Former England bowler, Ryan Sidebottom was the David Luiz of cricket - that is to say he was as well known for his mop of unruly curls as he was for his sporting prowess.
Following his retirement from professional sport in 2017, the Yorkshireman went on to pursue a career in TV, appearing on the reality show Dancing on Ice in 2019.
It was during filming for this primetime programme that he realised he was experiencing a receding hairline and decided to do something about it to preserve the signature big-haired look that earned him the nickname 'Stringfellow'.
Hair transplant to preserve image
"My hair is my image, it's part of my personality, it's what I'm known for in a way," Sidebottom told The Sun, explaining why he decided to take a two-pronged approach to tackling his Male Pattern Baldness.
The 41 year old advised he wanted to find an effective way of preventing baldness as he believes, in such an image-conscious society, it was important for both his future work prospects as a TV personality, and his self-confidence.
As such, in addition to following a hair loss treatment course comprising the MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved DHT-blocker, finasteride 1mg, he also chose to have a hair transplant to fill in the receding areas above his temples.
Sidebottom opted for a Follicular Unit Extraction - or 'Excision' - procedure, often referred to as simply FUE. This involved having 2,450 individual hairs harvested from the donor area of the scalp - the back and sides of the head which are not affected by genetic hair loss - and grafted into the thinning frontal areas.
The pharmaceutical male hair loss treatment he is using - to which a clinically-proven topical medication, high strength minoxidil, could also be added - acts as on-going aftercare.
Whilst the newly implanted hairs will be immune to the effects of DHT, those in the areas with susceptible follicles - namely along the vertex, from hairline to crown - remain open to the process of follicular miniaturisation. If hair loss prevention remedies are not used, the hair in these areas may thin and shed around the transplanted areas, leading to unnatural-looking patchy hair loss.
In addition to the medication Ryan Sidebottom is taking to help prevent hairloss, he also undergoes low level laser therapy (LLLT) sessions once a fortnight. Although it can be performed in hair loss clinics, Belgravia advises suitable patients that FDA-cleared, home-use LLLT devices, such as the LaserBand may be more convenient, especially for those with a busy schedule.
The medical-grade lasers they contain work alongside patented teeth to administer LLLT straight to the scalp where it stimulates follicles into producing strong hair and deterring thinning hair. It is generally used for a few minutes each week.
After his operation Ryan Sidebottom told The Sun, “I was losing my hair at the front. I noticed it a little bit on Dancing On Ice in hair and makeup. When you see yourself on TV or in any newspaper, if you see that and don’t think it looks good, it's a confidence thing.
It would have changed my outlook. It would have changed my personality and probably I would have become more introverted on the back of it… The hair makes all the difference. It was really important for me to keep my hairstyle and have the surgery.”
While some people still consider hair loss to be a cosmetic issue, the emotional and mental health implications it can cause or exacerbate should not be undermined.
Concern over the effects hair loss may have on their careers is a sentiment often cited by the few celebrities who have chosen to be open about having hair transplant surgery.
Actor James Nesbitt OBE, has been particularly vocal on the subject and attributes at least part of his on-going success to his two hair restoration surgeries - both in terms of aesthetics and the confidence a full head of hair gives him.
It is not just something that effects celebrities, however. Many men deal with thinning hair as they feel the pressure to look youthful in the workplace or decide a bald head would not present the right image for them.
Deciding what to do when starting to go bald is an extremely personal decision and, for those affected, it is important to have all the facts about possible options beforehand so as to make an informed choice they feel comfortable about and confident in.