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Rafael Nadal Regains Hairline But Loses Crown to Pattern Hair Loss

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Rafael Nadal may be a record-breaking, top tier tennis player, currently seeded number two in the world, but he still has one area where he’s not at the top of his game…

The 33 year old has been troubled by Male Pattern Baldness for a number of years, and, whilst during this time it appears he has managed to regain his previously receding hairline, his crown certainly seems to have slipped.

Hair transplant in 2016

Reports in the media at the time, from Spanish tennis websites to the MailOnline, alleged Rafa Nadal had a hair transplant in 2016.

This was said to be an follicular unit extraction, or ‘FUE‘ procedure to fill in areas of his receding hairline; although back then his frontal hairloss appeared to be coupled with thinning on top, whether grafts were used in this area too was not mentioned. Continues below…

In 2017, whilst his transferred follicles may still have been settling in, he appeared with noticeable thinning on top but did seem to be regaining volume at the front of his hairline.

By 2018 there were more rumours of Nadal wanting further hair restoration surgery to bulk out the rest of his thinning hair but, by the looks of his scalp as he took home his 19th Slam title on Sunday 8th September 2019, he may have decided against this.

On court when his hair was sweaty, the hair at his crown looked paler and thinner than that around his hairline and in the areas unaffected by genetic hair loss – namely the sides of the scalp and the back, from the occipital bone down to the nape. For most of the time his hairline was covered with a large sweat band bearing his sponsor’s logo, though occasional glances did show it to be in better shape than previous years.

At the post-match press conference, his hair was obviously freshly washed and dried. Although he seemed to have fuller hair when seen from the front, the thinning crown still appeared to have less density.

Regrowing hair on a thinning crown

Along with the hairline and temporal regions of the scalp, the hairs at the crown can be the toughest to regrow.

Given this particular pattern of hairloss is harder to spot, due to us not tending to look at the back of our head very often, it can become quite advanced before even being noticed.

A number of Belgravia patients with this particular form of shedding have told us they were either told about their hair loss by someone else, were shocked to first see it in a photo, or caught it in security mirrors on public transport.

The later it is spotted, the harder it may become to treat without surgery. For those seeking a non-surgical hair loss solution, it is recommended that men start a personalised course of clinically-proven hair loss treatment as early after seeing the first signs, as possible in order to give them the best chance of solid results.

The reason for this is that Male Pattern Hair Loss is a permanent, progressive condition which gradually worsens over time and, once baldness sets in – where the effects of DHT render the affected follicles incapable of producing hairs, leaving a smooth shiny scalp behind – there are no functioning follicles left to stimulate.

In this case, as long as there is sufficient, good quality donor hair available, a hair transplant may be considered; should the follicles still be active but simply producing thinner hair, then a treatment plan including one or both of the MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved oral and topical medications can be a worthwhile alternative to surgery.

The first step for anyone worried about losing their hair and wanting to know more about their options for preventing baldness is advised to have a consultation with a professional hair loss specialist.

Following a scalp assessment and diagnosis, they can then provide bespoke recommendations for optimum treatments and formulations based on their findings and the individual’s medical profile. These may also include non-pharmaceutical hair growth supporting products in addition to key medications.

Where treatment is not possible, a referral can be made to an experienced surgeon to discuss hair restoration opportunities, where appropriate.

Whilst this approach may not help your banana shots, it could put you a step ahead of Nadal in exploring the best options for treating a thinning crown, not to mention putting your mind at rest that, whatever stage your hair loss is at, there are solutions out there that you don’t need to be a tennis pro to be able to pay for.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Hair Loss Specialist Free ConsultationThe Belgravia Centre

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.

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