Wayne Rooney. Gordon Ramsay. Louis Walsh. Three men with completely different roles in the limelight, but with one thing in common - they've all turned to surgery to restore their thinning hair. While the stars may have received their fair share of light-hearted ridicule for their procedures, both from the media and the general public, their hair transplants have now become part of who they are without damaging their careers or reputations.
People have quite rightly accepted that these men opted for surgery to boost their confidence and feel better about themselves. So, it always baffles me how, in 2016, there can still be a stigma attached to men who choose to have hair transplants. It's a common misconception that such men are vain, middle-aged has-beens, desperate to recapture their youth and halt the ageing process.
However, this could not be further from the truth. You only have to look at the celebrity examples above to know that hair loss has no age restrictions; Wayne Rooney was just 25 when he underwent his first procedure. I meet men - and women - every day who have reached the end of their tether with their receding hairline. These people are not 'obsessed' with their looks or attention-seeking; rather, they are looking for a way to boost their self-esteem and overall confidence.
Whether it's being tired of spending hours trying to cover up their bald patch in the morning before work or becoming fed up of being the butt of their friends' banter, there are a multitude of reasons for people choosing to have a hair transplant.
As a hair transplant surgeon, I love meeting patients once they start to see results. Hearing them tell me how their procedure has increased their self-esteem and changed their life is the most rewarding part of the job. It may be something as simple as being more confident at work or feeling comfortable talking to women, for example, but it's always fascinating to hear their post-surgery tales.
One patient in particular told us how he'd noticed he was having more success on the dating scene since sporting his new look. We wanted to see this in action, so took it one step further and set up two duplicate profiles on the dating app, Tinder.
We used before and after images of our willing participant, Richard King, with each profile swiping right - or 'liking' - 500 eligible single ladies. A Tinder 'match' happens when a pair of app users anonymously 'like' each other, after which they can begin chatting.
Running for a total of 10 days, findings showed that 203 singletons liked Richard's post-surgery selfie, suggesting that balding bachelors have a tougher time bagging dates.
At just 31, Richard is not in the minority and is part of a growing group of men who are conscious of their looks and want to feel 100 per cent confident all the time.
Of course, wanting to come out on top with Tinder isn't a reason to book a slot with a hair transplant surgeon tomorrow, but the study - as well as Richard's own experience - proves that the most subtle of physical changes can have the biggest impact on others and, importantly, your self-image.
Follow Dr Bessam Farjo on Twitter: @BessamFarjo
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