A driver who was scalped when his car overturned after skidding on black ice has undergone a £10,000 hair transplant to disguise his wounds in time for his wedding.
Father-of-two Ant Reed, 42, from Blyth, Nottinghamshire, was left with horrific injuries after the crash caused the top of his head to be dragged along the ground, removing around half of his scalp.
Although his miraculously survived the impact he claims he was left looking like the ‘Elephant Man’ and his scalp had to be pieced back together using a graft from his leg.
Ant Reed, 42, who was scalped when his car overturned after skidding on black ice has undergone a £10,000 hair transplant to disguise his wounds in time for his wedding (pictured before and after the procedure)
Ant Reed with his wife Zoe at their wedding. The father-of-two was left with horrific injuries after the crash caused the top of his head to be dragged along the ground, removing around half of his scalp. He has now undergone a hair transplant in time for the wedding
Since the crash on Boxing Day 1996, Mr Reed’s healing process has left him with thinning hair, so he decided to undergo a hair transplant with surgeon Dr Bessam Farjo ahead of his wedding to partner Zoe.
The one-day, six-hour process involved around 3,000 hair follicles being removed from the thick-growing back of his head and transplanted into the required areas.
Mr Reed, a lettings agent, said: ‘My car accident was a long time ago now but its effects stayed with me in terms of how my hair developed over the years.
‘I’m very happy with the procedure and though I’m a little thinner than I was in my younger days, my hair is substantially better than it was before I had the transplant.
Since the crash in 1996, Mr Reed’s healing process has left him with thin, patchy hair
The one-day, six hour process involved around 3,000 hair follicles being removed from the thick-growing back of his head and transplanted into the required areas
‘Undergoing a hair transplant is expensive but as far as I’m concerned it was worth every penny.’
The crash occurred when Mr Reed was just 21, and enjoying a night out with friends. He had decided not to drink and instead drove out to a pub in Pontefract, West Yorks in his Peugeot 306. Mr Reed was driving home when his vehicle struck a patch a black ice, resulting in him losing control and flipping the car over.
As the Peugeot careered towards a halt, Mr Reed’s head touched the road removing around half his scalp. Firefighters took two hours to cut him free, and Ant was then rushed to hospital in Wakefield. Surgeons set to work to repair what he describes as a ‘wedge shape’ chunk in the middle of his head around the hairline.
Silicone implants had to be placed in the front, top and back of his head and a saline solution was then pumped into a tube to bring Mr Reed’s head back to a normal shape.
Although Mr Reed miraculously survived the impact he claims he was left looking like the ‘Elephant Man’ and his scalp had to be pieced back together using a graft from his leg
Mr Reed added: ‘I remember setting out in my car and then nothing until I woke up in hospital the next day. My car had landed on its roof and the doctors knew from my injuries that my head had come into contact with the road.
‘I had no brain injuries and I felt lucky to be alive, but I’d been left with quite serious damage to the front and top of my head. An area in the middle just below where the hairline starts had suffered and I was told my scalp was too badly damaged to repair itself.
‘My car was a total write-off but that didn’t seem too important in the context of lying injured in hospital. I was young at the time and you really don’t want issues with your hair, but that was what I was faced with.
‘My scalp was too badly damaged to repair itself and so the medics took a skin graft from one of my legs and put that onto my head. They then cut some skin from the side of my head and put this around to the front of my forehead because there was nothing there that could be saved either. I put myself in their hands but I knew there would be more surgery to follow.’
Mr Reed said: ‘I’m very happy with the procedure and though I’m a little thinner than I was in my younger days, my hair is substantially better than it was before I had the transplant’
‘The saline process was very painful, it was like having your head set on fire. The implants worked, although one silicone bag split through the skin and even today my right eyebrow is at a slight angle due to not being stretched sufficiently.
‘The accident also left me with whiplash, from which I suffered for next eight months. Overall, I felt I looked like the Elephant Man when the silicone implants were at their biggest.’
Mr Reed with his wife and children after the transplant, which he is ‘very happy’ with
‘When I was 21, no-one had heard about hair transplants and if they had, then it was only mentioned in a jokey kind of way.
‘It was definitely not something to be taken seriously, especially for a man, it wasn’t really something they were expected to consider.
‘But I’d receded to the point where there was about an inch in the centre of my forehead that stood out, it was like a little strip right in the middle. I also had some scars at the side of my head, although they weren’t as much of an issue.
‘I thought about what could be done and so decided to look into my options quite seriously. Cheaper options were available but I knew which one came with the likelihood of the best results and I was happy to go with that.’
Dr Farjo said: ‘People come to us for all kinds for reasons, but Ant’s story was a little different to those we normally hear. When someone begins to lose their hair, it can have quite serious implications on their mental wellbeing.
‘And in Ant’s case, his situation was complicated further by the fact that the skin grafts he’d received following the crash had also impacted on his natural hairline.
‘We’re delighted that Ant has had a positive reaction to the surgery and we’d urge anyone in a similar position following head trauma to seek professional help.’