By Corey Kitchener
Once thought of as a step too far in the vanity stakes, hair transplants are now firmly in the public eye thanks to celebrity fans including Sir Elton John, Wayne Rooney and Gordon Ramsay.
Someone who underwent a successful hair transplant years before the procedure was common was Joe Tillman, 42 of Seattle, for whom hair loss had always been a problem.
“I started to truly notice I was losing my hair at the age of 17. It was pointed out to me by someone in my high school, but there was only a little bit of thinning in the crown. Fast forward six years. I was 23 and decided to go to a hair transplant doctor to see what my options were. I was told I needed to stay ahead of my hair loss and decided to undergo surgery.”
He is amongst the many who have opted for a hair transplant, as since 2010, the Transform Cosmetic Surgery Group has reported an increase of 82% in the number of men undergoing hair transplants, particularly after celebrities revealed their own successful procedures.
Shami Thomas, a Spokesperson for the group said: “It’s very common for us to see an influx in enquiries after celebrities reveal their successful post-op treatments and this was definitely the case after pictures of Wayne Rooney emerged following his amazing hair transplant earlier this year.”
“I kept losing my hair,” he says. “As a matter of fact my hair loss actually accelerated. By the time I was 26 I had not a single hair left of my original hairline. I felt horrible.”
Joe continued to be affected by his hair loss and his botched operation, saying that his self confidence dropped.
“At 32, my head looked, quite simply, like the head of a ‘Ken Doll’. Almost all of my original hair had fallen out over the years and I had almost nothing but the grafts on top of my head.
“Overhead fluorescent lighting, wind, rain, outdoor events and water sports became my worst nightmares. During conversations with others I would notice how their eyes would drift up to my hairline. I hated talking to new people.”
Despite his previous experiences with hair transplants, after seeing a TV advert for the procedure, Joe decided to seek a consultation with another doctor.
He was told that because of his previous operation he would need the old grafts to be removed and new ones applied, which would extend the time it would take for the procedure to work.
Convinced by the doctor’s explanation of the procedure, and feeling he had no other option, Joe underwent the surgery with Californian medical group Hasson and Wong. The recovery time from the operations took nine months.
“Although it took a long time, I now find myself in a state of follicular bliss and would recommend a hair transplant with a reputable surgeon to anyone who feels low about hair loss.”
So happy was he with the results, Joe now works in the US as a spokeperson for his surgeon, showcasing the results of his successful operation.
How do you feel about hair loss? Would you ever go consider cosmetic surgery to counteract baldness? Let us know in the comments box below.
The Beauty Spot stresses the importance of seeing a reputable surgeon and seeking a consultation before undergoing any medical procedures.
Listed below are some forums on hair transplants and a baldness support group, for those who feel surgery is not for them: