As you would expect in any organisation populated entirely by men, the English Premiership football league has its fair share of players affected by hair loss. Here are seven of the best known.
Now playing for his sixth Premiership side, Nicolas Anelka has always been a controversial figure. The Frenchman is a prolific goal scorer and is instantly recognisable by his completely bald head. It is unclear whether Anelka’s baldness is a style choice, or a means by which to disguise an advanced case of Male Pattern Baldness.
The 33 year-old striker is almost as famous for his variable hairline as for his unstoppable desire to win at all costs. Rooney has undergone several well-documented and costly hair transplants to combat a severe case of Male Pattern Baldness with little permanent effect.
The oldest player in the Premier League, Ohio-born Friedel has had a long and successful career in English Football. With over 475 appearances, Friedel’s completely bald head is easily recognisable between the sticks at White Hart Lane. Friedel has been shaving his head for many years to disguise an advanced case of Male Pattern Baldness.
Current first-choice goalkeeper for Everton and the USA, Howard is a familiar face at Goodison Park. The 6’3” giant is a committed Christian and avid basketball fan when not playing football. Like Friedel before him, Howard also shaves his head to disguise the effects of thinning hair at the temples and an established bald crown.
Having spent most of his playing career out on loan at lower division clubs, Ruddy is making a name for himself at the top level, even earning a call up to the national team. The 28 year-old is affected by a classic case of Male Pattern Baldness, having lost most of the hair on the top of his head.
The French midfielder, currently on loan with French side Rennes, has had a checkered career playing with clubs across Europe in addition to his national side. Described as “strong, athletic and very powerful”, Diarra is easily-recognised by his completely bald scalp.
Another French midfielder, Diaby has been badly affected by injury over recent seasons. Currently resting a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Diaby is sporting a completely bald scalp. The hairstyle appears to be one of fashion choice as he has not yet shown any signs of a hair loss condition.
What can the experiences of these players teach us about hair loss? It would be tempting to assume that there is something about the football lifestyle that causes a receding hairline, but the reality is that in any group of men in their 20s and 30s, between one-third and a quarter of them would be showing noticeable signs of hair loss. The Premiership is therefore a good snapshot of hair loss among men of this age group.
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