Is there truth in the Gordon Ramsay hair transplant rumours?
There has been a lot of speculation over the years about whether the celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has had a hair transplant.
The speculation started after Ramsay was pictured showing the tell-tale signs of having a FUE (follicular unit extraction) procedure - namely shaven back and sides of the scalp
and small red pin pricks scars where the donor grafts have been harvested, to be replanted in the balding areas.
You can see how 51-year-old Ramsay looked showing these tell-tale signs in the newspaper cutting at the bottom of the story.
Ramsay has been pictured at least twice in the last 7 years showing these signs, so it is reasonable to assume that he has had at least two hair transplants.
Ramsay is a fantastic advert for the benefits of the FUE procedure - the same one chosen by Wayne Rooney and Crown Clinic celebrity hair transplant patients Calum Best,
Gogglebox star Chris Butland-Steed, Homes Under The Hammer star Martin Roberts and football presenter Didi Hamann.
Around 80% of clients of Crown Clinic's surgeon Asim Shahmalak now chose FUE - this is where the grafts are removed individually from the back and side of the scalp and replanted in the balding areas. FUE has grown in popularity because the scarring is minimal - just those red pin pricks visible on the shaved area of Ramsay's scalp and in the area where
the harvested hair is replanted which go away after a few weeks.
Around 20% of Dr Shahmalak's patients still prefer the more traditional method of hair transplantation, FUT (follicular unit transplantation), where the grafts are removed in one go in
a strip which is surgically cut from the back or side of the scalp. This leaves a scar on the scalp but it is not really visible if you like to wear your hair relatively long like Crown Clinic's celebrity
Ramsay has a wonderfully full head of hair. His career has taken him to the intensely competitive world of American TV where appearance is everything to their most popular stars.
You rarely see a middle-aged presenter without perfect teeth and barely a line on their face on TV in the States.
Ramsay probably rightly concluded that his shelf life as an American TV star would be dramatically shortened if he did not sort out his hair.
Hair loss is a continual process. So while the transplanted hair will be permanent, there is nothing to stop Gordon Ramsay losing more of his natural hair even after a transplant.
That is why many hair transplant patients have more than one procedure.
One way experts such as Dr Shahmalak recommend to combat this naturalhair loss is taking clinically proven hair loss drugs which can slow down or halt the natural shedding of hair.
Dr Shahmalak sometimes prescribes the drug Finasteride which is taken as a pill and has been shown to slow down or halt natural hair loss in around 90% of case.
A word of warning: around 2% of patients who take Finasteride experience side effects such as the loss of libido. Even though only a small number of patients experience side effects,
and these side effects go away as soon as you stop taking the drugs, some patients would rather not take the drug for these reasons.
There is another product Dr Shahmalak recommends called Minoxidil, also known as Regaine, which can be taken as a mousse and spread on the scalp like a normal hair mousse.
With some patients, Dr Shahmalaks recommends a hair transplant AND the use of medication - a dual approach to combating the problem of hair loss.
Some patients in the early stages of hair loss are recommended these hair loss medications until their pattern balding has progressed further and surgery is the more logical option.
We congratulate Ramsay on the excellence of his hair which is, no doubt, down to a wise choice of surgeon for the FUE procedures.