‘I had a hair transplant and it changed my life’

‘I had a hair transplant and it changed my life’

Evening Standard Article

‘I had a hair transplant and it changed my life’

Let’s start with a much-needed rebrand: it’s a hair movement, not a transplant.  No-one else’s organs – or follicles – are involved. No, it’s a movement: merely moving some of your own hair around.

Under the be-thatched gaze of a former football manager’s portrait, Dr Bessam Farjo – the lead surgeon – drew white lines around parts of my scalp. “I build a mental picture of what you might look like in 10 or 20 years’ time,” says Dr Farjo. “The trick is designing something that looks realistic, looks like it’s always been there, doesn’t attract attention – but makes you feel better and look great.”

It turns out if you don’t have enough donor hair at the back and sides of the scalp, there are other alternatives. “The next option is your beard. I can take hairs from your beard to put on your head,” says Dr Farjo. “The next choice after that is chest hair – and tummy hair as well.”

“In terms of making a change to someone’s life, that was something major,” says Dr Farjo. “But the work we do every day is significant and sometimes life-transforming to each person. People come here because hair loss grinds at them: I’m not the person I was, it’s denting my self-confidence and social interaction, am I old?. The truth is, it’s hard to admit, but hair loss cuts deep into a person’s psyche. I say ‘person’ because it happens to women as well.”

The cost? The Farjo Hair Institute charge £6 per graft for the first thousand – then £3 for each graft after that. So a 1,700-graft procedure would be around £8,000. Clinics abroad, notably Turkey, can be a fraction of the UK price. “A lot of the cheaper places abroad are kind of like hair transplant mills. It’s like a shop and you say, ‘I’ll have that transplant off the shelf please’. You may be lucky and get a great result, but you can easily be unlucky and get a total disaster.” Dr Farjo says he’s had to repair botched operations carried out abroad. “The reason why it’s a lot cheaper (overseas) is because in most cases you’re not getting the same service – here you’re getting the time, advice and somebody investing in your long-term strategy.”

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