Actor James Nesbitt has never been shy to talk about his hair loss, and he has recently described the treatment he underwent to deal with his thinning locks as having transformed his career.
For two decades, the Northern Irish actor had been steadily losing hair to the genetic condition Male Pattern Baldness, which is extremely common, especially when men hit their 40s and 50s – though it can begin when men are in their 20s or even younger. Nesbitt showed clear signs of a receding hairline as well as additional thinning on top and at his crown – the three main signals of genetic hair loss in men.
Fuller head of hair
As his hair disappeared, Nesbitt claims that the work did, too – so he signed up for a hair transplant in 2007, which eventually led to a second FUT operation and a fuller head of hair. It is not known exactly how much Nesbitt paid for the two transplants, but top surgeons can charge in the region of £30,000 a time, depending on the size of the area being worked on.
Talking to the Radio Times magazine in February 2017, Nesbitt – who has starred in a number of hit TV series in recent years including Stan Lee’s ‘Lucky Man’ and The Missing – explained how the transplants made him leading man material all over again.
“It [hair loss] was something I struggled with,” the actor is quoted as saying. “And that was probably the vanity in me. But also, career-wise, it had an impact. In terms of the range of leading roles I’ve had since then, it’s probably helped.”
In 2016 he also told The Daily Mail that “I really felt that my hair loss could affect my career prospects.”
In a video he made for the clinic that performed his hair restoration operations, Nesbitt says: “I’d go so far as to say they’ve changed my life.”
The transplant route is also the one chosen by Nesbitt’s fellow Cold Feet star John Thomson, who recently underwent a transplant procedure after noticing a large bald spot on the back of his head. “That’s not good, is it?” he said. “It’s an ‘apprentice monk’ kind of look.”
When celebrities undergo a hair transplant they often have little choice but to “go public” with it. This can be because they are spotted with an out-of-character shaved head, or pictured with the tell-tale, post-surgery red bumps on their scalp, as well as as the effects usually becoming apparent within a few months. These signs and the resulting transformation can start media and public speculation. To avoid this type of attention, many men – including some celebrities – try and avert the need for surgical hair restoration by beginning a tailored male pattern hair loss treatment course the moment they start to lose hair.
Belgravia finds that this subtle approach to stabilising thinning hair and reversing hair loss, is something many men feel more comfortable with. As any new hair growth happens gradually it is entirely possible to have Male Pattern Baldness, and start losing hair to it, without anyone knowing.
Using hair loss treatments
In order to maintain results, treatment has to be ongoing – but this is also true when people have a hair transplant. A transplant operation simply removes healthy “donor” hair from the back of the head and re-plants it on the front and crown, where it is needed. Because these are the areas that are most susceptible to Male Pattern Baldness, however, hairs surrounding the new grafts are as likely to fall out as the ones they have replaced – unless steps are taken to intervene.
This is because, if a man has Male Pattern Baldness he has a genetic sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the enzyme which causes hair thinning and baldness in cases of male hair loss. The DHT will continue to attack hair follicles around the top of the head as surgery does not address this underlying cause. Finasteride 1mg is a once-per-day oral tablet designed to inhibit the production of DHT in men aged 18 and over. It is often used to significant effect by Belgravia’s hair loss specialists when combined with topical applications of high strength minoxidil so that regrowth is promoted in addition to blocking the DHT.
Indeed, Nesbitt confirmed in 2016 that he was using finasteride 1mg and minoxidil to prevent further hair loss.
Genetic baldness is one of those unfortunate facts of life which at least half of all men will have to deal with. Those who want to challenge what nature has in mind have clinically-proven pharmaceutical options to do so. If they have perhaps left MPB treatment a little too late, then hair transplants may be an option too. The best place to start looking for advice in each instance is a specialist hair loss clinic. At Belgravia, although we specialise in non-surgical hair loss treatment and do not perform hair transplants, we do work with an acclaimed surgeon who we can refer clients to if they would like to explore invasive options.
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.