Balding TV presenter Karl Pilkington appeared to have a full head of hair again during a promotional clip of his new show. But this remarkable hair loss reversal was not the work of treatment, or even a transplant; Karl confessed it was a wig.
As part of the second series of The Moaning of Life, Pilkington found out what it would be like to have his hair back for a day and the experience has prompted him to consider hair loss treatment.
Talking to This Morning presenters, Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, the comedian who found fame on The Ricky Gervais Show and An Idiot Abroad, Pilkington explained all.
In one episode of the series, which he said explores "topics that are a big part of your life but you don't really think about them," Pilkington - who has male pattern hair loss - visits a hair expert who creates a glued-on hairpiece for him. Having admitted noted that he doesn't have any pictures of himself at home, reasoning, "I don't like the way I look," the Mancunian conceded he thought the wig did look good on him.
"It's taken 20-odd years to get my hair back," said Pilkington of the thick mop of greying/brown temporary locks. "It was a novelty for a day. I kept it on for 24 hours. It was good waking up and having a bed head - I haven't had that for ages... you could shower in it and everything. It's not just slipped on, it's glued - you can comb it, I could use the hairdryer again. I haven't done that for ages."
Pilkington was clearly moved by his experimental trial toupee, saying "It was an amazing experience - I thought it was just some daft novelty thing, putting hair on my head again, but it's amazing how much it changed me."
Discussing a recent radio interview Pilkington had with the new Top Gear and TGI Friday host, Chris Evans (pictured, and not to be confused with Captain America's Chris Evans who also has male hair loss), in which Evans talked about using 'drops' to help grow his hair back, Schofield asked if the 43 year old would consider using them too - to chants of "do it, do it!" from co-host Holly.
"It's a difficult one - it's too early," says Pilkington who appeared to be generally open to the idea. "He said a little drop went down his head and a day later it had grown. Now, for me, it's a bit like 'what is in this?'"
Willoughby followed on by saying he would need to choose a hairline in that case. "Well he said, the bloke who I met who's a hair expert... he said there was some sort of test but I forgot," divulged Pilkington, who noted it was 'amazing' what happens when you move your hairline around. "There is some technique of doing it otherwise it looks wrong. I had it low like a Steven Gerrard type of thing and then I took it back and I looked like Dec, no Ant."
The 'drops' referred to by Chris Evans and during the This Morning interview are most likely minoxidil. Minoxidil is one of only two MHRA licensed and FDA approved treatments for male pattern hair loss - the other being the one-a-day tablet, finasteride 1mg - and is the only one which is applied topically to the scalp once or twice per day, as directed.
Karl Pilkington's hair loss takes the form of thinning on top - also known as 'vertex thinning'. Assuming he was medically suitable, a comprehensive treatment course comprising both of these clinically-proven treatments alongside appropriate hair growth boosters may be of benefit in regrowing his hair.
Although the top of his head does appear shiny - a potential sign of true baldness, where the follicles are no longer capable of producing hair, even with non-surgical help - this is more likely to be due to the harsh TV lighting making thinning hairs less obvious. So as long as the hair follicles are still active and receptive, a treatment programme may well help Karl experience even more bed hair in the future.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic 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 from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.