A surprisingly high number of footballers have had hair transplants.
We all know about very famous cases such as the former England captain Wayne Rooney who has had at least two FUE (follicular unit extraction) procedures to combat the baldness he has been fighting since his teens.
At Crown Clinic, our consultant hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak has performed a FUE hair transplant on the former Liverpool and Man City footballer Didi Hamann.
Didi came to clinic because his hair was thinning on top and he wanted to look good for his TV work. He was happy to share his story with the media and appear on the Crown Clinic website.
Dr Shahmalak has operated on several other Premiership players who came to him as private, paying customers and did not want to share their stories.
The peak time for footballers to have hair transplants is the summer months when they have a prolonged break from the game and they are not in the media spotlight.
Most footballers opt for the FUE transplant technique. This is where donor follicles are removed individually from the back and sides of the scalp and then replanted in the balding areas by Dr Shahmalak.
The advantage of this technique is that the scarring is minimal. Most patients are left with some red pin pricks in the donor area and where the hair has been replanted, but these go away after a few weeks.
Other celebrity hair transplant patients who have been treated by Dr Shahmalak at Crown Clinic include the model Calum Best, Homes Under The Hammer star Martin Roberts and Gogglebox star Chris Butland-Steed.
What is the most common type of hair transplant that footballers get?
As well as Wayne Rooney and Didi Hamann, lots of other well-known footballers and ex-pros working as TV pundits have gone under the knife and boosted their hair with a hair transplant.
Other well known cases include Ryan Giggs, Steve Claridge, Pat Nevin and Michael Gray.
Dr Shahmalak has appeared in the media in recent weeks to discuss whether former England captain David Beckham has also had a hair transplant.
Dr Shahmalak’s verdict is that it is highly likely that Becks HAS had a procedure due to the increased density at the front of his hairline.
So why do so many footballers go under the knife?
While procedures are available at Crown Clinic for as little as £5,000 – the same cost as changing your car – there is no doubt that cost is a factor in so many footballers seeking help with their hair.
Procedures such as a hair transplant are a lot more affordable when you are earning millions each year.
Footballers also seek help with their hair to protect the value of their images rights.
For someone like Becks, this is the majority of his income. Ten years after he stopped playing, he is still in huge demand as an ambassador for goods and services.
Does anyone seriously think that these brands would pay as much for a global fashion icon such as Becks if he was losing his hair significantly and had bald patches?