A debate is raging in the State of Wisconsin, USA, over whether or not Governor Scott Walker is stretching the truth when he says his hair loss
was caused by a bump on the head.
The Republican politician is currently embroiled in something of a furore over his party's controversial plans for the American healthcare system, which prompted a rival to state that “the most original thing he said recently is that he got his bald spot from hitting his head on a cabinet.”
Circular bald spot on head
Indeed, this does seem to be Walker’s explanation for a circular patch on the top of his head of the kind that is synonymous with the genetic condition male pattern baldness
. According to the Politifact website, Walker said in 2015 that “I wish I could grow a little bit more hair on my scar up there.” It was while fixing a sink some years ago that the injury is said to have happened.
So what’s going on? There are two distinct possibilities: the first is that Walker’s injury was sufficiently bad enough to cause severe scarring. When this is profound enough, it can permanently kill hair follicles and is known as 'cicatricial alopecia or Scarring Alopecia
. At present, there is no effective method for making dead follicles start to regrow, though a hair transplant may be an option in some cases and researchers are currently investigating ways from regenerative stem cell
procedures to 3D printing
in order to produce functioning hair follicles artificially. The aim is that these could then be grafted into the scalp in cases of extreme hair loss, including cicatricial alopecia.
The second scenario is that the local skin trauma and/or the shock of the injury caused the onset of the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata
, which can appear as at least one rounded bald patch that is the size of a coin, or larger. In photographs, however, Walker’s hair loss doesn’t quite appear to match the typical profile of an Alopecia Areata patch, and it would be unlikely that the hair had not regrown by now, as the condition usually heals itself within six months.
is commonly seen after burns to the scalp, though it can also happen after extreme inflammation, as seen as a result of dermatological conditions such as lichen planus
Alopecia Areata is more common, affecting around 2-3 per cent of all people in their lifetime and Alopecia Areata treatment
at a specialist clinic can often yield successful results. Belgravia has a large number of case studies showing hair lost to the condition having grown back.
Possible third option?
The third option that may explain Mr Walker’s bald patch is that he is, in fact, mistaken, and he has a thinning crown
because of genetic reasons just millions of fellow 49-year-olds around the world. It is clear from photos that the Governor is already affected by Male Pattern Hair Loss
as can be seen in his general thinning on top
, so it could well be the case that this has also affected his crown. Male pattern baldness causes thinning of the hairs located around the top of the scalp - including the crown, vertex and hairline - so developing a bald spot on his crown is likely if the politician is not using preventative treatments, like the GOP's leader, Donald Trump
Male hair loss treatment
revolves around use of clinically-proven hair loss drugs - finasteride 1mg and minoxidil - with recommended supporting products
also used alongside.
By tailoring the components of each course to the specific needs of the individual and their level and pattern of shedding, hair loss specialists find that men can experience significant results from stabilising hair fall to increasing hair density and promoting healthy hair growth - as well as preventing baldness
on an on-going basis.
What would be interesting would be to see Mr Walker’s bald patch up close; this would allow for a definitive diagnosis, and may prove that what began as a scratch on the head actually coincided with the start of genetic hair thinning, which will only intensify with each passing year without treatment.