The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Dr Maurice Collins Headshot

Removing the Stigma of Hair Transplant Surgery

Posted: Updated:

When Wayne Rooney tweeted a year ago that he had just had a hair transplant not only did he remove the stigma previously associated with this type of surgery, but he also unknowingly changed received attitudes towards men openly taking care of themselves, let alone talking about it.

Since I became interested in treating men with male pattern hair loss 15 years ago I have noticed a paradigm shift in men's attitudes towards their hair loss problems. What was once a taboo subject, where men suffered in silence, has been transformed into an open debate led by men in their 20s and early 30s, whom now openly discuss with each other their hair loss issues and treatment experiences. It is therefore not surprising that personal referrals to our clinics have grown exponentially in the last three years.

"At our surgery facility in Dublin we operate on a lot of well know people as well as men from all walks of life, most of whom prefer to remain private about their treatment. However, some in the public eye, such as James Nesbitt , Louis Walsh and celebrity hairdresser James Brown are leading the revolution that is taking place in men openly looking after themselves, and sharing their experience in media interviews and in video testimonials, like those on our HRBR website.

In dealing with early male pattern baldness the FDA approved medicines Finasteride (Propecia) and Minoxidil (Rogaine) have a synergistic action in helping over 85% of men with their hair loss problems. The younger age group benefit more as they usually have sufficient hair remaining for the medicines to work on. Balding men can be helped significantly with hair transplant surgery, provided there is sufficient hair in the horse shoe shaped donor region at the back and sides of the scalp for transplantation. For the majority of patients with hair loss, I recommend a combination of both medical and surgical treatments."

Over the years there have been gradual improvements in both medical and surgical options however, the fundamentals have not changed significantly.

When the newly transplanted hair has fully grown what friends and family notice is not the hair but a more youthful look in the transplantee, often with comments like "you're looking well and healthy", or "have you lost weight?" What patients experience is an improvement in self-esteem and self-confidence with an inner sense of contentment and peace of mind.

Do's and don'ts relating to male pattern baldness:

Do: Get proper advice from qualified doctors who are experts in this field.

Do: Read up on the subject and obtain several opinions from reputable clinics before making up your mind as how best to deal with your hair loss.

Don't: Speak to commercial clinics that will promise everything but are only interested in what they can take from you. Remember if it appears to be too good to be true it usually is.

Don't: Decide on hair loss treatment based on price alone. A hair transplant is for life and must be done properly. Don't let anybody except the man in the mirror influence your decision to treat your hair loss. If he tells you to do something about it then go and do it. If there is any doubt in your mind accept your hair loss and get on with your life. Remember, nobody needs a hair transplant.

Presented by Breast Cancer Campaign