Want to prevent baldness? Take it from Michael Chiklis and stay away from greasepaint. The American actor said he lost his hair at the age of 20 when he played the part of a bald man in the play You Can’t Take it With You.
Chiklis, famous for his role as hardcore Detective Vic Mackey in The Shields, said it was a special effect make-up technique gone wrong that sent him bald at the age of just 20. In an attempt to look the part of a 65 year-old man, Chiklis shaved his head in the fashion of male pattern baldness and reveals his father, a hair stylist, did not approve of what he did to his hair.
“Instead of being smart and using powder on my head I used greasepaint like I did on my face and didn’t remove it properly,” Chiklis recalls. “It essentially killed the follicles on my head.
“It was a very traumatic experience as a young actor and it shaped my career in a lot of ways. I was forced to start wearing hair pieces, which I did in Wired, or to just be the person that I was.”
Chiklis, who has also starred in such series as Miami Vice and Seinfeld as well as films like The Fantastic Four and Eagle Eye, said he wouldn’t change a thing.
“I have no regrets because it shaped my career,” he said.
Despite Chiklis’ certainty that it was the greasepaint that affected his locks so badly, Leonora Doclis doesn’t think so.
“Unless there were tarring properties in the greasepaint that could have shrivelled the follicles, in which case the burning sensation would have been overwhelming, there is no way that it could have caused him to go bald,” says the Belgravia Centre’s senior trichologist.
According to Leonora, the likely story is that Chiklis was in fact experiencing hair thinning. This is a precursor to male pattern hair loss which, if left untreated, could lead to baldness. However, because Chiklis was shaving his head, he couldn’t identify the warning signs and when he eventually let his hair grow back, it was a lot different to what he’d remembered.
Male pattern hair loss is a progressive condition and if caught in the early stages and addressed with the most effective treatment can be stabilised and controlled. So whack on as much hair tonic as you like because it probably won’t cause any damage to your hair follicles.