TV dancer, singer and all-round entertainer, Anton Du Beke has been speaking to the press about his hair loss and how he turned to transplant surgeons in Dublin to try and rectify things.
The Strictly Come Dancing veteran, who is 51, told the Sunday Mirror that he had been looking at photographs and images of himself on television when he saw that he was going “a bit thin at the front.”
Around half of all men of his age will have noticed exactly the same thing about their own hairline, as the genetic condition male pattern baldness (MPB)– the reason why Du Beke was going thin at the front – becomes more widespread as men age. While it can start any time post-puberty and is becoming increasingly common in men in their 20s, male pattern hair loss is more commonly seen in men in their 30s, 40s and beyond. Not every man will be affected, however; as this is a hereditary condition, some men will be spared going through what many perceive to be a very troubling and emasculating period in their life if they do not have the relevant active genetic predisposition.
Du Beke admits that his hair loss had started to bother him and tells the Mirror that he used to cover his areas of thinning hair with make up and make sure he didn’t stand under certain lights. “Basically, I didn’t like it very much,” he says.
The newspaper reports that the dancer was encouraged to undergo surgical hair restoration by actor James Nesbitt, who has had at least two transplants and has been quite vocal about the way in which he feels they have saved his career. Du Beke apparently paid around £10,000 for his hair transplant – a procedure which involves surgeons extracting follicles from the back of his head and grafting them into small incisions in the front of his scalp. What is especially interesting about this type of operation is that the implanted hairs will not be affected by the hormone DHT.
DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is the testosterone by-product which is ultimately responsible for causing hair to gradually thin along the top and front of a man’s head, if he has male pattern hairloss. This is because the hereditary condition involves a genetic sensitivity to this hormone. DHT binds to the susceptible follicles, causing them to shrink and weaken; as a result, producing increasingly thinner hair until it falls out, leading to hair loss in these specific areas – such as a receding hairline and/or a thinning crown.
Without intervention, baldness may also occur in these areas though, for reasons yet unknown, DHT does not affect the hairs around the sides and back of the head. This is why the hair in these areas are used as the ‘donor hairs’ in transplant operations.
Managing male pattern baldness before and after a hair transplant
Another interesting fact about surgical hair restoration in cases of male pattern baldness is that it is still entirely possible to continue losing hair after a hair transplant.
Without additional on-going management of this permanent condition through the use of effective hair loss treatments, the implanted hairs risk forming a kind of ‘hair island’. This can occur when existing hairs around new grafts shed due to the fact that they remain subject to the effects of DHT. For this very reason, it is usually explained to men considering a hair transplant that this is merely the start of their journey.
In addition to using treatment as part of an after-care upkeep regimen, it is widely recommended by top hair transplant surgeons that men follow the same type of course for a minimum of six months prior to their op. This may seem like a strange thing to do but there are two key reasons for this guidance. Firstly, using hairloss products clinically-proven to treat male pattern baldness should stabilise any hair shedding, giving the surgeon a cleaner area to work with. Secondly, this approach should help to maximise hair regrowth ahead of the operation.
There are two clinically-proven, MHRA and FDA-approved medications which are often used – singularly or together – as part of a non-surgical treatment programme: finasteride 1mg and minoxidil.
The first, finasteride 1mg, is a one-a-day tablet that inhibits production of DHT. By minimising the amount of DHT in the system, hair growth should continue unhindered and prevent further deterioration and shrinkage of the affected follicles. The second, high strength minoxidil is applied directly to the scalp where needed in order to promote localised hair growth and prevent further hairloss.
This type of approach can be further augmented by the use of additional hair growth supporting products. These include the FDA-cleared follicle-stimulating, home-use LaserComb device, and highly-targeted Hair Vitalics for Men food supplements containing a premium blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanicals, including biotin, zinc and selenium for the maintenance of normal hair growth.
By following this kind of course before undergoing a hair restoration procedure men can also seize the opportunity to see if they still feel surgery is necessary once they see their non-surgical results.
The question of whether or not this is all worth it depends upon the individual, but Du Beke certainly feels that getting his hair back was important. “I feel 25 again,” he told the Mirror. “It’s given me so much more confidence when appearing on television or having my picture taken. Immediately after having it done I was delighted. I knew it was the best thing I’ve ever done.”
In cases of hair restoration – whether surgical or through carefully managed treatment – a man’s confidence is often restored with it.
“At 31 my hair was thinning and beginning to recede. Like most of us these days, I care about my appearance and coming to terms with the fact that I was losing my hair was getting me down and making me lose confidence. Rather than just accept it like most family and friends suggested or had done themselves, I decided to go to Belgravia Centre for a free consultation,” says Belgravia client, Mr. L in his Success Story.
“After just 3 months of using this treatment I have been shocked by the results! My hair is looking so much thicker and stronger than it was when attending my first consultation. I am so much happier with the general appearance of my hair and I have my confidence back…”
This sentiment is echoed by Anton Du Beke who says: “I think one big thing for men is their hair. Women have all their things… but men have hair.”
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.