Elton John on agonising hair transplant and putting wig on to confront burglars
Elton John has discussed the drastic measures he took to try to salvage his thinning hair before he bought a wig.
The star, 72, began to lose his beloved hair in the early 70s, and a bad dye job made things spectacularly worse.
He revealed that by 1976, he barely had any hair left, and that he did not have the kind of face that looked acceptable without hair – comparing himself to Shrek.
But someone recommended a hair transplant pioneer to him, who he thought would change his life.
Instead, he endured an agonising five hour procedure, and the results did not last.
In his autobiography, Me: Elton John, Elton wrote:"Undergo a simple procedure, I was told, and I’d be leaving his clinic a changed man.
"It didn’t quite work out like that.
"I had it done twice, and both times it hurt like hell."
He explained that the technique ripped off strips of hair from the back of his head with a scalpel and then attached them to the crown.
"The sound of the hair being removed was disconcertingly like a rabbit gnawing its way through a carrot".
He added: "After the first procedure, I left the clinic reeling in agony, lost my footing as I tried to get into the back of a waiting car and hit the top of my head on the door frame.
"It was at that moment I discovered however much a hair transplant hurts, it’s a mere pinprick compared with the sensation of hitting your head immediately after having a hair transplant."
Elton thought perhaps the transplant did not work because he was taking so many drugs – and he also wore a hat straight after the procedure, which he was warned not to do.
But without a hat, the singer "looked like something that turns up towards the end of a horror film and starts strip-harvesting teenage campers with an axe", with his head "covered in scabs and weird craters".
Eventually, Elton decided to start wearing a wig – and noted people stopped caring about his lack of hair once he did so.
Elton also revealed that he was so self conscious about his lack of hair that he once put his wig on before confronting intruders in his house.
He tells the hilarious story about when he was awoken in his home to the sound of voices, and was convinced he was being burgled.
He went to confront them – but rushed back to his bedroom when he realised he did not have his hair piece on, because "if I was going to be bludgeoned to death by intruders, at least I wouldn’t be bald when it happened."
He said: "Wig on, I went into the kitchen to find two workmen who’d been sent up to fix a leak. They apologised profusely for waking me up.
"I couldn’t help noticing they were staring at me. Perhaps they were starstruck, I thought, as I headed back to bed.
"Stopping off in the bathroom, I realised that the workmen weren’t bedazzled by the sight of the legendary Elton John. They were bedazzled by the sight of the legendary Elton John with his wig on back to front."
Me: Elton John Official Autobiography by Elton John is published by Macmillan on October 15th, £25
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