A London bus driver who has worn hats to hide his hair since he was 19-year-old was left in tears when he saw the results of his hair replacement treatment.
Adam Sinclair says he had low self-esteem after past partners had hinted at him getting a transplant, or would tag him in videos suggesting it, but is now encouraging others to go through the same transformation he did.
The 29-year-old teamed up with hair replacement salon Novo Cabelo, with owner Rob Wood taking to the streets in County Durham to ask strangers to guess Adam’s age in a now viral video, with their “brutally honest” assessments going as high as 47.
Footage then shows Adam being blindfolded before Rob attached one of his £350 ‘hair systems’ and cut it to blend in seamlessly with his existing hair.
When the blindfold is taken away, Adam puts his hands in front of his mouth in pure shock and quickly begins to cry, later admitting: “It was the first time in years I liked what I saw.”
Adam, who has 92,000 follows on his @Londonbusdriver TikTok account, then when back to the streets to survey the public, where the average predicted age dropped to 30 years old.
The video has been watched more than 2.1 million times, and Adam, from Forest Gate in East London, says he has been overwhelmed with messages from admirers hoping to bag a date.
He said: “It was such a strange sensation to hear scissors around my ears, then when the blindfold came off the shock was unbelievable. I could barely speak.
“I didn’t recognise myself at first, but when I did, I liked what I saw. It was the first time in years I liked what I saw. That was the overwhelming thing. I teared up a lot.
“I cannot explain to you how many girls have messaged me over the past few days, it’s unreal. They’re just jumping into my inbox and that feels good.
“I’ve never struggled to meet people but I feel like I’ve gone from chasing to being chased. I was fighting against the tide because my personality was there but my hair wasn’t.
“I’ve ceremonially thrown away all my caps. I never thought I suited them anyway but it was better than walking around looking very old.
“A lot of blokes think you’re trying to trick someone, but 2.5million people know I have a hair system and girls do not care. If you’re confident in how you look it shines through.
“Having the following online gave me the confidence to show people you don’t have to be scared to go and try things out. I’m just a bus driver – a normal guy. I’m not a model.
“I’ve been asked if I’d consider this sort of thing in the past by partners but I’ve always been dead against it, saying ‘this is me’.
“They were always tagging me in the odd video and they’d dance around it a bit. Even on my Tinder profile I’d tell them the hair’s not coming back.
“I was gutted at the time but you just try and own it but it definitely lowers your self esteem. It was something that always bugged me.
“It put a lot of people off and it meant I had to meet people in person because people would look and say ‘that’s not my cup of tea’.
“The age predictions [for the video] were worse than I thought. The only reason it’s 37 is because one person said 30, so if you took that out the average age would be 41 or 42. Some said 47, 45, 40.
“These people felt so bad and it was hard to hear. Because they were complete strangers they were brutally honest.”
Adam says he had been looking into hair replacements for five years but was worried people would mock him for getting it done.
After Rob glued the hair system to his head, and blended it in with the natural hair he had grown on the back and sides especially for the treatment, Adam is now encouraging others to put their apprehensions aside.
The bus driver is now “signed up for life” and added that technology has improved drastically so “it’s not like someone throwing a wig on where everyone knew it was a wig”
Novo Cabelo trains salons to fit its hair systems across the UK, with each lasting three to four months, with the two-hour fitting costing £350.
Rob said: “I didn’t know if he was going to like it or hate it, but his reaction was really emotional. It was lovely to see.
“He realised that he really missed hair and that’s where the tears came from. When I saw that reaction it reminded me that I’m doing the right job and that I love my job. It’s like a drug.
“He was so self-conscious about going out without a cap on. It was a really big deal. Once he came back with a hair system on he couldn’t wait to get out in public. He was a different person.”
The viral video racked up thousands of comments, as one person said: “I love this! Baldness in men is a hugely underestimated issue for confidence. Looks amazing.”