Why are so many footballers having hair transplants?

POSTED: 23 July 2018

You may have noticed lots of stories in the media about footballers having hair transplants.

Since the most famous footballer hair transplant patient, Wayne Rooney, had his first FUE (follicular unit extraction) procedure seven years ago, a spate of current and former players have followed his lead.

Crown Clinic's surgeon Asim Shahmalak has operated on several high profile Premiership players who have been keen to keep their treatment private. Obviously we are more than happy to respect their wishes.

One former Premiership star, ex-Liverpool and Man City star Didi Hamann, was also operated on by Dr Shahmalak and happily shared the results of his procedure with the media.

He came to Crown Clinic because he has a highly successful media career both here and in his native Germany and he wanted to look good on TV.

He said: "I am so glad I had it done. I do get asked by ex-players about having a hair transplant and I tell them that it worked for me and they could benefit too."

Lots of the celebrity clients treated by Dr Shahmalak do come to him because they are worried about their thinning hair and how this will affect their TV careers.

Covering up your bald spots can be a great way to prolong your TV career.

But why does there seem to be a higher than average number of footballers having procedures?

One possible reason maybe the trauma caused to their hairlines by repeatedly heading the ball.

Think about where footballers typically head the ball - it is right at the top of the forehead, just where the hairline starts.

Anyone who has ever headed a ball knows the extreme pressure this puts on the skull and that pressure can also adversely affect the hairline.

The fact is, heading the ball causes trauma to the hairline and this can cause chronic inflammation which in turn can cause alopecia (hair loss).

Inflammation is a factor in many cases of both scarring and non-scarring alopecias. 

Hair loss occurs when the cycle of growth is disrupted, and causes hair shedding to happen faster than normal.

Scarring alopecias are typically caused by inflammation and can destroy the hair follicle, leading to irreversible hair loss. 

Rooney has since had at least two FUE hair transplants after he first started losing his hair in his late teens.

He said: "I was going bald at 25, so why not. I'm delighted with the result."

Others footballers who have had procedures include the former England captain David Platt, Scotland striker Kris Boyd, Celtic forward Leigh Griffiths, Blackburn Rovers star Anthony Stokes, ex-Sunderland star Michael Gray, former Republic of Ireland international Jason McAteer and the BBC pundit and former Scotland star Pat Nevin. 

At Crown Clinic, we are well known for treating a wide range of celebrity hair transplant clients. Other clients have included Gogglebox star Chris Butland-Steed, the model Calum Best and Homes Under The Presenter Martin Roberts who all had FUE transplants with Dr Shahmalak.

Dr Shahmalak has also performed two FUT transplants on the TV doctor Christian Jessen using the more traditional method of hair transplantation, Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT).

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