Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has invested in a hair transplant clinic in Spain.
When the deal was announced, many European media outlets questioned if it was a a 'try before you buy' scenario and whether Cristiano Ronaldo has had a hair transplant himself.
The Juventus forward did not answer the question head-on, but rather stated, "Everyone likes to take care of their image and I am a very clear example of this." He also added, "When I think it's necessary, of course, I'll do it. One's image is an essential tool for being successful. For me, it's fundamental.”
Having maintained an impressive, seemingly thick head of jet black hair with a strong hairline throughout his career, many online hair loss forum users have debated whether the highest European international goalscorer of all-time has been taking steps towards preventing baldness.
There are two clinically-proven, MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved Male Pattern Hair Loss Treatments which are both permitted for professional footballers to use, and do not involve taking a surgical approach.
These are the one-a-day DHT-blocking tablet, finasteride 1mg, and topical solutions of high strength minoxidil. They inhibit the hormone which causes thinning hair and, often, eventual baldness in affected men, and promote accelerated hair regrowth, respectively.
In addition to these medications, additional hair growth supporting products such as FDA-cleared low level laser therapy (LLLT) devices - the home-use LaserComb or LaserBand, for example - and highly-targeted food supplements, like Hair Vitalics for Men, can be used. These can form part of a tailored, fully-rounded approach to preventing hair loss, optimising the hair's condition and helping men to avoid hair transplant surgery.
It may be the case that the player has been using treatments such as these, or boosting his natural hair density with microscopic hair fibres - as his footballing friends David Beckham and Wayne Rooney are rumoured to - but he has neither confirmed nor denied this on-going speculation.
Ronaldo - who has previously let slip his knowledge of hair restoration surgery when joking about changes in former Real Madrid goalkeeper, Diego Lopez's receding hairline - says he wants to help people experiencing hair loss to improve their self-esteem.
"Alopecia is a very big problem in Europe and around the world and we want to help people improve their self-esteem and not be ashamed to come to us," the former Manchester United star said at the clinic's opening.
Hair loss is known to cause a drop in people's self-confidence so this sentiment is laudable, but Ronaldo's use of the term 'alopecia' appears - not for the first time - to have confused some journalists.
The word 'alopecia' simply means 'hair loss' but does not specify a particular hair loss condition; reporters in publications including Goal.com have confused this with Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disorder which causes varying amounts of sudden hair fall. It can result in rounded bald spots on the scalp only, all the way through to complete baldness from head to toe.
What tends to be meant in reports such as this, and without doubt in the case of Ronaldo's statement given hair transplants are not suitable treatment for Alopecia Areata, is Androgenetic Alopecia, which is the medical term for Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss. Both these hereditary conditions involve permanent, progressive hair thinning affected the area along the top of the scalp from hairline and temples to crown, only.
Hopefully, despite the apparent mix-up by reporters, anyone worried about losing their hair should still feel comforted by the footballer's words which may help to further remove the perceived stigma surrounding dealing with hair loss, even if it doesn't involve surgery.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.