Citing the 'stress' of playing professional football for 24 years, Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has undergone a hair transplant to fix his balding scalp.
Giggs spoke of a 'paranoia' that came with the extreme media coverage of professional football and the intense pressure of high level performance.
Quoted by the Mirror, Giggs said: “Football is stressful. You put yourself under pressure. You’re aware of the consequences if you lose a game or don’t play well. You are under the spotlight and if you have a bad game you’re aware of the criticism. Then it becomes a little bit more stressful. And stress is related to hair loss.”
Giggs has been open about how the stigma has changed regarding self-care, especially amongst men. The Welshman added: "This is the first time my team-mates will be hearing about it. There’s still a sort of stigma for men but in the last ten or 20 years, it has got better. People understand hair treatments a lot more.
“It used to be just women who had procedures to make themselves feel more confident but now I think it is becoming more and more the same with men.”
"Back then people were judging you more than now," he said. “I kept a low profile, staying in the house, wearing a cap if I went out. I told friends and family and their reactions were better than I expected. No-one took the mick or had a joke. They were more inquisitive about what I’d had to do and when I’d get the final results."
The current Wales boss was so taken with the treatment that he became a partner of the MHR Clinic in Knutsford. Ryan would have been remiss to not mention the pioneering effect of his former teammate, Wayne Rooney, in normalising hair treatments.
Speaking on Rooney's legacy, Giggs said, "Wayne was very brave in being so open about it, I'm really happy with mine. The only negative I have is that I didn't do it earlier."