Signing up for ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here is certainly a step into the unknown for most celebrities, but one thing they do know is that all those things they might have been hiding from the world – from hairy backs to hair loss – will be in full view.
For Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts, the one thing he didn’t want was for people see him with a large bald spot on top of his head when he wandered around camp or was summoned for a Bushtucker Trial. Having been affected by the genetic hair loss condition Male Pattern Baldness for some years, he signed up for a hair transplant before he went.
Not the first transplant
In fact, it was at least his second trip to a transplant surgery, as Roberts talked openly about another transplant that he had back in 2013. That one was said to have cost him around £12,000, and he told the Sun newspaper at the time that he was thrilled with the results because dealing with his thinning crown had “revved up his love life.”
His comments after the latest transplant were a shade less raunchy –though no less colourful: “It was really f****** painful!” he is quoted as saying on both Yahoo! and in Metro. The Daily Mirror reports that Roberts, who is 53, spent £6,000 on an FUE procedure this time to disguise a bald patch on his head that followed him around “like a halo.”
“Thankfully, there is no longer a stigma attached to having a hair transplant,” he said before jetting off to Australia. “Hair transplants are just about the only vanity treatment that I think most men would consider. The loss of hair really can affect your self-esteem.”
Roberts said that he understands men’s unease about having a transplant because “you think it questions your manliness, or whatever.” He argues, however, that if it makes you feel better, then “why not?”
One of the reasons why not is the cost: there is no getting around the high price tag that comes with a this type of surgery – unless you consider medical tourism. Turkey, for instance, is something of a hair transplant hotspot, but there are questions about quality and aftercare, not to mention language barriers and the additional cost of the flights and accommodation.
Furthermore, the procedure – as Roberts says – is not exactly pleasant. This is because the surgeon physically extracts hair follicles from areas of the head where hair is abundant and then implants them where they are needed. Typically, they do this thousands of times, often in an operation lasting eight hours or more. Fashion designer Marc Jacobs backs this sentiment; the heavily tattooed 53 year old spoke of the pain he went through following his transplant and admitted it was worse than getting any of his tattoos.
A third reason that hair restoration surgery isn’t for everyone is that some men are “too far gone” – thinning out the more abundant hair to fill in the gaps where it is needed would lead to an unsatisfactory end result, where the whole head of hair appears to be generally rather thin. The donor hair may not be of the necessary quality for another transplant to be feasible either, with ‘over-harvesting‘ being something that is of increasing concern to surgeons.
Hair loss treatment instead
What many men choose instead is a genetic hair loss treatment course, which uses clinically-proven components to combat the DHT which causes follicles to gradually shrink and hair to weaken in those with a genetic sensitivity to this testosterone byproduct. A thinning crown such as Martin Roberts’ can be addressed via non-surgical means by employing the MHRA licensed and FDA approved medications finasteride 1mg – to inhibit DHT – and high strength minoxidil – to encourage hair growth.
Whether used individually or in tandem, these treatments can be supplemented with additional hair growth supporting products, where required.
The results – from stabilisation of hair thinning to visibly noticeable improvements to hair density and regrowth – can often be seen within three to six months of starting treatment though may take longer depending on the level of hair loss when treatment is started.
Men who undergo a hair transplant are often advised to try this type of pharmaceutical treatment course for at least six months before the operation, in order to give doctors more to work with. They also need to continue with this treatment after the procedure because hair restoration surgery doesn’t address the reason that hair was falling out in the first place. Without intervention, the original hairs around the top of the head and hairline, surrounding the new grafts, are just as likely to thin and fall out as the ones that have been replaced.
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.