independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

You have to look right on TV. I got my hair transplant to keep career going – Marty

Marty Whelan and Geri Maye
Marty Whelan and Geri Maye

'WINNING Streak' host Marty Whelan underwent hair transplant surgery to prevent his TV career coming to an end, he said.

The 57-year-old broadcaster began to notice he was balding when he was in his thirties and has now spoken about his decision to reverse the hair loss.

"I'm in a business where appearance matters," he said. "And if you don't look right on TV, that is hardly conducive to a long career."

"I am not a vain person, but I am in an industry that looks at you every 12 months and says, 'Mmmm'.

"You say to yourself that this could well improve my situation. So you do it for that. But I also did it for my family, and I did it for me too."

Whelan turned to the team behind Louis Walsh's and actor James Nesbitt's successful transplants, Hair Restoration Dublin, to enhance his thinning hair.

"It's when you're in make-up or under the lights or about to go out on a TV show. You're conscious of the lights and you're conscious of the bald patch and you think: 'Ah, I've got to sort this out'."

He had several sessions in December 2012 and in August 2013.

"It takes between 12 and 18 months for results to be seen," said spokesperson Michael Collins.

According to Mr Collins, the game-show host's decision to go public about his recent hair transplant is helping break down the stigma attached to male pattern baldness.

"So many celebrities are getting hair transplants," he told the Irish Independent." Their decision to go public and talk honestly about it is helping to break down the stigma surrounding baldness and hair transplants."

"This is a real psychological issue for many men. Some men have no problem going bald – Andre Agassi just shaved his head. But for others, it can affect them deeply. It's a very private and very personal issue."

Mr Collins said the method of transplanting hair had improved drastically in recent years.

"There are two methods of hair transplant – FUE and FUT. Follicular unit extraction involves isolating and removing individual hairs one by one with a micro drill.

"Marty went for the alternative known as the 'strip technique'. It involves removing a block of skin containing hairs, which are then dissected under the microscope into individual follicular units and transplanted," he said.

Irish Independent

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