Bradley Cooper: How Did He Stop His Hairline Recession?

Bradley Cooper. Just a name but so many cool movies are associated with it. Limitless. The Hangover. American Sniper… His potentially receding hairline… not quite so cool.

Cooper was a fresh face in Hollywood when comedy masterpiece The Hangover saw its release in 2009. Since then, the 42-year-old actor has been nominated for four Academy Awards.

It’s fair to say that life has been pretty good for the four-time Oscar nominee lately… except his hairline that has come under increased scrutiny for all the right reasons.

Back in 2009, when Cooper began opening his salvo to shoot to stardom, the actor had a noticeable recession at the temples and the hairline that exposed his forehead a little too much, two clear signs of male pattern baldness.

While the Limitless actor was 34 at the time – the perfectly normal age to start seeing early signs of balding – fans have been actually amazed how his hairline has transformed since then.

A hair transplant surgery theory quickly emerged, and it seemingly made perfect sense: one of the highest-paid actors in the world would certainly have enough money to afford the costly and side effects-ridden procedure.

What’s So Weird About Cooper’s Hairline Recession?

No Hollywood actor of Cooper’s caliber wants to put his career at risk by going bald. And in Cooper’s case, things are even more complicated.


The guy was named the Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine, and his good looks play a major role at auditions.

So, obviously, the actor wanted to maintain his ‘hot Hollywood guy’ status by avoiding baldness. But how has Cooper reversed his 2009’s hairline recession? That’s a good question.

If you look at his photos back in the day, you’ll see that the actor’s hair has not always been so voluminous and dense. In fact, it’s fair to say that his hair used to be around a Norwood stage 2, and making its way to stage 3.

Here, on this 2009 photo, Cooper is seen wearing a beret, a common type of hair thinning cover-up for many Hollywood actors.

Cooper wearing a beret at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Woody Allen film Whatever Works

This is usually the time when many men who see early signs of hair fall resort to hair transplant surgeries – though with implanted hairs come pretty nasty things you can expect after the invasive procedure.

Is male pattern baldness normal for men in their mid-30s? Sure. Heck, even guys in their 20s start going bald. In fact, about 50% of all men on this planet are affected by male pattern baldness at certain point of their life.

While hair loss is a natural process, should all these fellas allow baldness take its course and ruin their self-esteem? (A 2013 research revealed just how devastating losing your hair can be for your self-esteem).

Not at all. In fact, whatever it is that triggered your balding – traction alopecia (caused by external factors such as man buns) or male pattern baldness (caused by internal factors such as DHT) – you can prevent it from ruining your life with natural methods.

Was it a Hair Transplant, Propecia or Natural Approach?

Cooper is not the only famous Hollywood actor who has been at the center of the hair transplant rumor mill. In fact, the Hangover actor is in good company: Sylvester Stallone, Jude Law, Sean Penn and Jamie Foxx are all rumored to have spent fortunes on hair transplants.

A couple of years ago, rumors alleged that Cooper was taking an anti-hair loss drug called Propecia (Finasteride). While Propecia has shown remarkable results in many cases, there are some downsides of using the medication that you might want to consider before taking it.

Cooper sporting a volumnious hairstyle at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards

There’s no knowing if Cooper actually took the oral Propecia (or resorted to the topical form of the drug) without the actor himself revealing the truth behind his hairline transformation.

While some people believe the actor has gone under the knife to add more density and coverage and fill up those hairline gaps we saw in 2009, it’s not only a hair transplant surgery or Propercia that could give him this kind of amazing result.

In fact, removing DHT – the hormone primarily responsible for male pattern baldness – from the scalp, following a diet optimized for hair growth, and performing scalp massages, which a 2016 study has shown to increase the thickness of newly-produced hair, are just as great to stimulate hair regrowth.

I’d say that Cooper’s hairline transformation could be a combination of these things, but him taking Propecia or undergoing a hair transplant surgery shouldn’t be ruled out either.

But you never know for sure with Hollywood actors, given the fancy hairstyles that can disguise a receding hairline as well as makeup solutions that can cover baldness.

No one (besides Cooper himself and his hairstylists) knows for sure if this is the effect of makeup solutions like DermMatch or Topik, or if the actor’s hair transformation was natural.

Root of Bradley Cooper Hair Loss: Genetics?

While academics can’t seem to stop fighting over who carries the so-called hair loss gene – father or mother – genetics may be responsible in Cooper’s case.

Cooper’s father, Charlie Cooper, who passed away from lung cancer in 2011, had a Norwood stage 4, which marks a severe hairline recession. However, even at this stage there’s still a good change of reversing baldness and re-growing hair.

Cooper wearing a suit at the premiere of Silver Linings Playbook, Toronto Film Festival 2012

It’s unclear if genetics was the only factor that triggered Cooper’s hair issues, but genetic factors must have come into play along with other factors.

While the actor is known for his good physique, he has spoken out about maintaining a balanced diet on numerous occasions.

Following a balanced diet is good for not only being fit, but also for preventing and reversing balding. But Cooper has not always followed a healthy diet, as a few years ago he had to gain 40 pounds in just 10 weeks for his role in American Sniper.

In his 2014’s interview with GQ, Cooper opened up about his past drug addiction and having an early career doubt that made him suicidal.

Taking drugs in itself can be extremely harmful for hair health, while taking mood stabilizers and antidepressants such as Trazodone can cause medical-induced alopecia.

Cooper speaking to El Hormiguero in 2013

A rumor has it that Cooper has abstained from alcohol and painkillers, both capable of damaging hair follicles, since 2004, and since then he reportedly resorted to marijuana.

While there’s little evidence to back the claim, smoking weed as an alternative to alcohol and drugs can caused hormonal changes and a slowdown in hair follicle cell production.

What Would I Recommend For Bradley Cooper?

It’s unclear if Cooper has been able to fill up the hairline recession gaps by undergoing some sort of invasive procedure or if it was all natural.

If it’s the latter, I’d recommend sticking to whatever is that Cooper has been doing to maintain that incredible density and coverage. If I could speak to the 2009 Cooper, I’d tell him to do the following to reverse hair loss:

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