Coronation Street star Jack P Shepherd has opened up about his hair transplant, after undertaking two in one year.
The popular actor admitted: “I had to do it for my own personal happiness – losing your hair is devastating.”
Jack, who has played David Platt on the hit soap since 2000, said his hair loss shattered his body confidence.
He has a particularly aggressive form of male pattern baldness which is why he needed a second operation so soon after the first one.
Jack said: “I have been through all sorts of traumas on-screen in Corrie but going bald away from the cameras really hit me for six.
“I have been suffering from quite rapid hair loss similar to Wayne Rooney and I knew that the only way I was going to get it sorted was with another operation.
“I really hope that this will fix the problem for good because, as an actor, it is vital that I keep hold of my hair.”
Jack, 32, had 3,000 hairs implanted into the front of his scalp by surgeon Dr Asim Shahmalak at Crown Clinic in Manchester.
He had a long-haired FUE (follicular unit extraction) procedure which meant he did not need his head shaving to obtain the donor hair from the back of his scalp.
This was crucial for Jack who had to look the same after the operation when he returned to his role in Coronation Street so viewers would not notice the difference.
He had his second operation in December last year – exactly a year after his first procedure – while there were no lockdown restrictions were in place.
Now, the actor has opened up about his second procedure for the first time and unveiled the dramatic results.
It takes between nine months and a year for the new hair to fully bed in.
Prices range between £4,000 and £15,000 and it depends on technique and amount of grafts used.
Staff told the ECHO prices are given on an individual basis after a consultation.
Jack said: “I know some people will say that I am being incredibly vain having a second hair transplant so quickly after the first one.
“All I can say to that was that I needed to do it for my long-term mental well-being. I have been in Corrie for 20 years now – ever since I was 12.
“I know I have been incredibly lucky and love working with such a fantastic group of actors but the relentless schedules take their toll on your mental health, particularly when you have been through as much trauma as David Platt.
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“People pick over your appearance on social media every day and some of those comments really hurt.
“I had always been self-conscious about my hair because I am losing it right at the front of the scalp where it is most visible.
“I knew I would be so much happier if I had this second operation to get the problem sorted for good.
“I am lucky to have such a close relationship with a brilliant surgeon in Asim Shahmalak, who is renowned throughout the world.
“You read about fellas going to Turkey, but I would never risk my health in that way.
“It is far safer to go to a clinic in the UK where the regulations are much stricter and the surgeons are far more skilled."
Jack's second procedure happened months before coronavirus lockdown restrictions were in place.
He said: "I had the operation in December when no one had even heard of Covid and there was no social distancing.
"Over the last nine months, it has been wonderful watching the new hair grow back. I now have a full head of hair for the first time since I was a teenager.
"I can finally grow the Elvis quiff I have wanted since I was a boy."
Jack has been back working full-time at Coronation Street since June where, so far, none of the cast or crew has come down with the deadly virus.
He said: "The new system is working well and I have had some lovely comments about my hair from the team on the show.
"I know many people have been to hell and back over Covid over the last six months and my heart goes out to anyone who has suffered through this crisis.
"I appreciate that an actor's hair loss is no big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it was important for me to get this help."
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Dr Shahmalak said: “Jack has a particularly aggressive form of hair loss which meant he would benefit from a second procedure a year after the first one.
“The new hair has filled out the front of his hairline and made him look years younger. All the transplanted hair is permanent and should last Jack for the rest of his life.
"He can limit the loss of the rest of his natural hair by taking a medically proven hair loss drug such as Propecia.
“A lot of my clients are well-known celebrities in the public eye. They know they need to keep hold of their hair to stay at the top, particularly in a career as precarious as acting.”
Dr Shahmalak’s other celebrity clients include model Calum Best, Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts and the TV doctor Christian Jessen.
Dr Shahmalak was honoured by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in January for his humanitarian work in Pakistan for giving free hair transplant, eyelash and eyebrow transplants to victims of acid attacks.