8 Football Hair Loss Cover-Ups: The Good, The Bad, And The Downright Preposterous

Picture the scene, you are a professional footballer at the top of the game. You are in great shape, earning a fortune every week, and loved by the fans. You have everything a man could wish for. Well, everything except a full head of hair.

Your carefully styled, damage limitation hairdo is no longer enough, and people are beginning to talk. It’s time to assess your options. Here we will look at how footballers have dealt with the issue of hair loss, from transplants to demented comb-overs.

1. The Hair Transplant – Wayne Rooney

Time will tell whether Wayne’s new hair is here to stay, but early signs are very promising. Rooney took advantage of the summer break to splash out a reported £30,000 on a transplant at a clinic in London’s Harley Street. Money well spent.

2. The Wig – Stephen Ireland

When Ireland broke through into the Manchester City team, he caught everyone’s eye with his classy attacking play and his receding hairline. While in his early twenties, things didn’t look too good for Stephen’s locks, in 2007, a full mane suddenly sprouted.

Happy days you would think, but things took a strange turn when, on national duty, Ireland requested compassionate leave due to the death of his grandmother. When his grandmother was found to be alive, he changed his story. It was his other grandmother who had died. She hadn’t. 

Ireland has since claimed that his girlfriend had suffered a miscarriage, a tragic circumstance that may explain the bizarre lies, but the Irish Mail on Sunday reported that he was in fact subject to some vicious teasing. Two of his team-mates apparently held him down and tried to tug off his new hair the night before he went home. Whatever the truth, Ireland has not played for his country since.

Ireland has since left Manchester City, and is rebuilding his career at Aston Villa. Some encouraging performances recently have raised hopes that he, now thankfully sporting a shaved head, can start playing at the level that saw him voted Man City Player of the Season in 2008/09

3. Master the Comb-Over – Bobby Charlton / Ralph Coates

Stars of the 1960s and 70s, Bobby Charlton (top) and Ralph Coates (bottom) managed to hide their baldness from the world by artfully scraping a few wispy hairs from one side of their heads over to the other. Or, rather, they made themselves look a little silly, especially when things like this happened:

4. Just Stick with What You Know – Gervinho

You’ve got to admire a balls-to-it, I’m-just-going-to-keep-rocking-the-braids attitude. Gervinho must be aware that he looks like a 40-something former boy band member, desperately trying to hold onto the youthful style that made him famous. And he doesn’t care. Or maybe he doesn’t know. Perhaps this option should be re-titled: denial.

5. Try to Blend It in – Arjen Robben

Known for his cunning on the pitch, Robben has also come up with a crafty way to take attention away from his very noticeable hair loss. By carefully growing the face of an old man, the 27-year-old now appears to have a more age appropriate hair line. The picture below shows how he uses intense concentration to add years to his visage.

6. Disguise Yourself As Count Dracula – Dimitar Berbatov

With his pallid skin and widow’s peak, Dimitar believes that if people think he is a vampire, nobody will dare mention the retreating hairline. Well don’t think you are silencing me, you undead monster.

7. Panic – John Dempsey

Only Chelsea defender John Dempsey knows what he is trying to achieve with this style. We all know what’s going on under this quite magnificent comb-over, plus, he has made himself look like a medieval peasant. Dempsey won the FA cup in 1970, and the Cup Winner’s Cup in 1971, scoring the winning goal against Real Madrid in the final. 

After moving to America’s newly formed NASL with the Philadelphia Fury, he won the Defender of the Year title 1979, beating Germany Legend Franz Beckenbauer into second place. Great career, but truly terrible hair.

8. Acceptance – Zinedine Zidane

Going bald gracefully can be tough, but if one of the finest footballers ever to play the game can do it, maybe this is the path to take. Mind you, don’t feel you have to copy everything Zidane does:

So, there are some of the options available to the follically challenged star footballer. Male Pattern Baldness can be difficult to accept, but how you deal with it will make all the difference.

Written by the creators of the excellent Hair Loss Geeks, a site that you must check out where this article was originally published.

You can follow them on Twitter here.  

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  1. Keira

    April 17, 2012 at 21:23

    Great work man, I am really glad to be 1 of several visitants on this awful site : D

  2. Anonymous

    April 18, 2012 at 18:21

    Enjoyably entertaining post 😀