A top brain surgeon told how he launched a post-lockdown mission – to prevent British men from going bald.
dr. Ismail Ughratdar – who made a name for himself by performing groundbreaking neurosurgery while patients are awake – uses hair-raising techniques to boost client confidence and self-esteem.
When not saving lives on the operating table, the neurosurgeon consultant uses his precision skills to perform hair transplants.
And the surgeon—known as Dr. Ish – has revealed how the Covid pandemic has led to a huge increase in the number of cases.
A study in the Lancet journal estimated that 22 percent of patients hospitalized with Covid had hair loss after their illness.
Experts believe the emotional shock of life from the pandemic may be a contributing factor.
Dr Ish told MailOnline: ‘Stress can be a factor in your hair falling out. It accelerates hair loss.
“Usually it comes back, but I’ve seen incidents where stress can cause you to lose hair permanently.
dr. Ismail Ughratdar (pictured) – who made a name for himself by performing groundbreaking neurosurgery while patients are awake – revealed how the Covid pandemic has led to a huge increase in hair transplants
“We’ve seen a wave of it during the Covid pandemic. Many clinics noticed.
“We were all kind of locked up in our houses and everything changed overnight.
‘The roads were empty, you were not allowed to go outside. You couldn’t socialize or see your family and friends like you used to.
“There are more people who want to turn to these procedures.
“We sat tight with a lot of patients to see what happened. Many of them do recover.’
dr. Ish said changes in work practices during the pandemic have also led to increased demand for hair transplant surgery.
He said: ‘We noticed in lockdown because a lot of people were working from home and suddenly saw their faces on Zoom and Teams.
“They were probably saving some money because they weren’t socializing. We saw a bit of a boom.
“Many of them have said they are still working from home. They say, “I keep looking at myself on Zoom and I think I’m losing her and I need to do something about it.”
Technology and social media are also fueling the interest of the younger generation, he said.
dr. Ish, 43, said: ‘Times are definitely changing and men are definitely more open to having procedures performed.
‘You see it especially with influencers, being role models and always wanting to look 100 percent and flawless without a hair that looks out of place.
‘The younger generation is extremely IT and media savvy and wants to look good.
A study in the Lancet journal estimated that 22 percent of patients hospitalized with Covid had hair loss after their illness. Pictured: A full crown hair transplant before (left) and 15 months after surgery (right)
“They can be really concerned, even if there is a small amount of hair loss, which is probably the right time to try and prevent it.”
dr. Born in Yorkshire, Ish studied at the prestigious University of St Andrews and Manchester, graduating with honors in medicine in 2004.
He is a practicing brain surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
His role as a consultant neurosurgeon has enabled his pioneering work in the field of “the awake craniotomy surgery program.”
Procedures are performed without anesthesia and patients are awakened during surgery.
This allows surgeons to communicate with patients when performing procedures such as tumor removal and is considered the most reliable way to ensure the doctor does not damage healthy tissue.
The surgeon will ask the patient to answer questions and perform simple tasks to ensure that their motor and speech function remains intact.
dr. Ish said people – including an increasing number of women – from all walks of life have sought treatment and his oldest patient was 82 years old. He pictured a woman’s scalp (left) and eight months after surgery (right)
dr. Ish, who has done charity work in Gaza, was filmed performing surgery on a young patient for a BBC2 documentary in 2019.
He has been able to adapt his skills including removing the tops of the skulls, performing scalp surgeries and hair transplants.
He said: ‘Obviously both the head and the scalp work.
‘The old-fashioned technique where you cut a strip on the scalp, that’s how I really got into it.
“I have a friend who runs a hair transplant clinic. He lost his hair transplant surgeon. He called me up and said “I know you can scalp people”.
“He pushed me and pushed me and said, come take a look at this and see what you think and look at the results you can get.
‘I’ve been doing it for five years. I found it interesting and very different. There are certainly some very simple transferable skills.”
dr. Ish, who has done charity work in Gaza, was filmed performing surgery on a young patient for a 2019 BBC2 documentary (pictured)
Today, about 60 percent of his work consists of brain surgery, with the rest of the time performing hair transplants at the private Wimpole Clinic on London’s Harley Street.
He said of his work: ‘It’s a very different kind of reward than you get from neurosurgery and saving lives.
“Hair loss affects some people, most people, quite significantly.
“If you can restore even some of that hair loss, it can really do wonders for one’s well-being.
“When you see the results 12 months later and a patient comes in and they’re a completely different person in terms of confidence and self-esteem, it’s really worth it.”
dr. Ish told how former England captain Wayne Rooney helped remove the stigma of hair loss treatment after revealing he had a transplant in 2011 at the age of 25.
He said: ‘We saw an influx and suddenly people realized that there are solutions.’
dr. Ish told how former England captain Wayne Rooney helped remove the stigma of hair loss treatment after revealing he had a transplant in 2011 at the age of 25 (before and after hair transplant photo)
He has helped a number of celebrities by saying, ‘Most I’ve done are cricketers. We get presenters on news channels to TV celebrities and football players.’
But he said people — including an increasing number of women — from all walks of life have sought treatment and his oldest patient was 82 years old.
He performs the “old-fashioned scalping technique,” where surgeons cut off a strip of the scalp and then take individual hairs and plant them in the areas where hair has been lost.
A separate ‘more modern technique’ concerns the extraction of individual hairs.
Proceedings cost between £3,000 and £7,000.
He also has experience harvesting hair from other parts of the body, including beards and body hair, when donor hair may not be enough.
He said: ‘Most hair loss in men is due to testosterone and genetics. You probably have too much testosterone or high levels.
“If you combine that with your genetics, usually on your mother’s side, you probably follow that pattern.
Technology and social media are also fueling the interest of the younger generation, said Dr. Is H. Pictured: A man’s hairline before (left) and ten months after a transplant (right)
“As long as you have your clear standard pattern of hair loss, we will look at your donor area.
“If you’re very bald, you’ll always have a horseshoe-shaped headband that never falls out. That’s something genetically different from all other hair.
“All we’re doing is moving that hair. We thin from the back to get thicker from the front. We move that hair will never fall out.
“The older method, you cut a strip of the scalp and then cut it into individual hairs and you stick them in the areas where you want to put them.
‘If you have quite a lot of hair loss, you could consider the older technique, because then you can get more grafts.
“If you’re very, very bald, you need to have realistic expectations of what you can achieve unless you’re willing to go through multiple procedures and a lot of expense and maybe even remove hair from under your chin and body hair.”
“I’ve done a lot of very, very bald men and staged them in a few sessions and they were happy.
“I’ve seen men who have had five or six procedures over the course of, say, 20 years.”