Footballer Wayne Rooney's hair loss
has again been in the headlines after the player appeared on TV sporting a striking new look.
The Everton footballer has already admitted that he underwent hair transplant surgery
several years ago to try and deal with the genetic condition male pattern baldness
, and rumours persist that he actually had two of these. Bamboozled by Rooney's new ginger hair - a shade akin to the lighter hair colour he had as a 16 year old - and an unusual fullness that is not always seen when he is in training, the Sun newspaper came to the conclusion that the former England player had actually had a third operation when the Liverpudlian appeared on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football as a pundit.
This seems unlikely not least because many surgeons will not carry out more than two operations because there is a distinct risk that too much donor hair taken from the back of the head (where male pattern baldness is not normally seen) will end up leaving this area looking too sparse. However, Belgravia has come to an entirely different conclusion...
Hair loss concealers?
Whilst this cannot be proven and is only an opinion, due to the shade and sudden increase in his hair density, it looks like Rooney may currently using microscopic fibres known as hair loss concealers
to fill out his hair. In fact it appears that he often does this when he is about to make some kind of public appearance
, including starting for Everton.
Interestingly though, and the reason it seems unlikely Wayne Rooney has had another hair transplant, is that he can have thicker hair one day, then the next it looks to be thinning on top again. Photos of the forward taken during training sessions tend to show the player with more hairloss, whilst fuller hair is apparent in those when he is on the pitch or at events. This frequent ebbing and flowing of hair thickness is not something associated with surgical hair restoration.
These fibres are either sprayed or sprinkled onto the scalp, the intention being to match the shades of the fibres to that of the user's hair. With hair being made up of a multitude of tones, it can be difficult to get an exact match, however - especially under the glare of TV studio lighting. Appearing in Sky Sports studio - rather than, as we are used to seeing him, on the pitch - his hair certainly appeared far more ginger, and matte, than usual.
Football fans on Twitter were quick to react and with predictably cruel 'banter' with some suggesting that the player had put shoe polish
on his head and others wondering if he had painted his hair on.
The best way to use hair loss concealer fibres is to buy several different shades and to mix them so that something close to the precise colour of your natural hair can be achieved although this naturally takes a degree of effort and makes an already fiddly process even more time-consuming. In one YouTube video showing four men in various stages of male pattern baldness trying hairloss concealers
, the products' limitations can clearly be seen, with several participants bemoaning the fact that some of them leave streaks all over their scalps, whilst others didn't like the overall effect that these powders achieved.
It is very easy to empathise with men who try this route, especially when some videos of the products in action appear to suggest very impressive results. However, there are currently no hair loss products on the market which will hide thinning hair flawlessly.
Wigs and hairpieces, including lace-front hair systems
, whilst much improved these days in many cases, can lead to issues related to visible netting, glue, styling and artificial-looking hairlines. We often hear that wearers constantly worry about the weather and how their 'hair' will fare, particularly on windy days. Similarly hair extensions used to give the illusion of thicker hair can lead to stress being placed on the follicles and actually cause more - potentially permanent - shedding (this is from a condition named traction alopecia
), whilst powders, as Rooney may have found to his peril, don't always cut the mustard in terms of giving a natural look.
More permanent solution
A more permanent hair loss solution for men wanting to regrow hair and prevent baldness
without resorting to surgery, centres on courses based around either one or both of the two clinically-proven, MHRA licensed (UK) and FDA approved (USA) drugs. These medications - finasteride 1mg and minoxidil- target genetic hair loss from complementary angles.
The first, finasteride 1mg
, is a one-a-day oral tablet which helps to block the production of the testosterone by-product DHT
. This is what ultimately causes follicles around the top of the scalp and hairline to shrink and hair to thin then fall out in men with an inherited sensitivity to it.
Men's hair loss treatment
courses can also incorporate formulations of high-strength minoxidil
, the second recognised product. These are applied topically to the scalp where needed either once or twice a day, as directed. By opening up the potassium channels and promoting increased localised blood flow, minoxidil can often encourage new hair growth.
The use of either or both of these medications can be complimented by the addition of appropriate hair growth supporting products
. These offer a number of benefits, from stimulating the hair follicles using low level laser therapy (via FDA-cleared devices including the LaserComb
and the LaserBand
models), to providing nutritional support via highly-targeted hair supplements
With so much information about men's hair loss available it can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff, as well as knowing what applies to your specific case. This is why we recommend anyone worried about losing their hair to have a consultation with a specialist. It is an easy way to get professional advice, have your questions answered and, where appropriate, receive a diagnosis and personalised treatment recommendations. Just being taken seriously by a hair expert and feeling better informed about what is going on can really help to put a person's minds at rest when they start losing their hair as this can be an incredibly stressful experience.