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Shaun Ryder Develops Hair Loss from Health Problems

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It’s fair to say that Happy Mondays singer and former hell-raiser, Shaun Ryder has put his body through a lot.

The chart-topping Mancunian’s hard-partying ways in the 1990s and early 2000s, including crack and heroin addiction, were documented in the film 24 Hour Party People.

Despite the known effects of this type of lifestyle on hair loss, his closely-cropped crew cut remained largely intact, with the exception of a bit of thinning on top, most likely due to Male Pattern Baldness, during this time.

However, after recent health problems and surgery, the now 56 year old is having his melon well and truly twisted after going completely bald, from head to toe.

Hip operation and thyroid problems

Shaun Ryder Hair Loss Alopecia

According to an article in the New Statesman, Shaun Ryder has been experiencing “extreme hair loss” due to thyroid problems. In the April 2019 interview he advised he has lost all his hair from his scalp, face and entire body.

Although he blames this on thyroid problems, which started before the recent hip operation he had soon after this interview and has left him still on crutches, hair loss from illnesses, surgery or medication does not generally affect the body.

Shock or trauma to the body, such as an underlying illness or emotional upset, can trigger two separate types of hair loss; one is Telogen Effluvium which causes diffusely thinning hair all over the scalp and can develop in cases of thyroid conditions, the other is Alopecia Areata.

Generally Telogen Effluvium takes around three months to present as intense shedding and up to six months to resolve itself naturally, whereas Alopecia Areata can be more immediate in its onset. Its duration also depends on the particular strain that develops.

Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder which disrupts the hair growth cycle resulting in sudden hair loss; this can be anything from rounded bald spots on the scalp only, to becoming completely hairless – as is the case with the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here runner-up.

When it is this extensive, it is known as Alopecia Universalis – the most severe alopecia phenotype.

Treated with scalp injections

Shaun Ryder Black Grape NME
Shaun Ryder on the cover of the NME in 1995

Whilst Alopecia Areata treatment is often effective for the milder, scalp-only patchy hair loss version, there are currently no reliable hair regrowth treatments for Universalis.

He mentioned having alopecia treatment via scalp injections in his New Statesman interview, which is likely to be steroid injections.

“I reckon all my hair will start ­coming back in the next three months or so when we get the treatment levels sorted,” Ryder told The Sunday People, joking, “Hobbling about on me crutches with ­alopecia – it’s not a great rock ’n’ roll image is it?”

If the hair loss Shaun Ryder has been experiencing is Alopecia Universalis, he is unlikely to regrow hair within the next three months.

Belgravia senior hair loss specialist, Leonora Doclis, advises: “His symptoms, and indeed his photos, clearly indicate Alopecia Universalis. This is an autoimmune condition as much as a thyroid problem.

Alopecia Universalis hairloss is so extensive and advanced that regrowth is unlikely, or, should it resume naturally, it can take a long time – certainly longer than a few months. That said, there have been a few cases of this condition rectifying itself within a few months, however, it is uncommon.

Steroid injections may stimulate regrowth within a short period of time but, the regrowth does not seem to last and frequent steroid injections are generally not recommended due to high risk of side effects”.

Should Shaun Ryder turn out to have Alopecia Universalis and find that his hair does not grow back, he will no doubt be pleased to hear about the number of potential treatments currently in development. Most are from a suite of drugs known as JAK inhibitors and the first – whichever they may be – are thought to be heading towards a release in the next three years, MHRA-licensing and FDA-approvals pending.


Circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinics LondonThe 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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