Ask a random sample of balding men which celebrities they would most like to see with similarly-shedding hair, and there’s a good chance that they’d be unable to stop themselves putting sporting heart-throbs like Nadal, Ronaldo and David Beckham on their hit-list.
When superfit, well-known hunks lose their hair it is a sign that they too are human and a reminder that hair loss
(especially the genetic type, Male Pattern Baldness
) can happen to anyone. Tennis ace Rafa Nadal this week showed that he might just be as susceptible to hair loss as the next man.
Hair thinner than normal?
The famously hirsute 'Sexy Spaniard' was in Melbourne for the Australian Open when the media spotted that he appeared to be thinning on top
more than usual.
Reporting on this observation, the Daily Mail said that he “appeared to have a slightly thinner hairline around his centre parting
This apparent worsening is perhaps unexpected given Nadal’s thinning hair
has been a subject of increasing speculation over recent years - particularly since Andy Murray joked about which of the two of them would be first to lose their hair
, back in 2012.
At that time Nadal appeared to be showing signs of Male Pattern Baldness with some general thinning and a receding hairline
. He often wore a headband which - in addition to its intended sweat guard purpose - allowed Rafa to sweep his hair back, so that the accessory covered his hairline whilst his hair simultaneously covered his problem areas on top. This is something he continues to do and is also often photographed wearing a cap off-court.
Genetic hair loss is a permanent and progressive condition. Left alone, with no intervention to counteract the detrimental activity of the DHT
which causes the hairs around the top of the head to gradually thin and can even lead to complete baldness due to an inherited sensitivity, the process will progress unhindered. Whilst the rate at which it does so differs person-to-person, emotional and lifestyle influences - including stress
, something many top flight athletes encounter due to the pressures of training, results and media attention
- can speed this process up.
Despite the fact that Rafael Nadal's hair is undoubtedly thinning, this doesn't mean it's game, set and match for his once-luscious locks. As his hair follicles are clearly still active, clinically-proven male pattern hair loss treatment
may be a viable option.
Tennis players could learn from footballers
While few men would seriously wish extreme hair loss on another man even a sporting Adonis it is perhaps comforting to see that hair lost to Male Pattern Baldness is a normal part of life for millions of men, including TV stars, actors, musicians and sportsmen.
In the world of tennis alone Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov are just two of the top players, alongside Nadal, whose hair appears to be thinning. Andy Murray
would also have made this list but he managed to work some magic on his receding hairline
in order for it to look fuller in time for his wedding and seems to be maintaining his regrowth nicely.
Even for those in their early 20s, balding almost seems to be a pre-requisite among professional golfers
- much to the dismay of Tiger Woods
. Although most seem to choose to deal with the problem by hiding their hair under a cap, even when they're not on the course.
Footballers and cricketers, however, seem to be far more open about their use of hair loss treatments - as bemoaned by Arsene Wenger
- and undergoing close-season hair transplant
procedures, which require on-going treatment use to maintain results. Luckily it is not just celebrities and professional sports stars who have access to these types of treatments now so it's a level playing field when it comes to hair loss.