Declan Donnelly Hair Transplant

As a cheeky and personable television icon alongside his pal Ant, Declan Donnelly has been a fixture of British TV for decades. However, ever since the late 2000s, there’s one thing about Dec that many people still have a hard time figuring out – his hair.

Needless to say, it’s been through its ups and downs, and for all the times his hair has changed, there’s a whole new slew of rumours about what he has done to it. Is it hair fibres, wigs, Propecia, or did Declan Donnelly get a hair transplant? The answer might not be so simple, so let’s get into it!

Who is Declan Donnelly?

Born on 25 September 1975 in Newcastle, England, Declan Joseph Oliver Donnelly is a British TV show host, actor, producer and comedian. Arguably, however, he’s best known as one half of the duo of Ant and Dec, the former, Ant McPartlin, also being Dec’s best friend.

The Geordie pair first met on the teen drama Byker Grove as Duncan and PJ, whose reel-time friendship soon became that of a real one. Next, they forayed into the world of music, churning out hits like Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble, which hit the number spot in the UK in 2013. But it was TV presenting that shot them both to fame.

Ant and Dec
Image credit: Sean Reynolds from Liverpool, United Kingdom, Ant and Dec (6745425497)CC BY 2.0

After hosting Gimme 5, they were finally offered their own The Ant & Dec Show, airing from 1996-1996. Following this, they presented several other shows, including BBC’s Friends Like These, I’m a Celebrity, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, and Britain’s Got Talent. They also hold the Guinness World Record for “the most National Television Awards won consecutively for Best Presenter.”

What Has Dec Done to His Hair?

While Dec himself hasn’t said anything about what’s been going on with his hair, it’s been rumoured that he’s either wearing a wig, hair fibres or had a hair transplant.

The first time it was speculated that his hair looked “different” was around 2010. In the time before that, it looked obvious that Declan Donnelly’s hair was thinning, but then in 2010, it started to look quite dense, which led some to believe that he was throwing on some hair fibres for the camera. A hair transplant was suggested as another possibility.

Declan Donnellys hair in 2009
Dec’s thinning hair in 2009/Image credit: Damien Everett from Southampton, UK, Declan Donnelly (2009)CC BY 2.0

Come 2012, after seeing Dec’s fresh crop on the National Television Awards, it was said that Dec had “done a Rooney” -alluding to the hair transplant of the footballer Wayne Rooney– as reported by The Sun.

Decs hair in 2012
Dec’s hair in 2012/Image credit: Sean Reynolds from Liverpool, United Kingdom, Britains Got Talent Dec (6745333755)CC BY 2.0

However, it was also reported by the outlet that it wasn’t actually a hair transplant. Instead, he was using a “thickening shampoo” and “tablets.” One of the guesses for the latter was that it was Propecia (the brand name of finasteride).

Finasteride is an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. In pattern baldness, dihydrotestosterone, which is a byproduct of testosterone, is believed to be the main culprit behind the shrinking or miniaturisation of the hair follicles.

5-alpha reductase is the enzyme which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, and so finasteride works by blocking the action of this enzyme. It is an effective drug that has helped many people deal with hair loss.

Finasteride mechanism

However, due to some side effects of this drug, such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and gynecomastia, some people are hesitant to use it. Moreover, you have to keep taking the drug to continue seeing results. Once you stop taking finasteride, the hair loss will resume.

And so in 2019, there were yet again rumours of Dec having done something (like a transplant) to his hair. However, the more obvious change at the time was that he’d simply dyed his hair and went from salt and pepper to jet black. It also looked like he’d grown it out a little longer, but the overall shape of his hairline looked the same. The same was said again in 2023.

It’s possible that Dec’s been trying out different things to see what works best for him and his hair. Finasteride might’ve been on the cards, along with some fibres to make the hair look more dense. The change in Declan Donnelly’s hair colour and hairstyle has also helped, but nothing has been confirmed.

Do Ant And Dec Wear Wigs?

Ant and Dec answered this question themselves for a Saturday Night Takeaway Q&A in 2021, saying, “If we did wear wigs they’d be better than this. These aren’t wigs.”

Ant and Decs hair
Ant and Dec’s hair in 2014/Image credit: Ben SalterAnt and Dec in Cardiff BayCC BY 2.0

On a closer inspection too, Ant and Dec’s hair looks natural enough. While it has looked more thinned out in some places more than others, it’s possible that they’ve tried out different treatments for hair loss, such as the above-mentioned medication and minoxidil, PRP injections, laser treatments, or even some temporary hair fibres.

Has Declan Donnelly Had A Hair Transplant?

Because of the potential involvement of finasteride, it’s hard to say whether Dec had a hair transplant.

The news of Dec using finasteride came around the time when his hair loss still seemed to be in the relatively early stages. You could see his scalp through his hair, but overall, his hairline was intact, and there were no bald, bald patches.

It’s possible that the earlier use of just finasteride helped Dec preserve his hair well enough. Still, it’s also possible that he could’ve decided to have a hair transplant along the way to improve the overall density of his hairline permanently (as hair transplant results are meant to last a lifetime).

Declan Donnelly Hair Transplant Before And After

Declan Donnelly’s hair loss was noticeable enough by the mid-2000s, as, overall, his hair seemed thinner, and the temples also looked a bit receded. After 2010, however, its density has improved quite dramatically. The other instances where Dec’s hair has looked quite different could be down to him growing his hair out and dyeing it.

Decs hair before and after
Dec’s hair in 2012 vs 2014/Image credit: (L) – Ben SalterDeclan Donnelly (of Ant and Dec), Cropped by Longevita, CC BY 2.0 (R) – Sean Reynolds from Liverpool, United Kingdom, Britains Got Talent Dec (6745457881), Cropped by Longevita, CC BY 2.0


Declan Donnelly’s hair seems like a mystery, although finasteride might just be the answer to all that has happened to it. Even if he had a hair transplant, it wouldn’t be the first of many other celebrity hair transplants that have happened.

In the UK, hair transplants can cost £6,000 on average, but if you’re looking for a more affordable option, you can consider getting a hair transplant in Turkey, where it’s usually £1,500 to £2,000. The main reasons behind this are the low cost of living and the exchange rate.

In any case, if you’re experiencing hair loss, you must first get in touch with a board-certified medical professional for a proper diagnosis. Your treatment plan will be prepared accordingly.

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