Hair loss can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender, and the long list of public figures who have suffered from hair loss conditions is testament to this. As 2010 draws slowly to a close, we take a look back at celebrities who have this year been in the news due to hair loss woes, demonstrating the wide variety of reasons why hair loss can occur.
Male Pattern Baldness
Footballer Wayne Rooney is perhaps one of the most high profile figures to suffer from male pattern baldness, and over the past few years Rooney’s receding hairline has gradually become more pronounced. Until this year that is, in which his hair loss seems to have stabilised, prompting many in the celebrity watching game to speculate on whether he has undergone some form of treatment for hair loss.
It is quite possible that he may have used a product such as Propecia, which is licensed by the MHRA in the UK and approved by the FDA in the US for treating male pattern baldness. Though Propecia was once banned amongst professional athletes for fears it might disguise the use of illegal steroids, this ban was lifted in 2009.
Also no stranger to the camera lenses of the world’s media, Prince William’s engagement may be headline news this month, but in October it was his hairline which was drawing attention. After removing his hat to salute sailors at Faslane Naval Base the cameras were quick to focus in on his increasingly thinning hair. Another case of male pattern baldness at a relatively early age, Prince William’s first signs of hair loss occurred around the age of 21, following in the footsteps of his father Prince Charles, and uncle Prince Edward. At 28, William’s hair loss seems to have slowed down recently, so it is possible that he too is already undergoing some treatment to prevent further hair loss.
It’s not just the men whose hairlines have been making headlines. Both supermodel Naomi Campbell and singer Britney Spears have been exhibiting signs of hair loss, but for entirely different reasons. Earlier this year, the tabloids and glossy magazines were quick to jump on signs of Britney’s hair loss when bald patches were spotted on the troubled singer’s head. Naomi meanwhile inadvertently revealed a disappearing hairline during a New York fashion shoot.
In both cases the cause of hair loss is thought to be due to Traction Alopecia, a form of hair loss which is usually temporary and is often the result of excessive tension and stress on the hair caused by hair extensions and tightly worn hairstyles.
Stress and Hair Loss
Hair loss can also be caused by stress, as Tiger Woods’ ex-wife, former model Elin Nordegren, revealed in the aftermath of the break up of her marriage with the adulterous golfer. She revealed that as well as suffering from insomnia and stress, parts of her hair fell out. This might be caused by stress triggered hair loss conditions, such as Telogen Effluvium, in which hair follicles prematurely enter the ‘resting phase’ of the growth cycle, or Alopecia Areata, which results in patchy hair loss.
David Cameron, Britain’s youngest Prime Minister for centuries, was also pictured with a bald spot on the top of his head in August, which may be a sign of the stress of managing Britain’s fragile economy and spiralling national debt.
Finally, 49 year old singer Bernie Nolan shaved her head following hair loss caused by chemotherapy treatment she was undergoing to fight breast cancer. The singer appeared bald in numerous TV spots, including at the TV Choice Awards, and said in August, “my hair was falling out anyway, and it was all tufts here and tufts there…And I just thought ‘get rid of it,’ I’m in charge of this disease, not the disease in charge of me. And I thought I’m taking my hair off, so that’s what I did.”