The restoration of hair and confidence

Torbay Weekly

I was interested to read this week that Anton du Beke has recently had a hair transplant.

This is a subject often discussed in our household because my husband, Norman, was one of the early pioneers in the 1950s when he started a new business which was to become a global phenomenon.

It was hair restoration in all its forms. He was not a trichologist or hair stylist, he was a salesman, and the golden chalice for any person in sales is to find a gap in the marketplace, which you know how to fill.

His first step was to create the London Hair Clinic in Wigmore Street, where he offered consultations, lotions and potions, which he had created with scientists and trichologists to stem the tide of baldness.

At the time, this business was ground breaking, and it quickly became very successful, so he gradually opened clinics all over the world with over 3,000 staff and most of them women.

Norman discovered early on that women can be the best sales personnel, and he rewarded them extremely well for their dedication and success.

Hair loss creates a major dip in confidence for men and women and in many circumstances, the hair condition is too bad to respond to treatment, so Norman kept finding new solutions and subsequently developing the business into weaves and wig-making for a workable solution.

Over the years, he supplied a considerable number of celebrities with weaves or wigs, including Sean Connery throughout his 007 appearances.

In his first outing as James Bond in Dr No, due to the incredibly hot lighting used in filming, he had to supply up to ten hair pieces a day as they would melt under the extreme heat.

Norman also collaborated with the celebrated doctor who pioneered hair transplants, Dr Norman Orentreich.

In the early days nobody talked much about transplants as they were so new and expensive and initially didn’t have a guaranteed result, but at a certain point it is possibly the only option.

Initially, only the very wealthy could afford them and mostly they didn’t want to admit to hair loss problems.

Some of you might remember that Frank Sinatra was one of the early recipients of a hair transplant and certainly didn’t want to admit to any hair loss problem.

However, if you were in the limelight, there was also a need for privacy to recover from the obvious hair line changes if you wanted to keep the procedure a secret. In general, it was a very sensitive subject.

These days things have changed a lot and people are keen to share their experiences with the world.

Sir Elton John admitted to his and latterly James Nesbitt has spoken about his frequently, not hiding a thing, which I am sure has given people more confidence to have one.

In fact, it was when Anton was playing golf with him that he decided to go for his.

From having his confidence at an all time low, he says that although the procedure was painful, it immediately transformed his life.

Anton is not only a wonderful dancer, he’s also a spontaneous raconteur with great wit and is fabulous fun and when asked about his transplant he said: “I’ve had a bit of crop rotation, I ‘ve ripped a bit from the back and shoved it on the front.”

Back in 2011, Anton and Carol Vordeman were my two Wizard Jeans Rear of the Year – and he was so charming and such fun.

As a person who takes such care about his appearance and who is constantly in the public eye you really have three choices when you start to lose your hair – just leave it as it is, shave it all off and embrace the bald look full-on or, you have a transplant.

I am so pleased that Anton has made the right choice for him and feels it has transformed his life. I am sure it has.