Famed for his bumbling antics, London mayor Boris Johnson is also instantly recognisable thanks to his shock of white hair. Regardless of the occasion or level of expected decorum, Boris’ hair is almost always unkempt and apparently out of control.
An appearance on the Channel 4 news on Tuesday night to discuss the potential expansion of Heathrow Airport has raised questions as to whether there is another reason why Boris rarely brushes his hair. Eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed signs of a receding hairline and thinning hair towards the crown.
Mocked by Guido Fawkes
Conservative blogger Guido Fawkes posted several pictures on his political blog on Wednesday, suggesting that Boris’ advisors regularly try and keep his thinning hair out of the public’s view. According to Fawkes, no bald politician has ever gone on to win a general election, and that his Prime Ministerial ambitions are the reason Boris tries to hide any signs of hair loss.
In all fairness to Boris, the pictures provided are less than conclusive when it comes to proving hair loss. The photographs appear to have been taken during gusts of wind which may have unfairly lifted his unruly hair more than normal to expose the scalp.
Is Conservative politics bad for the hairline?
Both David Cameron and George Osborne have also been photographed displaying the signs of rapidly developing vertex balding in recent months, suggesting that right-of-centre politics may have a negative effect on hair growth. The fact that front bench opponents Ed Miliband and Ed Balls are both very much in possession of their hair only serves to support that suggestion.
However science offers no empirical evidence to suggest that Conservative politics play any part in hairloss. Liberal Democrat Vince Cable is quite bald, and Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna is also showing signs of a significantly receding hairline.
Genetics not political leanings
Male pattern baldness, the most common form of hair loss in the world, has nothing to do with political persuasions. All of the politicians named above (including Boris) appear to be losing their hair because of a genetic predisposition that sees the hormone testosterone converted into a compound called DHT which then goes on to attack hair follicles in the scalp.
Male pattern baldness first manifests as a receding hairline or the development of a bald patch at the back of the head. Over time the hair loss spreads, creating an ever-increasing bald patch like Vince Cable’s.
The good news for Boris is that his hair loss appears to be in the relatively early stages. By seeking early diagnosis and hair loss treatment, the Mayor of London may be able to restore the hair loss before it becomes any more noticeable. In doing so, he could further avoid unflattering attacks from political bloggers like Guido Fawkes and bolster his chances of becoming the Prime of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at some point in the future.