Singer Gareth Gates has taken steps to deal with the hair loss that has plagued him for several years – by having a hair transplant.
The 33-year old may have taken the plunge after an unfortunate incident back in March when he returned to the UK’s TV screens with a markedly different look to the spiky-haired young man many remembered first appearing on Pop Idol. Like many men in their 30s, it was evident that the likeable Yorkshireman was struggling with thinning hair.
Cries of “what has he done to his hair?!” echoed around the Twittersphere when the singer turned up on daytime TV show This Morning to talk about how he had taken a proactive approach to try and overcome his famous stammer. Described – rather cruelly – by the Daily Mail as “a sweeping combover”, Gates’ hairstyle was certainly eye-catching, though far from the Bobby Charlton look.
Genetic hair loss caused receding hairline
When compared to the full head of hair sported in his early singing career, it was clear back in March that the 33-year-old was losing hair to Male Pattern Baldness, the genetic condition that affects many millions of men around the world.
But following his autumn surgery, returning to the pages of the Daily Mail, Gates was in the headlines to publicly talk about a hair transplant procedure he had to address his frontal hairloss. His thinning hair had, he admitted, long knocked his confidence: “I’m constantly on stage, so image is a big, big thing for me and I have to look my best,” he said.
Before the operation, a nervous Gates said: “My hair means a lot to me so I have mixed feelings at the minute – it’s a big thing, but it’ll definitely be worth it. I’ve always wanted long hair, but I’ll be happy with dense, thick hair with a better hairline.” He then joked: “Maybe I’ll even go back to my spiky days!”
Gates’ hair restoration surgery took around eight hours, and involved surgeons extracting follicles from the back of his head and implanting them into small incisions in the front, to bolster Gareth’s hairline. Pleased with his first look at the results, the singer said he felt the time was right for more men to tackle genetic thinning head-on. He said: “Women have their lips done, faces lifted or boobs done and this now is the new thing for men — and I don’t think there should be any shame about it.”
It can take between 12 to 18 months for the full extent of hair transplant results to become visible, so Gareth Gates should start to see his new hairline emerge by October 2018.
The ravages of DHT
Once hair is transplanted from the back of the head to the front, it shouldn’t fall out again, because in men who are predisposed to Male Pattern Baldness, it is only those follicles at the front and top of the head that are sensitive to a hormone named dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is what causes them to gradually thin . The newly-implanted hairs carry their own set of genetic traits, and should therefore be “immune” from the ravages of DHT.
However, it is all too easy for the new hairs to form a kind of “hair island” as other, existing, hairs continue to fall out around them. It is for this reason that men undergoing this type of surgery are generally advised to follow a male hair loss treatment course on an on-going basis following the procedure. Some leading surgeons actually recommend that patients also begin treatment at least six months prior to the operation in order to maximise hair growth, making the area easier to work with during surgery. At this point some men may decide they no longer want to proceed with surgical hair restoration as many are able to avoid hair transplants entirely by taking this approach.
Non-surgical hair loss solutions tend to revolve around the use of one or both of the only two MHRA licensed and FDA approved drugs for male pattern hair loss: finasteride 1mg and minoxidil.
High strength minoxidil is a topical product which comes in different formulations, all of which are applied directly to the scalp where needed to encourage hair growth, whilst the one-a-day DHT-blocking tablet finasteride 1mg helps to deter further hair loss. Additional hair growth supporting products can be used alongside either or both of these treatments and, what many men prefer about this multi-pronged approach is that it is somewhat more discreet than a transplant.
Decisive action – be it hair loss treatment or a transplant – is likely to give a man much more confidence than some of the other options available. Back in March 2017, for example, Gates seemed to be styling his hair to cover his temples – where signs of balding in cases of MPB are common – and he was possibly using “fillers” to make the hair looks thicker too.
While these powdery products sometimes look very tempting in before/after videos, they are unfortunately often less impressive up close in real life and may also be susceptible to the ravages of inclement weather.
Additionally, hair fibres are only a temporary solution and need applying every time a man wants people to think he has a fuller head of hair. They can be somewhat distracting, too, with wearers often preoccupied with worry about whether or not their concealers are holding up when out and about. Indeed, there were even unconfirmed rumours that Wayne Rooney may be using microscopic fibre products to bulk up his hair on match days and for public appearances, as he seems to be still losing his hair despite famously having undergone hair transplants.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. 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 world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.