Gogglebox star Chris Butland-Steed has had his third hair transplant in just two years after admitting: “I am the vainest man in the world!”
The TV favourite sought help with his hair because he was bullied as a child and called 'Chrissy Sissy' at school – creating deep insecurities over his appearance.
He has an aggressive form of hair loss which he covered up with wigs before having hair transplants with Crown Clinic surgeon Asim Shahmalak.
He had a £9,000 FUE (follicular unit extraction) procedure – the same as Wayne Rooney and Calum Best.
Around 1,500 hair grafts (more than 3,000 individual hairs) were taken from the back and sides of his scalp and replanted in the balding area around his crown.
Chris, 41, who has starred on the hit Channel 4 show since it started five years ago, said: “There is no point denying it – I am the vainest man in the world.
“I am a hair stylist and I pride myself on having wonderful, flamboyant hair.
“Unfortunately, nature gave me an aggressive form of hair loss which meant I have been losing lots of my natural hair since my early 20s.
“I would be completely bald like my dad now if I had not sought help from hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak.
“He has very patiently replaced all my lost hair over the last two years and ensured I have the same glorious full head of hair I had when I was teenager.
“This third hair transplant is the final piece in the jigsaw and I won't require any further surgery.
“I can wear my hair any way that I want and feel completely happy and confident about my appearance. The self-confidence these procedures have given me has been priceless.”
Gogglebox is back on Channel 4 for a new series on Friday (Feb 23).
Chris said he is still haunted by the bullying he suffered as a child.
He said: “It all came down to the fact that I was the camp boy at school. They called me Chrissy Sissy and created deep insecurities about my appearance that remain to this day.
“I have always wanted to defy those bullies by looking as good as I could and I definitely didn't want to be completely bald like my dad.
“I am lucky that the whole hair transplant industry has been transformed in the last ten years and you can now get a beautiful natural look and keep hold of your hair.
“It's no exaggeration to say that I look ten years younger as a result of the procedures and it has completely changed my life.”
Chris had his first procedure with Dr Shahmalak two years ago – filling out the front of his hairline.
He went under the knife at Crown Clinic again a year later so that he would look good for his wedding last July in Brighton to his long-term boyfriend, landscape gardener Tony Butland.
Chris had what will be his last transplant last week at Crown Clinic in Manchester.
He explained said: “I don't think I will need any further treatment and, to be honest, my donor hair is running low so I would struggle to have another procedure.
“I could have avoided having so much surgery by taking the hair loss drug Finasteride by I am not keen on putting chemicals in my body and I am too lazy to take a tablet every day.”
It will take up to a year for the newly transplanted hair to grow back.
And when it does, Chris wants to style it like his favourite hunk on TV, Emmerdale actor Michael Parr, who plays Ross Barton in the soap.
Dr Shahmalak treats lots of celebrity patients and his clients include Calum Best, TV doctor Christian Jessen and Homes Under The Hammer Martin Roberts.
He said: “Like a lot of people in the public eye, Chris wants to keep hold his hair and look good in TV.
“TV can be a brutal industry and there is a lot of pressure on performers to look their best.
“I see lots of celebrities who would rather keep their treatment secret but it is wonderful when a patient is happy to share their story like Chris.
“Hair transplants are transforming the lives of so many men. You can look years younger for the same price as upgrading your car. It is money very well spent.”
Bookings at Crown Clinic are up 25% in the last five years and a key factor has been the 'Rooney effect' – with young men copying stars such as the ex-England captain and celebrities like Calum Best in having a transplant.
Spurs manager Antonio Conte is one of a number of people in football who have benefitted from a hair transplant.
Another is the Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who has been very open about seeking help with his hair.
Conte, 52, looks completely different in the before and after pictures shown on this page and is likely to have had several procedures to boost his hair.
Like a lot of men, Conte started losing his hair in his late 20s and early 30s when he was a successful player in the Italian league and playing for the Italian national team.
He was pictured several times during this time showing all the signs of advanced male pattern baldness.
Since becoming such a successful manager, Conte has had at least two hair transplants to cover up the bald areas at the front of his hairline.
It is likely he would have opted for a FUE (follicular unit extraction) procedure. This is where the grafts are removed individually from the back and sides of the scalp and then replanted in the balding areas.
This is a big change on five years ago when the majority of our patients chose the more traditional method of hair transplantation known as FUT (follicular unit transplantation) or strip surgery.
The advantage of FUE over FUT is that there is less scarring. Most FUE patients are simply left with some red pin pricks where the donor hair is harvested and replanted which go away after a few weeks.
FUE is slightly more expensive than FUE because it requires more time to carry out. This is because the donor grafts are removed individually rather in one single strip of skin which is surgically removed, which is what happens under FUT.
Crown Clinic’s most famous FUT patient is the TV doctor Christian Jessen who has had two FUT transplants with Dr Shahmalak. Scarring is greater with FUT and all patients are left with a lined scar on the scalp where the strip for the donor hair is removed. This soon heals and if you wear your hair relatively long, like Christian Jessen, it is very difficult to see the scar because the hair grows over it. However, the scar is visible if you like to wear your hair short or shaved, like Calum Best, so we recommend FUE for all patients who like their hair short. Around 20% of Crown Clinic patients still prefer FUT. There is evidence to show that slightly few grafts are lost in the donor hair harvesting process by removing the grafts in one go – so that is an advantage of FUT.
Conte has not spoken about his hair transplants, so we don’t know for sure which method he chose.
Whichever one it was, he is to be congratulated on his choice and the work of his hair transplant surgeon because he has an excellent result.