Manchester City forward Nolito appears to be the latest footballer to develop a bald spot on the back of his head. He was recently seen sporting a small, rounded patch of hair loss extremely similar in size and location to that seen on Crystal Palace's Damien Delaney.
The Sun reported on how his City teammate David Silva and Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos were seen joking with the striker about his hair during a World Cup qualifier training session with Spain. But what caused this bald spot?
The size and shape of the player's bald patch suggest that it could be down to one of two things. It could perhaps be the result of an injury, where the hair needed to be shaved to get to the scalp, or - more likely from its appearance, it could be Alopecia Areata.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder which results in sudden hair loss from anywhere on the scalp. These bald patches are often round or rounded and can be as small as a £2 coin or so large that they can join up and affect the whole head. In other cases only one bald spot appears.
Although the etiology of alopecia areata remains a mystery to the medical community, it does have a number of established triggers. These include sudden trauma and on-going stress, as well as the possibility of genetic links.
Football pundits have recently been debating the 30 year old's temper after a number of controversial incidents on the pitch. One of these saw him sent off against Bournemouth in City's fifth game of the season, while another saw Nolito yellow carded for reacting badly to a challenge by West Brom's Craig Dawson. So could the summer signing's antics on the pitch be related to his hair loss? It's certainly possible.
Top flight sportsmen are often placed under intense pressure - not just to keep in shape and win games, but when dealing with the media and learning to cope with their role model status. The strain can be amplified for players who transfer to a club in another country where they may not speak the language but still have to adapt to their new situation quickly. Whilst high profile players are obviously well rewarded, these types of stresses can take their toll.
Joining from Celta de Vigo in July 2016, this is Nolito's first season with Manchester City - and his first playing in England. Previously he had played for clubs based solely in Spain and Portugal. The Premier League is widely accepted to be one of the toughest and most physically demanding in world football.
Could it be that Nolito's hair loss is caused by the stress of adapting to the English game? Or perhaps it is taking a while for him to adjust to his new life in Manchester? Given his bald spot became apparent a couple of weeks after his first sending off as part of Pep Guardiola's squad, it seems possible that his hair loss may be linked in some way.
In cases of stress-related hair loss that presents as all-over hair thinning, the shedding tends to take up to three months after a trigger incident to become noticeable. Alopecia Areata does tend to be more immediate but can take around three months for hair to fall also. When the hair regrows it can also come back white, or colourless, at first but this will usually rectify itself after a couple of hair growth cycles have been completed.
Many footballers - and men in general - have a genetic predisposition to Male Pattern Baldness, and the hair thinning around the top of the scalp or receding hairlines associated with this can also be accelerated by stress. This condition is permanent but can be successfully managed - and hair regrowth encouraged - by using clinically-proven hair loss treatments.
As Nolito does not seem to be showing any signs of male hair loss - his hair remains thick with a strong hairline - if his bald spot is due to alopecia areata he should hopefully start to see regrowth soon. In around 70 per cent of cases the hair will grow back of its own accord within around 12 months, depending on its severity. However, for those who want to try to accelerate the process, personalised alopecia areata treatment can be a convenient and effective tool.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic 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 from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
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