The Real Housewives of Cheshire: Nick Smith FUE Hair Transplant

Full Progress Report…

Real Housewife’s birthday gift leaves no hair out of place

A couple from a hit ITV reality show are hoping its latest episode will help break the ‘old-fashioned’ stigma surrounding male hair loss and restoration. 

Rachel Lugo shocked fans of The Real Housewives of Cheshire last month when she surprised her boyfriend Nick Smith with a hair transplant for his 52nd birthday.

Airing on 29 August, the episode showed Rachel contemplating the idea with her friends Lauren Simon and Dr Hanna Kinsella before showing her revealing his present to him during a birthday bash at The Colony in Wilmslow.

Previously, Rachel and Nick had kept their relationship relatively private, with Nick appearing in just several episodes prior to series 15. However, the rolling of cameras during his birthday celebrations and Rachel’s unique gift captured the hearts of viewers.

Nick, 52, actively plays rugby and cricket for local clubs and has spoken of how receptive his teammates and friends have been to the treatment, despite the ‘odd bit of banter’, as well as how he hopes the episode will provide a platform to help tackle the stigma associated with balding and hair treatment among men. 

“Around 95% of Rachel’s followers – which are in their hundreds of thousands – are women, however I’m always amazed by how many men recognise her when we’re out in public,” Nick said.

“A lot of them watch the show with their partners, meaning the show does have a fairly large male audience, so I was more than happy to get involved when they asked if I would allow them to film my surgery.

“Traditionally, there’s been a real old-fashioned stigma attached to men undergoing hair restoration treatment, but it’s really no different to women undergoing minor cosmetic procedures, so why should men be any different?

“I’m a big supporter of men’s mental health too and while, fortunately, it isn’t something I have suffered with personally, I do have friends that suffer from mental health issues and it can be triggered by all manner of things, including ageing. 

“My thought process was, if I can even inspire one other person who maybe suffers with mental health because of their hair or appearance to speak about it and go for a consultation, then I’m all for it. 100%.”

Rachel booked the consultation and treatment after speaking to a member of staff at Manchester’s MHR Clinic – which has worked with a number of A-listers – during a ‘housewives and house and treatment day’ at Skulpt Clinic, owned by co-star Dawn Ward.

She said: “Anyone who knows Nick will know he is a confident guy and a ‘man’s man’ however he had mentioned a couple of times that he felt his hair was receding and thinning, and that was enough for me to realise he felt a little bit insecure about it, so I just went ahead and booked it.

“We had offers to go to Turkey, but we wanted to keep everything local and we’re so glad we did. Since he underwent the treatment 12 weeks ago, we’ve been back to the clinic on a number of occasions and had countless calls from the team to check in on him.

“He is still having the laser too which is a fortnightly thing. You couldn’t get that type of service going overseas so it just made complete sense to have it done here and we’re really thankful we made the right choice.”

The clinic in Knutsford, Cheshire starred in last night’s show, which saw Nick undergo his treatment. Since its launch in 2016, it has grown into one of the UK’s leading clinics, providing treatment to high profile clients including Ryan Giggs, Michael Vaughan, Ryan Sidebottom and countless others.

“I have pretty broad shoulders anyway, so I was just going into the changing rooms and the rugby club and saying to the boys, ‘you know how I have this massive forehead? Well it’s going to change, I’m having a hair transplant!’ Nick added. 

“So, I’ve had a bit of banter and they’ve given me a bit of stick, which I expected, but afterwards the one-to-one conversations have very much been ‘oh you jammy git, I could do with one of those! Where’d you go?’ 

“It’s been 12 weeks now since I’ve had the treatment and I’m starting to see the growth coming through. I’m amazed when I turn up for a game of cricket or a game of football, the lads are like ‘let’s have a look at your hair’ and I have to pull the front back so they can have a look at it. 

“I think Rachel is right when she said there’s less of a stigma now among men but we still need to do more to debunk some of the myths associated with it and to raise awareness of its mental and physical benefits, so it’s been great to be able to shine a light on this through the show.”