Cameron Mooney is a former Australian Rules footballer with a career spanning three decades and three premierships under his belt. The 42-year-old father of four started out representing North Melbourne, playing in his first AFL Grand Final at only 19 years old, before he was traded off to Geelong, where he stayed for eleven years. After his career as an athlete, Cam has continued to make his mark as a popular sports commentator.
Most recently, he’s stepped onto new territory as a hair transplant ambassador for Gro.
Previously nicknamed “the big hairy cat”, a few years ago Cam noticed his hairline receding around the temples, a common early-stage genetic hair loss pattern in men. While his hair loss may not have been that obvious yet, it bothered him, especially when in front of a TV camera.
“It plays on my mind all the time,” Cam admits.
“Every time I look on the camera, when I can see myself I can see the areas that are bugging me. A lot of people probably don’t but I can see them and I think that’s what a lot of this is about.”
So, he decided to take action before the situation got worse. After some encouragement from his wife, he decided to contact Gro about a hair transplant.
Gro was recommended to Cam by an acquaintance, and he also knew former rugby dual international Mat Rogers had had his hairline restored with Gro.
But, it was the results and the consultation process that solidified the decision for him.
“I was blown away, actually, by the results of other people that I’d seen,” Cam says.
Cam had a consultation with one of Gro Melbourne’s Hair Growth Specialists, Tim, who knows exactly what people are dealing with when they start losing hair.
“Most people come in because they’re covering their hair up for some reason,” Tim explains. “They’re lacking a bit of confidence, they feel like they can’t leave the house without grabbing the hat first.”
Many people feel like they’re alone with the struggles, but in fact, it’s very common for all sorts of worries to bubble up to the surface when hair loss occurs. Still, Tim was surprised to realise that even a successful sportsman like Cam Mooney could be equally affected.
“He spoke to me about feeling a little bit older with his hair and wanting to counteract that, and wanting to be able to style his hair again without having to brush it forward and cover it up, which is a common thing for me to get from clients,” Tim says.
Cam’s hair transplant surgery was done by Dr Diana Phan at Gro Melbourne.
“A lot of men recede in the frontal region and the temples go backwards, so we’re just going to correct that and replace the hairs that he has lost to bring the hairline back down, to give him a nice frame to the face,” Dr Diana describes her plan for Cam’s procedure on the day.
For Dr Diana, a hair transplant is first and foremost about the design of the hairline, which she reckons is 80% art, 20% skill.
“We need to make sure it matches someone’s face shape, it matches their age. It also has to be in line with what is considered a natural-looking hairline,” she explains.
For Cam, the day itself was easy:
“They numb the area and then a bit of music playing and you’re lying face down, and then virtually I fell asleep for a half an hour, 45 minutes, as they started to extract the hair follicles.”
When asked about the pain, he says it’s nothing to worry about.
“Walked out feeling fine and comfortable, pretty much pain-free, a couple of Panadol won’t hurt anyway,” Cam says.
“The actual pain factor that people may be considering or concerned about, it’s very, very minimal.”
Cam was especially glad the team made him feel comfortable throughout the day, explaining step by step what was going to happen.
“It was three hours in the chair getting them out, then about three hours getting them put back in, so it’s a long day, but it’s going to be worth it,” he describes.
Like many of our clients, Cam is looking forward to no longer having to brush his hair forward to cover up the receding temples.
“I’m just really looking forward to [my hair] just being thick and luscious and having the confidence of that.”
As is the case with many blokes with hereditary pattern baldness, the mental health impacts can’t be understated. Yet, the stigma around men looking after themselves – mentally or physically – still exists. Cam wants to change that.
“We know women go in and have a lot of procedures done, whatever it may be, to make themselves feel good and look good. For some reason, we as men, we don’t do that enough. We don’t talk about it enough and we don’t look after ourselves enough and this is a little thing for me that I want to look after,” he says.
“It’s something that men in general, let alone at football clubs, we don’t talk about or want to get involved with, but it’s OK to look after yourself. From a man’s point of view, it’s OK that we want to feel good and look good.”
And when it comes to other men pondering the same decision, Cam only has one thing to say:
“I’d encourage anybody who’s… thinking about it, come to Gro down here at Docklands. They’re just incredible people. Like I said, they do everything they possibly can to make you comfortable.”
A free hair transplant consultation is the best way to kick off your journey. Meeting with one of our consultants gives you the opportunity to ask questions and get all the information you need to make the right decision. Book your in-person or online hair transplant consultation today.