The Only Way Is Essex star James Lock has surprised fans by turning up at a TV awards show with a dramatic new look that was intended to conceal a just-performed hair transplant that he had despite, somewhat controversially, not having any signs of hair loss
Lock, who is known for his signature thick hair, commonly sports something of a "parted curtains" style that is worn swept back across the sides of his head. According to the clinic where he had the procedure, the 31 year old does not have male pattern baldness
. He admitted to having the surgery due to being uncomfortable about the position of his natural hairline, so had the procedure not as hair restoration
- as is normally the case - but to lower his hairline.
As an interim solution whilst he waits for the newly implanted grafts to settle in, the celebrity explained on social media that he has taken to wearing his fringe brushed forward. Many of his followers on Twitter compared his new look to that of Justin Bieber.
Hairline-hiding men's hairstyles
The hairstyle James Lock is currently using to disguise his inflamed and reddened transplant site is one that many men use when they want to hide a receding hairline
. It only tends to work when the pattern of hair loss is restricted to a receding hairline and there is no thinning on top
in order to create sufficient volume. Side-parting the hair and sweeping it forward into an angular fringe is often used as a way of disguising a receding hairline, as it helps to draw the eyes further down the face.
In cases like this, in order to be able to use the hair you have to create a diversion from your hairline insecurities, it's best to keep a bit of length on top so that you have something to play with. Whilst growing a fringe will give you instant coverage, there are alternatives. By choosing a classic pompadour, quiff or short back-and-sides with some length left on top, the men's hairstyling trick of brushing the hair forwards - rather than sweeping it back towards the crown, as is customary with these styles - can create the illusion of a fringe.
Although microscopic hair fibres
and coloured sprays - also known as 'hair in a can' - are popular wash-out cosmetic options for making thinning hair
look thicker, these aren't generally ideal for frontal hairloss. This is especially true in the case of a widow's peak
if there are advanced balding areas at each of the temples.
Whilst clever styling may be a useful temporary fix for faking fuller hair
, as male pattern baldness is a permanent and progressive condition, it isn't a long-term hair loss solution - at least not a convincing one.
Regrowing a receding hairline
Male pattern baldness - or androgenetic alopecia
- is a common genetic condition that involves an inherited sensitivity to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT
). Once the condition becomes active, the DHT binds to hair follicles located around the top of the head and hairline. This gradually weakens them, resulting in increasingly thinner hair and eventual hair loss due to process known as follicular miniaturisation.
This hair loss in men - for female pattern baldness does not display in the same way - tends to form in distinct patterns. These are a receding hairline, a thinning crown
and thinning along the top of the scalp (the vertex). It is possible to have one, two or all three of these areas affected; often one area may begin to go earlier than others, rather than all three shedding at the same rate simultaneously. The initial signs typically begin to show when a man is in his late 20's to early 30's, though technically this type of hair loss can start any time following puberty.
Once the first signs of hair loss do become noticeable - though not before - it is possible to start a dedicated male pattern hair loss treatment
course featuring clinically-proven medications. Finasteride 1mg and minoxidil are both MHRA licensed and FDA approved for the treatment of male pattern baldness, however, it is important to understand the function of each drug, particularly for those wanting to regrow a receding hairline.
is a DHT-blocker which comes as a one-a-day oral tablet. This inhibits the formation of DHT, allowing the hair to grow unhindered whilst the drug is in a man's system. However, its benefits in relation to hair growth have not been tested for the hairline area specifically and its efficacy in that area remains clinically-unproven.
It is for this reason, among others, that topical applications of high strength minoxidil
may be used when looking to treat a receding hairline. This drug comes in various solutions and is applied directly to the scalp where required. It is a topical vasodilator - meaning that it increases localised bloodflow and opens the potassium channels, helping to accelerate the hair growth process.
Frontal and temporal hairs, especially that around the temples, are the hairs which take the longest to grow anywhere on the scalp.
Anyone concerned that they won't be able - or simply don't want - to hide their receding hairline for much longer can receive personalised advice and hair loss treatment recommendations following a consultation with a hair loss specialist.