Ben Stokes has revealed the personal struggle he faced when he realized he was losing his hair and the impact it had on his confidence.
The England captain is one of his country’s greatest cricketers of all time, with the all-rounder having put in many world-class match-winning performances over the years, while also being a two-time world champion in white balloon.
Stokes was responsible for transforming the Test team’s fortunes from one win in 17 matches before his appointment last year, to 13 in 18 under him and led his side superbly during the thrilling Ashes series of the ‘summer.
However, Stokes explained how his mental health suffered when he began suffering hair loss, before the England captain underwent a hair transplant in 2018 at the Wimpole Clinic in London’s Harley Street.
“I saw the (television) footage for myself, and the angle would be a bird’s eye view, directly overhead,” he said. The telegraph.
Ben Stokes revealed the personal struggle he faced when he realized he was losing his hair
Stokes (left – before the transplant) had noticed that his hairline was receding slightly, while he also had increasing baldness, before receiving compliments afterwards (right – after the transplant)
He explained that his confidence had suffered before undergoing the transplant (photo from 2023)
Stokes (pictured in 2018) said his hair loss was “to the point where it was getting too much.”
“I said to myself, ‘My God, it’s getting worse and worse’.” Men and hair are one thing. The procedures were formerly kept secret. It was almost one of those things where you didn’t want people to know you did it.
“There is much more than just hair loss. If you start losing weight, you notice it and you constantly try to do something to make it not seem so bad. As people get older, they want to have beautiful hair.
Stokes also explained that he wanted to destigmatize transplants, given that hair loss is an issue that affects millions of men.
He added: “So whatever they can do to feel better about themselves, why not? I know how I felt, because of all the compliments I received. It gives you so much confidence. The stigma and secrecy have disappeared.
“I’m lucky because I’m quite tall, so I stand taller than most people. But it got to the point where it became too much.
“So I went in, I did it, and as soon as I started seeing the results, it gave me a lot more confidence, knowing that I didn’t have to worry as much as before. “
The Wimpole Clinic explained that Stokes’ transplant may not have been noticed by the public because he took action while his hair was still relatively thick and full, which was described as a “preventative hair transplant.” » by the experts.
Using the FUE technique, the surgical team extracted 1,800 grafts from the back of her scalp and moved them to the crown and temple of her head.
This technique is also preferred because it leaves virtually no scars and heals within a few weeks.
Stokes’ recovery was particularly rapid thanks to his vigilant care when he did not wash his hair for 14 days and slept in a certain position to prevent damage, with obvious results.
Meanwhile, Stokes revealed some of his England team-mates had also undergone similar transplants after discussions in the dressing room, while others were considering it.
Using the FUE technique, surgeons extracted 1,800 grafts from the back of Stokes’ scalp and moved them to the crown and temple of his head.
He is determined to destigmatize transplants, given that hair loss is a common problem among men.
That dressing room has been bolstered in recent weeks by the presence of England legend Andrew Flintoff, who returned to the national team as a mentor for the One Day series against New Zealand after suffering horrific facial injuries during of a high-speed accident while filming Top Gear. in 2022.
And Stokes explained what a pleasure it had been to have Flintoff in the team and how much the 2005 Ashes poster boy had enjoyed getting involved in the sport again after launching a highly successful broadcasting career following his retirement.
“Following his cricket career, Freddie’s personality was perfect for television,” Stokes said. “But then you see him make a comeback and you can imagine him involved as a full-time coach.
“He loved every minute of it. He said he was impressed by what he witnessed. Every day he spent with us, he gained more confidence in himself.
Stokes was back involved in this series after calling off his ODI retirement and it came after some downtime following a thrilling but exhausting Ashes for the 32-year-old, with England’s hopes of an unlikely comeback thwarted by two days of rain during the fourth test. at Old Trafford.
He continued: “I was exhausted. It had been quite exhausting, both physically and emotionally.
“For two nights (in Manchester) I woke up several times to check if it had stopped raining.
“On the last day I did all kinds of things to try to make the rain go away, but it didn’t work. I didn’t look out the window for two whole hours, then I prayed that if I looked outside the weather would be nice again. But that wasn’t the case.
Stokes also spoke about what a boost it was to have Freddie Flintoff back and in the team.
Stokes transformed England’s Test fortunes and led them to a 2-2 draw in the Ashes series.
Despite the 2-2 draw in the series which saw Australia retain the Ashes, Stokes is more optimistic than ever about the future.
He added: ‘I’ve never been one to figure out how many runs or wickets I want. Now that I’m 32, I’m very realistic and think things will end at some point.
“But I have my eyes set on something I want to be a part of over the next three or four years.
“I can’t see myself not being involved in one way or another, even once I stop playing. It’s in my blood to be there.