An international rugby league ace has said a hair transplant procedure he received from a team of Leeds specialists has boosted his confidence.
England and Castleford Tigers player Luke Gale, the sport’s Man of Steel 2017, had Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) treatment at the Baruch Hair Transplant Centre on Viaduct Street, Pudsey.
The procedure involves healthy hairs being removed directly from the back of the head where hair is much fuller and grafted on to thinning or bald areas at the front or top of the scalp. It takes around nine hours and involves the transplanting of thousands of individual hair follicles.
Treatment was overseen by Sean Baruch and his team of professional clinicians.
Leeds-born Mr Gale, 29, said: “I’ve had a truly fantastic year [last year] - a brilliant season with Castleford Tigers and winning the League Leaders Shield for the first time ever.
"A personal highlight for me was being voted Man of Steel 2017 and rounding the year off with a great team performance in the rugby league World Cup final in Australia in a very hard fought battle and the closest final for years.
“Now the season and the World Cup is over I’ve had this procedure to give me the added confidence to go on and have an even better year.
"As a sportsman being in the spotlight can be incredibly tough sometimes and it can play on the mind and have an impact on performance, regardless of how strong you are as an individual. When you’re lucky enough to be in the public eye for doing what you love, your appearance can make you a target for some.
"Sean reassured me that I was at the right age and maturity to undergo the procedure and I decided to go for it.
"Hopefully this will set an example to others that there are natural treatments available if they want to make positive changes to their lives and to always use a medically recognised professional.”
Mr Baruch added: “Like thousands of men, Luke came to see me because he wanted to do something positive about his hair loss. There are lots of treatments out there but they are not always suitable for the client and Luke wanted reassurances that we could help him.
"Being in the public eye as he is and especially in such a tough sport as rugby league, Luke has found himself at the end of some cruel taunts from fans and players.
"This can have a profound effect on confidence so to want to do something positive about it is the most natural thing in the world. The procedure that Luke has gone for will give him the renewed confidence to continue to be a great success in his sport at all levels and in normal life away from the pitch too.”
Mr Gale won the Man of Steel honour in October.