At just 26, Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere may seem on the young side to be experiencing the genetic condition male pattern hair loss
, but photographs taken over the last eight or nine years suggest it has actually been in the post since his teens.
Whilst often associated with middle-aged or older men, male pattern baldness
can strike at any time post-puberty and, as it is a permanent condition, can take many years to progress.
Whilst, as a man's features develop during puberty, he may experience a maturing hairline
where the hairline becomes more rounded, this is not a sign of hairloss. Should the hairline start to move back or develop into an M or V shape, known as a widow's peak
, where the hair recedes at each temple, this is a classic sign of genetic hair loss.
Receding hairline forms widow's peak
Recent photos of the player suggest that this is exactly what is happening with Wilshere, whose hairline has been slowly changing over the last decade. Pictures of the footballer taken when he was 16 show a horizontal hairline, which appeared to soften into a maturing hairline by aged 17. By the time he hit 20, a widow's peak was starting to appear and now at 26, he is obviously receding at the temples and experiencing male pattern baldness.
As new shots posted by Wilshere on Instagram clearly show, he has both a receding hairline
as well as notably thinning hair
on top. These are typical symptoms of male pattern hair loss, which only affects follicles located around the top of the scalp and hairline. It is also becoming increasingly common for men to start losing their hair in their 20's - a phenomenon thought to be brought on by the stress of modern living speeding up the onset of androgenetic alopecia.
What many men don’t realise is that hair loss can be treated effectively using clinically-proven, MHRA and FDA approved medications. Wilshere and his peers certainly don’t need to go down the same route as Wayne Rooney
and several other footballers, who opted for expensive hair transplant surgeries. Instead, non-surgical hair loss treatment for men
is well proven, less painful, and produces more gradual results.
Male pattern baldness has two MHRA licensed and FDA approved medications finasteride 1mg and minoxidil which have been shown in clinical trials to stabilise existing shedding, promote hair regrowth and prevent baldness
with on-going use.
Specialists recommend hair loss solutions based on each individual's suitability. These tend to be formed around either one or both of these recognised medications, using appropriate applications of high strength minoxidil
, which are used topically and can be particularly useful for encouraging hair growth in stubborn areas of hairloss such as the hairline or crown, and/or the oral DHT-blocking one-per-day tablet finasteride 1mg
Additional hair growth supporting products can be used in addition to these treatments; these include devices designed to stimulate the scalp and promote hair health. One of these, which is exclusive to Belgravia, is Hair Vitalics for Men
, a premium hair growth supplement which is a highly-targeted nutritional support featuring key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts which also contains biotin, zinc and selenium to maintain normal healthy hair growth.
Even with a shaved head, his thinning hair is noticeable but, it could, of course, be that Wilshere is not unduly concerned by his thinning. The shaven headed look certainly seems to suit him just as it does for the actors Vin Diesel and Jason Statham
, and whether or not - or how - to deal with going bald is an incredibly personal decision.
Many men choose to shave their heads, however others do not like the look, are unhappy with the shape of their head or how prominent a close crop makes their ears appear
, and equate thinning hair with the ageing process and a loss of masculinity. This is an understandable response and is made all the worse when men feel that they have no control over what is happening.
The best way to find out what can be done is to visit a hair loss specialist
who can assess the level of thinning and advise upon appropriate treatment products. While it is certainly possible to leave it too late in terms of signing up for a male hair loss treatment course (overly-pronounced shedding can seldom be effectively undone), the pattern and extent of Wilshere’s hair loss suggests that he is still within the window of opportunity. Should Wilshere decide to follow a pharmaceutical hair regimen, we would advise him to let Arsene Wenger know