Acid attack victim Katie Piper says having a hair transplant was ’empowering’

Katie Piper has spoken about her ’empowering’ hair transplant after a life-changing acid attack left her permanently scarred.

The TV personality, 39, was left fighting for her life when an obsessive ex-boyfriend got an accomplice to douse her face with sulphuric acid way back in 2008.

For years, doctors have been working hard to rebuild her beautiful face including with a hair transplant to fill in the gaps in her scalp.

Katie said: “Because I lost my hair through an act of violence, my hair transplant was really empowering for me to say, ‘I’m brining it back on my terms.’

“On the back of my head I have a panel the size of a postbox of skin and hair removed.

“You have stitches in the back of your head. You lie there for hours, you have every individual hair done. There’s a lot of downtime.”

It sounds like Katie is describing a FUT (follicular unit transplantation) transplant.

This is the more traditional transplant technique which our consultant hair transplant surgeon Dr Asim Shahmalak still performs at Crown Clinic.

The TV doctor Christian Jessen has had two FUT procedures with Dr Shahmalak at Crown Clinic.

FUT is particularly suitable for patients who like to wear their hair long like Katie or a male patient such as Christian who grows his hair. This longer hair covers up any scarring from the extraction of the strip of skin from the scalp to obtain the donor hair. However, FUT is not suitable for patients who shave their head or who have short hair because the scarring is visible.

Over the last ten years, most patients at Crown Clinic opt for the more modern technique, FUE (follicular unit extraction) where the donor hairs are removed individually, limiting the scarring. Celebrity FUE patients at Crown Clinic include Jack P Shepherd from Coronation Street, model Calum Best and Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts.

Our surgeon Dr Shahmalak has performed lots of hair transplants on acid attack victims like Katie Piper in his native Pakistan.

He was honoured by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson for this charity work.