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Numerous jokes have been made about “Elton John hair.” And even though Elton John did all in his power to keep the details under wraps, the fact that he had hair transplants, particularly subpar ones, was widely known. But what exactly about the treatments made them such a poor choice?
The failed hair transplants left the hitmaker with little choice but to continue donning wigs throughout his career. But before we get into that, we’d like to discuss his experience with hair loss and “regrowth.”
What Triggered Elton John’s Hair Loss?
Androgenetic alopecia, among the most prevalent causes of hair loss, was responsible for Elton John’s hair loss. Dihydrotestosterone, a by-product of testosterone, attaches to the hair follicles and causes them to become smaller due to this process. In the long run, it leads to irreversible hair loss.
Even though the rock musician had long, luxurious locks in his younger years, his mother had already forewarned him that by the time he reached 20, he would be “bald as an egg.” While the singer wasn’t completely bald by the time he was 20, he did admit that “more or less by 30 it was receding” in an interview with Graham Norton.
In addition to suffering from pattern hair loss, Elton John may have also been a heavy drinker and drug user, all of which could have accelerated his hair loss. The former not only wreaks havoc on the skin but also causes irreparable harm to the pattern of the hair.
Abuse of alcohol can also lead to hormonal disruption, which can lead to hair loss and other negative health effects. Both substance abuse and alcoholism contribute to nutritional inadequacies, another factor exacerbating the condition.
Elton John attributes the loss of his hair and other factors to a “poor dye job.” The strong chemicals used to make hair dye may cause harm to the hair, although the hair loss that results from their use is typically very temporary. In any case, the artist has stated on multiple occasions that most of his hair had fallen off by 1976.
What Was the Hair Transplant Journey Like for Elton John?
Although the precise order of events is unclear, what is known is that Elton underwent at least two and probably even three hair transplant surgeries in the 1970s and possibly even later in the 1980s.
Elton John’s First-Ever Hair Transplant Procedure
The musician recounts the experience of his first transplant in the autobiography that bears his name and is titled “Me.” In Paris, he was said to be associated with a man named “Pierre Putot,” who was supposedly well-known for his hair transplants. He was promised that if he went through with a straightforward treatment, he would emerge from his clinic a completely different person. The vocalist, however, did not experience things in this manner at all in the end. He reported being in great discomfort throughout the entire five hours that the operation lasted.
In addition, he likens the sound of the hair being removed from his scalp to the sound of a “rabbit nibbling its teeth through a carrot.” Even though the surgical tools at the time were less sophisticated, the procedure sounded extremely gruesome.
The musician from Circle of Life describes his experience as being one of “agony” as he was exiting the clinic. Even while he tried getting into his car, he couldn’t keep his balance, and that’s when he hit his head.
A hit to the head following a hair transplant might cause the grafts to be permanently damaged if the impact is severe enough. The artist even went as far as to say that the lump on his head after surgery was worse than the pain he had during the hair transplant.
A Hair Transplant for the Second and Third Time
Elton John is another celebrity who has acknowledged having a second hair transplant. According to a claim published in 1986 based on an interview with the musician, the singer had all three hair transplants performed in Paris. Therefore, it is probable that he underwent each of his procedures at the same hospital or surgical center. On the other hand, he claimed that even that one ‘hurt like hell.’
How Has the Procedure of Hair Transplantation Progressed Since Elton John Underwent His Initial Procedure?
The first hair transplant that Elton John ever had was very uncomfortable and did not produce any desirable results. However, significant advances in technology have been made since then.
The most effective hair transplant procedures available today involve only a small amount of surgical intrusion and are completely painless. Surgeons make a great effort to ensure that patients remain relaxed and comfortable throughout treatments; they may even let you watch a movie or enjoy music to keep you occupied and distracted.
Transplanting donor hair from one area of the scalp to another using a modern technique is the most successful method of restoring hair for most patients. You have the choice between the following two alternatives:
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Surgeons perform FUT operations by cutting a strip of skin from the back and side of the patient’s head and slicing it into very small pieces to extract the healthy hair follicles from the strip. These are subsequently inserted into incisions that have been made in the scalp.
Scarring behind the head is a common side effect of FUT because of the intrusive nature of the procedure. Because of this, patients may find that they have less freedom in the future to experiment with different hairstyles and cuts for their hair, especially if they are concerned about maintaining the privacy of their hair transplant operation.
Today, FUE is the preferred alternative as compared to FUT. Because the therapy is minimally invasive and does not leave any noticeable scars behind the head, it allows patients to experiment with any hairdo they prefer over time.
What Kind of Hair Transplant Surgery Did Elton John Get?
The musician explains that the surgeon took “strips of hair from the rear” of his “head and then attached them to the top region.” Based on this information, it is reasonable to conclude that the procedure was a FUT hair transplant, also called the strip-harvesting technique. Even though it has been improved since then, many individuals choose FUE over it since it does not result in visible scars.