Sylvester Stallone Hair Transplant

It would be impossible to talk about legendary action stars without mentioning none other than Sylvester or “Sly” Stallone. One look at him, and two names come to mind: Rocky Balboa and John Rambo (both with their rather long and puffed-out locks).  

With many projects still to come, the actor has graced the screen for decades now and is approaching his 80s. In all this time, much has been said about his acting chops and looks, including his hair. 

And it’s not anything recent. Since back in the early 2000s, it’s been speculated that Sylvester Stallone had a hair transplant. More recently, however, seeing how the actor’s hair is so done – that it almost looks unreal – some think he’s been wearing a wig all along. So, which one is it? Let’s find out! 

Who Is Sylvester Stallone? 

Who isn’t familiar with the tortured strongman of the 70s and 80s who was once considered the icon of heroic masculinity? To this day, Sylvester’s name evokes the images of a buff, tough guy who faced impossible odds to achieve his American dream. 

Born July 6, 1946, Stallone did not have it easy right from the start. Owing to a difficult labour, his nerve was injured during birth, which left him with permanent facial paralysis. His slurred speech and droopy face are a consequence of that. 

Sylvester Stallone

Things weren’t great at home either. His parents didn’t get along with each other, and so he and his brother lived in foster care for a few years. Eventually, his parents did get a divorce, but Sly would often find himself in all sorts of trouble, even getting expelled from school. 

He eventually moved to New York in 1969 in hopes of finding work. However, it took him a long time to make it big in Hollywood. According to a 1976 article by the New York Times (the same year that Rocky was released), a year before, Stallone only had $106 in his bank, a pregnant wife, a dog he couldn’t feed, and he didn’t have the money to pay rent. 

But Rocky is what changed everything. He wrote 90 pages of its script in just 3 days and fought hard with the studio to have him cast as the lead role in the film (took a significant budget cut for that). 

But that very film ended up being nominated for 10 Oscars. It won in three categories, and although Stallone was nominated for the Best Actor category, he didn’t win in that one. 

Rocky went on to become a very successful franchise, which has grossed billions at the box office. It includes the “Creed” spin-off starring Michael Jordan, but Stallone was also a part of the film and received an Academy nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Almost alongside Rocky was the actor’s other persona as a veteran of the Vietnam War “John Rambo.” This became another very successful franchise, with its latest instalment being released in 2019. 

More recently, however, the Demolition Man made his small-screen debut as a mobster in Tulsa King. And for those wondering how old is Sylvester Stallone, at the time of writing, Sylvester Stallone’s age is 77. 

Did Sylvester Stallone Get A Hair Transplant? 

It’s believed that Sylvester Stallone’s hair transplant happened sometime after the 2000s when the actor was well into his 50s. However, it’s also possible that he had a hair transplant before that because of his receding hairline

Sylvester Stallone hair in 2001
Sylvester Stallone’s hairline in 2001

Although in many of the early years of his career, you can hardly see his hairline because it’s more or less covered with his long hair. That might’ve been intentional so as to hide the fact that he was balding. 

However, after he’d started gelling his hair back up (early 2000s), the shape of his hairline had changed quite a bit. It almost looks like a wig at times (because of the very clean outline of the hairline), but it’s possible that it was, in fact, a hair transplant.  

But that’s not how Sylvester’s hairline continued to look like. If you look at it now, it’s much lower, and it’s got a distinctive v-shape at the centre. 

Sylvester Stallone before and ater alleged hair transplant
Sylvester Stallone’s hairline in 2003 vs 2019

Sylvester might have had another hair transplant for this, but this time with the intent of reducing the size of his forehead (or maybe he was just trying to ensure double extra coverage). 

The actor himself hasn’t said anything about any of his hair transplants. 

Why Did Sylvester Stallone Have A Hair Transplant? 

Sylvester Stallone likely had a hair transplant because of androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness. It’s a type of permanent hair loss that tends to run in families. 

Sylvester Stallone receding hairline
Sylvester Stallone’s hair in 2000

What happens is that a byproduct of testosterone – dihydrotestosteroneminiaturises the hair follicles. As a result, they keep getting thinner with time, and you’re eventually left bald. 

The reason why it’s called “pattern” baldness is that it tends to progress in a distinct pattern. As the temple peaks continue to recede, so does the hairline, forming a distinctive “M” shape. 

At the same time, you might also lose hair in the crown region of the scalp. Eventually, the hair loss spreads to the point where the entire top of the scalp is left bald. It should be noted that the risk of this kind of hair loss increases with age. 

While that may have prompted the Rambo star’s first hair transplant, as mentioned above, he might’ve had another one to reduce the size of his forehead (although it’s unnaturally short now). 

What Type Of Hair Transplant Did Sylvester Stallone Have? 

Sylvester Stallone might have had both FUT and FUE hair transplants. Keep in mind that in the early 2000s, the FUT hair transplant technique was more popular. 

FUT hair transplant

In this, a strip of skin is removed from the back of the scalp (the size of the strip depends on the size of the balding area). And from that, small hair grafts are cut out, which are then implanted into the scalp. 

The biggest downside of this technique is that it leaves a prominent linear scar on the back, and the recovery also takes longer. Still, since it was more popular back then, it might’ve been what his surgeon recommended. 

However, these days, the FUE hair transplant technique is more popular. It essentially does away with the step in which cutting a piece of skin from the scalp is involved. 

FUE hair transplant technique

Instead, it directly harvests the grafts from the scalp, which are then transplanted. It’s more discreet and doesn’t leave a long scar. Sylvester might’ve had this for his second surgery or its variants like Sapphire hair transplant or DHI hair transplant

How Many Grafts Did Sylvester Stallone Need For A Hair Transplant? 

Based on the early extent of his hair loss, it is possible that Sylvester Stallone’s hair transplants for restoration and hairline lowering needed around 2,000 grafts or more. He looked like he was only on stage 3 of the Norwood scale. But this is only an estimate made using a hair graft calculator.

The number of grafts you need can vary depending on the density of your donor area (back and sides of the scalp), size of bald spots, hair type and your desired hair density.  

Sylvester Stallone's hair in 2019
Sylvester Stallone’s hair in 2019

If the Cop Land actor was also losing hair in the crown area of his scalp, he might’ve needed around 1,000 grafts more. 

What Is Sylvester Stallone’s Hairstyle? 

Sylvester Stallone’s hairstyle has changed a lot over the years. Before the slickback do’, the actor once had long, ruffled locks (think classic Rambo). He cut it short in between, and at some times, it even showed his temple hair loss quite clearly. 

sylvester stallone's 2001 hair
Sylvester Stallone’s hairstyle in 2001

But before long, he likely had a hair transplant to change his hairline, and since then, he has mostly kept it short and neat.  

Sylvester Stallones hairstyle in 2016
Sylvester Stallone’s hairstyle in 2016


Seeing how Sylvester Stallone’s hair has changed, it’s quite likely that he had a restoration surgery. 

At times, it definitely did (still does) look like he’s wearing a wig. While that might be because of how his hairline’s been drawn, you can see the individual hair follicles on his scalp in some places. 

Also, there’s a good chance that the actor had not one but two surgeries to not only make the hairline denser but also reshape and lower it. 

Keep in mind that there’s no shame in getting this surgery (and it definitely does not affect anyone’s masculinity). If you’re also looking to get it at a more affordable price, you can consider getting a hair transplant in Turkey

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