Daley's Olympic diving partner Waterfield has a 'Rooney' hair transplant
Waterfield, 31, says that with his Cockney accent and shaved head, people often mistook him for a thugDecided that a hair transplant was best way to soften his imageHad 4,200
individual hairs moved from the back of his scalp to the front
17:17 GMT, 25 January 2013
18:00 GMT, 25 January 2013
He wowed us all with his spectacular dives alongside Tom Daley at the Olympics and is the most successful diver in British Olympic history.
Yet despite his achievements over the last four Olympic games, Peter Waterfield has always had an image problem.
With a strong Cockney accent and a shaven head – done to disguise hair loss which has dogged him since he was teenager – he admits that many people mistook him for a 'thug.'
He badly wanted to soften his image and decided the obvious solution was a hair transplant.
Peter (left) with his diving partner Tom Daley. He said he felt his baldness make him 'look like a thug'
Peter, 31, has a strong baldness gene in his family and both his brothers have lost their hair.
The father-of-two said: 'I started going bald when I was 18 which is when I got really serious about diving, although I've been told this had nothing to do with it.
'I had completely lost my hairline and the only way to cover it up was by shaving my head.
'I come from the East End of London and I would find that people could
sometimes be intimidated by my Cockney accent and my shaved head.
'I think some people wrongly got the impression that I was a bit of a thug – which could not be further from the truth.
'I am a loving family man who has dedicated my life to diving and helping others.'
Peter before the treatment. The purple line marks where the hair would be transplanted
Peter after the treatment, which involved moving 4,200 hairs from the back of his head to the top of his scalp to restore his hairline
The silver medallist lives in Southampton with his wife Tania, 30, and sons Lewis, 11, and Marshall, four.
added: 'I wanted to soften my whole image and make sure that I was a
little more approachable to strangers. The best way to do that was by
having a hair transplant.'
Peter had approximately 4,200 hairs moved from the back of his head to
the top of his scalp to restore his hairline at the Crown Clinic in
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Peter had the same Follicle Unit
Extraction procedure as Wayne Rooney – moving 2,500 grafts (some 4,200
individual hairs) from the back of his scalp to the front.
During the procedure last month, around 1,500 grafts were transplanted to his hairline and a further
1,000 were transplanted to bolster his hair at the top of his scalp.
It will take around a year for the full benefits of the procedure to show as the transplanted hair grows back.
There has been 25 per cent rise in the number of men having hair transplants in
the last five years as the technology improves and high-profile stars
such as Wayne Rooney and the Cold Feet actor James Nesbitt have gone public to
show the benefits of the procedures.
Running in the family: Peter
has a strong baldness gene in his family and both his brothers have lost their hair
The procedure was carried out by hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak.
He has performed similar procedures on a string of
celebrities including Dr Christian Jessen from Embarrassing Bodies and
the model and TV presenter Calum Best.
Dr Shahmalak said: 'There are seven categories of male pattern baldness. Category one indicates no hair loss and seven is total hair loss.
'Peter ranked as a 5A – indicating substantial hair loss due to his family history. Like a lot of the men I have treated, he found that the
transplant significantly boosted his self-esteem.
'He looks and feels a lot younger, too. There is no doubt that a hair transplant can completely transform a man’s life.'
Peter said: 'I am so glad that I had it done – I feel so much more confident now. I am really looking forward to being able to grow my hair for the first time since I was a teenager and present a new image of myself to the world.'
He is now Peter is looking forward to competing in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 with Tom Daley, despite uncertainty over his funding.
He said: 'We are both really excited about the Commonwealth Games, and hopefully I can also go on and compete at a fifth Olympics in Brazil in 2016.'
THE PAINSTAKING PROCESS OF HAIR TRANSPLANTS
Hair transplantation is the only method that is guaranteed to overcome hair loss and regain hair. Medications can halt hair loss but they will not lead to the regrowth of lost hair.
There types of hair transplant. In both cases, transplantation can be done so well that often a barber or stylist cannot even tell that grafts have been placed. The transplanted hair is permanent and in nearly all cases will stay in place for the rest of the patient’s life.
The most popular and cost-effective method is called Follicular Unit Transplantation – popularly known as ‘strip harvesting’ – where hair follicles are removed in a ‘strip’ of skin from the back or side of the head and moved to the thinning areas at the top of the scalp.
The second technique – and the one Peter Waterfield had – is called Follicular United Extraction. It is more expensive than strip harvesting and is the procedure which was used on Wayne Rooney when he had his transplant in 2011.
The main difference is the hairs follicles are removed and transplanted individually as opposed to in one single strip.
It is more time consuming – and therefore more expensive – than strip harvesting. This method is particularly popular with men who like to keep their hair short because there is virtually no scarring.
In Follicular Unit Extraction, or FUE, individual follicles are extracted directly from the back or side of scalp, usually one at a time.
There will be some minor scarring – which looks like pin pricks – immediately after the operation but this disappears during the healing process which takes approximately 5-7 days after which any redness or slight swelling in the treatment area will have subsided.
FUE generally has a quicker patient recovery time and lower post-operative discomfort than strip harvesting.