Why is Prince Harry’s hair loss accelerating so quickly?

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Dr Asim Shahmalak, consultant hair transplant surgeon at Crown Clinic, is one of the UK’s leading expert on hair loss.
His celebrity clients include Coronation Street star Jack P Shepherd, TV doctor Christian Jessen, model Calum Best and Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts. He gets media enquiries from all over the world. The subject he is asked about most often at present is Prince Harry’s hair loss.

Specifically, people want to know why the 35-year-old royal is losing his hair so quickly. Here are some of the most popular questions.

How quickly has Harry lost his hair since marrying Meghan and becoming a father compared to before marrying her – and why would that be?

Dr Asim Shahmalak said: “Prince Harry’s hair loss has accelerated in the last two years since his marriage to Meghan.
“Over that time his bald patch has more than doubled in size. His bald patch is most noticeable around the crown area but his hair is thinning fast towards the front of his hairline, too.
“While stress is a small factor in hair loss, the main reason for his hair loss is the Windsor baldness gene.
“Prince Harry has just been unlucky. That gene has really kicked in just at the time that he has met the woman of his dreams. His hair loss was much slower before he met Meghan. I don’t think meeting Meghan is a factor. His baldness gene took off at exactly the wrong time.”

How does Harry’s hair loss compare to his brother and dad’s hair loss?

Dr Asim Shahmalak said: “Prince Harry is now experiencing the aggressive hair loss that his older brother William went through in his 20s. William is 37 now, two years older than Harry, but he pretty much lost all the hair on the top of his scalp in his 20s. By the end of his 20s, Prince William was balder than his father (Prince Charles) and his grandfather (Prince Philip).
“Prince Harry’s hair loss was slower to take root than his older brother. They have the same baldness gene but it does not always proceed at the same rate amongst family members.
“Harry’s hair loss has really accelerated in the last two years. He will be as bald as his big brother if he does not take action.
“Prince William has chosen to embrace his hair loss, wear his remaining hair short and do nothing about it. I suspect that Prince Harry will be more proactive in sorting out his problem.
“It was reported earlier this month that Prince Harry has been seeing a trichologist about using hair thickener products.
“There are clinically proven drugs you can take to combat hair loss.
“Finasteride, also known as Propecia, could slow down or even stop Harry’s hair loss.
“A lot of men take in combination with a hair transplant. It won’t grow him any new hair but it is clinically proven to treat hair loss and is effective.
“A very small number of patients experience symptoms such as loss of libido and the growth of man boobs. These might put Harry off but they soon go away when you stop taking the drug.”

What are the causes of hair loss usually?

Dr Asim Shahmalak said: “The overwhelming cause of hair loss is your genes. It started with Prince Philip and has now been passed down to Prince Charles and on to his sons Prince William and Prince Harry. Let’s hope baby Archie doesn’t get it, too!
“It is a myth that the baldness gene is only passed down on the mother’s side. Even here, there is a pattern of hair loss because Harry’s mother Princess Diana had a bald father in Earl Spencer.
“So Harry has the baldness gene in both sides of his family. He was always at a high risk of suffering male pattern baldness.”

What reasons do most men who come in to have hair transplants give for their choice to have it? Could Meghan have persuaded him to go and get a hair transplant?

Dr Asim Shahmalak said: “Prince Harry could have come under pressure from his bride Meghan to tackle his hair loss.
“She was a Hollywood actress in her former career so she knows very well the value of looking good.
“A lot of my clients come due to subtle pressure applied by their partners who would rather not be dating a bald man. That could well be what is happening with Harry.
“It is important to stress that Prince Harry has not had a hair transplant at this stage. He may well be taking medication to slow or halt his hair loss but it is very difficult to hide having a hair transplant when you are as high profile as Harry. You would have be able to tell through the scarring in the immediate aftermath of the operation.
“But the only way that Prince Harry can properly tackle his aggressive hair loss is with a hair transplant. He is at a good age and at a good stage of his hair loss for such an operation. He still has a good covering of donor hair at the back and side of his scalp and a hair transplant operation could make a real difference to his appearance, making him appear years younger.
“If Meghan isn’t already persuading him to have a hair transplant, she should do.
“It is too late for Prince William. His male pattern baldness is at such an advanced stage that there is little that can be done to cover it up, short of wearing a wig.
“That is not the case with Harry. His situation can still be salvaged but he needs to have a hair transplant in the next couple of years to stop the rot and also take medication to slow down or halt his hair loss. There is no reason why Harry should eventually be as bald as his brother, father and grandfather if he takes action now.
“Prince Harry is about to embark on a new career away from the royal family where he will need to be attractive and marketable to big brands. A good way to do that is with a hair transplant.
“I would not be surprised if Meghan was advising him to have one. And that would be very good advice.
“Harry could have a FUE (follicular unit extraction) hair transplant like my clients Jack P Shepherd and Calum Best
“Hairs are extracted individually from the back and sides of the scalp and replanted in the balding areas on the top.
“With 1,500 grafts, which amounts to around 3,000 individual hairs, he could fill in his bald patches. He may need a further hair transplant a few years later if he does not take medication to slow down his natural hair loss. But there is every indication that he is already taking that medication.”

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.

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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.