Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters are known both for their toughness and the crowd-pleasing variety of fighting disciplines they bring to the cage. Inside this intimidating battleground pride, money and reputation are at all stake, but the last thing that anyone is usually fighting for is… hair.
Battle of the hair
Hair loss, however, is at the centre of a tussle between red-haired American UFC fighter Sam Alvey and Canadian Elias Theodorou, known as The Spartan. When Alvey spoke to the press after a recent win in Australia, he seized the chance to “call out” Theodorou, the man he wants to fight next, who also just happens to boast that he has the best hair in MMA.
“I tell you what,” said Alvey at the press conference, “If I lose, I’ll shave my head. When you lose, I want you shaving your head because I’m coming for your hair.”
MMA website Sherdog reported that Theodorou seems to have taken the comments in fighting spirit, jumping on Twitter to say that “whatever day we trade fists shall forever be known as ‘kick a ginger’ day.”
It is not yet known if a match between the two fighters will actually be staged.
Anything is fair game
MMA fighters are known for their banter, and pretty much anything is fair game, although hair seldom enters into their arguments.
But a recent article on Vice.com wonders if that’s all about to change. The popularity of longer hair styles for men, including the controversial man-bun, is becoming evident in Mixed Martial Arts, and Vice’s writer asks noted MMA hairstylist Abraham Esparza how best to keep long hair out of faces during fights.
Esparza suggests braids, including cornrows as worn by UFC fighter Urijah Faber, pictured.
While practical, braids and cornrows can be a surprisingly common cause of female hairloss, and there’s no medical reason that men sporting the braided look will be less likely to suffer.
The cause of the problem is Traction Alopecia, which can arise when an excessive amount of tension is placed on hair shafts. It causes the hair to be pulled, and when left for a period of time it can damage the follicle. If left long enough, Traction Alopecia can cause the production of hair to slow down and eventually to stop completely.
It is a problem that is especially acute amongst dancers, models and celebrities – and soon, perhaps, MMA fighters.
Specialists at the Belgravia Centre recommend that fighters who do opt for braids undo them after tournaments in order to minimise the stress on the scalp. Traction Alopecia treatment is available and a topical preparation of high strength minoxidil has been seen to be effective at growing back hair lost to this condition, but it is important that no further tension is applied.
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.