Top Northern Ireland male grooming expert Jason Shankey who is a TV regular has shaved 10 years off his image through a hair transplant.
The east Belfast businessman is on top of the world after flying to LA to have his bald patch finally covered up after it left him feeling “old and ugly”.
A hairdresser, male grooming product developer and regular guest expert on the hit national TV series ‘Ten Years Younger’, Jason says he was devastated when his hair started to fall out eight years ago.
Said the 42-year-old father of two: “Hair loss is quite horrific, it changes you. It’s just awful. You just feel ugly, that’s probably the main thing.
“Watching your forehead getting bigger and bigger, when you look at yourself in the mirror you hate what you see.”
Being such a well known expert in the image industry UK wide made it even more difficult for him to accept his receding hairline.
He said: “I do a lot of TV and the male makeovers on Ten Years Younger and ultimately that’s what I have done now, I have had a makeover.
“It had got to the stage when I felt really embarrassed about it.”
Jason had used a number of products to hide his baldness over the years and while many were very effective he realised two years ago that the only long term solution was a hair transplant.
He flew to Los Angeles last May to be treated in person by Dr Ziering who is world famous for developing the modern way of transplanting individual hair follicles.
In a procedure which lasted a full day and costs between £2 and £3 a follicle, Jason had 3,400 follicles individually transplanted.
Although expensive he said: “It was worth every penny. Dr Ziering couldn‘t have been better. He is good fun
and a real character. Although I was there all day I was conscious throughout it and the staff was very friendly and it was good craic.
“He cuts a piece of scalp from the back of your head and sews it up so you wouldn’t know and then uses those follicles.
“He also recreates your crown by transplanting the follicles in different directions. It’s like a work of art as well as surgery.
“Eleven months on and I have a full head of hair. The difference is amazing. It completely transforms the way you look and it has taken about 10 years off me.”
Jason, who regularly advises men on hair loss in his east Belfast salon, is now also enjoying having his own hair styled for the first time in years.
“I wasn’t able to have my hair styled before and now I have this dead trendy hair cut. People come into the salon and are amazed by the difference. I carry this wee photo around of what I used to look like.”
Jason’s wife Brenda is his business partner in Jason Shankey Male Grooming and the couple have two children, Will, 10 and Lauren, 12.
He has just recently completed a pilot for a new image driven series on Sky TV and is waiting to hear if the programme is going ahead.
Having endured the horrors of hair loss he is now keen to talk to anyone who wants advice on baldness or details of the procedure which restored his hair.
He added: “If anyone wants to talk about it then please feel free to make an appointment with me.
“I’ve been through it and I can tell them the whole process and advise them. I’m happy to do that.
“I talk to a lot of men about hair loss and we can cut hair to hide it and there are products and others things that can help.”