Labour leader, Ed Miliband is often seen with a distinctive white-grey tuft, clearly visible against his otherwise thick black hair.
We examine two potential reasons for the politician’s pale patch: genetics and hair loss.
Poliosis, a condition that causes a lack of melanin, leads to a loss of pigmentation in singular or multiple patches. It can affect the scalp hair, eyebrows and eyelashes.
This often displays as a single streak of white hair, the type seen in fictional characters like the Bride of Frankenstein and Rogue from X-Men, and famously sported by the legendary 1970’s sports presenter, Dickie Davies – which is known as a ‘Mallen Streak’.
This type of streak generally appears around the hairline although Ed Miliband’s streak is situated further back on his scalp.
However, the argument for this being the cause of his pale patch lies in the fact that this condition can be hereditary. As can be seen here, Ed’s brother, David Miliband, sports the exact same pale streak in an almost identical location on his scalp.
Regrowth following Alopecia
Another plausible reason for Ed Miliband’s pale ‘tuft’ is that it was caused by a hair loss condition.
This type of pale regrowth is synonymous with Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune condition which can be brought on by shock, trauma or extreme stress – something the Leader of the Opposition is likely to encounter daily – and causes patchy hair loss.
These patches can appear anywhere on the head and there can be one or more, generally circular, areas affected at any one time.
Alopecia hair fall starts when the body is shocked into prematurely shutting down hair growth, and waits in its resting phase for the signal to proceed again. There are effective treatments for Alopecia Areata available which can help to promote regrowth for those wanting to take a proactive approach as it is impossible to tell if or when this signal will be given.
Where regrowth does occur the hair may not always grow back in its usual colour. Sometimes this new hair is a pale, whitish shade which may or may not return to the hair’s original colour over time.
Famous examples include the athlete Oscar Pistorius, who displayed two round pale patches of hair during his murder trial, thought to be caused by alopecia, and heiress Jemima Khan, who experienced patchy hair loss and pale regrowth from Alopecia Areata following a traumatic incident whilst flying.
Dyeing or recurring?
Jemima admits to dyeing her hair to cover her pale streaks and there has also been press speculation in the past as to whether Ed has occasionally dyed his hair to cover up his grey which is not always visible.
Although this is of course possible, it is worth noting that Alopecia Areata can recur which could explain the apparent comings and goings of the Opposition Leader’s ashy tuft.
Whatever the reason behind the politician’s pale streak, it certainly has not affected his popularity.
Recent ‘milifandom’ and ‘CoolEdMiliband’ hashtags have flooded social media in the run up to the General Election, along with photoshopped images replacing the faces of ‘cool’ icons, such as David Beckham, James Dean and Don Draper, with that of the Prime Ministerial candidate – although his signature streak has been removed each time.
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.