My Hair Transplant #4

Update – February and May 2013 photos now added

Take a look at the two pictures below. The first was taken in July 2012 and the second was taken in November 2012. My transplant took place in May 2012.

July 2012
July 2012
November 2012
November 2012

Update – This is how I now look in February 2013:::

Jason1Feb2013
February 2013

…and May 2013:::Jason2013

My Hair Transplant #3

Dr Ziering is behind many of the advances in modern hair restoration technology. In particular, he is known for the ‘Ziering whorl’, a way of recreating your scalps’ crown and hairline in the most natural way possible. He also developed a new type of chilled stereo microscope, in which the follicular units (hair follicles) could be comfortably separated into individual units by his trained technicians, whilst also keeping the skin tissue cool and healthier. Many other microscopes generate a lot of heat and can damage skin tissue. Since there are a finite number of hairs you can take from the back of your head, you want to ensure each one is transplanted successfully, and not damaged by the microscope or the technician.

There are a number of Ziering locations throughout Europe and the United States, each location having a team trained personally by Dr Ziering. However, I wanted to meet the pioneer himself in Hollywood California, and had decided at that point to place my future happiness in his hands.

My initial consultation took place at one of his offices roughly a mile from my house, ironically in a town called Holywood. Everything was explained in detail and photographs were taken to go on my medical record. I already knew about the technology and was keen to go ahead with the treatment, so 10th May 2012 was confirmed.

I had to travel to Los Angeles, and the Ziering staff could not have been more helpful in guiding me through everything, from advice about the procedure, to helping me arrange where to stay. I stayed on Sunset Boulevard, around a mile from the medical centre. It was a lively place and central to everywhere from Beverly Hills to Downtown LA.

My first day was spent chilling out and adjusting to the time difference. LA is eight hours behind the UK. So whilst I had been flying for 13 hours, my local arrival time was only 6 hours later than I had left the UK. My body was telling me it was 5AM!

LA is exactly what it looks like in the movies. The noise, cars, the friendly people, and the Sheriff’s Police car – It’s all here!

The following day was the day of my procedure. I got up at 6AM and got showered and ready. Since I was only a mile from the medical centre, I decided to walk. My appointment was at 7:30AM and as soon as I walked in the door, Dr Ziering came over and welcomed me. He was a cool guy, not what you might expect a surgeon to be like. The atmosphere was very relaxed and, unlike a hospital, there was a really nice smell in the air like essential oils.

While I was filling in my consent form, one by one, the friendly staff arrived for work and said hello. Everyone was very pleasant and friendly. They’re a great team. Between 20 and 30 people work in the surgery, each with their own speciality.

We got off to a start with some pre-op photos. This would give Dr Ziering and me a reference point of how my hair ‘used’ to look. There were about 20 photos in total. Once the photos were out of the way, it was time for Dr Ziering to design how the hairs would be placed to maximise the value of the procedure.

Click here to see the pre-op photos.

Dr Zeiring started to draw out some shapes on my scalp, designing how my hairline would look and how my crown hairs would be placed to ensure the procedure was perfect. Once we both agreed, it was time for the anaesthesia. The needle was barely painful, not unlike when a dentist uses a needle to anesthetise your gum.

I needed a lot of hair transplanted, and I had agreed upon the strip method of harvesting, to gain the most hair. A section of my hair was taped up at the back of my head and a section of skin removed. This was then stitched up. I didn’t feel a thing.

Meanwhile, a lot of microscopes were brought into the room and at least five staff were separating this donor skin into individual follicles. They allowed me to have a look through the microscope and it was fascinating! The staff were dividing the units into individual groups of follicles which contained one, two, three and four hairs, so they could be grafted into the correct places for the most natural looking result.

Dr Ziering then prepared the graft sites. Again, I couldn’t feel a thing, but the sites are where the individual units would be placed. While this was happening, I had control of the TV remote and was able to choose my favourite movies or programmes on the TV. I had some snacks too. In fact, Dr Ziering spent a lot of the time cracking jokes and asking my advice on how he should wear his designer stubble. It’s a very relaxed process!

After we all had lunch, the team began the process of inserting the grafts into the graft sites. This was probably the most time consuming part of the process, but given that there were 3418 grafts to implant, it helps put the amount of work required into perspective!

The grafts are not just simply inserted, they are each inserted in a particular direction so as to maximise the result of the procedure. This can take some time, but it’s vital for a successful outcome.

After the grafts were inserted, the procedure was over. Dr Ziering inspected each graft and was happy with the result. One of the nurses cleaned the area and I was given plenty of post-operative advice. Additionally, I was given a kit which would help speed up the healing process, as well as some antibiotics, painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets to prevent infection and help prevent swelling (not that I had any swelling).

For the first few days, I was told to sleep using three pillows and a ‘wrap around neck pillow’, which was provided. This would help minimise swelling by keeping my head above my heart. This was probably the most discomfort I had during the whole process.

I was invited back the next day for a scalp ‘clean-up’ which basically removed all traces of the procedure. There was a 20 minute laser treatment to speed up the healing process and then my hair was shampooed.

I had a brief final chat with Dr Ziering and his colleague Jason, before getting a taxi back to my hotel.

I began this blog by saying “It was the day I had been waiting over eight years for”, and I’m delighted that I did it.

The results will be most evident in around 9 months as that’s how long it takes new hair to grow some length. The whole process took around 10 relaxing hours. That was less time than it took to fly to Los Angeles! However as I mentioned earlier, Ziering also has practices around Europe and the UK.

Would I recommend a transplant from someone like Dr Ziering? Of course I would! If you add up the cost of all the treatments, drugs and concealers, plus the human cost of reduced self-esteem, withdrawl, feeling that you look old, and the usual jibes from friends and family, in my opinion it’s absolutely worth it!

Further information about Dr Ziering can be found at: http://www.hairtransplantziering.co.uk/

My Hair Transplant #2

10th May 2012 – My Hair Transplant – Jason Shankey – The UK’s Male Grooming Expert.

It was the day I had been waiting for, for over eight years.

After gradually losing my hair with androgenic alopecia (male pattern hair loss) since 2004, like many men, I had become upset and withdrawn at the way I was starting to look. Clumps of hair were evident in the plug hole each time I showered and it was becoming more and more obvious that more of what I was seeing at the top of my head was scalp, rather than hair. I could no longer style my hair because it was becoming so thin, and as you can probably imagine, as an expert in the hair industry, I hated what I was seeing.

Whether we like it or not, first impressions are made within ten seconds, and my thinning scalp and expanding balding crown were becoming more and more evident. For me, it dented my confidence and made me feel much older than my 41 years. I hear this from many of my clients who are losing their hair, and I challenge anyone who doesn’t agree, to voluntarily shave portions of hair off their scalp on a permanent basis (particularly between the crown and temples), to see what it actually looks and feels like.

Like a lot of men suffering the same way, I had tried a variety of ways to halt its progress and to hide it. I used Minoxidil since 2004, and I began taking Dutasteride in 2010, but I was a little too late with the Dutasteride. That’s more of a preventative treatment, which helps prevent your scalp from shedding its hair, and the effect of the Minoxidil seemed to be diminishing.

By this stage, I realised that there was no way of regaining my hair by just using these drugs, so I found a great concealer called Nanogen Nanofibres (which we sell in our salons). For me, this product was ideal, It’s a simple powder that you apply to your hair which hides hair loss and makes your hair appear full and thick. The difference was astonishing, but even though it looked amazing, it fell down in a few areas. Firstly, it’s a cosmetic product and isn’t permanent. Secondly, once people see your thick hair, you have to keep using it. This isn’t always practical if you go swimming for example, or if you get caught out in the rain.

As a professional hairdresser, I knew that there was one last line of defence against hair loss. A hair transplant surgeon can take hairs from the back of your head and insert them into the top of your head, thus replacing many of the hairs that have disappeared. There is quite a detailed scientific reason why the hair follicles at the back of your head aren’t susceptible to falling out like the ones at the top of your scalp, but let’s just say that they will stay there permanently.

Whilst this is a permanent solution, I had reservations about the procedure, because during the 1980’s when the treatment was first developed, surgeons used an old fashioned technique which ‘plugged’ clumps of hair into the recipient area. This gave transplanted hair a ‘dolls hair’ look, which quite frankly looked fairly ridiculous.

However, most things have moved on from the 1980’s, including hair transplant technology, and I thoroughly investigated the new techniques available before deciding it was something that would definitely suit me.

Using my professional judgement, I was able to understand how each process worked, and how it would transform my hair. For example, I could imagine what a finished look might be like based on the type of procedure a man chose, and it became evident that MFUT (Microscopic Follicular Unit Transplantation) with strip harvesting was perfect for my particular circumstance.

MFUT is where a strip of donor tissue is removed from the back of your head and then is carefully separated into the naturally occurring follicular units of one to four hairs per follicular unit under a microscope by a hair transplant technician, before being transplanted into recipient sites your surgeon has carefully created in the balding and thinning areas of your scalp. The result is a natural, completely undetectable hair transplantation outcome.

I had decided that I was ready to have a hair transplant and then spent a few months researched the entire market, before coming to my conclusion that Dr Craig Ziering would be my choice of surgeon.

To learn more about Ziering Medical, visit their website at www.hairtransplantziering.co.uk or call 0808 149 7281.

My Hair Transplant #1

As the UK’s leading Male Grooming expert, and as a personal Barber to my clients, I have long known about the effects that hair loss has upon the male population at large. I know how it generates anxiety, panic, a loss of confidence and a feeling of discontent to those it affects. I also know how hair loss makes men feel old beyond their years, and how many men feel in despair about the process, because I have gone through it myself.

I’m writing this blog from a personal perspective to help give men information about hair loss, and to help them through the problem. I’ll be detailing the various steps of my journey and letting you know how I coped with the process.

There are a lot of people who will try to make money from your predicament by offering myriad solutions which don’t work, so I’ll be keeping my discussion focused on the treatments and solutions which are clinically proven to help stop hair loss, and which sometimes reverse it.

Finally, I’ll discuss the hair restoration procedure I had in May 2012 to ‘bring my hair back’ and I’ll show you photos and tell you my thoughts at each stage of the process. Hair growth is a slow process, so I’ll probably be writing this until May 2013.

I do hope that this blog will help you come to terms with hair loss, and hopefully provide you with solutions which will help. Please feel free to leave your comments below as I look forward to sharing my experience.

Jason.

2011 - Head shaved to number two all over.
January 2011 - Head shaved to number two all over.

In 2011, I visited Ziering Medical with fairly advanced hair loss and was advised to use a combination of Minoxidil and Dutasteride to thicken up my hair prior to considering surgery. I had been using Minoxidil for seven years, but the effects weren’t as good as they were. This is what it looked like shaved down to 6mm all over.

May 2012 - Increased hair density after using both Dutasteride and Minoxidil for 18 months
May 2012 - Increased hair density after using both Dutasteride and Minoxidil for 18 months

After 18 months, you can see that my hair had thickened up considerably and I was a better candidate for restorative hair surgery.

The Apprentice

Well, that was a pretty busy week! I made my debut on The Apprentice and the phone, Facebook and Twitter haven’t stopped going since! I can only imagine how difficult it is for a celebrity to deal with so much interaction – and they probably get it all the time.

It was a great experience, and 10 million viewers saw our brand on the TV!

In case you missed it, here’s a few snaps of The Apprentice (Tom Gearing) asking me how to create a top range of Male Grooming products, watched over by the legendary Nick Hewer…

For details about our product range, go to jasonshankey.com and look for ‘Expert’

Jason greets Apprentice Tom in the salon
Jason greets Apprentice Tom in the salon
Jason advises Tom on how to create a successful range of Male Grooming products
Jason advises Tom on how to create a successful range of Male Grooming products
Once Tom has all of the information, he gets on with the task...
Once Tom has all of the information, he gets on with the task...

Style Academy creates nine new jobs.

A leading Belfast hairdressing business is helping to create nine new jobs by expanding into a different segment of the hairdressing market.

The ‘Junior Style Academy’ is the brainchild of Jason Shankey, who aims to create careers for the best up and coming hairdressers, whilst also helping families whose budgets have been stretched during the difficult economic climate.

“We have spent over six months training our apprentices, free of charge, to help them become leading hairdressers, and they’re now ready to run the Academy”, said Shankey. “We’ve created a platform for them to hone their skills so that they can forge a great future career in the hairdressing industry, and at the same time, families can use the service to save money on their hairdressing bills”.

Brenda Shankey and her Apprentices
Brenda Shankey and her Apprentices

Over one million jobs have been lost to young people since 2007 and apprenticeships have been identified as one way to improve young peoples’ chances of gaining work.

“We’re committed to helping young people back to work by sharing with them the best skills available, and we’re committed to our community by helping to lower the cost of living”.

The Academies will operate from the company’s Ballyhackamore and Lisburn Road salons, with prices starting as low as £7.50 for a boy’s haircut and £10 for a man’s haircut.

Merry Christmas

Just a quickie this month as we have become so busy during the festive season. If you’re looking for last minute gifts, don’t forget you can buy gift vouchers online at www.jasonshankey.com and of course in-store. If you’re buying online, we recommend leaving it no later than 18th December to ensure Royal Mail can deliver on time.

Have a great Christmas and a happy new year! From all the team at Jason Shankey Male Grooming.

October news and offers

Sorry for the delay in this month’s blog. We’ve been really busy organising the refurbishment of all our salons and we’re even building a new one!

Jason Shankey Male Grooming at House of Fraser Belfast will open it’s doors to the public on 3rd November. You probably already know it’s been something we’ve been working on for quite a long time, so we’re delighted to finally announce it. You’ll find us on the menswear floor (upper ground floor) just to the left of Cafe Nero.

It’s a full service concession, which means we’ll be offering all of the same hairdressing and grooming services that we provide in our other shops. We’ll be doing some good launch offers too and a prize draw, so we do hope you’ll drop by and see us on opening week.
Also this month, we’ve been doing a lot of work with Movember, the month formerly known as November. It’s a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men’s health.

I’m fronting the UK campaign with their main sponsor, Wilkinson Sword, and will be doing some filming for their video viral on Monday and Tuesday in our London Salon. Look out for it, since anything to do with Movember is normally hilarious. Click here for Wilkinson Sword’s Movember Facebook page.

The Movember campaign is great craic and we’ll be trying to raise some money ourselves. Look out for some dodgy moustaches in our salons next month (especially our staff members). If you’d like to join our team, or make a donation, we’d be delighted if you visited and joined our ‘Mo space page‘. This is where we will be keeping our customers and ‘Mo Bros’ up to date with our progress, and it’s also where people can donate. I hope you can drop by.

As with last year, we’ll be offering free moustache trims and ‘mo styling’ in all of our branches during Movember, and will happily shave off your Mo at the end of Movember if you have raised some money for the charity.

Finally, a few special offers for you which are valid until 18th November.

Ballyhackamore salon: Haircut, Shave and 30 Minute Massage £50 (22% off). 3 for 2 on Jason Shankey Expert products (lowest price product free).

Lisburn Road salon: £10 off any waxing treatment over £20. Additionally, £20 for a Tension, Neck and Back massage with Kim on Thursdays (save £15.35). 3 for 2 on Jason Shankey Expert products (lowest price product free).

House of Fraser salon (after 3rd November): 3 for 2 on Jason Shankey Expert products (lowest price product free). Prize draw for one of three Perfect Shave Gift Boxes.

Thanks for reading and I’ll hopefully be in touch on time next month.

Kind regards,

Jason.

Our contact details:

House of Fraser salon: Phone – TBA | Email – hof@jasonshankey.com | Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/jasonshankeyhouseoffraserbelfast

Ballyhackamore salon: Phone – 028 9065 8001 | Email – belfast@jasonshankey.com | Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/jasonshankeyballyhackamore

Lisburn Road salon: Phone – 028 9068 1291 | Email – lisburnroad@jasonshankey.com | Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/jasonshankeylisburnroad

Fulham salon: Phone – 0207 386 3900 | Email – fulham@jasonshankey.com | Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/jasonshankeyfulham

Jason Shankey Expert Male Grooming Products: Phone – 0845 124 9071 | Email – custserv@jasonshankey.co.uk | Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/jasonshankeyexpert

All salons: http://www.jasonshankey.com | Twitter @JasonShankey

Movember

October 2011

Moustache Season is almost upon us, so I’ve decided to register for Movember and embrace the hair of the wild. I’ve pledged to cultivate a genuine 100% face grown moustache for 30 days to raise awareness and funds for men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer.

Now, I’m on the hunt for fellow trusty and fearless pioneers to join me by signing up to my team. Together we can change the face of men’s health.

To join my Movember team go to https://www.movember.com/uk/register/details/team_id/218014

Movember is about raising funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Did you know one man dies every hour from prostate cancer in the UK each year and more than 2,000 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer this year.
The more people we can get to become Citizens of Movember, the more lives we can impact. You can either grow a moustache as a Mo Bro, or join as a Mo Sista to show your support and help recruit other Mo growers to the team.

Once registered, Movember will send you all the information you need to raise funds and start raising awareness for men’s health as part of my Movember team.

If you’d like to find out more about the type of work you’d be helping to fund by supporting Movember, take a look at the Programmes We Fund section on the Movember website: http://uk.movember.com/about

Please join me at https://www.movember.com/uk/register/details/team_id/218014

Jason

Losing your hair

Realising that you are losing your hair can be one of the scariest moments in a mans life since hair plays a large role in defining your image, and with around 50% of us thinning out before were 50 years old, thats certainly quite a lot of men who will be affected.

Androgenic alopecia (male pattern hair loss) is a genetic affliction which is passed down through either your mothers or fathers genes and affects men who are sensitive to a hormone produced by the body called Dihydrotestosterone. This hormone gradually shrinks the hair follicles over the top of the scalp leading to the classic hair loss patterns known as Male Pattern Hair Loss.

Whilst you may be feeling uneasy at the prospect of losing some hair, bear in mind that it can often be a very long, drawn out process and you might not lose as much hair as you think. In fact, for many men, its not until their older years that the hair loss accelerates and becomes noticeable to others.

With half of the male population experiencing some hair loss, you will also find that other people will not notice it in the same way that you do. What seems like huge hair loss to you will not even be noticed by others.

What can you do?

The most important thing you can do is keep your hair short and neat. This will make your hair appear much thicker and healthier and will disguise your hair loss. Dont try to keep your hair longer in the thinning areas as this will only draw attention to the problem.

While most men are entirely satisfied by the result of a good haircut, there are also a number of treatments available although some of the clinically proven hair loss treatments are fairly expensive, and range from topical ointments (Minoxidil) to daily tablets (Propecia) through to hair transplants. At the time of writing, there are only a handful of drugs on the market which can effectively stop hair loss and in some cases bring back lost hair. Due to possible side effects, some treatments should only be used following a consultation with a GP, Trichologist or Dermatologist.