With Football World Cup fever growing due to the most open competition for years, we thought we would look at the links between footballers and thinning hair.
Its fair to say that with a competition of this nature and with expectations going wild, stress is going to play a part in a footballer’s performance. Can the footballer handle that stress and what effect potentially is it going to have on their health? We’ve already seen plenty of tears in this World Cup but, is this because their team has been knocked out of the competition or because their hair is falling out!
The accepted theory has been that footballers have been losing their hair to the genetic condition Male Pattern Baldness. There are many reasons this seems likely, beginning with the fact that many players are in classic male hair loss territory, being both men and often in their 20s and 30s. While Male Hair Loss is often associated with older men, it is increasingly common for a man’s hair to start thinning when he is much younger.
Additionally, stress – both mental and physical – that is placed on the body is known to speed up the effects of the condition, and most people would agree that, despite the pay packet, being a footballer is far from easy. Fitness regimes can be punishing, while travelling schedules, media interest and, of course, professional pressures can all hike up the stress levels.
What about Footballers who can head? A dying art according to my Dad who quotes the wet leather ball routine when he was a lad etc. Can heading effect hair loss? When a footballer heads a ball, they typically connect with it where the hairline meets the forehead. Repeated trauma to this hairline caused by almost daily impacts with a football is surely going to cause chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a factor in many cases of both scarring and non-scarring Alopecias. Repeated trauma could potentially lead to cicatricial alopecia with concerns regarding the hair follicles being damaged to the point that they no longer function. This would leave those areas bald and, without functioning hair follicles, pharmaceutical treatments would not be possible, surgery would be the only option.
Thankfully there are options to treat some of these conditions above which vary from temporary cosmetic solutions such as Toppik Hair Building Fibers and Scalp Concealers such as Mane and DermMatch, to Low Level Laser treatments such as HairMax and Hair Transplant Surgery which has been popular with a number of professional football players in recent years.
Being a football player has its rewards but there certainly seems to be a link to increased hair loss. One team will go onto win the World Cup and we wish them well – however if it’s not our team, we will be pulling our hair out…again ! Football is a challenging game for your hair.