Jacob Batalon has risen to prominence in his role as Ned Leeds across the recent Spider-Man movies. But while Peter Parker’s best friend has always sported a full head of hair, the actor playing him is bald.
A lot of people have speculated on why Jacob is bald, and whether it’s a choice or a result of a medical condition. Some people are curious, and others are concerned – especially since Ned is such a popular and well-liked character.
Why is Jacob Batalon bald?
It is believed that Jacob Batalon is bald because he shaves his head due to suffering from alopecia. Batalon has always been bald in his public appearances and has never commented on the reason officially.
It is a much-debated topic, thanks to Batalon’s most famous role being one where he wears a wig – once people see the actor being interviewed, they wonder why he has gone from long hair to a shaved look.
But in reality, he has always had a shaved head, and the long hair from his movie appearances is fake.
Is Ned wearing a wig in Spider-Man?
The actor who played Ned in the latest Spider-Man movies is wearing a wig. Ned is played by Jacob Batalon who is normally bald. He wears a wig for the character, likely to make him appear younger since Ned is a high-school student.
Some actors don’t like to embrace their baldness and try to cover it up with a wig, they have a hair transplant. Batalon’s career has been short so far but he hasn’t seemed to shy away from his baldness. He frequently appears on the red carpet, on TV interviews or his own social media feeds with his bald head exposed.
The character that he plays in Spider-Man: Homecoming is 15 years old, and while Batalon was likely bald by this point (or at least struggling with hair loss), the choice was obviously made to put him in a wig to make him seem more like a typical high school student at the time.
And until they decide to make the Ned character shave his head on-screen, it’s likely that any future appearances will have Batalon in a wig too.
In Batalon’s biggest film outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Let It Snow (a Christmas romantic comedy on Netflix), he plays the character Keon who is naturally bald. So it seems unlikely, for now at least, that he will look to hide his baldness in the future – only when the role dictates it.
Let’s just hope that, if Ned Leeds continues in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and ultimately follows his comic book character’s journey to become (SPOILERS) Hobgoblin, they don’t use that opportunity to shave his head. The bald villain is an overused trope.
Does Jacob Batalon have cancer?
Jacob Batalon does not have cancer. He is bald, and he has lost a lot of weight since appearing in the Spider-Man movies as Ned Leeds. This had caused some fans to be concerned he may have cancer. His weight loss and baldness are unrelated to cancer.
It’s natural for people to be concerned about someone who has no hair and who goes through dramatic weight loss, as Batalon has done. Both of these would be potential signs of cancer treatment.
But Batalon has confirmed that the weight loss was intentional, and a journey he began at the end of 2019 after realizing just how poor his health was. In an interview with Men’s Health, he has gone into detail about the transformation he went through in 2020, where he lost 112 pounds thanks to a new diet and exercise regime.
He also detailed how much happier he feels both as a result of his weight loss, and because of the impact of playing the happy-go-lucky character of Ned Leeds in the Marvel films.
So fans needn’t worry – neither his weight loss or his baldness are signs that he is battling cancer. He is, to the best of everyone’s knowledge, healthy. The weight loss is a choice, and the baldness is either natural or caused by something else – suspected to be alopecia.
Does Jacob Batalon have alopecia?
It is reported that Jacob Batalon has alopecia, although he has never confirmed it publicly. Many sources online state that he was diagnosed with alopecia when he was 8 years old. He likely shaved his head to deal with the hair loss it causes.
It’s worth noting that while many websites online have commented on his alopecia diagnosis. However, none of these are what you would call reputable sources. There is widespread talk that says he was diagnosed aged 8, but no official confirmation from either Batalon or from anyone who knows him personally, or has interviewed him.
Batalon seems like the kind of person who wouldn’t feel the need to deny these stories either. His social media feeds take a very relaxed approach to life.
It’s not like he would feel the need to issue a statement denying the alopecia rumors if they were false, so it could all be made up – a story that’s just become so widely reported that it becomes ‘true’ because there’s no counter.
It’s worth remembering that Batalon is 26 years old, and he’s been bald for at least the few years that he has been in the public spotlight. While male pattern baldness can often start in the teenage years, it wouldn’t be a shock for there to be another cause either.
So there’s a good chance that the alopecia story is true, or at least partially true.
What is alopecia?
Alopecia is a disease that affects men and women equally. Most people who suffer from it tend to be affected in their teens or twenties, though it can hit people younger than age 10 too.
The disease causes the body’s autoimmune system to get confused and start attacking the hair follicles. It can attack different areas, and won’t always affect the entirety of the body. Many people find that it focuses more on the head and/or face.
Batalon always appears to be clean-shaven on his face, but he does have eyebrows that seem to be natural. This isn’t uncommon with alopecia, as often the disease just causes hair to be lost in patches. Eyebrows may be unaffected, or it may not be noticeable.
Alopecia doesn’t cause permanent hair loss, but it is recurring and there’s no cure. So while your hair can fall out, it may regrow in the same place but fall out elsewhere. There are some treatments that can help the hair to regrow quicker, but a lot of people – like Batalon – just prefer to shave their head.
How have other actors dealt with hair loss?
While Batalon has seemed content with his bald looks, other male actors have tried to make sure they keep their head of hair. Many are much older than Batalon, too.
Joe Pesci’s an example of someone who has a receding hairline but hasn’t treated it, and instead tends to cover it up with a wig in movies. In public he’s never seen without his hat, so he clearly hasn’t embraced baldness in the same way Batalon has.
Jude Law has had a partial hair system used in movies. Steve Carell appears to have had some form of transplant to thicken the front of his hairline.
As a bald man, it’d be great to see more actors going down Batalon’s route and just accepting the shaved head look. That way we get more awesome bald characters in movies.
Pictures of Jacob Batalon with hair
Because Batalon has always seemed to be comfortable with his baldness, there aren’t too many pictures of him with hair – at least, not outside his acting roles where he wears a wig. Even then, it’s mainly his role as Ned Leeds which saw him down the dark black wig.
He usually keeps his head completely clean-shaven but has, on occasion, posted a photo showing just a close shave. Even these photos are rare and don’t show a lot, which doesn’t help to confirm the alopecia theory.
If you want to see a photo of Jacob Batalon with his natural hair, the best available is this baby photo he posted to his Instagram account. This definitely counts – it’s a picture of Jacob Batalon with hair, after all.
But as a young actor with few starring roles, you’re otherwise limited to his multiple appearances in Marvel movies if you want to see Batalon with a head full of hair.
Everyone always wants to know why someone is balding, whether it’s curiosity or they’re worried about their favorite actors. While it seems likely that Jacob Batalon does have alopecia, he’s really embraced the shaved-head look.
Unlike some actors who are desperate to cling onto their head of hair, Batalon just rocks the shaved head look and he looks awesome doing it. Hopefully, he continues to show off his natural look in future movie and TV roles.
Here are some other bald actors and celebrities who are flying the flag for bald men everywhere: Photos of Bald Celebrities When They Had Hair