Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt has been raising eyebrows with a radical change of hair.
He appeared at a football awards show on Monday night with a substantially fuller and darker head of hair than before – leading some to wonder whether the largely balding actor was displaying a new hair transplant, or a wig.
Our Jimmy, who first came to prominence in the ITV comedy Cold Feet in the late 1990s, had publicly acknowledged having hair transplants to boost his hair over the last several years.
Opinion was split among some Belfast professionals after he unveiled his new look while co-hosting Fifa’s Ballon d’Or awards ceremony in Zurich.
Just a week before, he had appeared on BBC One’s Graham Norton Show with a notably thinner hairline.
Niall Friel from the Hair Loss Control Clinic on Belfast’s Malone Road (which carries out hair transplants), said it was probably the result of hair extensions, glued onto his existing transplant.
“It’s likely extensions, it’s unlikely it’s a hairpiece,” he said. “Purely down to the fact he’s invested significant amounts of his money and time in getting hair replaced surgically – why would he go backwards, and throw a hairpiece on top?”
As to whether it actually suits him, he said: “I’m not completely taken. In my opinion, it’s too dark for him.”
Barber Sean Lawlor, who runs Cambridge Barbershop at Queen’s University, said: “I don’t know if it’s an improvement. It’s a wee bit long for that style.”
He believed it was impossible to have got a fresh transplant done within that space of time, and said: “I think it’s a hairpiece, if anything.”
Sean McStravick, owner of Vision Hair in the city centre, when asked if he preferred the old or new style, said: “I’d have to say new. I think it’s really good – very dashing.”
He said James Nesbitt now reminds him of Mr D’Arcy from the BBC’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.