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Top Basketball Star Says ‘Shoe Polish’ Was to Cover Thinning Hair

The psychological effects of hair loss on men can be so dramatic that they sometimes resort to drastic measures. One such option that could arguably be filed under that category is the using the hair product Bigen.

Black Men Have Been Using Bigen Hair Dye To Conceal Hair LossCarlos Boozer’s Big(en) Mistake

Bigen is a powdered hair dye mostly marketed at men and women from races who tend to have naturally black hair. As well as being used to dye the hair, in recent years – particularly in America – it has become famous for being used to give the illusion of a thicker and more vibrant hairline to black men.

When handled well the results can be impressive – though they are also often rather dramatic, as NBA star Carlos Boozer found out when he tried the product back in 2012.

Appearing at a Chicago Bulls match with what looked like a hairstyle made of boot polish, the forward became the butt of multiple jokes about his bizarre new look, pictured here. Understandably, he hasn’t spoken about it much – until now.

Tried to get his hairline back

Carlos Boozer Before and After his Shoe Polish Hair Look to Hide Hair Loss

Carlos Boozer Before (top left) and After Bigen

Last month, Boozer finally faced his critics head-on in an interview for a US TV show called Highly Questionable, an ESPN programme which grills sports celebrities about things they have done. “Truth be told, I started losing the hair a little bit,” he told the hosts, who jokingly admitted that they had been wondering how they might best bring up the subject without hurting his feelings.

Boozer explained that he had been thinking of growing his hair but had started noticing “these little bald spots”. Around the same time, someone he knew suggested growing it just a little so that he could try a product which would “cover it up a little bit and make it look like you got a regular hair-cut.

So I tried it,” confessed Boozer, who had a defined widow’s peak at the time which the product was applied to fill in and round off, creating a whole new hairline, “and he just made it look like shoe polish.”

The player revealed that as soon as he saw the results in the mirror, he tried to shampoo it out seven or eight times. “It wouldn’t come out!” he howled. “I get to practice and all my team-mates were like, ‘Booze, what did you do!’”

The player took the interview in good spirits and went on to explain how he still heard comments about this very short-lived hair style almost four years later. “I heard it from my girlfriend, my homies. I was just trying to get my hairline back,” he says. “A lot of guys do it but that was definitely a mistake. Never again.”

Male hair loss or alopecia areata?

While the player can clearly laugh about it several years after the event, it does highlight how desirable a full head of hair can seem to men who can sense it thinning out. Although the baller mentions ‘bald spots’, – a traditional signifier of the autoimmune condition Alopecia Areata – given the other descriptions he has also given of his hair loss, and the clearly receding hairline he was pictured with prior to his Bigen experiment, it appears he was probably referring to the patches of hair loss at each temple. Whilst we have not examined Boozer, this does appear to be a case of Male Pattern Baldness.

The good news for Boozer and anyone else with similar thinning, is that showing signs of hair loss doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re on a fast-track to total baldness. In many cases, an expert can devise a bespoke male hair loss treatment course that will offer not only the best possible chance of stopping shedding, but of encouraging new growth, too.

A receding hairline is a particularly stubborn area to treat, however, many Belgravia clients have seen significant regrowth results from using topical applications of high strength minoxidil.

Boozer was in his late 20s at the time of his ‘shoe polish’ incident, which is certainly not too young for genetic hair loss to have kicked in. A quick visit to a hair loss specialist in pursuit of a professional diagnosis would doubtless have been a more satisfying solution and one we would recommend if he is still concerned about his hairline.

The Belgravia CentreThe 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.

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