Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has mocked West Ham manager Slaven Bilic after he gained a fuller head of hair following the international football break.
After the turgid fortnight of internationals, the Croatian was seen sporting a thick new hair-do during the Hammers’ match against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
West Ham won the game at Selhurst Park 1-0 to relieve pressure on the embattled manager, who has struggled this campaign after guiding the team to 7th place last season.
Referring to that tricky start, Lineker joked: ‘Most managers under the cosh might lose their hair, Slaven Bilic appears to be gaining it.’
The West Ham United manager had his hair transplant just days before the start of Euro 2016
Speaking after his side’s much needed win on Saturday, Bilic had a thicker head of hair
Gary Lineker joked how Bilic appeared to be gaining hair despite his tough start to the season
The 48-year-old underwent a hair transplant at the end of last season – just days before he appeared as a popular TV pundit for ITV during Euro 2016 in June.
Viewers spotted the tell-tale signs of a procedure during the tournament – the red pin pricks on his scalp, scarring from where extra hair had been added to his hairline.
They mocked him for appearing to have his hair ‘cut with a pizza cutter’, ‘an overused tennis ball’ or ‘cutting it himself’.
But four months later the transplanted hair has grown back and the West Ham boss must now hope his team’s fortunes on the pitch mirror his success off it.
Some fans joked how his new look bears a close resemblance to Gavin Shipman in BBC sitcom ‘Gavin and Stacey’.
Another commented: ‘Most people lose hair in a crisis. Slaven Bilic has reversed that trend and grown some.’
During a press conference in August, Bilic’s thinning hair and bald patch was easily noticeable
Slaven Bilic was seen with a thicker head of hair after the fortnight international break
Hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak, Britain’s leading expert on hair loss, said: ‘Bilic’s hair is looking fantastic and that is all down to a procedure he had shortly before the European Championship.
‘He would have had it about two weeks before he first appeared on TV. In the first few games of the Euros it was clear that he was in the recovery phase.
‘That’s why there was that the redness at the front of his scalp where the new hair had been transplanted.
‘His new hair is really bedding in now and fans can see how the hair transplant has transformed his hairline. Just as his hair has started growing back so West Ham’s performances on the pitch have improved, too, after a tough start to the season.’
Wayne Rooney, pictured at the 2010 World Cup, before he underwent hair transformation
Rooney, the Manchester United and England captain, after his hair transplant, in 2016
Bilic can count himself lucky he’s had to wait until two years short of his 50th birthday to have the transformation.
Wayne Rooney, the Manchester United and England captain, first invested in a hair transplant at a London clinic in 2011, when he was just 25.
Rooney, 30, is said to have spent more than £30,000 on various transplants after beginning to lose his hair at a young age.
Other Premier League managers who have had hair transplants include Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp and Antonio Conte from Chelsea.