Ryan Giggs has spoken out about his decision to opt for a hair transplant after the stresses of the beautiful game caused him to go thin on top.
Mr Giggs, 46, who played over 950 games for Manchester United, said he believes the pressures of playing at the top left him going bald.
The father-of-two recalled in an interview with hair transplant business, MHR Clinic, how his former school mates highlighted his hair loss in the pub after he went to celebrate scoring twice against Liverpool at Anfield back in 2003.
Ryan Giggs has spoken out about his decision to opt for a hair transplant after the stresses of the beautiful game caused him to go thin on top. Pictured receiving laser treatment at the MHR clinic in Manchester
Ryan, who was 29 at the time said: ‘We’d won and I was buzzing.
I walked into the pub later and was expecting to hear ‘Well done’ from my mates and all I got was ‘Flippin’ heck, your barnet’s going’.
The comments stuck with the Wales boss.
‘I got a little bit paranoid, especially when I was going to be playing on TV or it was going to rain.
‘I was almost 30 then. At the end of my teens and in my early 20s I had really thick hair, long hair, curls.
Mr Giggs then opted to have his hair cut a bit shorter to disguise the thinning and make it look thicker.
Before and then two weeks after the hair transplant at the MHR Clinic in Manchester
He believes the stresses of football might have ‘accelerated’ his hair loss, especially when the team played under-par.
‘Football is stressful. You put yourself under pressure. You’re aware of the consequences if you lose a game or don’t play well.
‘You are under the spotlight and if you have a bad game you’re aware of the criticism.
‘Then it becomes a little bit more stressful. And stress is related to hair loss.’
He stared using a combination of special shampoos, lotions and lasers to stimulate hair growth at a Manchester based clinic.
Low level laser beam treatment. Mr Giggs started to notice his hair thinning aged 29
He believes the stresses of football might have ‘accelerated’ his hair loss
He visited the Medical Hair Restoration Clinic, (MHR clinic) an exclusive hair transplant clinic located in the Tatton Estate in Knutsford. He was so impressed he bought a share of the company and became a partner in late 2015, now part-owning the clinic along with former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan and hair restoration expert Craig Henton.
Mr Giggs underwent a 1500 follicle procedure in January 2017 which he described as straight forward.
He said: ‘It was something I felt could help me, confidence-wise.’
‘They numb the areas where you’re going to feel it but you can’t really feel anything.
Ryan Giggs part-owns the MHR clinic in Manchester where he underwent a 1500 follicle procedure
‘The recovery period doesn’t take long. You’ve got, not scarring, but a few cuts in the back of your head.’
‘At three or four months I was thinking, ‘Is that going to be it?’ but Craig, who I’ve known for a long time and trust, told me ‘No there’ll be more, even up to a year’.
‘It’s a little after a year when you see the final results.’
Mr Giggs did not tell his team-mates. He said: ‘Back then people were judging you more than now.
‘I kept a low profile, staying in the house, wearing a cap if I went out. I told friends and family and their reactions were better than I expected. No-one took the Mick or had a joke. They were more inquisitive about what I’d had to do and when I’d get the final results.’
According to its website the clinic also treats Dancing On Ice star Ryan Sidebottom, 42, and 41-year-old Hollyoaks actor Adam Rickitt.
Ryan Giggs of Manchester United celebrates his goal against Bolton Wanderers during the Barclays Premiership match between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford on December 26, 2004
Mr Giggs who won 64 international caps added: ‘There’s still a sort of stigma out there about having treatment for men. The last ten or 20 years it has got better and it is still improving.
It used to be just women who had procedures to make themselves feel more confident but now I think it is becoming more and more the same with men.
It’s becoming more and more popular. I think people are understanding hair treatments a lot more. Fifteen years ago that wasn’t there and people were judging you a lot more than they do now.
There’s more acceptance around it now. The stigma is going more and more.
You’ll still have the men’s men who’ll never get anything done and want to say, ‘you’re not a real man’. Of course you’ll still have that bit of society.
But there is also a growing interest out there among men to make themselves feel better and look better.
I’m really happy with it. The only negative I have is I didn’t do it earlier,’ he added.