Balding headteacher says he can ‘die a happy man’ after £500 hair transformation
A balding ex-headteacher looks completely different after deciding to fork out for a hair replacement to complete his bucket list.
The 59-year-old – aptly named Gary Groom – says he can now ‘die happy’ after finally able to live up to his name.
Fed up with being overweight and balding, Gary decided to reward himself with a new look after losing five stone in four months.
Admitting he felt like an ‘ugly duckling’ since his hair loss began aged 15, he booked in to secure his new look.
In a viral video, an employee can be seen attaching a £350-£500 ‘hair system’, made with real hair, and which leaves a blindfolded Gary welling up after he sees the final look.
The ex-college head claims he can ‘die a happy man’ now his bucket list’s ‘first priority’ has been achieved and his transformation from a 20-stone bald man is complete.
Now Gary says people even walk past without recognising him.
Gary, from Yarm, North Yorkshire, said: “This was bucket list priority number one and I’ve ticked it off. I can die a happy man.
“I made a deal that if I lost five stone I could have hair. It was a reward to finish the transformation. It was the crowning glory. I did the hard work and finished the look.
“I was terrified at first. I had no idea what I was going to look like when the glasses came off. It’s amazing.
“I’m a glass box. You can read me like a book and if I didn’t like it, Rob would have known. I was blown away. Genuinely speechless.
“Can you imagine seeing yourself for the first time since the age of 15, with a hairstyle you’ve always wanted that you’ve never had?
“I’m getting to the autumn years of my life and I thought about my bucket list. I wanted hair! I want to inject some change into my life over the next 10 year. I wanted to be thinner and I wanted hair.
“I wanted to knock 10 years off me, but it knocked 20, maybe 30 years off me. I’m starting a new chapter. I’m lighter. I’m stronger. It’s given me a massive new outlook.
“People who have known me all my life but don’t know I’ve got hair have walked past me and not recognised me. It’s really flattering.”
Gary, who suffers from male pattern baldness, was annoyed he couldn’t have a flat-top hairstyle like his friends as a teen then his hair receded dramatically in his 20s.
He lost five stone four months earlier this year via a rapid weight loss programme and he’s now working out at the gym regularly and eating more healthily.
Gary, who lives with their husband Tony Harrison, 51, plans to retire in six months after working as a college principal for almost 30 years before becoming a self-employed celebrant.
He admits he’s had to learn how to brush and style his hair given he hasn’t had enough to do either since he was 15.
Despite claiming he never lacked confidence, he has felt disappointed with his hair seen being a teen and then allowed his weight to spiral until it resulted in medical issues through his 50s.
Gary said: “I just never had any hair to do anything with. When I was 15 my hair was very fine and there wasn’t a lot of it. There wasn’t enough to even comb it over.
“I’ve never lacked self-confidence, but it was always disappointing. [I] couldn’t have a trendy hairstyle. You feel like you’re one of the ugly ducklings.
“When I was 22 I looked the same as I did before Rob did my hair. Imagine looking like a 59-year-old at 22. It’s not a good look.
“My weight was becoming a medical problem. Swollen legs, aching joints, didn’t have much energy.
“Men shouldn’t just give up on themselves at a certain age where they think ‘it’s all downhill now’ and you feel like you’re past it. But we need more pride in ourselves.”
Rob, who owns hair replacement firm Novo Cabelo who carried out the work for Gary, says he’s delighted he now has the ‘icing on the cake’ to his transformation and even got emotional himself at his client’s reaction.
Rob said: “I knew it was going to be emotional and it was. I got a little bit teary too because I know how much it means to him.
“He’s pretty much sending me selfies twice a week now, telling me to look at his hair.”