BBC Russia 2018 World Cup pundit Cesc Fabregas
is celebrating four years since signing to Chelsea FC - but it may not be his only fourth anniversary.
Promotional pictures taken when the Spaniard joined the West London club showed him sporting an uncharacteristically short haircut, with what looked like dots around his somewhat receding hairline
This prompted speculation that the now 31 year old had undergone restoration surgery to address his frontal hair loss
. Many football fans even joked that Fabregas had moved to Chelsea in order to be nearer to The Belgravia Centre
Hair transplant speculation
Though hairloss specialists who have seen the images have agreed with fans, that he did appear to show classic post-transplant signs around his hairline, Cesc Fabregas has never publicly addressed the hair transplant
rumours, nor explained the unusual haircut he sported in June 2014.
Had Fabregas used pharmaceutical hair loss treatments
to combat his receding, there would not have been any outward signs to arouse suspicion, so - if he did opt for a proactive solution, it is likely to have been surgical. We would suspect it would have been Follicular Unit Extraction
- recently renamed Follicular Unit Excision
- due to the lack of scarring visible in the donor area at the back or sides of his head now, but - again - this remains unconfirmed by the Chelsea player or his team.
What we do know is that prior to Summer 2014 the midfielder had early signs of Male Pattern Baldness
starting to become apparent. Known for his thick, floppy hair - often worn long on top, not to mention his unforgettable Arsenal mullet
- there was some thinning starting to emerge around his temples.
Four years on from his rumoured hair transplant operation, Fabregas' hair is certainly looking thicker now than it was in 2014. Comparing photos of the Premier League star from 2014 and Spring 2018, it's noticeable that his hairline, even when damp, has a fuller, more rounded shape, compared to the widow's peak
that seemed to be developing four years ago.
Preventing baldness post-transplant
Given Fabregas married his partner in May 2018, it is understandable that he would want to look his best for such a huge life event. If he did have a hair transplant four years ago, that would have given it ample time to settle in so that - with proper upkeep - his hair would look its best on their big day. Shedding following a hair transplant
can last for a few months but by the 12 month mark, the final results should become apparent and more stable.
What many men fail to realise is that having a hair transplant is rarely a one-and-done process for preventing baldness
. Those with Male Pattern Hair Loss have a genetic sensitivity to the testosterone-byproduct, dihydrotestosterone
(DHT). What this does is binds to the hair follicles located along the top of the scalp, from hairline to crown, any time following puberty and gradually weaken them. Over time this produces increasingly thinner hairs until eventually the follicles are no longer capable of hair production, which is when baldness sets in.
Donor hair - the hair which is harvested from one area of the scalp and transplanted to the area in need of filling out - is selected from the back or sides of the scalp so that it is immune to Male Pattern Hair Loss. However, as hair transplant surgery is generally restricted to one or two specific areas, rather than the whole vertex including the crown and hairline, the original hairs in the remaining at-risk areas will continue to suffer the effects of DHT.
If proper precautions are not taken, this can lead to unnatural looking results whereby hair in the transplanted area - for example the hairline - is retained, but there is increasingly thinning hair
along the rest of the vertex behind it. This is why surgeons often recommend patients follow a course of clinically-proven treatments, usually both topical and oral, on an on-going basis after their op. Many also suggest starting this course at least six months prior to surgery in order to maximise hair growth and also to see whether the surgery is in fact necessary.
As Belgravia client Andre says in his Success Story video
, "It's very easy to use, I was very sceptical but I noticed a huge difference... I'm thinking of skipping the hair transplant surgery