Man who was bald for 45 years unrecognisable after life-changing hair transplant

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Approaching retirement, former headteacher Gary Groom wanted to get fit and healthy so he could feel and look his best when travelling the world with his husband.

His first big change came after dropping five stone in just four months – but he didn't want to stop there.

That's because after slimming down from 20st, he looked into the possibility of having hair for the first time since he was a teenager some 45 years ago.

READ MORE: Balding man's hair transformation that 'made him 7 years younger' has changed his life

The 58-year-old then got a thick quiff from hair transplant firm Novo Cabelo in May and he burst into tears after seeing himself with locks.

Gary, from Yarm, North Yorks, has now spoken with the Daily Star about how life has changed in the last three months with a full head of hair.

He said: “It has been totally unreal. At first I didn’t recognise myself in the mirror. I thought ‘who is that looking back at me’?

“It looks so real and the emotions were ‘oh my god I have got hair and a hairstyle that I always wanted’.

“Whenever I used to use the mirror for things like shaving I would just look at where I was shaving. I wouldn’t look at myself if that makes sense, just at what I’m doing.

“But now I kind of look at myself now and I think you know what, I look alright.”

And as for his husband’s reaction, he added: “Tony was going to come with me on the day but he couldn’t due to work. So he came back from work and said ‘oh my god you look 20 years younger’.

“I asked whether he meant in a good way because if you have a partner and you look a certain way you worry they won’t feel the same about you if you change.

“But he absolutely loves it and I am really chuffed. It has made me happy with how I look.

“I think it also helps him more how much other people and good friends who we have known for a long time have said how much it suits me because he wanted other people to feel it looks good on me too.”

Gary, who also owns a celebrant business, grew up with fine hair and it disappeared completely as he approached his 20s.

Looking back, he remembered: “All my mates at school were all having trendy haircuts and being stylish and fashionable and I couldn’t really have any of that because I didn’t have hair.”

A hair system costs between £350 and £550 and can last six months and it is a cap covered in real hairs that is glued to your head.

Initially Gary enquired about having a hair transplant – only to be told he would require three procedures over six years totalling around £25,000.

That’s when he turned his attention to hair replacements, and he said: “It was almost like a bucket list thing because I’ve never had hair.

“I use TikTok and a Novo Cabelo video popped up about the London bus driver who had a hair replacement and I thought that was amazing.

“I then contacted the company founder Rob Wood and I thought ‘do you know what, I’m going to do this’.

“It was a lot more financially attractive than a transplant even considering the longer term commitment of hair systems.”

And he believes his new look will make his approaching retirement much more satisfying.

He said: “For me the decade of importance is 60 to 70 and I am retiring now and I want to feel good about myself.

“The next ten years is about all the stuff I want to do.

“Without hair I think I look my age, I am nearly 60 and that’s what I look like. But I just feel so much younger with the hair on.”

The video of Gary seeing himself with hair for the first time has now been viewed more than two million times on TikTok.


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