Hair transplants officially came out of the cosmetic surgery closet the moment Man United striker Wayne Rooney 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.”
Rooney’s not alone. With 40 per cent of under-35-year-olds already going thin on top, there’s a sizeable market out there for transplants.
Some men embrace baldness – and props to them – but for others thinning hair can negatively affect their self-esteem. A hair transplant can help achieve fuller locks and boost self-confidence.
The procedure Rooney opted for – and the most popular form of transplant – Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), is a much less invasive treatment than previous techniques and involves removing individual hairs from the back or side of the head (or the chest if you’re already too thin on top for hair to be harvested from your bonce) and implanting them elsewhere on your scalp, usually where hairs once grew.
Carried out under local anaesthetic, the procedure takes around eight hours (remember to pack a good book) and costs around £10,000. “FUE is simple, minimally invasive and there are no stitches or obvious scars,” says Dr. Raghu Reddy of The Private Clinic in London’s Harley Street.
Since the more hair you’ve lost, the more the procedure is likely to cost, he advises addressing the issue sooner rather than later. If you leave it until you look like Jean-Luc Picard, you’ve probably left it a little too late.
Also bear in mind that one FUE procedure may not permanently solve thinning hair problems. If you are predisposed to male pattern baldness (MPB), you will likely have to undergo repeat procedures as often as every couple of years to fend off hair loss; Rooney, for example, has already had at least two treatments.