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 balness 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 male pattern baldness, however, it is important to understand the function of each drug, particularly for those wanting to regrow a receding hairline.
Finasteride 1mg is a DHT-blocker; it comes as a one-a-day oral tablet and is often referred to as Propecia given that was the drug’s first licensed brand name, though many more brands are now available. 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 at Belgravia clients interested in regrowing their receding hairline are offered the option of using recommended formulations of high strength minoxidil. 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.
As frontal hair, especially that around the temples, is the slowest to grow of anywhere on the scalp, Belgravia’s experts always recommend appropriate minoxidil solutions in these cases. They have, however, found that using a combination approach of finasteride and high strength minoxidil, can often produce better results than using one or the other alone.
In addition to the pharmaceutical elements of a client’s course, Belgravia treatment programmes often include additional non-medicinal hair growth boosters. These range from home-use LLLT devices such as the LaserComb and LaserBands, which use lasers to stimulate the follicles, to highly-targeted food supplements. Hair Vitalics for Men, is a premium hair growth supplement unique to Belgravia which was developed by its hair experts to provide not only optimum doses of key hair-friendly vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts, but also saw palmetto. This botanic has been shown to lower serum levels of DHT in men and is not commonly found in the average diet.
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, either in-person or online.
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.