City councillor Kenneth O’Flynn said he toyed with every possible remedy before finally reaching the decision to jet to Turkey for a hair transplant. He shared his story in a bid to combat the stigma often accompanying such operations.
“Over the years I tried every potion and lotion but nothing was working,” he said. “People were going to know I had something done no matter what so there was no point trying to hide it.”
He described the eight-hour operation as an “out of body experience”.
“In all, there were 4,000 individual hairs in total to attach so it was a long process,” he said.
“I had a numbing injection but I was completely awake and in my senses when having it done. You feel the pressure but not the pain. The whole thing was like an out of body experience.”
And the discomfort didn’t end there.
“The recovery time was particularly hard.
“I had to use a neck pillow and lie at a 45-degree angle. During that time I was getting only two hours’ sleep a night. I was cranky and difficult to say the least.”
Mr O’Flynn hasn’t shied away from questions about the procedure.
“I didn’t do this for politics. I did it for me. It sounds superficial but if science can now allow me to change then why not? If it makes you happy and you’re not hurting anyone then there shouldn’t be a problem. I’m very open about it all and my door is always open to anyone thinking about doing the same. I am more than happy to offer advice.
“Already I’m overwhelmed at the number of people contacting me who are contemplating getting it done. I met three men on the aeroplane back from Turkey who had undergone hair transplants.”
The councillor said it will be a while before he can enjoy a full head of hair again.
“The funny thing was I actually had to have my head shaved in order to undergo the procedure. It’s a long process and I’m still waiting for the new hair to come through. My friends are saying I look good bald so I’m wondering if I’ve made the right decision at all,” he laughed.
“The feedback I’ve had after speaking out about it has been very positive,” he said.
“The only thing you’ll end up regretting in life are the things you didn’t do. I firmly believe that.”
The procedure set the politician back €2,500.
“It was the cheapest option for me. The surgeon had been working 20 years and in that time performed 15,000 operations which really inspired confidence in me. I was also provided with a translator who I became great friends with.”