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Rooney has treatment to cure different kind of hairline fracture

It's not a metatarsal this time, it's his rapidly receding head of hair. So Britain's top player has got a transplant

His burgeoning brow, prominent ears and pug face have already condemned him to the cruel nickname Shrek. So perhaps it is understandable that the footballer Wayne Rooney is railing against the dying of the hairline. The England striker admitted yesterday to having undergone a hair transplant at the tender age of 25.

The football star posted on Twitter – home of the personal revelation – yesterday, saying he was "delighted" with the results of treatment at a private clinic in London's Harley Street.

His tweet, in response to tabloid rumours of the procedure said: "Just to confirm to all my followers I have had a hair transplant. I was going bald at 25 why not. I'm delighted with the result." [sic]

The player went on to post a series of tweets, giving details of the "bruising" in the aftermath of the operation, to his more than 700,000 followers. After asking if anyone could recommend some hair gel, he managed to get the hash tag "#hairwego" trending on the site.

He said: "It's still a bit bruised and swollen when it dies down u will be first to see it. Anyone recommend any good hair gel. Haha."

Rooney has joined a growing army of men who choose to go under the knife to improve their follicular prowess. Balding affects 25 per cent of men in their twenties and 60 per cent of men before they are 40. In America alone, 19,000 hair transplant operations were performed last year, typically costing between £4,000 and £10,000, though many people pay more.

Luckily, there was no imminent prospect of needing to head the ball, as the striker was suspended from England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland last night following an accumulation of yellow cards.

Speculation that his wife, Coleen, had been behind the decision prompted her to take to the site, too, posting: "Hiya!! Yes waynes had his hair done! His own decision not me asking him, like a lot are saying!! Pleased for him and it will look great."

His fellow England and Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand waded in with: "Just don't go down the wearing a alice band route", adding: "You'll be doing head&shoulders adverts soon! Hope its gone ok Good luck lad."

The treatment he is understood to have undergone takes follicles from the back of the neck and replants them in sparse areas on the crown.

The Manchester United striker has previously admitted his hair is "a sensitive subject". Last month, a fellow England striker, Michael Owen, used the micro-blogging site to say the player had the hair of a pensioner. In a post he said: "By the way @WayneRooney, how old are you in that photo? Your face looks like a 12 year olds but your hair looks like a 60 year old!"

Rooney's response was: "Easy mo u know that's a sensitive subject."

Head men

Sir Elton John was one of the first celebrities to undergo hair-transplant procedures, replacing his toupee with transplanted follicles after losing most of his hair by the age of 30.

Gordon Ramsay, the celebrity chef, reportedly underwent a £30,000 hair operation in LA in January.

Duncan Bannatyne, the Dragons' Den entrepreneur, had follicle treatment at the specialist Farjo Medical Centre in 2007.

James Nesbitt, the Cold Feet actor, admitted to having two hair-transplant procedures at an Irish clinic after becoming "obsessed" with his hairline.

Jason Gardiner, the This Morning presenter and Dancing On Ice judge, reportedly spent £22,000 on transplants.

Shaun Williamson, the former EastEnders and Extras star, had a hair transplant in 2004.

Tawana Joseph