For a TV show so obsessed with appearance, it seems surprising that no one seems to have told one of the stars of The Only Way Is Essex that his extreme fitness regime could lead to hair loss.
TOWIE’s Mike Hassini has been showing off the results of fitness training to his followers on social media and many have commented on how his “ripped” new look may be taking things a bit too far.
Indeed, over-training can be a real issue as the stress that brutal fitness regimes, especially when coupled with restrictive diets, can place on the body often has wide-reaching implications. Among the side-effects of adopting these types of hardcore training plans is a hair loss condition named Telogen Effluvium. Though primarily seen in women due to fluctuating hormones being a common cause, it can also affect men whose body has been “shocked” in some way, causing thinning hair and intense hair fall from all over the scalp.
The jolt can come in a number of ways, including the body’s reaction to a new medication, stress, a dietary imbalance, rapid weight loss or the strain placed on the body by punishing extreme fitness regimes.
Protecting the core
What is happening, in simple terms, is that the body is reacting to changes it doesn’t understand in the way it is biologically pre-programmed to do: it protects the core. With its focus on ensuring the body’s primary vital services continue, more “peripheral” functions such as the hair growth cycle can be interrupted.
While the condition is normally only temporary – lasting up to six months – it can have long-term consequences. This is because Telogen Effluvium can also kick-start the onset of male pattern baldness – or make the condition worse if it is already apparent – in those with a predisposition towards hereditary hairloss.
Whilst men whose hair is negatively affected solely by their fitness regime may notice lacklustre hair and intense hair shedding from all over the scalp. Men who are affected by Telogen Effluvium and have developed male pattern hair loss will generally notice further symptoms. In addition to the lack of hair density, dull locks and increased hair fall from the whole scalp, they are likely to see increased hair loss from the top of the scalp, which is the area affected by genetic hair loss. A thinning crown, receding hairline and/or thinning along the top of the head can become more pronounced when both hair loss conditions present simultaneously.
Hassini is already losing hair to male pattern hair loss, and had a hair transplant in November 2016 to try and fill out his receding hairline. His hair is clearly something he cares about – and he can’t have been too pleased when then-TOWIE cast member Lewis Bloor joked about his pronounced widow’s peak during a pre-transplant episode of the show. “Standing here you look like the McDonald’s arches,” said Bloor. “I don’t know whether to have a row or order a Big Mac.”
Men often forget – or simply don’t know – that severe changes to their diet and fitness routine can have repercussions for the scalp, with certain forms of exercise – especially those designed to help them bulk up such as weights and anaerobic activity being of particular concern. This is due to them raising levels of DHT, the hormone that causes thinning hair in men with male pattern baldness.
For Hassini and other men worried about losing their hair, using an ongoing Male Hair Loss treatment course tailored to the individual’s specific needs is routinely advised. This is just as important for men who have had a hair transplant in order to prevent baldness and hair loss around the new grafts, as the follicles around the rest of the top of their scalp still remain subject to the effects of DHT.
Even for men using hair loss treatment, it is still important to understand the effects of continuously placing extra strain on the body. Switching up the type of workouts and including rest days is widely advised; it may additionally be wise to avoid sports nutrition drinks such as protein shakes as these have been linked to increased hair loss in men, too. Ensuring a balanced diet is key for healthy hair growth and, for those who feel like they need additional support in this area, highly targeted food supplements such as Hair Vitalics can be a useful tool in their hair arsenal.
A common question from men who are following male hairloss treatment courses relates to the likelihood of “sweating out” the topical hair loss product minoxidil at the gym. Belgravia’s hair loss specialists advise clients that, as long as the solution is applied at least 30 minutes before exercising, their high strength minoxidil should be sufficiently absorbed into the scalp to be effective. So, unless you plan on working out immediately after applying minoxidil, this shouldn’t be a problem.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. 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 UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.