Since the day he was born, the Duke of Sussex has made all sorts of headlines for all sorts of reasons (though mostly for being troubled). This, of course, includes the Ginger mop resting nicely yet dwindlingly above his cheeky grin.
Although to be fair, it really hasn’t had its day in the sun. But much of that’s changed since Harry cut his ties with the royal family. As he (alongside his wife Meghan) works on taking control of the narrative, his media presence’s been bolstering – bringing a renewed interest in his hair.
And it’s not entirely unwarranted because it very much seems like something’s been afoot with his hair lately. After battling years of baldness, it looks like his bald spots are finally now in full retreat. So, what changed?
Who Is Prince Harry?
You don’t have to be a Brit to know who Prince Harry is. He’s the youngest son of King Charles III and the late Princess of Wales, Diana. Born September 15. 1984, he’s a prince by birthright, fifth in line to the throne (even though he’s quit the royal family).
Following his nursery schooling at Jane Mynors, at about the age of 5, he attended the pre-preparatory Wetherby School in Notting Hill (also in London).
Then came Ludgrove School in Berkshire before the two brothers followed in the footsteps of his mother’s family and went to Eton. He graduated from college in 2003 but didn’t go on to pursue a university education.
Instead, he went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), where he trained to become a soldier for the British Army. He served there for 10 years (finally retiring in 2015), getting to the rank of Captain.
In 2016, Harry met his now-wife Meghan Markle at Soho House’s Dean Street Townhouse in London. The two married in 2018, and 2 years after their marriage, both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their exit from the royal family.
Following that, both Harry and Meghan have been involved in several projects, including their docuseries “Harry & Meghan” and the setting up of their not-for-profit Archwell (which includes Archwell Audio and Meghan’s podcast Archetypes).
Currently, it’s working on creating a series called “Bad Manners” for Netflix.
On his own, Harry also published his memoir “Spare” (referring to the adage “the heir and the spare,” meaning someone to replace the heir if something happened). It made the Guinness World Record for the fastest-selling nonfiction of all time.
Is There A History Of Hair Loss In The Royal Family?
There is a history of baldness in the British royal family, with Prince William, King Charles, and Prince Philip all having experienced male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia is mostly genetic, but the genes are involved in a rather complex way. For one, it’s believed to be polygenic – meaning it’s influenced by multiple genes at once.
And you can’t exactly blame one side of the family, either. While maternal genes are usually implicated, paternal inheritance can also play a role.
It’s strongly linked with a gene on the X chromosome (females have 2 and males have 1). And this is what spurred the belief that it’s the mother’s side of the family where baldness comes from.
However, that changed with a study published in Nature Genetics, which found hair loss that could be inherited from both the mother and father. So, it concluded that if the father was bald, the son was also a risk of balding.
Now, Harry’s brother, father, and grandfather all have the baldness gene. But it also seems to be the case on his mother’s side.
Diana’s father, John Spencer, had an “M” shaped hairline with receded temples in his old age. This is also a sign of pattern baldness. So, it’s possible that Harry got the baldness genes from both his mother’s and father’s side of the family.
How Did Prince Harry’s Hair Loss Start?
Prince Harry’s hair loss started gradually with the subtle recession of his temple hair and overall thinning with a bald spot forming on the crown.
It became much more noticeable in 2014 when Harry was 30 years old. Before that, Harry was usually seen sporting a thick spiky and messy thatch. But over the years, the hair on top of his head got much thinner.
This happens due to a process known as follicular miniaturisation. As the name suggests, it constricts the hair follicle, which reduces the overall diameter of the hair shaft.
And while that was happening, Harry’s hairline was also changing. While once it was very straight, it gradually became more and more M-shaped due to hairline recession.
The bald spot on his crown also became more prominent as he also lost the hair on top of his head.
But his bald spot couldn’t always be so easily spotted, especially if he hadn’t been looking down (or someone was looking down at him).
That’s because, to date, he maintains a “frontal fringe” of hair. His front hairline hasn’t completely receded, although he has lost much of the hair in the crown and top parts of the scalp.
Has Prince Harry Had A Hair Transplant?
In 2018, it was rumoured that Prince Harry was going to undergo a hair transplant for his wedding.
A £50,000 price tag was also mentioned (when high-quality hair transplants in Turkey just cost around £2,000!). However, it very likely did not happen then.
In 2018, while Harry’s scalp was clearly showing through his hair due to thinning and hair loss, he still had some coverage.
But in the following years, the size of Harry’s bald spot got even bigger. In 2021, he could easily be classified as a Norwood 5 or 6 because of how extensive his hair loss had become.
But in the last year or so, there have been times when Harry’s hair looked thicker than usual.
For instance, in many of his videos with BetterUp – a mental health firm where Harry’s Chief Impact Officer – the top of his scalp looks much less bald.
However, just a couple of months before this, when Harry was doing the press circuit for his book, he, again, looked bald as usual.
Now, it could just be the lighting and the stringiness of his hair (curly hair type covers more surface area, which can hide bald spots better).
But it’s very unlikely that Prince Harry had a hair transplant. Overall, the top and crown of his head are still very thinned out. Much more probable would be his platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.
In PRP injections, a concentration of plasma is obtained from the patient’s own blood and injected back into the scalp. There’s some promising research that it can help with hair growth.
However, when it comes to permanent hair loss like androgenetic alopecia, it’s not going to completely reverse the baldness. In fact, its effectiveness is likely to be limited, which is why many people get it with a hair transplant.
What Type Of Hair Transplant Did Prince Harry Get?
It doesn’t look like Prince Harry has had a hair transplant yet. However, if he did decide to have the surgery, he would likely opt for the FUE technique.
In the FUE technique, a punch tool extracts small hair grafts from the back and sides of the scalp. These grafts are then placed in the bald spots.
It takes a few months for the hair to start growing, but the final results can be seen after 12-18 months.
Since FUT can generate a higher yield of hair grafts, he might have that procedure instead. However, that can leave a linear scar on the back of the head (which is its biggest downside).
Prince Harry’s New Look
Just a few months ago, Harry decided to give his hair a nice trim. And as his hair looked much shorter than ever before, his bald spot was also very visible. But it was a hit among his fans, anyway (many saying he looked hot).
But as far as the situation with his hair is concerned, not much has changed. He may be getting PRP injections or some other non-surgical treatment for hair loss (like minoxidil, finasteride, laser, microneedling, etc.), or it’s likely he’s doing (and/or going to do) nothing about it.
Over the years, Harry has joked a lot about his own hair loss. And while it doesn’t require any mentioning, the tabloids have been much after his hair as well.
There have been many reports of him going to hair loss clinics or getting surgery that would cost him £40K or £50K (twice someone’s annual salary in the UK). However, looking at his photos, his hair definitely hasn’t changed much (if at all).
Just like William never had a hair transplant, Harry hasn’t got one (yet), either. Now, he may get one in the future since he’s not really bound by the “royal code” anymore (if that’s the reason why he hasn’t had surgery yet).
Till then, no reason for anyone to make fun of him (or any other bald person, for that matter). Hair loss can have a psychological impact on people’s health. If you’re struggling with it as well, you should consider consulting a medical professional.