Ex footballer Peter Reid swears by his but would you have a hair transplant? Here’s what you need to know

Ex-England midfielder and Manchester City boss Peter Reid has been having some really good hair days. The 62-year-old has opened up for the first time about undergoing a hair transplant last year, reflecting that it was “quite therapeutic, someone messing with your scalp!”.

He joins the ranks of Wayne Rooney, James Nesbitt, Anton Du Beke and, if the rumour mill is to be believed, many others, to take action against the creep of a receding hairline.

Given that millions of men will eventually experience some degree of male-pattern baldness, there may be many across the land weighing up the pros and cons of acting against their ailing hairlines. So what is a hair transplant, and should you get one?

A few things to consider

First of all, transplants can only work with what’s already there. They take hair from one part of your head and re-attach it to another – it can’t come from the barbershop floor or any other part of your body. If your pate has passed through the thinning phase into complete baldness, then a wig might be a more suitable solution.

Secondly, hair transplants are regarded as a cosmetic procedure, so will usually need to be paid for privately. According to the UK's NHS website, private hair transplants will set you back between £1,000 and £30,000, depending on “the extent of hair loss, the type of procedure, and the quality of the clinic”. It goes without saying that the quality of the clinic is of paramount importance, of course.

Thirdly, the process is permanent. Hair cannot be exchanged and rearranged, and the procedure may leave some scarring on removal zones. Before making a decision, you should make all appropriate enquiries and seek advice on whether a hair transplant is for you.

How does the procedure work?

The basic theory is as follows: Hair replenishes itself through follicles in our skin, which push hair cells out through the surface at roughly six inches a year

There are two main types of procedure. FUT (follicular unit transplantation), involves removing a strip of skin containing healthy hair, dividing it into two-hair grafts, and then inserting those grafts into tiny incisions in the scalp.

FUE (follicular unit extraction) is similar, except that the entire head is shaved, and follicles removed one by one using a special punch – before being implanted elsewhere as needed. The process can take some time but both procedures are usually carried out on an outpatient basis, and only rarely require overnight stays.

Is it safe?

Pretty much, yes. Although it’s important to remember that every surgical procedure carries a certain degree of risk, including infection or bleeding. You shouldn’t feel pain either: Most hair transplants are performed under local anaesthetic, and you should receive pain relief for the following days.

One important point to note: If you’ve been given a sedative, you won’t be able to drive for at least 24 hours afterwards.

Perhaps one of the main things to consider is whether you’re likely to be happy with the results, usually a consequence of the skill of your surgeon mixed with the realism of your expectations.

Should you have one? That’s entirely up to you. Hair loss is very common for men as they age, and some experience it at a younger age than others (you can thank your genes for that) – and while there’s absolutely no obligation to try and ‘fix it’ or cover it up, some people feel more confident doing so.

- Press Association

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