In the past years, it has become increasingly common to witness footballer hair transplant transformations. While some sports stars, such as Rob Holding, are open about their decision to put male pattern baldness behind them, others, such as German goal stopper Marc-André ter Stegen, prefer to preserve the mystery of their sudden hair regeneration.
Ter Stegen suddenly displayed a full head of hair in early 2023, at age 31, after having had a receding hairline at 20. This left fans wondering: did the Barcelona player have a hair transplant? While he neither confirmed nor denied this, photographic evidence suggests it is a very likely scenario.
Keep reading for a full analysis of ter Stegen’s hair journey, including:
Mark-André Ter Stegen is a 31-year-old German professional football player. He began his career as a goalkeeper at Borussia Mönchengladbach. In 2010, he transferred to the La Liga Club Barcelona. At the end of 2022, he became the 4th captain of this club, but he also plays for the German National Football Team at the international level.
Before 2023, Ter Stegen had an increasingly pronounced receding hairline, showing signs of androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness). This can be seen in different photographs taken along the years, which also show progressive hair loss at the temples and increasingly significant hair thinning at the front of the crown.
Suddenly, this year, he surprised fans and teammates alike by showing up on the field with a full head of hair, with barely any signs of his former baldness. Since male pattern baldness does not reverse on its own, it is reasonable to assume that Ter Stegen did indeed have a hair transplant.
Ter Stegen has not yet joined the list of celebrities who had a hair transplant, choosing to remain discreet about his coiffe situation. But some football vloggers seem convinced that a good surgeon was behind his newfound luxurious locks:
“Man went from Toby Flenderson to Jim Halpert. Long live the Turks,“ 
Photos of the football player’s hair show indications that he was experiencing male pattern baldness, a condition that affects 95% of the world’s men by the age of 80 . This condition is caused by a set of complex genetic and hormonal factors and progresses with age. Some of the testosterone naturally produced by the male body is converted to a different hormone, called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT binds to the androgen receptors in the hair follicles, causing them to shrink and stop producing hair.
Male pattern baldness is assessed on the Norwood Scale, which has 7 different stages, in accordance with the severity of the hair loss:
Given that ter Stegen showed significant hair loss at the temples and receding hairline, but did not yet have a bald spot at the crown, he was likely experiencing Stage 3 androgenetic alopecia. This relatively early stage would be a good time to get a transplant before the baldness becomes too advanced.
Ever since he was a child, ter Stegen showed a high hairline and a wide forehead. However, this is normal and cannot be considered an anticipatory sign of adult-age hair loss.
The goalie was still not showing any significant signs of balding at the beginning of his career, in 2010. Ter Stegen had a healthy hairline and thinning had not yet started at the temples. This is not uncommon for an 18-year-old, as male pattern baldness normally starts showing signs in a man’s twenties and progresses with age.
By the time he said goodbye to his first team, Borussia Mönchengladbach, in 2014, ter Stegen was visibly affected by androgenetic alopecia. He seemed to display the first signs of hair thinning and balding – the hair loss at the sides of his head was unmissable, he had a tell-tale M-shaped hairline and his crown seemed to have less hair density as well. This seems consistent with 2-3 stage baldness on the Norwood scale.
By 2019, the football player’s hair condition doesn’t seem to have advanced much. He had also adopted what would become his signature ter Stegen do, a high fade which is one of the best male hairstyles for a receding hairline, drawing attention away from the hair loss.
Ter Stegen’s alopecia did not seem to progress by 2021 either. This indicates that he may have used some male hair loss treatments or therapies to prevent it from getting worse. Some of the most common of these are:
However, a hair loss acceleration could be noticed in 2022. This might be influenced by the knee injury he sustained during the same year, as it is a proven fact that stress can cause you to lose your hair. The frontal area of his scalp has visibly less hair coverage than the previous years.
Later that year, during the Barcelona-Sevilla game, ter Stegen was photographed with what appeared to be darker pigmentation around his hairline and temples, where he was previously balding. The aspect of his scalp closely resembled that of a man who has undergone a hair transplant, where the darker-coloured regions were his recently implanted hair grafts.
To everyone’s surprise, early in 2023, ter Stegen took to the field sporting a luxurious coiffe, with a straight new hairline and barely any traces of his former baldness left. This fueled speculation among sports connaisseurs that he had undergone a successful hair transplant in an Istambul clinic.
The transformation was impressive and the entire sporting world noticed the difference. Some football analysts even credit his performance improvement in the past year to new-found confidence brought on by his hair transplant results. While that is unlikely to be the main factor in ter Stegen’s success, hair loss can indeed lead to mild to severe psychological symptoms in 20-48% of patients, such as depression, anxiety, decreased self-esteem and reduction in professional performance .
There are two main techniques currently used for hair transplants: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). While both techniques are efficient and can provide excellent results, as revealed by hair transplant reviews, the newer and more popular FUE hair transplant leads to less scarring and is also less expensive than FUT.The photos of ter Stegen recently acquired hair grafts support the idea that he may have had an FUE hair transplant. That is because his signature “ter Stegen hairstyle” would have made the donor area scar from a FUT hair transplant more visible. This choice would not be surprising, given the fact that according to the 2022 ISHRS Practice Census, over 75% of male patients worldwide choose FUE hair transplants .
Judging by the aspect of ter Stegen’s pre-transplant hairline, he seems to have been Stage 3 on the Norwood scale. Knowing the stage of your male pattern baldness can help you get an idea how many grafts you need.
Since the football player mainly experienced hair loss on the sides of his head and a receding hairline, he would have needed a 2000-graft hair transplant. However, if he also wanted to address the thinning at the front of his crown, he would have needed an additional 500 grafts.
It is difficult to say how much a hair transplant costs without knowing for certain where it was performed. However, voices in the sports industry allege that ter Stegen’s procedure took place in a Turkish clinic.
Hair transplant costs in Turkey average at £1500 for a Norwood Stage 2-3 patient requiring 2000 grafts. However, since ter Stegen is a football star who can afford the best, it is more likely that he used the services of a high-end facility, which are known to cost as much as £2500 for a hair transplant of these specifications.
Had he undergone surgery in the UK, the hair transplant cost would have been, on average, just under £5000. But since he likely would have chosen one of the best hair transplant clinics in the UK, he would likely have paid upward of £6,500 for a 2000 graft hair transplant. It would have been worth it too, because he would have also been operated on by some of the best surgeons in the world, who guarantee a 97-100% chance of success.
Considering that hair transplants are permanent, the investment is worth it, especially if – like ter Stegen, you are hoping to get a hair transplant without anyone knowing.
Were you impressed by ter Stegen’s natural-looking hair transplant? Are you thinking about getting one yourself? If so, you will be happy to know that when performed by a reputable clinic, it is a fast, safe and effective procedure, with excellent long-term results, as you can see in the before and after hair transplant gallery. And unlike the temporary solution supplied by hair restoration medication, your hair transplant, after 10 years or more, will still look great.
Book a consultation now at your most convenient Wimpole clinic location and find out if you are a good candidate for a hair transplant. Our world-renowned surgeons will tell you everything you need to know about the hair transplant procedure and assist you in making the best choices for your hair and your peace of mind.
Are you curious to see how hair transplants turned out for other famous people? Here are more international stars who have opted to have their hair surgically restored in the past years:
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