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Drug Dealer Says Stress of Arrest Caused Alopecia Totalis


A man sentenced to 22 months in jail after being found with £12,600 worth of cocaine in his car has revealed how the stress of his impending trial led to hair loss.

The man, 28-year-old Jason Mackay, from Perth in Scotland, lost his hair to the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Totalis, a sister condition of the better-known condition Alopecia Areata.

Criminal hair loss less well-documented

While reports of victims of crime experiencing stress-related hair loss abound, stories of criminals losing their hair to stress are less well-documented, though high profile examples are thought to include Amanda Knox and Oscar Pistorious.

Knox, the American woman who was accused of killing British student Meredith Kercher, who famously showed signs of thinning hair during her successful appeal trial. Her condition was thought to be Telogen Effluvium, a common hair loss condition – particularly in women – that is often caused by prolonged stress, which leads to an increased shedding of hair from all over the scalp.

Perth Sheriff CourtFormer Paralympian Oscar Pistorius also showed signs of hair loss during his 2014 trial: pictured with round, white patches of hair when he was being tried for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, it was suggested at the time that these appeared to be regrowth following Alopecia Areata. In some cases of this autoimmune disorder, once regular hair production resumes, the strands that regrow lose their colour, though the pigmentation usually returns to normal after it completes several of the growth cycles that every person’s hair goes through.

During Mackay’s trial in Scotland, his legal counsel explained that the accused was “suffering from hair loss from his head and face as a result of alopecia, brought on by the stress of this case and incident.

Local newspaper The Courier reported that Mackay’s solicitor also said their client had been suffering from anxiety and depression, and had been first diagnosed with depression when he was eight.

Belgravia Centre Alopecia Areata Patchy Hair Loss Treatment Success Story

Understanding alopecia

Despite Alopecia Areata being the second most common cause of hair loss in the world, there is still relatively little known by the medical community about this mysterious condition and its more severe counterparts, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis.

There is little doubt that Alopecia Areata is also enigmatic, though hair loss specialists have a number of ways in which they can help with this more moderate condition. Success can often be achieved with a bespoke treatment course based around high strength minoxidil applied topically to the scalp wherever it is needed. Click on the example pictured here to see our Alopecia Areata Treatment Success Stories gallery.

While research into the autoimmune disorder and potential new treatments for the more extreme conditions continues, what is known is that multiple factors are thought to influence the course of alopecia. These include psychological or long-term chronic stress, shock and sudden extreme stress, physical trauma and also a genetic predisposition. Chemicals, seasonal changes, hormones and allergies are all thought to play a part in certain cases, too.

As with all hair loss conditions, the sensible course of action when an increased level of shedding is first notice is to seek out expert help as soon as possible. Swift action can very much improve a client’s prognosis.

Belgravia Centre Hair Loss ClinicThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

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