Referee Mark Clattenburg always knew he would lose his hair.
“Severe loss of hair is normal in my family,” he explained. “I was expecting it to happen.”
But when it did happen to Mark, in his 20s, he struggled to accept it.
The top official was refereeing in the Premier League at the time, presiding over some of football’s biggest fixtures and he found himself thrust into the spotlight.
Mark explained: “I was embarrassed when I was watching myself back on TV. My hair was receding and there was a lot of hair loss on the top of my head. I was frustrated that I was so young and losing hair. I wanted to do something about it.”
Struggling to find an ideal solution to his hair loss, Mark opted to use a temporary hair system that fastened false hair to his head. The hairpiece masked his lack of hair but looked artificial, stopped Mark living life to the full and left him short of confidence.
“I couldn’t swim with my daughter on holidays for fear it would detach in the pool,” he said. “There were restrictions to wearing it. I wanted to have a head of hair.”
Immediately after FUE procedure
7 months into 12 month treatment course
“The operation was pain-free. It was actually quite relaxing. It is a very simple procedure. It’s like being at the dentist.”
Advances in hair transplant surgery soon made that possible for Mark who decided “enough was enough”. After visiting several hair transplant clinics, the referee chose MHR Clinic to give him back a full head of real hair.
He recalled: “I could have gone to clinics where friends had gone. But I liked the professionalism of MHR Clinic. I liked the way the business was operating. The clinic was nice. Everything was always on time. I felt wanted and relaxed. It was also clear MHR Clinic was getting the best results for its clients.”
Mark had an in-depth consultation with MHR Clinic’s director Craig Henton. He was given a bespoke treatment program that consisted of revitalising herbal and pharmaceutical medications to nourish his donor site. A 4000 follicle FUE hair transplant procedure was completed over two days before Mark began further courses of medication, lotions and laser therapy.
He said: “I was expecting full surgery but it is not that type of operation. People might have the perception that they’re going to be in an operating theatre and there’ll be nurses and doctors, but it is a very simple procedure. It’s like being at the dentist.
“You get a lot of thickening in the hair. It gets stronger. It is the same colour. Everything about it is completely natural.”
“MHR Clinic’s surgeon Ioannis Marmangiolis made me feel very relaxed. He was so calm and made the procedure so easy. There was no ill effect from the procedure. The operation was pain free. It was actually quite relaxing.”
The surgeon recalled: “Mark had severe hair loss and required an extensive two-day procedure. The extraction was taken from one side of the donor area for the crown area on the first day. On the second day the extraction was from the other side of the donor area and for Zone A and his frontal hairline.”
Within weeks of the FUE transplant Mark was enjoying the feeling of real hair growing all over his head.
He recalled: “You get a lot of thickening in the hair. It gets stronger. It is the same colour. Everything about it is completely natural.”
The ref, who has marshalled UEFA Champions League, Euro and FA Cup finals, World Cup and Olympics matches, regularly returns to MHR Clinic for low level laser therapy and assessments.
He now sports a full head of hair and recently told the specialists at MHR Clinic: “Now I can style it, gel it and do things with it that I’ve never been able to do in the past. Now I can grow it, or have it short. It takes me a little longer to get ready which probably frustrates my wife but the confidence I have now, walking around with a full head of hair, is phenomenal. There are too many positives to the FUE transplant process. I’m delighted.”
He added: “And my daughter loves it too because now I can swim with her in the pool and the sea when we’re on holiday.”
“There are so many positives to the FUE transplant process. I’m delighted.”