Guide to eyelash transplants at Crown Clinic

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Surgeon Dr Asim Shahmalak from Crown Clinic in Manchester is one of the few surgeons in Europe carrying out eyelash transplants.
The procedure was pioneered in America where Dr Shahmalak was taught how to perform the operation by the renowned surgeon Alan Bauman from Florida.
Mr Shahmalak brought it to the UK and since then he has been performed the procedure on many women at his world famous clinic near Manchester airport. The main reason women come to him is because they have wrecked their natural eyelashes by sticking on
false eyelashes. Many women accidentally rip out their natural eyelashes taking out false eyelashes – damaging them irreparably.
Dr Shahmalak brought the operation to the UK because he had seen there was a demand for it in the US.
Dr Shahmalak performed the UK’s first eyelash transplant on a patient from Manchester in 2009.
He is also well known for his work with male celebrities and he has performed hair transplants on stars such as TV doctor Christian Jessen, model Calum Best and Coronation Street star Jack P Shepherd.

Eyelash Transplant

Eyelash implants are a form of cosmetic surgery involving transplanting additional eyelashes around the eye. The process typically involves removing a section of hair from the patient,
typically from the back of the head, and grafting the hair to the eyelids, augmenting the existing eyelashes or replacing them completely if a patient has lost all their natural eyelashes. The procedure typically involves 60 to 70 hairs per eye, and after removal and a thorough
cleaning of the oil on the hair, they are reattached to patient by delicately threading the lashes into the eyelids. Maintenance of the eyelashes is needed thereafter, as the hair continues to grow at the
same rate as on other parts of the body.

How the operation works

The eyelash transplant procedure is done in the following manner: An area (2 inches X 3/8 inch) of scalp in the back of the head is numbed
with a local anesthetic. That section (scalp strip) is removed and the gap is sewn shut with stitches. The scalp strip is given to a technician who cuts and separates the hair tissue into single hair
follicular grafts. The grafts are then one by one implanted into the upper eyelid by the surgeon by threading with a curved needle.  The procedure takes approximately 2-3 hours and costs around £4,00-£5,000.

Reasons for having an eyelash transplant 

Eyelashes make an important contribution to facial symmetry and presentation of self to others. A person without eyelashes may feel very self-conscious about his/her appearance.
Like general hair transplant surgery, eyelash surgery can be required because of a number of reasons including physical trauma, medical and surgical treatments and compulsive plucking of eyebrows (Trichotillomania), absence of body hair.

Post-op maitenance 

The transplanted eyelashes come from head hair and therefore the new eyelashes grow just like they would on the head. That means that they need to
be trimmed regularly, just like head hair. They also need to be curled so that they blend perfectly with the existing natural eyelashes.
Trimming and curling is easily done and Crown Clinic provide patient with a beauty kit to do this. Patients find that with this simple maintenance their new lashes perfectly blend with existing lashes.

How will I feel after the operation

Patients’ eyes will be a little delicate for a few days after the procedure before quickly returning to normal. It takes around six months for the new lashes to fully grow in and be seen at their best.

Successful eyelash transplant patient

A female finance director came to Crown Clinic for an eyelash transplant after  complaining that she looked like a ‘frog’ when she wrecked her natural eyelashes after becoming addicted to wearing false lashes.
Increasing numbers of women are damaging their eyelashes permanently due the boom in synthetic lashes . Other women require eyelash transplants after suffering from the
psychological condition trichotillomania – where sufferers rip out their body hair.
This female patient was left with just 3 eyelashes on her upper right lid and 19 on her upper left lid after years of damage through gluing on false
extensions.The damage was made worse when she got an gum eye infection a year ago which caused itching and she rubbed off many of her already weakened natural lashes.
With almost completely bald upper lids, she was too embarrassed to leave her house or even let her family, boyfriend or friends see her without her false eyelashes.
She said her life has been transformed by the operation.
She said: “It feels like a miracle to have hair on my eyelids when for so long there was nothing. “I am so pleased that I have had it done. “I will now have lovely long, natural eyelashes for the rest of my
life  – and need never wear false eyelashes again.
“The only new beauty routine I will have to adopt is curling and trimming my new lashes every couple of weeks. Because they are made from head hair they grow in just the same wayand need more grooming than natural eyelashes.”
Dr Shahmalak said: “I am very proud to be one of only a few surgeons in the world currently carrying out this operation.
“The new lashes will last for the rest of her life, though she will need to
trim and curl them every few weeks. Dr Shahmalak said that the procedure was becoming more popular in the UK.
He said: “Lots of women permanently damage their eyelashes by overusing false ones. The glue can block the hair follicle and they can end up losing their natural lash.
“The problem has been made worse by the boom in their use in recent years, thanks to celebrities such as Cheryl Cole and the stars of Strictly Come Dancing.
“I also see women needing eyelash transplants who have suffered from trichotillomania – a psychological conditions which sees them rip out
their eyelashes, causing permanent damage which only an eyelash transplant can remedy.”

Our Surgeon

Dr. Asim Shahmalak

Dr Asim Shahmalak is a world-renowned hair transplant surgeon who performed the UK’s first eyelash transplant in 2009. He runs Crown Clinic – one of Britain’s most successful and best known hair transplant clinics. He has treated a number of high-profile industry leaders and celebrities including the medical broadcaster Dr Christian Jessen, best known for Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies.

Related Articles

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.

Around 80% of patients coming to Crown Clinic to our consultant surgeon Asim Shahmalak now opt for FUE.

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.

Famous Crown Clinic FUE patients include the Coronation Street star Jack P Shepherd, model Calum Best, and the football pundit Didi Hamann.

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.

Dr Asim Shahmalak from Crown Clinic is one of the world’s leading hair transplant surgeons.

He is the surgeon to the stars and has performed procedures for celebrities including Jack P Shepherd from Coronation Street, the model Calum Best and the TV doctor Christian Jessen.

He has pioneered new hair transplant procedures in the UK such as eyelash, eyebrow, beard and sideburn transplants.

His main clinic is close to Manchester Airport and he also has consulting rooms in Harley Street.

A former general surgeon in the NHS, he switched to hair transplantation private practice 15 years ago and is one of the most acclaimed surgeons globally in FUE (follicular unit extraction) and FUT (follicular unit transplantation) hair transplant procedures

Are more women enquiring about hair transplants/procedures/treatments and if so why? Is demand growing?

Asim Shahmalak said: “Yes, more women are enquiring about hair transplants. They are still far outnumbered by men but around 10% of my patients are female.

“Most of them come because they have permanent thinning hair and this can be even more damaging to a woman’s self-esteem than a man’s simply because it is more unexpected and it can have a devastating impact on a woman’s confidence.

“I also treat increasing numbers of women for eyebrow and eyelash transplants. Most eyebrow transplants are down to women permanently damaging their brows due to over-plucking. Hair is transplanted from the scalp and replanted in the brows.

“I also do eyelash transplants on women. I was the first surgeon in the UK to perform an eyelash transplant here – way back in 2007 on a young woman from Greater Manchester. Most eyelash transplant patients seek treatment after suffering from trichotillomania – a condition where sufferers rip out their eyelashes due to psychological issues. Hair is extracted from the scalp and replanted in the upper eyelid. Because it is scalp hair, it goes as it would on the scalp when replanted in the eyelid so it can curl when longer and needs to be straightened. I provide kits so patients can do this themselves.

“Demand is growing for general female hair transplants. The reason for this is greater awareness that hair transplantation is the only long term solution to permanent hair loss in women.

“There is also a lot of concern about hair extensions and the damage they can cause to the scalp. Women can wreck their hair with hair extensions which can pull out their natural hair and cause permanent damage to the scalp.

“Lots of women have seen successful male transplant patients such as Calum Best or Jack P Shepherd and thought, ‘That could work for me, too.’”

Why have women been slower than men to enquire about hair procedures?


Asim Shahmalak said: “I think women have been slower than men to enquire about hair transplants in the past because they thought that hair transplants were a ‘man thing.’ You didn’t read about women having procedures and there was this assumption that while women could benefit in lots of ways through plastic surgery – breast enhancements or browlifts or facelifts – hair transplantation was not for them. One of the reasons is that a lot of female hair loss is hormonal and non-permanent. The hair eventually grows back and so hair transplantation is not necessary.

“However, a significant number of women do suffer permanent hair loss for a number of reasons including the same hereditary reasons which is the main factor in men going bald. A receding hairline at the front ages a woman far more quickly than a similar condition in men. You expect some women in their eighties or nineties to have thinning hair, but not in their forties or fifties. It is those younger middle aged women who are coming to me for help in increasing numbers.”

Are more younger women enquiring about hair transplants/procedures/treatments and if so why?

Asim Shahmalak said: “Yes, more young women are inquiring about treatments and there is a simple reason: vanity. In the age of social media, where we can all enhance our appearance with photographic filters, a hair transplant is like having a permanent positive filter on your hair. You can wave goodbye to bad hair days and have the hair you have always wanted every day.

“So many young people want to look their best when sharing pictures on Facebook and Instagram and come to me for procedures which will improve their self confidence and how they present themselves to their friends and the world on social platforms.”


Are more women going through the menopause enquiring about hair transplants/procedures/treatments and if so why?

Asim said: “Menopause is a natural physiological process that all women experience at some point in their lives. During this time, the body goes through numerous physical changes as it adjusts to fluctuating hormone levels. Many women have unpleasant symptoms during menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia. Hair loss is another common occurrence.


“Hair loss tends to be subtler in women than it is in men. Most women experience overall hair thinning rather than noticeable bald spots. The thinning can occur on the front, sides, or top of the head. Hair may also fall out in large clumps during brushing and showering.

“Research suggests that hair loss during menopause is the result of a hormonal imbalance. Specifically, it’s related to a lowered production of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones help hair grow faster and stay on the head for longer periods of time. When the levels of estrogen and progesterone drop, hair grows more slowly and becomes much thinner. A decrease in these hormones also triggers an increase in the production of androgens, or a group of male hormones. Androgens shrink hair follicles, resulting in hair loss on the head. In some cases, however, these hormones can cause more hair to grow on the face. This is why some menopausal women develop facial “peach fuzz” and small sprouts of hair on the chin.

“For women going through menopause, the cause of hair loss is almost always related to hormonal changes. However, there are many other factors that can contribute to hair loss during menopause. These include extremely high levels of stress, illness, or a lack of certain nutrients. Diagnostic blood tests that can help rule out other causes of hair loss include thyroid tests, and/or a complete blood count.

“Hair loss may make you feel self-conscious about your physical appearance, but the condition isn’t permanent in most cases. Obviously where it is non-permanent a hair transplant is not appropriate.

“However in some cases the hair loss is permanent and a hair transplant is appropriate. We have seen growing number of post-menopausal women seeking help for the same reasons of vanity that attract younger women to the clinic.”

Do you have any concerns about the hair transplant industry, particularly the popularity of going abroad?

Asim Shahmalak said: “I have great concerns about the numbers of patients of both sexes going to countries such as Turkey for hair transplant procedures.

“Do you really want to take a risk on such an important decision on what could be a completely unregulated clinic? The main drawback of going abroad for a procedure is that patients have almost no recourse if the procedure goes wrong or they don’t get the result they desired.


“Do you really want to start legal proceedings in a Turkish court and would you have the first idea about what to do? If you need further care from the surgeon, you will need to fly thousands of miles for a remedy which again may not work. It may be a little more expensive to have treatment in the UK but it is money very well spent.


“One of the main areas of my work is repair surgery. Patients come to me after having a terrible experience in a country such as Turkey and ask me to repair the damage. In most cases, I can help and sort out their problems but, in a few cases, nothing can be done and patients can severely damage their appearance by going to an unregulated ‘cowboy clinic’ abroad.


And I would be keen to know if you have any case studies of women who have had the procedure who would be able to tell me about their experience?


Asim Shahmalak said: “Most of my female patients would rather not be fully named and pictured when talking about their hair transplant procedures.


“But several have been so pleased with the results that they are okay to share pictures and their experiences in a way where they are not fully identified. Here are some of my very happy former female patients.”

He maybe the world’s richest man, but all those riches could not save Elon Musk’s hair.
That is why the founder of the Tesla car company transformed his appearance with a hair transplant.
You can see the remarkable change in his appearance in the before and after pictures below.

His hair is clearly thinning at the front in the before picture on the left, taken in his 20s.

Fast forward more than 20 years and the 50-year-old Musk has a full head of hair in the after picture on the right.

Musk will almost certainly have had a Follicular Unit Extraction transplant – chosen by 80% of the patients at Crown Clinic.

With FUE, the donor hair is extracted individually from the back and sides of the scalp – keeping any scarring to a minimum.

Celebrity patients of our consultant hair transplant surgeon Dr Asim Shahmalak who have had FUE transplants include Jack P Shepherd from Coronation Street, the footballer Didi Hamann and the model Calum Best.

Dr Shahmalak also offers the more traditional method of hair transplantation, FUT – follicular unit transplantation.

With FUT, all the donor hair is removed in one go by surgically cutting a strip of skin from the scalp. The donor grafts are then extracted from the strip by technicians and replanted in the balding areas of the scalp by Dr Shahmalak in the same way as FUE.

The TV doctor Christian Jessen has had two FUT transplants at Crown Clinic with Dr Shahmalak. We don’t recommend FUT for patients who like to wear their hair short or shaved because the scarring is more noticeable than FUE. If you grow your hair slightly longer, as Christian Jessen does, the scarring cannot be seen.

Whatever method he chose, Elon Musk is to be congratulated on his transplant – his new hair looks fantastic.