If you want to know what a celebrity is really like, ask the man who cuts his hair. The same is true of politicians and world leaders – the man they go to see for a trim is arguably more likely than any other ‘outsider’ to have shared quiet, personal moments with their famous customer. As a result, the hairdresser often has a genuine insight into what makes their big-name client tick.
But such close bonds come with a price: the barber knows more about your hair than anyone, including whether you have a thinning crown, split ends or a secret fixation with hair dye. And he might not be too careful with this private information when speaking to the press.
It’s something that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discovered to his peril when his barber Yasar Ayhan let slip about his hair loss when he was interviewed by the Daily Telegraph last week.
Mr Ayhan said that the president needed to visit less often than he used to because he was “losing his hair from stress.”
Hair loss evident for some time
Luckily, the pair go way back – they grew up together in the same part of Istanbul – so Mr Ayhan’s indiscretion is unlikely to be taken too seriously. Also, the camera doesn’t lie – and as President Erdogan is one of Turkey’s most-photographed public figures, his hair loss has been evident for all to see for some time.
The President typically wears his hair in a slick side parting, which tends to emphasise a receding hairline in men with Male Pattern Baldness. This genetic condition affects up to 50 per cent of men by the time they are 50, so at 61 Mr Erdogan would, in fact, be one of the luckier ones if he was showing no signs of hair loss at his age.
Erdogan is by no means the only person thinning in the Turkish parliament, as photographs of brawling politicians taken during a heated debate in 2014 – seen here – clearly show. A distinct majority of the men in the scuffle are in the same boat – luckily for some of those involved, one of Turkey’s fastest growing areas of commerce is in the field of hair transplant operations.
Hair loss and stress
Perhaps the President’s barber is correct and life as a serving politician in Turkey is especially stressful? Stress, after all, is known to accelerate hereditary Male Pattern Baldness, and also to trigger other hair loss conditions including Telogen Effluvium (a diffuse thinning of the hair from all over the scalp).
These conditions, however, can all be treated, and many regrowth successes have been seen as a result bespoke hair loss treatment programmes based around topical applications of high strength minoxidil. However, to give any treatment the best chance of working, it is advisable to try different relaxation techniques – such as yoga or hypnotherapy – or to seek professional help in managing your stress.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.