded significantly.
‘While close friends and family tried to comfort me on the odd occasion that I would voice any concerns, I knew that the hair loss did adversely affect my appearance, the way I was perceived by others and, therefore, the way I perceived myself.
‘I tried to overcome these negative thoughts by telling myself that male pattern baldness was owing to my excess of testosterone.
‘This might have been true, but it was no fair trade off.’
Graham tried various treatments, including supplements supposed to help hair loss but nothing worked.
Graham disliked his receding appearance and wanted to stay youthful.
He said: ‘I’m not short of confidence. It’s not confidence, it’s more about vanity than lack of confidence.’
‘As we get older, you discover people treat you differently.
‘I was on the phone to a company and when I said I was retired, their voice slowed down and they started to talk like I’m an idiot.
‘[The surgery] is about retaining a more youthful look.
‘If you let yourself look older, they’ll treat you like that.’
Graham had been interested in the idea of a hair transplant for years and after he read about single follicle hair transplants, where the hairs are transferred one by one, he booked in for the surgery at The Private Clinic on Harley Street with surgeon Dr Raghu Reddy.
Although it cost £15,000, Graham was able to pay for the procedure easily because he doesn’t have an ‘extravagant lifestyle’ and no longer had a mortgage to pay off.
In March 2013, he had the two-day surgery which transplanted hairs from the head into the bald patch on the top of his head and the front hairline.
Although there was a lot of blood and he had a bandage on his head following day one of the procedure, it went well and he had fuller looking hair weeks later.
Graham had already told friends and family he was having it done and is very open to people about having had the procedure.
He said: ‘Don’t be ashamed of what you do. If you’re ashamed don’t have it done.
After the success of the hair transplant, Graham decided to have a blepharoplasty, an upper-eye lift, in July last year, where sagging skin is removed.
Although initially there was bruising and it looked a ‘mess,’ 10 days later Graham was happy with the results.
He’s now half-way through five sessions of IPL for redness in his face, costing £500 for the course.
And he agrees that others could see it as vain, but his looks matter to him.
He said: ‘People have said to me “you don’t need a transplant, that’s part of your charm”.
‘But the way you feel when you look in the mirror in the morning is actually very important and how people see you is important too.
‘I’ve still got a 32-inch waist, I’m still 11st 4lb, if that makes me a bit strange, that’s fine.’
Graham, who met his wife – who is the mother of their son Richard – aged 16 and married her aged 20, says she is confused by it.
He said: ‘She thinks the ageing process is the natural process.
‘She asked “Why do you want that done?”‘
Although Graham is not looking to have any more surgery now, he thinks more men will turn to the knife.
He said: ‘I worked on a building site for years, I was a police sergeant. I come from a long line of labourers.
‘Men are worried about their masculinity but that’s not an issue for me, and worrying about how you look is not non-masculine.’