Sebastian Vettel’s Hair Transformation Story

There have been many beasts in the F1 circuit, but Sebastian Vettel remains one of the most iconic drivers in the history of racing. Even though he’s now hung up his helmet, to this day, he remains one of the youngest winners of the World Drivers’ Championship.

While there’s a lot to say about Seb’s career, that’s not why we’re here today. He’s been media fodder for many reasons, and just one of them is Sebastian Vettel’s hair transplant (alleged). It did sort of a back and forth, which left many people questioning what had actually happened.

Sebastian “The Finger” himself has remained quiet about it, but that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from churning out all sorts of theories. Some suggest that it was Ferrari that literally blew up his hair, but others believe that the problem had started way back. So, which is it? Let’s find out!

Who Is Sebastian Vettel?

If you look up the best drivers in Formula One’s history, Sebastian’s name will surely come up. Born on 3 July 1987 (he’s currently 36) in Heppenheim, West Germany, Sebastian Vettel was just 3 and a half when he took up karting.

Sebastian Vettel

By the time he turned 8, he’d started competing in the Kart Series. He did a brief stint with open-wheel cars (posting victories there as well) before switching to F1 BMW Sauber in 2007. He became the world’s youngest F1 point scorer and finished 8 at just 19 years of age (and had a very classic, Justin Bieber-esque mop back then).

In 2008, Vettel scored his first victory in the Italian Grand Prix for Toro Rosso, cementing his place in the F1. In 2009, he was picked by Red Bull and was a runner-up to the then-champion Jenson Button.

However, the year after that, starting in 2010, Vettel won four back-to-back world championships, making him one of the very few drivers to pull off this feat. He eventually left the team in 2014 for Ferrari, with which he had a rather tumultuous time.

Even though he spent 6 seasons with the outfit, he didn’t win any titles, and he eventually decided to leave them in 2020 for Ashton Martin. After 2 quite lacklustre seasons with the latter, he eventually decided to retire at the end of the 2022 season.

Did Sebastian Vettel Have A Hair Transplant?

It’s likely that Sebastian Vettel had not one but two hair transplants, one in around 2018 and then another one in 2021.

Sebastian Vettels alleged hair transplants
Sebastian Vettel with a rather bizarre hairstyle in 2018 and long hair in 2022

Although Vettel had long, dense hair at the beginning of his career with F1 in 2007 (he was about 20 then), his hair changed quite significantly, especially during his time with Ferrari, which lasted from 2015 to 2020.

Sebastian Vettel hair loss
Sebastian Vettel’s thinning hair in 2015 vs 2017

In 2017, even Vettel’s scalp had clearly started to show through. But then in 2018, it got much denser. That lasted for a while before he was bald again in 2021. Now, he’s grown his hair back.

Sebastian Vettel’s First Hair Transplant

Come 2018 and Sebastian’s hair starts to look much denser at the top. At the same time, he sported a rather odd-looking bowl cut with his hair shaved at the back. It’s possible that he had an unshaven FUE hair transplant (U-FUE) around this time.

Sebastian Vettels hair in 2019 and 2020
Sebastian Vettel’s hair in 2019 and 2020. Note that hair transplant results can take 12-18 months to show. If Vettel did have a surgery in late 2018, the results would’ve taken some time to show.

In U-FUE, the back of the head called the donor area, is shaved to extract hair grafts for implantation into the bald spots. Seeing the back of Seb’s head (above the nape of the neck), there seems to be a degree of patchiness, which might be a sign of FUE surgery.

But the hair at the front can take months to start growing. Since Vettel’s hair already looked quite grown out, it is also possible that he had a long hair transplant (in which the head is not shaved, so long hair is extracted and implanted) and then decided to shave the back of his head anyway for reasons we don’t know.

Surgeons usually advise waiting for some time before you can do that, so make sure to ask yours about it.

Another reason behind this could have been that he started using non-surgical hair loss drugs like finasteride and/or minoxidil. But you have to keep taking these drugs to see results.

Sebastian Vettel’s Second Hair Transplant

By 2021, Vettel had shaved his hair, and his bald spots were seen clear as day. However, in the very next year, it had come back, probably thanks to a hair transplant, and it looked floppy as ever.

Sebastian Vettels hair after alleged transplantation surgery
Sebastian Vettel’s hair in 2022

Why Did Sebastian Vettel Want A Hair Transplant?

Sebastian Vettel quite probably had a hair transplant because he was experiencing hair loss due to pattern baldness or male androgenetic alopecia.

It’s when a hormone called dihydrotestosterone starts to shrink the hair follicles, leading to eventual baldness. Both genetics and hormones cause this to happen.

With time, temple recession forms an M-shaped hairline, but it keeps moving backwards, and you might also form a bald spot in the crown area at the same time (the hairline can also move all the way back to the crown).

Classic androgenetic alopecia
Androgenetic alopecia hair loss

As far as Ferrari’s role in Vettel’s hair loss is concerned, it could have exacerbated things by causing a kind of stress hair loss known as telogen effluvium. But unlike androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium isn’t permanent. So, Sebastian Vettel getting hair implants for that wouldn’t have been necessary.

Which Type Of Hair Transplant Did Sebastian Vettel Have?

It’s possible that Sebastian Vettel had a FUE hair transplant. It’s when individual hair follicles are extracted directly from the scalp as opposed to being taken from a piece of skin cut out from the scalp.

FUE VS FUT hair transplant

The latter is called the Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), but it’s considered a bit dated because it leaves a long linear scar at the back of the head. Its recovery may also be more difficult than FUE. So, Sebastian Vettel’s hair implant surgery could’ve likely been FUE.

Where Did Sebastian Vettel Get His Hair Transplant?

Vettel has not talked about getting a hair transplant, so his telling where he had the surgery is out of the question (at the moment, at least). While he was born in Germany, he lives in Switzerland, so it’s possible that he had his surgery there.


Sebastian Vettel’s hair transformation has been very dramatic. He was very clearly losing his hair, starting from his early 20s, and it got progressively worse. But then all of a sudden, it got better in 2018 and then in 2022.

The secret behind Sebastian Vettel’s hair growth might be a hair transplant (or two). It could’ve improved his hair density and covered the bald spots, although Seb hasn’t said anything about any of it.

Since it’s a cosmetic surgery, it can be quite expensive. It can be anywhere from £4,000 to £30,000 in the UK. In Switzerland too, it might cost you about £4,000 or more. But if you’re looking to save costs, you can consider a hair transplant in Istanbul, where it’s only around £1,500 due to economic differences.

But before that, if you’re experiencing hair loss, make sure to get in touch with an experienced medical professional for a diagnosis. They should also recommend a suitable treatment plan to you.

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