For men affected by hair loss the prospect of regaining their hair often symbolises enormous personal renewal.
Inevitably, for many men, this desire for a healthy head of hair prompts a search that uncovers images of celebrities and sporting stars claiming they have found the perfect hair loss solution.
While these images are positive and reassuring, they can be confusing to the unwary, say experts.
Particularly confusing, say experts, are references to hair replacement and hair restoration procedures.
While many people may think these procedures are the same, it is important to distinguish between non-medical hair replacement and surgical hair restoration.
Non surgical hair replacement, which involves attaching a hair piece, wig or toupee, offers the instant enhancement of a fuller looking head of hair.
Unlike the clinically proven permanent solution of surgical hair restoration where the donor hair grows naturally, non-surgical hair replacement demands ongoing visits to the salon for upkeep and reattachment of the hair piece, as well as being more expensive in the long run.
For England cricketing team batting coach Graham Thorpe MBE, the prospect of regrowing his hair through transplantation, outweighed the instant gratification of a hair piece.
The fit 44-year-old joins a field of celebrities and sporting stars including Wayne Rooney and Gordon Donnelly who have chosen hair transplantation.
Graham says he explored a range of options over 18 months to treat his thinning crown before booking a procedure with renowned hair transplant specialist, Dr Jennifer Martinick.
At the end of England’s last tour of Australia in January he extended his stay by a few days and had a 2,800 graft procedure at Martinick Hair Restoration in Bondi.
Within 24 hours he flew home to England and within just over a week, recommenced his fitness regime of three to four work out sessions per week.
“Like a lot of men, I wanted a solution that takes care of itself and grows naturally, Graham says.
“I didn’t like the idea of having to have a hair piece reattached every few months.”
Graham, who could have chosen any clinic in the world to have a hair transplant, is among over 4,000 men to have benefited from the Martinick Technique ™ – a surgical technique renowned for creating a natural and denser looking head of hair.
Speaking six months after the procedure, which he described as comfortable and straight-forward, he says he is glad he invested in himself.
Although he doesn’t expect to see the full results of the transplant for up to 12 months, his new “hair is already looking good”.
“I am told that the angle the hair has been transplanted, as well as the use of groupings of follicles which have two, three or four hairs in them, has meant I will have a natural and denser looking head of hair,” Graham says.
“I work very closely with my sporting colleagues so I had to be open about the procedure. Along with the rib tickling I am getting positive feedback.”
“My children, who are constantly looking at my head, are very excited to see the new hair growing in my crown area. “
Dr Martinick, the immediate past president of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, says modern hair transplantation is a viable solution for men from all walks of life around the world.
However, she advises of the need to thoroughly research a clinic and the hair restoration physician before committing to a transplant.
This research should involve finding out about the surgical techniques a physician uses as well as the philosophy and practices of the clinic and seeing the results achieved for previous patients.
“Find out if the doctor is actively involved in in your surgery”, Dr Martinick says.
“At some clinics the physician is only present at the beginning and end of the surgery. Martinick Hair Restoration physicians actively take part in the whole procedure, ensuring an artistically superior outcome.”
For more information visit www.martinickhair.com.au or call 1800 689 939.