For most men, dealing with hair loss is no laughing matter – which is probably why footballer Cristiano Ronaldo knew he’d put his foot in it when he recently teased a former colleague.
In the tunnel before a match between Real Madrid and Espanyol, Ronaldo approached his old Real teammate Diego Lopez and, according to The Sun, said “Wow, Diego, you’ve had like 3,600 hairs put in!”
Jibe taken in good spirits
Goalkeeper Lopez appeared to take it all in good spirits, but Ronaldo turned away from the TV cameras lurking in the tunnel with his head in his hands. His “swallow me up” moment was obviously inspired by reports that Lopez has had a hair transplant to help him deal with the receding hairline that had been caused by the genetic condition Male Pattern Baldness.
According to Dr Ezequiel Panno, a surgical hair restoration specialist based in Marbella, former Real Madrid goalie Diego Lopez is one of many footballers to have had this type of procedure. Others include Wayne Rooney, who is believed to have had at least two, and Blackburn Rovers’ Anthony Stokes.
Some of the longstanding stigma attached to hair transplants seems to be steadily disappearing – and not just in football circles. The trend for hairloss surgery has boomed in the past few years, helped by high profile footballers and celebrities including James Nesbitt and Calum Best speaking openly about their operations (they have had two and three hair transplants each, respectively). The dropping cost of having surgery abroad has also helped the popularity of surgical hair restoration, though this is widely acknowledged to carry a number of risks.
For those in the public eye, “coming clean” and owning up to having had this type of work done can be unavoidable, especially with the rise in social media meaning anyone can be a paparazzo and share incriminating shots worldwide, instantly.
Signs of a transplant are evident for several weeks after an operation, so footballers often undergo hair restoration operations during the summer close season when they typically have over a month off. This allows them plenty of time away from the cameras to recouperate. For those men with regular jobs where taking a month off isn’t quite so easy, a male hair loss treatment course may provide a more discreet option instead. This carries with it the advantage that, through gradual results and no other outward signs, no one need know about it.
Based around clinically-proven, MHRA licensed and FDA approved treatments – finasteride 1mg and high strength minoxidil – non-invasive courses have helped men around the world to stop shedding and regrow their hair.
Treatment before transplant
What is interesting is that many hair transplant surgeons actively encourage patients to undergo hair loss treatment for six months before they have a hair transplant. This gives the surgeons more hair to work with by the time the operation comes around, and in some cases men are so pleased with their regrowth that they cancel the operation.
In order for a transplant to be deemed a success in the long-term, it is essential that a pharmaceutical hair loss treatment course is followed on an ongoing basis. This is because the hairs surrounding the newly-implanted grafts will be just as susceptible to the problems caused by a potent testosterone by-product named DHT, as before. What happens in men who are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness is that this hormone causes follicles to gradually shrink and wither, causing thinning hair and even eventual baldness. Treatment can be used both to inhibit the production of DHT – which has no other use after puberty – and to promote hair growth.
According to recent reports, Ronaldo’s teammate Gareth Bale could be the next player to visit a hair transplant surgery. The Welshman has been displaying a pronounced thinning crown, which may have been caused by the tight man-bun he has so often worn. If that is the case, a secondary condition known as Traction Alopecia may need to be factored into the equation.
It could be that Ronaldo learned to put his foot in it in terms of people’s hair when working under Jose Mourinho, the legendary football manager who held the reins at Real Madrid from 2010-2013. Mourinho has something of an ongoing feud with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, and in 2014 claimed that the then-Bayern Munich boss didn’t enjoy football because he was bald. “If you enjoy what you’re doing, you don’t lose your hair,” he said.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies 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 Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.