What are those white patches on Oscar's head?

By Marelize Potgieter
10 March 2014

Those white spots on Oscar Pistorius’ head has fascinated many who’ve been watching court proceedings. Why are they there? What do they indicate?

It could be due to a condition called canites in which there’s an imbalance in pigment that causes greying, hair expert Emma Titus explains. “In the parts of the scalp where the follicle can’t secrete pigment, the hair turns white.”

There are a few reasons for it – it could be that the follicle is damaged or due to ill health, stress or a bad diet.

“Oscar has had the white patches for a while,” she says. “The only reason people are really seeing it now is because the harsh court lights are shining on them. It could also be that the stress of the court proceedings has caused the patches to grow in size.”

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