Contrary to the fire-side proclamations of a million lapsed football fans, playing the beautiful game at the top level is far from easy, with everything from unwanted media attention, scandals and even hair loss getting in the way of a nice, simple life.
Hair loss and football seem to go hand-in-hand, with numerous players, managers and even the odd referee having lost swathes of their locks in relatively short spaces of time. Of course, being a male-dominated sport it is likely that many will be affected, as with any group of men. For high profile sportsmen pressure is often an every day factor, and it now looks like Paris St-Germain winger Lucas Moura could be the latest to succumb to what may be stress-related hair loss.
Stress and male pattern baldness
Reports on a Quebec local news site, Sivertimes, point to the gradual hair loss Lucas Moura has experienced during his four years at top-flight French football team, Paris Saint Germain. The Brazilian winger’s hairline has certainly changed drastically since he joined the club as a 21 year old.
The hallmark thinning on top and thinning edges of his hairline suggest that he may be experiencing Male Pattern Baldness, a genetic condition that affects around half of all men by the time they are 50. While, at 24 years old, Moura might seem unusually young to be losing hair in this way, it is not at all uncommon for male hair loss to kick in when men are in their 20s, and it can even happen when men are still in their mid-to-late teens.
Stress and hair loss are more often interlinked than many people realise. It can certainly play a part in male pattern hair loss as it can speed up its onset and/or intensify the severity of balding. It was once intimated by Manchester United boss José Mourinho that his old rival, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, lost his hair because of stress when he told reporters: “If you enjoy what you’re doing, you don’t lose your hair. He’s got a bald head. Guardiola doesn’t enjoy football.”
French football coach Pascal Dupraz, meanwhile, admitted that he thought stress lay behind his own balding. “In training, I lose my hair – it’s certainly an acceleratory factor,” he said.
Another form of thinning, named Telogen Effluvium, which mostly affects women but can also present in men, is often influenced by a stressful lifestyle and can affect anyone as it is not an inherited form of hair loss. This typically lasts no more than six months, however.
What’s worth remembering is that stress will only speed up Male Pattern Baldness in men who are already genetically predisposed to the condition. Whilst genetic hair loss is a permanent, progressive condition, there are clinically-proven male hair loss treatments which can often effectively manage this by stopping the shedding and promoting hair growth.
At Belgravia, our multi-faceted approach often involves combining an oral DHT blocker, in the form of the once-per-day tablet finasteride 1mg, with recommended formulations of the topical treatment high strength minoxidil and adding in complementary hair growth boosters as appropriate. Each element is tailored to the individual to ensure they are using the optimal products to help produce results.
From what we have seen of his thinning, the current level of Moura’s apparent hair loss suggests he may be a good candidate for this type of treatment. However, if stress is a factor in losing his hair, it would be wise for him to address this underlying issue in order to give his treatment the best chance of being effective.
Other forms of stress-related hair loss
It is well-documented that stress can also be a factor in instigating a variety of autoimmune disorders, and Alopecia Areata – which leads to sudden patchy hair loss – is among them.
While Moura’s shows no evidence of Alopecia Areata – characterised by sudden, patchy hair loss rather than gradually thinning hair – bald spots seen on two other players’ heads – Crystal Palace’s Damien Delaney and Manchester City forward Nolito – could easily point to this diagnosis.
In cases of on-going stress – whether emotional or physical – if this affects the hair growth process it is likely to present as hair thinning either all over the scalp (Telogen Effluvium) or just at the top of the scalp (Male Pattern Baldness). Whereas Alopecia Areata causes rounded bald patches and is generally triggered by a sudden shock or trauma although other factors including genetics and allergies are also believed to play a part in some instances. Alopecia Areata treatment is often successful, though the condition sometimes clears itself up of its own accord.
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.