Rob Holding’s Hair Transplant

While once there was a time when getting a hair transplant was more hush-hush. Fortunately, that’s not the case anymore. Joining the list of footballers who had a hair transplant is none other than the Gunners’ centre-back Rob Holding. He certainly hasn’t been hesitant to talk about it, but many people don’t know the details of Rob Holding’s hair transplant. 

Not many people realise this, but permanent hair loss can impact the even mental health of the person suffering from it. It can be especially difficult for people who’re in the spotlight because it’s not only the mirror that’s pointing out their flaws.

Hundreds of thousands of other people around the globe talk about it. For Holding, his self-confidence took a hit because of his hair loss. But before we learn more about his transplant journey, let’s start with a bit of an introduction. 

Who Is Rob Holding? 

Before becoming a part of the Premier League club Arsenal, Robert Samuel Holding was a part of League 1 side Bolton Wanderers. He made 30 appearances for the club and even won Player of the Season in the Championship award.

In 2014-2015, he was a part of the Bury club on loan. He was also a part of the England Under-21 squad when it won the Toulon tournament in 2016. 

Rob Holding

In 2016, he signed for Arsenal for a fee of around £2 million, saying, “It’s something you dream of as a kid – I can’t wait to get started.” He was around 20 at that time. Since then, he has made more than 150 appearances (more than any other central defender) and has won the FA Cup and FA Community Shield twice each.

While it seemed that he would be joining Newcastle on loan, the Arsenal defender ended up signing a contract extension. So he’s likely to stay with the Gunners till around 2024.

When Did Rob Holding Start Losing His Hair?  

If you look at Rob Holding’s before and after photos, you’d notice significant hair loss. However, it didn’t always seem to be the case. At the time when the former Bolton star joined the Arsenal club, he still had a pretty good-looking barnet with a little widow’s peak.

Fast-forward 2 years and his hair is still looking good, although you can start seeing the pattern of baldness (androgenetic alopecia) set in. Around the age of 24, he was probably at Norwood Stage 2A. 

The A classification is the one in which a person doesn’t lose their hair in the crown area. It’s the hairline that continues to recede, eventually enveloping the crown area. This seemed to be the case with Rob Holding. However, in a matter of more than 1 year, around the time when the Arsenal defender was 25, his hairline changed drastically. 

So, he experienced significant hair loss, moving from Norwood 2A to 4A. There’s the characteristic “M,” and the footballer has sparse hair in the middle of the top of his head. It was around this time that the player decided to get a hair transplant.

Had he left it just like that, it’s quite likely that his hairline would have receded further back towards the crown (which is still a possibility in the future). 

When Did Rob Holding’s Hair Transplant Take Place? 

In 2021, after spotting the Gunners midfielder with a shaved head during pre-season, fans speculated that the player was getting a hair transplant. In the photos, the hairline has already changed. But there are no photos of him where the fresh grafts can be clearly seen. 

Rob Holding
Rob Holding’s hair in 2021

By the end of the year 2021, he had already grown hair that looked quite a lot like David Beckham’s. He was probably around 25 when he had the surgery. It is the recommended age for hair transplant since the pattern of androgenetic alopecia is likely to have already “set in”.   

A lot of the fans were left in awe of the comeback that his hair had made (who once called him “Baldinho” because of his hair loss). Some said that it made him look much younger, while others were just plain impressed by the final results. 

Rob Holdings hair in 2023
Rob Holding’s hair in 2023

How Many Hair Grafts Did Rob Holding’s Hair Transplant Require? 

From his pictures, it seems like the footballer was losing hair in Zone 1-3. Taking that into consideration, it is possible to calculate the number of grafts Rob Holding’s hair transplant required. It was probably somewhere around 2,500 hair grafts. 

Rob Holdings new hair
Rob Holding’s hair now

Keep in mind that it cannot be said if Holding’s hair loss pattern had been completely set. There are people who lose hair in their 30s and later years because of this condition. If this is the case with Holding, he might lose more hair from the back of his towards the crown, leaving bald patches behind. 

Since that would make his hair appear quite unnatural, he would need another hair transplant. For that, he might end up needing around 700-800 more grafts. 

What Kind of Hair Transplant Did Rob Holding Get & What Did It Cost?  

In Rob Holding’s freshly shaved head photos, you cannot spot a linear scar, so it can be said that he probably had an FUE hair transplant. This leaves micro-wounds in the scalp, which heal with time and are not visible. 

As far as the cost of the transplant is concerned, the footballer hasn’t said anything about it. However, he had the surgery done at a clinic in London, where the average cost of it is anywhere between £3500 and £7000.

However, it’s possible to get the same surgery at the same quality for half the price in Turkey. Hair transplant cost in Turkey is just around £1,700.

So, it’s likely that Rob Holding’s hair transplant cost around that much. This may seem reasonable compared to the £30,000 that Wayne Rooney spent on his transplant surgery. 

Has Rob Holding Confirmed His Hair transplant? 

Rob Holding’s hair transplant was confirmed by the footballer himself with jibes by his teammate Aaron Ramsdale (on more than one occasion).

Taking to his Instagram account on October 10, the footballer said, “Because it’s World Mental Health Day, I struggled so much with my hair and self confidence.” So, it’s safe to say that this prompted the footballer to take action and get a transplant. 

Aaron Ramsdale of Arsenal also mentioned it during the FIFA 22 promotional interview. Rob Holding’s 77-rated card featured a picture of him before he had the transplant.

So, the Arsenal goalkeeper couldn’t help himself and compare the two hairlines. Looking at it, he said, “The hair transplant’s done you wonders!” to which the midfielder replied, “It’s just based off looks, innit?” 

That wasn’t the end of it, though! After making his first Premier League goal against West Ham, beating them 2-1 in London Stadium, Holding had his hair transplant brought up again.

Ramsdale poked fun at his teammate once more during an interview with Sky Sports saying it “only took six years and a new hairline,” to which Holding replied, “come on, mate,” while laughing. To this, the interviewer, Geoff Shreeves, said, “don’t spoil his moment.” 

So, yes, his hair transplant has never really been a secret. The footballer (and his teammate!) has been open about it. It is quite true that a lot of people losing their hair experience emotional distress. Many of them end up feeling happy and satisfied after getting a hair transplant. 

How Are the Final Results of Rob Holding’s Hair Transplant?

From the looks of it, Rob Holding’s hair transplant has been quite a success. While he once had a widow’s peak, that has been smoothed out by the surgical placement of the grafts. Now, it’s more of a soft curve. 

It should be noted that it can take 1-year for you to see the final results of the surgery. It has probably been around that much time (maybe even more) for Holding. Someone who plays contact sports has to stay away from the game for a few months.

That’s because there’s a risk of dislodging the grafts and damaging the results permanently. Fortunately, now Rob Holding’s barnet is way past that point, and it looks great. 

Rob Holding hair transplant before and after
Rob Holding’s hair in 2021 vs 2023

The Arsenal centre-back certainly hasn’t been the first one to get a hair transplant. Other than Wayne Rooney mentioned above, David Silva, Antonio Conte, Xherdan Shaqiri, Andros Townsend, David Beckham, and many others have had a hair transplant, although not all of them have confirmed it. 

Concluding Remarks 

It’s hard for anyone to lose their hair. Being in the public eye can it make it even harder, though. Rob Holding’s hair transplant may have become necessary for him because it was affecting his mental health. It’s also the case with many other people who suffer from permanent hair loss due to one reason or another. 

From the looks of it, the Arsenal defender had his surgery last year, probably through the FUE technique. Since then, he has grown back his barnet to its former glory.

It is possible that he may need another surgery in the future if his hair loss continues and extends to the crown region. This can happen in the case of androgenetic alopecia, especially if the person gets the surgery at a young age.

Reviewed and Approved by Dr. Cagla Yuksel.

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