Wednesday, 11 October 2017 11:02

Male Hair Transplants The Truth

The truth about male hair transplants

Like with anything that becomes more common it doesn’t take long before you know a friend of a friend or someone closer who takes the plunge and has it done. You have lots of questions and you just want somebody you trust to give you the honest lowdown and then you can decide whether it’s something to seriously consider or dismiss and move on.

I’ve been thinking about hair transplants recently. They are becoming much more common, more affordable and are a physical solution to the "problem" of male baldness. There are so many products and supplements targeting the Achilles’ heel of men losing their hair and prey on the desperation to find a solution, but, to me, a physical solution seems the most logical and reasonable answer.

I’m not hung up on my hairloss, but, if somebody said you could have a full head of hair, of course, I would say “yes”. I’ve asked two friends who recently have had the procedure, completely anonymously, their honest thoughts and whether they would recommend it. Here’s what they had to say:

CG: How did the procedure work in practise? Was it painful? Sore?

1) “The procedure took part over the course of two days. Eight hours per day, four hours extracting the hairs from the donor area at the back of the head and four hours implanting the new hairs to the front of the head. Unfortunately, I didn't take well from the meds on the first day so I did feel a level of soreness (they can only put a certain amount of local anaesthetic in the head as it has an adverse effect if they add too much). Discomfort came from laying in the same position for eight hours.”

2) “I had a hair transplant, so the ‘roots’ of my hair were transplanted from one area – called ‘the donor area’ – to the places where hair was missing. The donor area is around the side and back of your head, and the missing areas for me were quite common in many men, the crown and the top of my hairline at the left and right.

They shave the donor area down, they extract the hairs one by one and place them on a petri dish. Incisions are made in the areas that will be receiving the hairs. Obviously you’re under anaesthetic – that is, arguably, the most painful part – so you can’t feel anything, but you can most certainly hear it. It sounds like a knife cutting a raw carrot. So it’s not that it’s painful, really, it’s just that you have a rush of adrenaline because you’re expecting it to be painful. Obviously it can be quite bloody, so it’s not for the faint-hearted…

Don’t forget that each hair was transplanted individually in my case – I felt this would look better than transplanting sections of hair (grafting rather than transplant).”

CG: Was it how you expected? Did you get the results you wanted?

1) “When you have a surgery like this, you don't believe that you can get amazing results as it seems too good to be true. But, a year on I am thrilled with my results and have certainly grown in confidence.” 

2) “I think it was exactly how I expected it to be, perhaps a little quicker. I was expecting it to take about eight hours and I was probably done in six, including lunch. The thing with this procedure is it takes up to eight months to really show properly, so you get a bit impatient waiting to see results. It’s also good to go into it knowing that you may need a second and third transplant for it to really take, or to get the kind of density you want.

“But now, almost nine months on, I actually have hair growing in what were previously bald spots. And not just fuzzy little hairs, we’re talking long actual comb-aside hairs. It makes me laugh because obviously you’re not sat there watching it, and suddenly one day you go ‘hang on, I don’t actually have bald spots any more’. 

“I think the most telling thing is that I always, always used to wear a hat. It was kind of my ‘thing’. But I don’t anymore. I didn’t make a conscious decision, I just kind of stopped. And I realised that it had really affected my confidence and this transplant had changed all that.

In fact, I’m growing my hair long now. Just to see. Because I can!”

CG: What has been - if any - the biggest disappointment(s)?

1) “After the donor hair is implanted and it starts to go back, after about two months your hair sheds to the same as it looked before. You have to be really patient to see growth, which happens at a slow pace.”

2) "The only disappointment I can say, and this is nothing to do with the actual procedure and everything to do with my age, is that the new hair – i.e. the hair from the back of my head – is growing in grey and wiry! I suppose I could dye it, but I’m going to embrace being a silver fox.”

“I suppose you could add one thing about disappointments. I had hoped it might be a bit thicker, but I guess that’s down to my age and hair being thinner – and obviously being forewarned that I might need a second transplant to get the desired effect. But having said that, I have hair where previously I had none and that’s pretty amazing!”

CG: Would you say it was worth the money?

1) “I was lucky enough to be in a position where I was a case study for the clinic, so did not pay - however, the surgery was valued at 8.5K and I feel it would be worth the money if I was in a position where I had to pay for it.”

2) “It’s costly, but not something that you want to do on the cheap - you’ve got to get it done properly. So I would say, personally in my case, it was worth the money.”

CG: Would you recommend it?

1) “Absolutely, it's improved my confidence beyond belief.”

2) “I would definitely recommend it to anyone bothered by hair loss that can afford the procedure.”

CG: Is there any on-going maintenance or follow ups?

1) “You have the opportunity to start again with your hair, so it's important to use good shampoos (Aveda), wash hair daily, hair masks and hair oils to keep it in top condition.”

2) “The first week is slightly odd, as you have to sleep as though you’re sitting up in a plane – you can’t lay flat on your back. And it’s your natural instinct to do that. You have to spray the transplants all through the day, and you can’t wash it for the first few days. A minor inconvenience for what you’re ultimately going to get though. And it’s quite gratifying after a week or so to be able to knock off the tiny scabs… Too much information? Well, you are having multiple incisions made into your scalp!” 

So, overall, it seems very positive. It does feel like a big commitment as the operation is lengthy and I would like to be reassured I could stick it out. The prices are still fairly high, but from these testimonies it seems to be worth it. 

Friday, 06 October 2017 11:34

Buyer's Guide AW17 MRPORTER.COM

Prada knitwear top menswear items for AW17 Mr Porter

Daniel Todd, Buyer at MRPORTER.COM

“I am a huge fan of Prada’s knitwear for this fall with my favourite being this Shetland Wool Sweater; it's bang on trend as graphic knitwear is key for the season. Made entirely by hand in Italy, this loud and chunky piece is as much an art form as it is knitwear. An eye-catching jumper not for the faint hearted, I’ll be wearing mine with jeans or corduroy trousers.”

Left - Prada - Shetland Wool Sweater - £1375

Our Legacy knitwear top menswear items for AW17 Mr Porter

“Wanting to purchase a plush pair of feel-good corduroy trousers immediately indicates that autumn is here, time for the shorts to be packed away! My choice is this black number from Our Legacy, made from exceptional fabrication of soft and durable cotton-corduroy, its minimal design is versatile enabling it to be worn with simple knitwear and shirting.”

Left - Our Legacy - Wide-Leg Cotton-Corduory Trousers - £225

 

  

 

 

Takahiromiyashita knitwear top menswear items for AW17 Mr Porter

“Slogan t-shirts and jerseys have been huge for a few seasons now and continuing into this winter. Featuring a quote from Mr Benjamin Franklin, “Lost time is never found again”, I’ll be sporting this jersey on cold winter days when needing that little extra motivation to get things done.”

Left - Takahiromiyashita Thesoloist. - Printed Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt - £270

“A padded overshirt is a genius alternative to a jacket this autumn from Balenciaga's Creative Director Mr Demna Gvasalia. Quilted and padded for insulation and volume, this piece has to be my favourite must have. Ticking the 90s sportswear trend box, I’ll be wearing mine layered over knitwear with retro sneakers.”

Balenciaga knitwear top menswear items for AW17 Mr Porter

Left - Balenciaga - Oversized Padded Checked Cotton-Flannel Overshirt - £815

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gucci knitwear top menswear items for AW17 Mr Porter“A great coat is essential for winter, after all it’s the item of clothing that you will be seen most in the coming months. My pick of statement outerwear is this double breasted overcoat from Gucci. Crafted from pure cashmere in a timeless shade of tan, this really is one exceptional coat.”

Left - Gucci - Slim-Fit Double-Breasted Cashmere Overcoat - £2840

Thursday, 05 October 2017 15:49

Label To Know The Cords & Co

The Cords & Co Swedish Corduory company

It was with serendipity, just as the first AW17 shows were coming through, that I walked past the The Cords & Co. stand at Pitti Uomo in January last. I won’t bore with the fashion clichés of corduroy being the cloth of kings or geography teachers, but what you do need to know is that it’s everywhere and the main trend story for AW17.

Left - The Cords & Co aiming to be “the world’s first corduroy brand”

Giving themselves the title of “the world’s first corduroy brand”, this new Swedish brand is hoping to be to corduroy what Levi’s is to denim and you wonder why nobody has tried this before. They probably have, but not within the last couple of decades in my memory.

The Cords & Co Swedish Corduory company red jacket

The Cords & Co is going big, planning to open 6 flagship stores in New York, Paris, London, Los Angeles and Stockholm, - doesn’t say where the sixth one is?! - as well as a global online shop and plus wholesale partners. 

Right - The Cords & Co - Cut Poppy Red - £180

“The Cords & Co is created by a passionate group of people united by a shared love of corduroy. By exploring new ways to work with corduroy in our Stockholm design Studio, highlighting its long but little known history, and working closely with a carefully curated group of collaborative partners and cultural tastemakers in each of our flagship city locations around the world, we’re excited to share our unique story of a fabric everyone has a connection to, yet no other brand has dedicated themselves entirely to it,” says Omar Varts, CEO.  

It’s about time corduroy got some love. A practical yet smart material, it’s an easy option especially in the simple styles The Cords & Co. are offering. The best look is matching you jacket to your trousers to give you a 70s casual jean-suit feel.

The brand's images are a bit disappointing for a launch, keeping it too simple and I just hope they give the stores more life and branding as corduroy is ripe for personality and Scooby Doo adventures.

www.thecords.co.uk

Below - The Cords & Co - Trousers - £125

The Cords & Co Swedish Corduory company

Monday, 02 October 2017 11:35

Buyer's Guide AW17 MATCHESFASHION.COM

Damien Paul, Head of Menswear, MATCHESFASHION.COM

“High concept streetwear label Cottweiler specialises in covetable sportswear pieces crafted from lightweight technical fabrics. This dark green track jacket with contrasting black and grape panels is the ultimate athleisure statement.”

Left - Cottweiler - Contrast-Panel Track Jacket - £406

“Stella McCartney’s burgeoning menswear offering has gone from strength to strength since its debut last season. For Autumn Winter 17, its knitwear that is a real highlight – this yellow sweater is loop-knitted for a tactile finish and fits to an oversized, relaxed shape – a key trend in knitwear for Autumn Winter 2017.”

Right - Stella McCartney - Crew-Neck Loop-Knit Sweater - £585

“For Autumn Winter 17, Brunello Cucinelli have capitalised on the corduroy trend led, most notably, by Prada. This tobacco-brown pair are impeccably crafted with refined sartorial detailing complete with front and back leg creases – a house-typical tailoring feature.”

Left - Brunello Cucinelli - Slim-Leg Corduroy Trousers - £530

“An unlikely trend to make a comeback is the 90’s belt bag – traditionally worn around the waist the latest iterations are designed to be worn ‘cross body’ front or back. This version by Porter-Yoshida & Co combines Japanese functionality with its multiple internal zip pockets with a refined minimal style on the exterior.”

Right - Porter-Yoshida & Co - Beat Cotton-Canvas Belt Bag - £210

"MATCHESFASHION.COM have partnered with LANVIN to launch a 10 piece exclusive collection for Autumn Winter 17. My pick is this contrast tartan and check long sleeve shirt – the ‘collage’ effect of the two clashing prints is a key tailoring trend this season -  making this luxe version the perfect statement piece.”

Below - Lanvin - Contrast-Sleeve Checked Brushed-Cotton Shirt - £495

Zegna Elements of Man Donald Trump

In the modern Orwellian landscape it often feels like it’s a battle of the overly confident male egos. From Trump to Putin to Kim Jong-un, puffing your chest out and beating it hard has become an everyday occurrence. I thought - hoped - we’d left this in the last century, but it feels like we’re reliving the worst of the 20th century, every day.

There’s nothing wrong with being and feeling confident. It’s what gets you ahead, or so we are told. But, a delusional sense of entitlement and pride often ends with many cases of cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Last night, Zegna launched a new collection of premium fragrances. Titled #ElementsofMan, it contains 5 new fragrances named “Talent”, “Integrity”, “Passion”, “Wisdom” and "Strength".

Left - Wisdom, anybody?

While I can see the overall idea, it doesn’t feel very contemporary. Where’s “Vulnerability” & “Sensitivity”?

It feels like the Donald Trump collection of fragrances, which is ironic because Trump’s first fragrance, "Donald Trump, The Fragrance” was produced in partnership with Estée Lauder, who also produce the fragrances for Zegna. Launched in 2004, he also had others, now discontinued, called “Success” and “Empire”. 

He’d probably wear all five of these, layered á la Jo Malone, yet he’ll think it was his original idea. More is more when you’re reeking of “Strength” & “Wisdom”, don't you think? No room for "Arrogance"?

Zegna Elements of Man Donald Trump Machoism

It feels like an idea dreamt up between Lauder HQ in “Never Sleeps” New York and Zegna HQ in “Macho” Milan with little thought for the rest of the world. Successful men do wear Zegna’s clothes, you need a certain depth of pocket to be able to afford it, but let’s leave the 80s arrogance to Gordon Gekko. 

Right - The full Zegna #Elementsofman line-up

“Talent”, for example, in isolation just seems a little strange. My British modesty and cynicism couldn’t wear a fragrance called “Integrity” without a little smirk.

Zegna is a premium menswear brand and they manufacture the most beautiful Italian clothes and fabrics worn by some of the world's most successful men. I think men today are more complex than these allow. These, at £180 for 50ml, are a premium fragrance offering, it just feels a shame that they’ve handicapped them with their names before you’ve even opened the bottle. 

 

 

Friday, 04 August 2017 13:12

Label To Know Floraïku

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance

Last week, Harrods unveiled the expansion of its Salon de Parfums area on the top floor of the store. Seven new fragrance boutiques have been added including Penhaligon’s, Armani Privé, Burberry, Sospiro, Frédéric Malle, Bond No.9 and, brand new and world exclusive, Floraïku.

Left - The new Floraïku boutique at the extended Salon de Perfumes in Harrods

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance

The Japanese-inspired, Floraïku, has been created by John and Clara Molloy, the couple behind ‘Memo Paris’, available at Harvey Nichols. 

Directly inspired by Japan, the collection of eleven fragrances are based on Japanese poems - haiku - engraved on each bottle. Three ‘ceremonies’ make up Floraiku: Secret Teas and Spices, Enigmatic Flowers and Forbidden Incense, each
of them composed with three different perfumes. 

The colour of the bottles, navy blue, white and black ensures recognition. A final ceremony is added to the previous three: Shadowing. Composed of two perfumes, with a red bottle, it allows, if they are affixed near a fragrance of one of the other three collections, to make it deeper or lighter. 

Right - My favourite - Between Two Trees

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance

Unveiled in a box inspired by a Japanese bento box, each fragrance of 50ml is presented with its travel spray, which also serves as a stopper. A refill of 10ml for the vaporiser completes this box. All perfumes and travel refills are refillable. 

Left - Sit down for tea & a biscuit & sample the fragrances

TheChicGeek says, “This is a new take on fragrance and at first I thought it was Japanese. Japanese fragrances are usually very light. Because this is French, they are of a more European strength.

They are beautiful, so too is the packaging and the boutique. Looking like a tea house, you sit at the counter and are served tea and a biscuit - always a winner - while a wooden stand allows you to work through the collection. My favourite was one of the ‘shadows’ - ‘Between Two Trees’.

This is expensive, around £250, but without the usual bling you find at this level and smells very natural. I find it interesting how confident John and Clara Molloy must be to appropriate Japanese culture like this. It’s a difficult thing to get right when its not your own culture. I really like it, but I would love to know what the Japanese think”.

Below - The testers are arranged on this board to experience the different categories & 'shadows'

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance

Floraiku Harrods Salon de Parfums Fragrance Bento Box Packaging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left - The fragrances come in a bento style box with the travel spray stopper & cartridge

 


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