NBA star LeBron James’s hair loss has been the butt of pundits’ jokes and intense media scrutiny for some time – and the legendary player seems in no rush to let the talk of his thinning edges die down.
For many years, basketball icon James – one of the world’s highest paid athletes – kept quiet about his receding hairline, which became the subject of great debate when he arrived at a match several years ago sporting much thicker-than-normal-looking hair. His changing appearance was even documented in video games NBA2K13, 14 and 15, with the first release depicting James with a full head of hair which became noticeably thinner for the following year’s version. For NBA2K15, his hairline was fully restored.
Temporary hair loss solution?
But it looks like whatever solution the baller settled on when he took action a few years ago wasn’t permanent, as recent footage shows that his hair now seems to be on the thin side again.
James finally admitted his hairloss issues during a post-game press conference this summer when he was paying tribute to his hero Michael Jordan and said, “I didn’t go bald like Mike, but I’m getting there.”
Now, the popular 32-year-old has taken to social media to joke about his thinning hair, which he is losing to the genetic condition Male Pattern Baldness. “Is it not fair that he can grow his hair like that,” James says in an Instagram story video shot in the gym where he is joined onscreen by his thick-haired Cleveland Cavaliers teammate, Dwyane Wade. “Why can’t I just Velcro this off?” he says, tugging at his own luxurious beard. “And put it on top of here,” he adds, slapping a hand down on his head.
When James’ receding hairline was transformed in 2014, appearing much fuller than it had previously, several theories emerged. One was that the player had had a hair transplant – something he would likely have been a good candidate for as he had plenty of donor hair at the back of his head. Another option was that he had signed up for a male hair loss treatment course. A third possibility was that he had actually used a powerful dye named Bigen, which is marketed towards African American men. This third option, however, was dismissed by his hairdresser in 2015 when he said: “There’s no dye. Everyone thinks he’s dyeing his hair using Bigen or Black Ice. It’s all his hair.”
Treatment to help regrow a receding hairline
Male Pattern hair loss treatment is an established option around the world and, when the recognised products are used consistently, it can often halt shedding and even result in newly-grown hair, preventing baldness in the long-term. If the return of James’ hair was indeed attributable to this method, it would appear that he may have stopped using it, or has not been using a bespoke course tailored to his precise needs. As there is no cure for genetic male pattern hair loss, it is important to continue treatment on an on-going basis in order to continually manage this permanent condition.
Non-surgical men’s hair loss treatment is extremely popular, and Belgravia clients frequently write to say how much they appreciate and are encouraged by the support they get from the Centre’s hair loss experts as part of their course.
There are two clinically-proven, MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved medications – finasteride 1mg and minoxidil – which are frequently used as part of these treatment programmes, alongside additional hair growth booster products.
The first, finasteride 1mg, is a daily tablet that inhibits the conversion of testosterone into DHT, which is what causes the gradual hair thinning associated with hereditary men’s hair loss. It binds to the follicles around the top of the scalp and hairline, and, in men who have a genetic sensitivity to it, it gradually destroys these follicles, making them increasingly smaller and weaker. This shows outwardly as thinning hair and can lead to eventual baldness if the follicles become irreparably damaged.
By minimising the amount of DHT in the system, hair growth should be able to resume unhindered. However, finasteride 1mg’s effect on frontal hair loss is unproven. For this reason some men may prefer to use – either in addition or on its own – topical formulations of high strength minoxidil which can help to stimulate localised hair growth.
The beauty of taking a non-surgical approach to male hair loss is that treatment can be quietly undertaken without anyone knowing; hair usually regrows gradually, and when both successful and used early enough, they may help to restore hair before the thinning even becomes noticeable to anyone else. Even for those who start treatment once signs of hair loss are highly visible, as long as the follicles are still active, it is likely that results may be pleasing. While James may not be among the sportsmen to have signed up for long-term treatment, there are certainly plenty of others who have and – from the looks of his scalp in images – it looks like there’s still time for him to follow their lead.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. 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 world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.