Watch: Boy George discusses his hair transplant
Boy George has revealed that he underwent a hair transplant in order to combat hair loss.
The singer, 61, who is currently starring in I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! shared with his campmates that he had been inspired to undergo the procedure after seeing the results of Wayne Rooney's transplant.
Speaking to footballer Jill Scott, the Culture Club star explained he had been going bald prior to the procedure but now has a full head of hair.
Boy George isn't the only celebrity to open up about having a hair transplant. Earlier this year Robbie Williams shared that he had previously undergone the procedure in 2013, and in 2020 was keen to have a further treatment, but was told this wasn't possible as his hair was now too thin.
Rooney has also gone public about his own hair transplant decision, revealing to his Twitter followers he was "going bald at 25".
“Just to confirm to all my followers I have had a hair transplant," he tweeted. "I was going bald at 25 why not [sic]. I’m delighted with the result."
Meanwhile, Jimmy Carr and James Nesbitt have also talked openly about having the hair replacement procedure.
Nadeem Uddin Khan, CEO of Harley Street Hair Clinic, believes it's this openness from men in the public eye that is leading to a rise in the popularity of transplants.
"For a long time people didn’t have an example of a ‘good’ hair transplant, so they didn’t understand the true potential of what the results could look like," he explains.
"It wasn’t until Wayne Rooney went public with his, that people really started to take notice and talk about it, starting the process of de-stigmatising hair transplants.
"By being so open with his hair journey, not only did Wayne show people that a UK clinic could produce such natural results, but it helped to normalise the conversation and break down taboos about hair loss."
And there are still some preconceptions to be tackled with nearly nine in 10 of those surveyed in the UK Male Hair Loss report claiming they think there is a stigma attached to hair loss.
From how much it costs, to what's involved, here's everything you need to know about hair transplants.
What does the hair transplant procedure involve?
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplant treatments are now widely known as one of the best transplant techniques. This is compared to Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) which was previously the standard procedure for years.
"FUE is a process that replaces lost or thinning hair by taking healthy follicles from a donor area of the head (usually the back and sides) and transplanting them to a thinning area of the head, such as the hairline or crown," explains Mr Khan. "FUE is a minimally invasive hair restoration option carried out under local anaesthetic, that achieves the best and most natural results."
During the procedure, local anaesthetic is injected into the donor area of the scalp, with patients awake and able to chat to their surgeon while undergoing treatment.
"The surgeon will then work to remove a number of grafts typically in groups of between one and four hairs," Mr Khan continues.
"These groups of hairs are usually extracted from the sides of the head or back of the neck, using a specialised extraction instrument less than 1mm in diameter. These follicles are then transferred to the recipient area of the scalp, which is also anaesthetised, and implanted using a powerful stereo microscope."
Mr Khan says surgeons take care to implant the hairs at the correct angle to mimic the old hair, just as it would naturally grow. This helps to ensure the newly transplanted hair blends perfectly and resembles a natural hair pattern, leaving little to no noticeable scarring.
"After three to four hours, the anaesthetic will wear off and the scalp usually feels a bit tight and sore, but this soon eases and returns to normal in a few hours," Mr Khan continues. "The operated areas of the scalp will appear slightly pinker than usual for a few days but this soon passes."
According to Mr Khan, there is minimal bleeding during and after the procedure and recovery is usually complete within seven days, with almost no side effects.
The tiny hair that is transplanted normally falls out within a couple of weeks. "This is normal and due to 'thermal shock,'" Mr Khan explains. "The hair will then grow normally from the hair root and will be noticeable in approximately three months and carry on growing as fast and as long as your normal hair."
How much does it cost?
There is no one price fits all when it comes to hair transplants, as each transplant is entirely bespoke to the patient; the cost can vary depending on many factors.
According to ISHRS 2022 practice census, the average cost of a UK hair transplant is £4,820.
“On average, hair transplants can cost anywhere in the region of £5000-£10,000 per session but it very much depends on the patient’s eligibility and personal requirements," explains Spencer Stevenson at SpexHair.
Mr Khan says some of the factors that can influence cost include the overall complexity of the transplant, the type of hair loss experienced, the likeliness of future hair loss and individual characteristics such as the amount of grafts needed and hair colour and texture.
"Some of these factors will alter the amount of time a transplant could take as well as the cosmetic result and this all needs to be taken into account," he adds.
Read more: Jamie Laing shares his hair loss worries
What to do if you’re considering a hair transplant
Hair transplant surgery can be a lifeline for many people, providing a confidence-boost that would otherwise be impossible. But how do you know if you’re suitable for one and where to go?
Research is key, says Mr Khan.
"It’s important to first be educated on the process, what’s involved, what recovery is like – but more importantly who’s doing the transplant, why you should pick them and whether you trust them," he adds.
Once you do your research, it’s key to visit the clinics for a consultation and seek surgeons you can trust that have a good history of results, and provide exactly what you’re looking for.
Stevenson recommends taking time to consider all options before heading down the hair transplant procedure route.
“It’s really important for people to understand this procedure is not a cookie-cutter type of procedure and it’s important that they do the due diligence and research this very specialist surgery," he explains.
“I highly recommend patients interested in a hair transplant check if their surgeon or clinic of choice is part of the IAHRS.org (International alliance of hair restoration surgeons ) as this is an organisation to screen surgeons so they are ethical, honest and work in the patients' best interest."