Louise Thomas had plucked nearly all her eyelashes out due to an obsessive disorder called

The 19-year-old now has lovely long and thick eyelashes after surgeons grafted hair from the
back of her head onto her eyelid

Cosmetic surgeons have performed Britain's first eyelash transplant, in which hair from the back of the head was grafted onto the eyelid.

Louise Thomas, 19, had the treatment because she suffers from trichotillomania - obsessive plucking or pulling out hair.

The four-hour procedure involves taking hair from the back of the head, and then placing individual hairs into cuts in the eyelid, to give long thick lashes.

It costs around £3,500 and the lashes thicken up gradually between four and six months after treatment.

Miss Thomas, from Stockport, Cheshire, said: 'Having suffered from trichotillomania for 17 years, I learned to accept that I'd never have real lashes again. That's quite a hard issue for a young girl to come to terms with.

'When I heard about this treatment it sounded too good to be true but the results are absolutely amazing.'

The procedure was pioneered in America.

Shami Thomas from Transform, which carried out the surgery, said: 'We often look to America for the latest in cosmetic surgery as they're the pioneers in the industry, but not all are as successful and safe as this one.

'The eyelash transplant procedure is a very safe, cost-effective and pain-free treatment that can have life-changing effects.'

Meanwhile it was revealed that more women over 55 are considering non-surgical treatment such as chemical peels to look younger.

The Harley Medical Group (HMG) said the number of enquiries from women in that age group is up 9 per cent year-on-year.

They have put this down to a fear among older women that they will be replaced in their jobs by younger counterparts.

This has been dubbed the 'Arlene effect' - referring to former BBC Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips, 66, who was replaced by 30-year-old performer Alesha Dixon.

Director of HMG Liz Dale said: 'It's interesting to see that pressure in the workplace is a key driver for women of more advanced years, given the current high level of competition for jobs.

'Women over 55 have really boosted our non-surgical market, which now accounts for 29 per cent of our total revenue.'