Hot on the heels of the terrible news to football players everywhere that heading the ball causes dementia, we are now warned that it can also lead to hair loss.
Last year the results of a study were announced that cast doubt on the sense of anyone heading the ball during a game of football, or soccer if you are reading this in the USA. It was found that there was a clear link between the repeated concussive trauma of the ball crashing against your cranium and the onset of dementia. Today we read an article from the Express in the UK suggesting a link between the same activity and hair loss. Surely not! The very idea that one of the most challenging skills in the beautiful game can make you stupid and bald is a shocker.
The theory is based around the idea that when the ball is headed it usually connects with the frontal hairline, and often precisely where those dreaded widows peaks first appear.
On closer inspection the article turns out to be only speculating on the possibility of a link between repeated heading of a ball and early onset hair loss. A leading hair transplant surgeon, Dr Edward Ball, offers the theory as supporting the need for the effects to be studied. He told the Express “We know that trauma causes inflammation, and we know that inflammation is a factory in many causes of both scarring and non-scarring alopecias. He went on “… and when a footballer heads a ball, they typically connect with it where the hairline meets the forehead. I’d expect repeated trauma to this hairline – caused by the almost daily impacts with a football, year upon year ever since childhood – to cause chronic inflammation. And that, in turn, could quite feasibly cause hair loss. It’s a connection that hasn’t been made before but which could have important aesthetic and psychological ramifications for anyone playing the sport at a serious level. The obvious next step now would be to biopsy the balding areas in footballers and look for signs of inflammation and fibrosis – where excess connective “scar” tissue forms as a result of injury. So far, this has never been done.”
Alternative Points Of View
Interestingly, the article also carries the opinions of a couple of other medical professionals. While Dr Craig Ziering, of the Ziering Medical clinic agreed with Dr Ball that chronic inflammation of the scalp could be caused by the “repeated trauma” of heading a ball, back in the UK a leading dermatologist, Professor Andrew Messenger, offered his own slant on things – “I doubt that biopsies will give the answer – an epidemiologic study would be the first step.”
HIS Hair Clinic
We sincerely doubt whether the threat of hair loss would ever make it as a reason for people to stop heading the ball during a game of football. The ongoing FIFA investigation into the dangers of brain damage on the other hand might well lead to a ban… heading the ball is already outlawed for children below a certain age whose brains are considered more vulnerable, which surely makes sense until the dangers are better understood.
Of course at the end of the day it does not really matter what caused your hair loss, if your questions are around what can be done about it then book a free consultation with one of your friendly team of experts. Just fill in the contact form at the side of this page or click here to find your nearest clinic.