The stigma of having a hair transplant may have dwindled in recent years, but for many men there has always been a downside after having the procedure: returning to work with a shaved scalp.
The sudden skinhead is necessary for surgeons to extract and then replant the follicles.
But now a leading hair transplant surgeon, Dr is offering clients a new service – the unshaven transplant, or U-FUE (Unshaven Follicular Unit Extraction).
Patients can keep their hair in the same style and length, visit the clinic for the procedure, and leave several days later without anyone suspecting.
After nearly a decade performing the Follicular Unit Extraction technique, which takes the follicles in clumps of between one and three hairs, Dr of The Private Clinic in London, started experimenting on small, unshaven patches of scalp.
While a FUE transplant of 2,000 hairs takes about four hours to perform, a U-FUE on the same scale will take an extra 90 minutes because fewer hairs can be transplanted in a day.
The new technique is also more expensive – £4 per hair as opposed to £2.50 per hair for a FUE.
Since bringing this service to the UK several months ago from her practice in Greece, Dr has seen demand soar. ‘About 30 per cent of the transplants I do are now by U-FUE,’ she says.
One patient, Lewis Aldous, 27, says the new procedure was ideal for him. ‘I have quite a conservative office job in the Civil Service, and I didn’t feel I could just go back with a skinhead, so this was perfect,’ he says.
‘Otherwise I would have had to take weeks off to wait for the hairs to grow.’