I won’t apologise for being bald
Victoria Short had golden-brown, glossy locks, and when she lost a patch of hair on top of her head at the age of 13, she scraped her hair up high into a ponytail to hide her bald spot. But nine years later, Victoria was running her fingers through her hair when she found another bald patch – this time on the left-hand side of her head. Soon others followed, all on the left side, but all fairly easy to conceal.
Victoria, who works in public relations, was concerned enough to go and see her doctor, who said the hair might grow back, but if it didn’t there wasn’t much he could do. He diagnosed Victoria with alopecia, the medical term for hair loss, and six weeks later, by the time Victoria saw a dermatologist she had three or four more patches, all the size of a small coin. She then saw a trichologist – a hair and scalp specialist – but no one managed to halt her hair loss.
“Soon the patches were starting to join together. I left the trichologist feeling bereft and traumatised. I was starting to struggle to cover my hair loss up,” says Victoria, who lives in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, UK.
“It took nine months for the hair to fall out of my head, and seven months for the rest of my body. It was a tough time. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. I took each day as it came.
Treatment to rejuvenate the hair that is thinning could involve taking the drug Finasteride or using Minoxidil, an application thought to slow hair loss and promote hair growth.
The other option is surgical and there are two main types of hair transplant – FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) and FUT (Transplantation). FUE has become one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the world and involves individual hair follicles being taken from the back and sides of the scalp and implanted into the area that’s losing hair – often the front.
Brit Paul Woodman, 44, underwent an FUE transplant six months ago after years of trying to cover up his receding hairline. “I started losing my hair about 10 years ago and it affected my confidence,” says the IT manager.
“At first I used to push bits from left to right and I used to walk with my head down, hoping my hair wouldn’t blow up and reveal my hairline.” In March this year, Paul underwent a £15,000 (Dh88,650) hair transplant. Over 12 hours, at The Private Clinic, in Harley Street, London surgeon Dr transplanted 5,500 of Paul’s hairs from the back and side of his head to the front, giving him his hairline back.
“It didn’t hurt,” laughs Paul. “I had a few injections to numb my head. It took a few weeks to settle down, but after a month, I had a hairline for the first time in years. Now I have so much confidence.”