Deion Sanders is hands down one of the greatest cornerbacks of all time. You didn’t throw a ball at him and get away with it.
But besides being a beast in the field, he was and continues to be a style icon. And even though he absolutely rocked the bald head for quite a while, that’s not how he really wanted things to be.
And so, back when you’d rarely have a sportsman, let alone of Dieon’s calibre, admit to a hair restoration surgery, he announced it to the world about planning to get it.
And for him, it was a life-changing thing. But what exactly led him to make this decision? And why was he losing his hair in the first place? Let’s find out about Deion Sanders’ hair transplant!
Who Is Deion Sanders?
Born on 9 August 1967 in Fort Myers, Florida, Deion Luwynn Sanders is only one of the NFL’s most remarkable athletes of all time. Throughout his career, he had many names and titles including “Shutdown Corner, “Neon Deon” (although he doesn’t really like that one) and “Prime Time” for his unmatched talents in sports, in general.
He wasn’t only a cornerback, he also appeared on the offence as a punter and wide receiver. But it gets better; while playing the NFL, he was also a part of the MLB, and to date, is the only sportsman to have been a part of the Super Bowl (winning two titles of that) and World Series.
Back in college, he even played basketball, so suffice to say, he was extremely (and very unusually so) versatile. He played 14 seasons in the NFL and 9 in the MLB with teams like the Atlanta Braves, Yankees, San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds.
But, of course, the latter didn’t compare to his football career where his 25.1 yards per interception remains an NFL record. He’s even enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s since retired and is now coaching the University of Colorado’s football team.
How Did Deion Sanders Regrow His Hair?
During an episode of The Dan Patrick Show in February 2017, Deion Sanders revealed that he was getting a hair transplant to regrow his hair. And he wasn’t alone in getting the surgery. Seeing how his son was also balding, both of them had the surgery together.
Initially, however, Deion wasn’t exactly sure what options he even had to get his hair back. But after reaching out to the linebacker Brian Urlacher, he decided to go down the same route as him and get a hair transplant.
On the experience of getting the surgery itself, Deion has said that it didn’t cause him any pain (it shouldn’t, either because it takes place under local anaesthesia) and helped him bring his “swagger back.”
Which Type Of Hair Transplant Did Deion Sanders Get?
Deion described getting his hair back through a “restore process,” which is nothing but marketing jargon for hair transplants. Hair restoration is based on the idea of “redistributing” hair follicles that are already present on your scalp.
Notice how balding men retain hair on the back and sides of their scalps? It’s because that hair is immune to the effects of the hormone – dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – which shrinks the hair follicles and causes baldness.
It’s that hair that’s taken out from the back (called the donor area) and then placed into the bald spots through small incisions. While Deion didn’t explicitly mention the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique, it’s quite likely that he had his hair transplant through it.
More specifically, he might’ve had an Afro FUE hair transplant, in which a FOX test is first done on the hair to check how many grafts can be safely extracted.
It’s because Afro hair is curled to the root, and those grafts have a greater chance of getting damaged during extraction. If too many grafts are damaged, the surgery result is likely to be unsatisfactory, which is why a FOX test is done first.
In any case, in the FUE itself, individual follicular units are extracted directly from the scalp. It’s preferred over a Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) because, in FUT, an entire piece of skin is cut out from the back.
From that, individual follicular units are taken out. But the problem with it is that it leaves a long linear scar, and the recovery is also relatively more difficult.
How Many Grafts Did Deion Sanders Need?
Because Deion’s head was so closely shaven before he had the hair transplant, it’s hard to say in which areas he was exactly balding. However, in some of his pictures, it’s possible to get a faint idea of where he was balding. Based on that and using a graft calculator, he might’ve needed about 2,500 grafts.
It’s important to keep in mind that graft calculators are only estimates. Only a surgeon can give you an exact number of grafts you need based on how much donor hair you have, the size of your balding area, how much density you desire, and even your hair type.
How Much Did Deion Sanders Pay For His Hair Transplant?
Assuming Deion got 2,500 hair grafts, at $7/graft, his hair transplant would have cost a whopping $17,500, which is definitely something that high-end celebrity clinics can charge.
Still, on average, the surgery can cost $7,000 in the US, which definitely isn’t something that everybody afford, which is why some clinics offer the option of flexible payment plans.
But if you’re looking for a more affordable, you can also consider getting a hair transplant in Turkey, where the average cost is $2,500. It’s not because you get poorer quality there (it’s actually the opposite).
The low cost is simply because of economic differences. In Istanbul, the cost of living is lower than say in New York. The currency differences make the whole thing even cheaper for medical tourists. So, that’s also something that you can consider.
Deion Sanders’ hair transplant happened at a time when many celebs would feel hesitant to do so (even though 2017 isn’t too far in the past). And not only did he get the surgery himself, but he even had his son get it with him, as they were both probably losing hair due to androgenetic alopecia/pattern baldness.
While there are medications like minoxidil and finasteride that are FDA-approved for hair loss, these drugs don’t give permanent results. You have to keep using them. In contrast, hair transplant is permanent and gives natural-looking results.
If you’re also losing your hair, it’s important that you first get a diagnosis for it. Based on the underlying cause of hair loss, your surgeon will recommend a treatment plan accordingly.