Robbie Williams trying to 'embrace' his hair loss: 'The pills depress me'

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·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·7-min read
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Watch: Robbie Williams 'embracing' hair loss

Robbie Williams says he is opting to "embrace" his hair loss after trying various options to save it.

The former Take That star, 48, was once voted the Smash Hits Poll Winners ‘best haircut’ back in the 90s, but has previously tried various treatments in trying to prevent hair loss.

The Rock DJ singer previously underwent a hair transplant in 2013, and in 2020 was keen for another procedure but was told this wasn't possible as his hair was now too thin.

Having tried various other hair loss treatments, the star has decided he is going to embrace his thinner hairline.

Read more: Hair loss: Signs, symptoms, causes and treatments

Appearing as a guest on Zoe Ball’s BBC Radio 2 show, Williams joked: “We’ve both lived long enough to see me losing my hair as it's happening.

"It’s getting thinner and thinner. No one will give me a thatch job [hair transplant] because they say my hair is too thin.

“I can’t take any pills because they depress me. I’m just going to have to embrace Robbie Williams losing his hair,” Williams concluded.

Robbie Williams says he is going to 'embrace' his hair loss, pictured in July 2022. (Getty Images)
Robbie Williams says he is going to 'embrace' his hair loss. (Getty Images)

It isn't the first time the star has opened up about suffering from hair loss, admitting in a recent interview on Australian radio, reported by The Sun, that he had been toying with the idea of getting a wig as he prepares to release his 13th studio album and head out on tour.

“I’m thinking of getting a hairpiece,” the dad-of-four explained.

“There are these great wigs that you can get now, you have to shave all your hair off and then you have it placed on with glue and it sticks on for a couple of weeks. I might actually do it just for touring.

“My hair is sort of mullet-y now. When I’m on stage and I’m giving it the big-un, I’m looking at them like I still think I’m 27.

“And then I turn behind me and see a 40 foot version of me with three necks and there’s a light shining on the top of my head that makes it look like a baby’s a**e I start to get slightly neurotic about declining hair."

Read more: Jamie Laing shares his hair loss worries

The former Take That star also previously admitted to feeling gutted after trying a further preventative hair loss treatment.

"So I had these injections. They were an absolute fortune, two vials of this stuff. It cost the same price as my grandma's house," he said.

"And they put these vials in and said in five months, your hair will grow back much thicker. Nothing has happened.

"We are now seven months in and nothing has happened. You cannot tell."

The singer has experimented with various hair loss treatments, pictured in March 2020. (Getty Images)
The singer has experimented with various hair loss treatments, pictured in March 2020. (Getty Images)

Williams previously discussed his choice to opt for a hair transplant back in 2013.

During a discussion about cosmetic surgery, the Angels singer said he'd had the hair loss treatment while he was living in LA.

"I've lived in LA for a long time and they say, 'If you sit in a barber's shop for long enough you'll get a hair cut'.

"Well, if you live in Los Angeles for long enough you're going to get some surgery.

"I've had a thatch done, I'll tell everyone now. I didn't even need it, that's the weirdest thing. I had like three months off and got bored so thought, I'll go in."

Read more: Hair loss in men: Signs, symptoms, causes and treatments

Williams has previously opened up about hair loss treatments, pictured in July 2022. (Getty Images)
Williams has previously opened up about hair loss treatments, pictured in July 2022. (Getty Images)

Male hair loss the facts

Around a third of men over 30 in the United Kingdom will already be losing their hair, a figure that rises to around 80% by the time they reach 70.

For many men, it’s a stressful and embarrassing condition, especially if you’re still young. Indeed, a recent employment tribunal ruled that calling a man ‘bald’ is sex-related harassment, akin to commenting on the size of a woman’s breasts.

Another survey, meanwhile, suggests men fear losing their hair more than they fear not finding a long-term partner or even going bankrupt.

For the most part, male hair loss is down to a condition called androgenetic alopecia, or what’s more commonly called male pattern baldness.

According to consultant hair transplant surgeon Dr Asim Shahmalak, from Crown Clinic, male pattern baldness, medically known as androgenetic alopecia, affects a quarter of men by the time they reach their 30s, rising to a third of men in their 40s and more than half of men by their fifties.

It is usually caused by your genes.

"It is a myth that the baldness gene passes down more commonly on the mother's side - both sides of the family can cause it," he explains.

While there are lots of other causes for hair loss, including stress and a vitamin and mineral deficiency, Dr Shahmalak says none of the others are nearly as significant as the hereditary cause.

Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley, says male pattern baldness can begin at any age from puberty onwards, and can be a distressing condition.

"If you have male pattern hair loss, this does not mean that your hair is falling out," she explains. "Rather, it means that your individual hairs are growing back thinner and shorter over several years, through many progressive hair growth cycles."

The problem can have wide reaching consequences for mental health.

"Men's confidence can be destroyed by losing their hair," explains Dr Shahmalak. "The majority of men have to cope with the psychological impact of losing their hair at some point in their lives. It can be particularly devastating if it hits men at a particularly young age."

According to Kingsley early signs of male pattern hair loss include:

  • recession from your front hairline

  • thinning at your temples

  • increased scalp visibility through your hair, especially at the crown of your head

  • the extent of hair loss caused by male pattern baldness ranges widely. You may eventually experience any or all of the following:

  • a slightly receding hairline

  • advanced receding from your forehead

  • a thinning crown

  • an overall reduction in thickness

  • very thin hair

  • a ‘horseshoe’ of hair that grows around your scalp from ear to ear

Read more: Hairdresser shares potential sign you could be deficient in vitamin D

What are the treatments for male hair loss?

Male pattern baldness is mainly caused by genetics, so unfortunately it’s impossible to prevent it completely.

"Some men’s hair follicles either have a particular sensitivity to a sub-type of testosterone, DHT, which is a naturally occurring androgen (a male hormone) in all men, or they produce too much of it, which damages the hair follicles over time," Dr Zafer Çetinkaya, hair transplant specialist at Vera Clinic, previously told Yahoo Life.

However, there are some medications that are medically proven to slow down the thinning of hair: Finasteride and Minoxidil.

Dr Çetinkaya says Finasteride works by preventing the creation of DHT in the body at source. "This prevents further hair follicles from being affected by DHT, and also helps to reverse the miniaturisation of some hair follicles," he explains.

"Studies have shown a 90% improvement in hair loss after six months of treatment, with effectiveness persisting as long as the medication is taken."

Studies have shown Minoxidil to be effective in two out of three men. "It's a topical spray that, when applied directly to the scalp, stimulates blood flow by widening blood vessels near the hair follicles, promoting hair growth by strengthening hair with nutrients and oxygen," Dr Çetinkaya explains.

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