Katie Piper has opened up about the 13-hour hair transplant she had, after the acid attack she suffered at the hands of her ex-boyfriend and an accomplice in 2008.
She was left with severe burns and blind in one eye after he threw sulphuric acid in her face, spending time in intensive care and almost losing her life at one point.
The TV star has since undergone multiple surgeries for her facial disfigurement over the years, some ongoing to this day, which she routinely talks about publicly.
However, she has not spoken much before on the painful hair transplant she endured too, as a result of the attack.
The 39-year-old described the process on Thursday’s edition of Loose Women, much to the surprise of her fellow panellists, including Nadia Sawalha, Judi Love and Kaye Adams, with Nadia saying she ‘never knew’ her colleague had had one.
During a discussion over if you would buy your partner a hair transplant, Katie revealed: ‘I’ve had a hair transplant myself, all on the side of my head here my hair was burnt off and so were my eyebrows, so I’ve had both of them transplanted – and it’s quite an invasive procedure.’
She continued: ‘For me because I lost my hair in an act of violence, a hair transplant was really empowering for me to say, “I’m bringing it back on my terms”, so it was an amazing thing for me.’
However, she sounded a note of caution for those considering the procedure casually, revealing how invasive it was and how long it took.
‘Would I want someone to go through that just because of the way they looked? If it helped them with confidence, yes, but would I suggest it? No.
‘It is [a big deal]. For me, on the back of my head I had a panel the size of a post box [slot] of skin and hair removed, so you have stitches in the back of your head.’
‘You lay there for like 13 hours having every individual hair done. It’s a lot of down time,’ she added.
In August, Katie was forced to undergo emergency transplant surgery on her eye after suffering from ‘extreme pain’ but bounced back after taking just a few days to recover.
Sharing a message ahead of filming her ITV breakfast show as she returned to work, she thanked fans for their support.
‘Thank you so much for all the messages. I literally came out of the operating theatre and turned my phone on and [there were] so many lovely messages from all you guys.
‘I really appreciate it and never take it for granted.’
She has spent years raising awareness for facial disfigurements and has also released a documentary, Katie Piper: My Beautiful Face to tell her story.
As well as carving out a major career in TV, the mum of two launched the Katie Piper Foundation, which helps other burns victims, for which she was awarded an OBE.
Reflecting on the attack in August, Piper said on ITV’s Loose Women that it ‘feels like two different lives’ – the time before she was burned and the time after.
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12:30pm on ITV1.
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