Has the Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey had a hair transplant?

There has been a lot of speculation over the years that the Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey has had at least one hair transplant.

This started back in 1999 when he was arrested and the police release a police ‘mug shot’ of the actor showing appreciable male pattern baldness around the temples.

Obviously McConoughey, 48, had no say as to how he looked in this mug shot – it showed his appearance exactly as it was.

In later years, fresh pictures of McConaughey were published showing noticeable thickening in his hair with no discernible balding around the temples.

Clearly, these pictures would have been approved by McConaughey in advance and showed the actor looking his best.

What had brought about this change?

McConaughey has not spoken publicly about having a hair transplant procedure but it is perfectly reasonable to assume that he has had help with his hair.

The most likely explanation is that the actor has had a Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplant procedure.

This is where the grafts are removed individually from the back and sides of the patient’s scalp. Around 80% of clients at Crown Clinic chose FUE, the same procedure Wayne Rooney and Crown Clinic patient Calum Best had for their hair transplants.

The advantage of FUE is that scarring is minimal. Patients have red pin pricks around the donor area and where the hair has been replanted in the balding areas, but these go away after a couple of weeks.

If you like to wear your hair shaved or short, FUE is definitely the best option.

Other Crown Clinic patients who have had FUE procedures with our consultant surgeon Asim Shahmalak include the football pundit Didi Hamann, Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts and Gogglebox star Chris Butland-Steed.

McConaughey may have opted for the more traditional form of hair transplantation, FUT (follicular unit transplantation), also known as strip surgery. Around 20% of patients at Crown Clinic opt for FUT.

This is where the donor’s hair is obtained by cutting a strip of skin from the back or side of the scalp.

The advantage of this method is that all the donor grafts are obtained in one go – they are then extracted from the strip under a microscope and replanted into the scalp by Dr Shahmalak.

The advantage of FUT over FUE is that it is less labour intensive and therefore cheaper. There is also evidence that more grafts suvive the extraction process through FUT because they removed en masse.

The disadvantage of FUT is that it leaves a lined scar on the scalp where the strip is taken. This is fine if you like to wear your hair long, such as the TV doctor Christian Jessen who has had two FUT transplants with Dr Shahmalak – his natural hair covered up the scarring.

At Crown Clinic, we have introduced a new procedure called Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) which can help with hiding FUT scars. SMP involves placing minute particles of natural and synthetic iron oxide colour pigment about a millimentre below the skin’s surface.

These tattoos create the illusion of a fuller and denser head of hair and are a great way of covering up FUT scars.

So in all likelihood McConaughey has had at least one, probably two hair transplant procedures.

What is undeniable is that he looks infinitely better and younger with a full head of hair.

Like many actors he is probably found that there are a fuller range of roles open to him with a full head of hair.