Dr Asim Shahmalak answers 8 questions about his work as a hair transplant surgeon at Crown Clinic

The most important decision any patient makes when deciding to have a hair transplant is their choice of surgeon.

Here at Crown Clinic we have one of the world’s best in Dr Asim Shahmalak who worked a general surgeon in the NHS before switching to a career in hair transplantation in 2006.

Your surgeon can make all the difference in creating a wonderful, natural look in your hair transplant.

He or she will choose exactly where to replant the donor hair, ensuring it blends in perfectly with the natural hair.

Good surgeons are hard to find, particularly if you travel to cheaper, unregulated foreign clinics in countries such as Turkey.

Dr Shahmalak is an expert at the two hair transplant procedures performed at Crown Clinic – FUE (follicular unit extraction) and FUT (follicular unit transplantation).

He also performs more unusual procedures such as eyebrow, eyelash, beard and sideburn transplants.

He is well known for his work with celebrity clients such as Coronation Street star Jack P Shepherd (David Platt in Corrie), model Calum Best, Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts and the soccer pundit Didi Hamann, who all had FUE procedures at Crown Clinic.

The TV doctor Christian Jessen had two FUT procedures with Dr Shahmalak.

What made you get into this line of work?

I worked for many years as a general surgeon in the NHS but I was keen to branch out and specialise in hair transplantation. It is so rewarding to see how men and women’s lives can be transformed through a successful procedure. As well as hair transplants, I do more unusual procedure such as eyebrow, eyelash and beard and sideburn transplants. I performed the UK’s very first eyelash transplant on a young woman from Greater Manchester in 2009.

How long have you been doing it?

I set up Crown Clinic in 2007 in Manchester.  We are one of the world’s leading hair transplantation centres and we have a brand new clinic with the best equipment very close to Manchester Airport in Bailey Lane, M90. I have been working in hair transplantation since 2006. Before that, I was a general surgeon for almost 20 years – working first in Ireland before switching to the NHS.

How did you get the job? 

I got my first job as a doctor after leaving medical school. I was keen to study medicine because it is the most rewarding job in the world. I have always had a passion for it and I think that has come across in all the interviews I’ve had over the years.

Give us a two sentence summary of what your job involves?

Providing the very best hair transplantation for men and women suffering from hair loss. The procedures can significantly boost a patient’s self-esteem and well-being.

What do you love about your job?

The ability to make a tangible difference to my patients’ lives with a relatively straight-forward procedure. Calum Best said that he felt five years younger after having hair transplants with me. I do a lot of charity work and have travelled to Pakistan to perform free hair, eyebrow and eyelash transplants for the victims of acid attacks.

And what do you hate about your job?

It was very upsetting to hear some of the stories from the patients I helped in Pakistan. There were women horrifically scarred for life because they had turned down a man’s marriage proposal. The police did nothing and the acid could be bought for as little as 15p a bottle. A TV crew from Granada travelled to Pakistan to film their stories an. It was the most professionally satisfying project I have ever been involved with.

What qualifications, skills and personal qualities do you need for the job? 

You need to be a fully qualified doctor before you can run a hair transplant clinic. I had extensive training in hair transplantation after previously working as a general surgeon. Hair transplantation is highly technical – the transplanted grafts need to be placed in a way that blends with the existing hair. That is all down to the skill of the individual surgeon. For personal qualities, you need to be a good listener and to love people.

Any advice for those wishing to join the profession?

Only do it if you are passionate about helping people and really keen to make a difference.