Hair loss doesn’t discriminate: it affects celebrities as often as it affects the rest of us. It is an entirely natural process and is rarely symptomatic of any specific disease, but it can be distressing, damaging one’s confidence and self-esteem. This is magnified for celebrities, who are so often in the public gaze and are routinely and harshly judged on their appearance. Some, like former professional England and Newcastle footballer Alan Shearer, are the target of tabloid (and terrace) mockery for their incipient baldness and, for whatever reason, decide to laugh off the teasing. Others, like Shearer’s Manchester United counterpart, Wayne Rooney, seek out radical remedies for hair loss, including the increasingly popular and effective transplant surgery.
A selection of celebrities who have experienced hair loss
Wayne Rooney: A multimillionaire with a beautiful family and a glittering career as a forward at one of Europe’s great football clubs, Rooney is a sporting icon. He also began to notice that his hair was thinning in his early twenties. In 2011, he openly underwent transplant surgery and announced on social media: “Just to confirm to all my followers, I have had a hair transplant. I was going bald at 25 why not. I’m delighted with the results.”
Jason Donovan: Former teen idol, Neighbours actor, and pop star, Donovan was famed in his youth for his clean-cut good looks and his thick, fair hair. Following media speculation about his mane, he admitted that he had decided upon transplant surgery to help restore his confidence.
Louis Walsh: Irish entertainment mogul, boy band manager, and X Factor judge Louis Walsh told reporters that he had undergone the procedure in Dublin in order to feel like he was “keeping up” with younger colleagues and because he didn’t like to see his bald patch on television. He confirmed that he was delighted with the results and would recommend it to others.
Gordon Ramsay: Firebrand, celebrity chef, and world class restaurateur Gordon Ramsay has never confirmed that he has had a hair transplant, but various media outlets have quoted what they say are impeccable sources who confirm that he did indeed have surgery.
James Nesbitt: As a film actor, TV star, and all-round charmer, James frequently discusses his transplant. He says that he felt anxious that his receding hairline would affect his career and the roles he was offered. He adds that he spent time and effort researching the procedure and assessing whether he felt it to be the correct option for him and that he could not be more delighted with the outcome.
Rob Brydon: Welsh actor, writer, and TV comedian Rob Brydon has never referred in any explicit way to having undergone transplant surgery, but he has made a number of oblique references and jokes such as “For some time now, my head has been feeling a lot warmer.”
Dean Koontz: Bestselling American author Dean Koontz admits to having had surgery many years ago because he was “tired of looking like G. Gordon Liddy.”
Shane Warne: Australian cricketer and television sports pundit Shane Warne has openly discussed his hugely successful transplant surgery.
Calum Best: Model and son of the legendary George, Best has professed himself delighted with the operations he has undergone, saying that it has lengthened his career and enhanced his appearance.
Jude Law: Film star and heartthrob Jude Law’s hair had been noticeably receding for several years. In early 2015, however, pictures emerged of him sporting relatively thick, strong hair.
Jon Cryer: Actor and star of hit comedy “Two and a Half Men”, Jon Cryer has told the media that he is almost entirely bald and that he undergoes an elaborate make-over for his acting engagements. “They basically just paint – they get a roller type thing – and just whoosh along the top” he stated.
Prince William: The future King of England is under constant scrutiny from the international press. His hair loss might be irreversible – not for medical reasons, but because of his position in life. It is also reported that the prince is actually very comfortable with his hairline and enjoys joking with his brother, Prince Harry, about Male Pattern Baldness running in the family.
Jeremy Piven: Comic actor and film star Jeremy Piven had transplant surgery to add longevity to his professional career.
Kyran Bracken: Former rugby player and winner of Dancing on Ice, Bracken began losing his hair while he was still relatively young. He had originally had transplant surgery and was content with the results, but now he uses hair loss concealment fibres.
Robbie Williams: Megastar and longtime resident of Los Angeles, Williams is in the slightly bemusing position of having had a hair transplant that he claims he didn’t need.
Many celebrities opt for transplant surgery: what is it?
Hair transplant surgery has passed through several incarnations since it was first used experimentally with little success in the 19th Century. Used primarily for Androgenetic Alopaecia (Male Pattern Baldness), the current technique involves moving individual hair follicles from a part of the body called the “donor site” to a bald or balding part of the body known as the “recipient site”
The first step for anyone who is seriously considering transplantation surgery is to consult a reputable specialist Trichologist with proven experience in the field. The Institute of Trichologists will be delighted to advise you on this or provide you with details of local clinics. This expert will examine the scalp, assess your general health, and discuss your lifestyle before guiding you through the various options that are available to you and helping you to evaluate your suitability for a hair transplant.
The treatment is executed by highly experienced surgeons and is generally carried out under local anaesthetic. It has evolved into a sufficiently sophisticated technique that it is only minimally invasive, ensuring that there is no discernible scarring and that most recipients can carry on with their usual routine the day after surgery.
In terms of results, you will normally be able to see the outline of your new hairline immediately after treatment. Within 6 to 12 months, the transplanted hair will be fully grown and the bald patch or receding hairline will have disappeared. These results are extremely natural in appearance and they are permanent. There are rarely any significant side effects; any redness, itching or discomfort will be mild and not last for long.
Your decision, whether you are a celebrity or not, must be based on what is best for you and your self-confidence. A reputable clinic will always encourage and respect this.