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Are UK Men Losing Interest in Hair Transplant Surgery?

A survey conducted by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) has found that men are increasingly turning to surgical procedures to tackle their hair loss – at odds with findings from recent market research.

In a 2018 Mintel poll, 39 per cent of men aged between 18 and 34 stated they would consider surgical procedures, however, it discovered only seven per cent would opt for hair restoration surgery.

What is interesting here is that, whilst the ISHRS survey is international, the Mintel research relates solely to the UK. Although there was a reported surge in British and Scottish men enquiring about hair transplant surgery in 2015, it would seem the tide may be turning.

Hair Transplant Surgery - Surgical InstrumentsIn 2016, there were 635,189 hair transplants performed worldwide, a 60 per cent increase from 2014: during this period, the surgical hair restoration market also grew from $2.5 billion to $4.1 billion.

The ISHRS findings also revealed that 86 per cent of transplant recipients were male, and nearly one in five were in their twenties. This is despite many surgeons considering 30 to be the minimum age for a hair transplant.

Wayne Rooney effect

The ISHRS survey makes it clear cosmetic surgery is becoming more prevalent among men, with many actively seeking to confront the signs of hair loss associated with Male Pattern Baldness.

This trend is likely to be, at least in part, due to many high-profile celebrities being open about their own hair loss surgery, particularly footballer Wayne Rooney, who went public with his own Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedure to help combat premature balding.

His widely-reported experiences with hairloss have inspired fellow sportspeople – such as Liverpool legend Didi Hamann – and many other men around the world to undergo transplants. This phenomenon is often referred to as ‘the Rooney effect’.

But why do so many men want to avoid baldness? Professor Thomas Cash, author of The Body Image Workbook and retired emeritus professor of psychology at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, explains to The National newspaper which reported on the survey, “Across cultures, hair has been used to indicate gender, status, values and group membership. In short, hair can be an essential part of our self identity. Things that threaten our identity, such as hair loss, can disturb our wellbeing”.

Justin Thomas, the author of The National article, notes “if we were less appearance-obsessed, male pattern baldness would be less of an issue”. However, this may be easier said than done given the pressure to look and feel good in the current image-conscious context of selfie culture.

These expectations can also lead to numerous psychological problems. The article lists a number of them, including low self-confidence, impaired quality of life and even psychological disorders, including depression, anxiety, trichotillomania…and body dysmorphic disorder, or extreme appearance anxiety”.

Surgery or no surgery?

Those with their heart set on a hair transplant are urged by the ISHRS to avoid unlicensed practitioners – especially when looking into getting one abroad – as there has been an increased rate in surgery to correct botched procedures.

While surgical hair restoration procedures appear to be on the rise worldwide, the fact that only seven per cent of respondents taking part in UK-specific research would opt for one suggests a possible increased awareness of non-surgical male hair loss treatments.

At Belgravia, a consultation can help to address any queries that may exist, and provide a professional diagnosis; from there a bespoke hair loss treatment plan can be recommended. There are clinically-proven, MHRA licensed and FDA approved medications – topical and oral – which can be used to help stabilise shedding, promote regrowth and prevent baldness when used on an on-going basis. This approach can be further augmented by the us of non-pharmaceutical hair growth booster products to ensure each treatment course is as fully-rounded as possible.

Belgravia clients frequently mention how their supportive treatment courses, with regular monitoring, can restore self-esteem, such as this client who noted, “My hair loss had been getting me down but my confidence is really coming back after seeing the progress I’ve made!” as well as this client, Steve, who noted in his Success Story: “The staff at Belgravia were very helpful and took an interest in what my hair loss was doing to me on a psychological level as well as a physical. The information and support that was received was fantastic and I would recommend anybody who is a sceptic to give them a try as you will not regret it.”


circ - Belgravia Centre hair loss clinic London pharmacy hairloss treatmentsThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


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