Reader Tom asks…
My hairline has been receding for a number of years, I am now 62 and recently had a heart attack. It seems to me that the hair loss has accelerated since that trauma. My hair now has sort of a trough down the middle that was not there before, but it was thinning. My question is, Can a heart attack cause acceleration of hair loss and can hair replacement techniques be employed to reverse it? Thank You
Hi Tom, thanks for writing.
There are generally four causes of hair loss in men. Genetic inheritance and male hormones are the two most important. Time and stress are the other two. Typically, genetic hair loss occurs well before 35 years of age, and in most people it slows down with time. There are some older men who start showing the hair loss over the age of 45, although this is more the exception to the rule. Don Ameche, a popular film actor in the 1930s and 40s, was a hairy sex idol even at the age of 50, but was bald at the age of 75 when he had a prominent role in the movie Cocoon. So, he had an ‘expression’ of his genetic balding late in life. Your heart attack certainly brought on ‘STRESS’ and with a delayed genetic expression, probably precipitated your hair loss. I have seen this in illness or even divorce, both of which are heavy stress induced initiators for hair loss in the genetically prone man.
As your hair loss is recent, I would probably recommend that you go on the drug Propecia, because continued hair loss is possible. This drug may slow or stop the progression of the hair loss and it might even reverse it. If it does not do the trick, then a hair transplant works wonderfully.
Hope this answers your question.