‘FUE has several advantages over other techniques,’ says Dr Raghu Reddy of the Private Clinic in Harley Street, London – a man who has spent years perfecting the technique and who performs 500 transplants a year. ‘It’s simpler, less painful, minimally invasive and there are no stitches or scarring – important if you want to wear your hair short.’ Since hairs are transplanted into the same slots that contained previous shafts, there’s a better ‘uptake’ and it looks more natural, too.
The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic, takes about eight hours and recovery rate is rapid (most scalps have healed in 10 days or so). After 10 months about 90 per cent of the transplanted hairs will have ‘taken’. The cost varies, but works out at about £2.50 to £3 per hair, so you will probably need a spare £9,000 to think about it seriously. Yet for those who have had it, the results appear to be nothing short of life-changing.
Paul Jankowski, a 48-year-old engineer from London, has no regrets about having FUE. ‘It’s amazing how good it makes you feel about yourself,’ he says. ‘In fact, I’ve heard that many people get addicted and keep going back for more.’ Though he was not quite as out-and-proud as Rooney (he told only his wife and a few close friends because he didn’t know what the results would be like) his FUE operation took eight hours and involved 3,000 hairs being transplanted from just above his ears.
‘I’d tried other treatments, like Minoxidil but a transplant was always at the back of my mind. Only when I read about FUE did I finally decide to do it as it seemed a less painful option.’ And did it hurt? ‘It was more uncomfortable than painful,’ he says. ‘But the scabs heal in days. I booked time off work but by day two I wasn’t worried about people seeing my scalp.’
Speaking as a follicly challenged man (my hair divorced my scalp about 10 years ago), would I consider FUE? I can’t imagine putting myself through the ordeal just so I can have the pleasure of a quiff again. And I have another reservation – I hate the idea of a world without baldies. Just think: no Patrick Stewart, no Uncle Fester, no Bond villains.
There’s no going back now, though. With hair restoration no longer taboo, the sky’s the limit. ‘The male desire to be desirable has turned out to be utterly irrepressible,’ Mark Simpson says. ‘Men today are falling over themselves to spend a fortune, suffer pain and endure occasional ridicule in the pursuit of looking fabulous.’
Ryan Giggs ‘spent £30,000 on baldness treatment’
Ryan Giggs has spent up to £30,000 on baldness treatment, it was disclosed amid claims stress may have caused his hair to fall out.
The 37-year-old Manchester United winger began hair replacement treatment at a studio in Manchester two years ago in an attempt to prevent himself going bald, it was claimed.
In March Giggs reportedly even spent £14,000 on a Tricostym machine, which uses 20 lasers to massage the scalp and promote hair growth so that he could treat himself at home.
But there was speculation that the Welsh midfielder’s hair loss could be down to stress after a series of damaging allegations about his private life in recent weeks.
Giggs, who has two children with his wife, Stacey, was two weeks ago publicly named as the footballer with a super-injunction preventing the publication of details of an alleged affair with Imogen Thomas, the reality TV contestant.
He has since faced claims he had an eight-year relationship with his sister-in-law Natasha Giggs and had sex with a third unnamed woman.