British TV Actor and Model John Craig Tells His Hair Loss Story
Baldness In The Spotlight
About two years ago I read an astonishing statistic about hair loss in the Huffington Post. Based on research conducted by the American Hair Loss Association, it's known that by 35, up to 70% of the male population experience some form of hair loss. It only goes up with age (85% by 50).
Some men don't mind and choose to let their hairstyle due its course, i.e. Prince William. Other men just go completely bald and adopt that as their style for life, such as Bruce Willis.
But what is it like to lose your hair, especially if your career puts you in the spotlight?
John Craig's Story
Last week I had the chance to sit down with John Craig, British model and actor starting in TV shows such as First Dates and It's Not Me, It's You.
He also recently finished filming for Liam Neeson's new movie.
He battled hair loss 2 years ago, at the peak of his acting and modelling career, and he was happy to share his story and give some advice to other man facing baldness, especially those working in the spotlight.
I'm an actor and model, and my look is my identity. My hairstyle, my tattoos, my piercings, my dressing style, they are all a piece of the puzzle and they represent me as a person.— John Craig
Can you have a career in modelling and acting if you're going bald?
John started losing his hair 2 years ago, and he admits that for a moment he thought that his career could be at stake, at least in the way he planned it to go.
"It was around 2 years ago. My hair starting thinning out and I had a tiny little island that was thinning around from my crown. It got to the point that I couldn't do anything to style it and cover, I had just to wear a cap", John says.
In the entertainment industry, an actor's or model's look is their identify.
In Johns own words: "my hairstyle, my tattoos, my piercings, my dressing style, they are all a piece of the puzzle and they represent me as a person. I know that when I faced hair loss 2 years ago I could have just gone bald and find a way to make the look work, but it's wasn't for me...it simply wasn't who I was... Hair loss put my identify as an actor and model in jeopardy."
When asked if the thought that hair loss could affect his career, John admitted:
"Yes, I think you always panic a little when you see your hair thin away, as it had a direct impact on my career - the kind of photoshoots I could book myself in and roles I could take on.
But I was lucky, I knew there were treatment options available and I went for it. I see many people ponder on the idea of a hair transplant for too long, and when they finally make a decision, the results are poor, because they waited too long.
Act early because the more hair you lose, the less likely you are to restore it in full. It might also take you more than one transplant to see significant results."
Successful actors that faced hair loss and still had a great career
In the spotlight, it's almost impossible to hide something as visible as going bald, but it's not always gloom and doom.
However, many others got a transplant and kept their hair:
Got a transplant
Some men can make it work and we have many successful cases, such as:
Hair Loss Treatments Available
There are many hair loss treatments available and it all depends on the type of condition you have.
John advises that from his experience, he learnt two things:
- Most hair loss is genetic with minimal influence of your daily habits (i.e. styling, diet)
- The earlier you act, the more changes you have for your treatment to succeed
The main treatments for hair loss are:
- Hair Transplant (FUE & FUT)
- Hair Loss Medication
- SMP (scalp micro pigmentation)
FUE vs FUT
Before & after pictures
Full restoration after one FUT treatment
When asked how many treatments he had, John said:
"Believe it or not, only one transplant - FUT (follicular unit transplantation). It's a straightforward procedure, where they transplanted hair from my scalp onto the areas that I was balding.
I was lucky, the results were incredible. But I think it was down to using a great surgeon and acting early".
After SMP treatment
Can you have more than one treatment?
Depending on the type of hair thinning you are experiencing, you might need to have alternative treatments or more than one.
John advised us that he had a transplant 2 years ago, took medication since to help his hair thicken and also had a recent SMP with Dr Lisa and Hair Repair Clinic in London.
The latter is simply tattooing tiny dots on the scalp to give the impression of more hair. At times, if a patient is not eligible for hair transplant, he may only be able to get SMP.
One thing that could impede you from getting a hair transplant is the lack of strong donor hair (hair on other parts of your scalp that can be transplanted into the area that's balding).
Speaking about hair loss in the spotlight
Just like with any other condition, the best thing you can do for others is to raise awareness and share your success story. That's what motivated John Craig to share his. He has a strong following on Facebook (look for John Craig's Hair Transplant Results) and constantly shares tips and advice about restoring your hair.
" Since my hair transplant I spoke to so many people and I couldn't believe how many thought that they just had to accept going bald. It's not the case, you have so many options available. Find yourself a reputable clinic and take the step.
I know hair transplants can be costly, but you have options (i.e. payment plans). Also, considering that it's something out there (on your head) that you have to live with for the rest of your life, and you only have a short period of time to fully repair it, I'd say it's all worth it.
That's why I started my Facebook page. I know that seeing a real person, with real results, inspires others. I have so many people message me to say that they like the results and have been considering a transplant but didn't know what to expect."
I know hair transplants can be costly, but you have options (i.e. payment plans). Also, considering that it's something out there (on your head) that you have to live with for the rest of your life, and you only have a short period of time to fully repair it, I'd say it's all worth it.— John Craig
Words of advice from John
"You don't have to settle for losing your hair. You can get treatment - multiple options, have great results and go on with your life. Also, for actors and models, it's not all doom and gloom, if you don't want to go bald, I'm the proof that even genetic hair loss can be undone.
Let's admit it, most people only go public with their transplant if something went wrong, and that just gives it a bad stigma. Most of men reaching out to me on Facebook are surprised to come across positive hair transplant results.
I'm happy they feel that way, because I think I inspire them to have confidence in hair transplants and see the benefits of acting early. You might get there in the end even if you waited years, but you'll have to have multiple procedures, and pay the price of it.
Also, I was lucky to be able to partner with a good UK clinic - Hair Repair Clinic. Not only are they at least 1/3 cheaper than all other clinics across UK, but they also offer reduced price on hair transplants for people I personally refer.
That's why I know that by sharing my story I don't only inspire others, but I can actually help to make hair treatment accessible to more people.
Many people think that the hair transplant is not worth the money because you'll always have to step on egg shells with your hair after it. That's simply not true. I dye my hair regularly, I wear a cap and I style it as I please.— John Craig
How to look after your hair
I've asked John to share a few simple tips with us today, on how to protect your hair before or after the transplant. He wanted to start by debunking a few myths that he wasted too much time worrying about and then left us with a few steps you can take right now:
Here are things that won't cause baldness, maybe at most some hair breakage. They are myths, because most hair loss cases are genetic or caused by serious health issues:
- Wearing a cap
- Drying your hair
- Dying your hair
- Taking vitamins / not taking vitamins
What you can do to repair your hair asap
- Visit a hair repair specialist immediately and understand what type of hair loss you have, what stage you're at and where you're going (i.e. are you going fully bald, are your just thinning on your crown...)
- Get the money together and go for the hair transplant sooner rather than later
- Take medication to help growth (not from some dodgy site online, get your surgeon to subscribe you and prescribe it and advise you where to buy it from)
- After you have your transplant, live freely, because all the myths above still don't count
John Craig's Transplant results on video
What would you do if you faced hair loss?
© 2016 Georgiana Dacosta