Scalp Trauma and Hair Loss
It is well known that scalp trauma can sometimes cause certain types of hair loss. For example, individuals who were in accidents and experienced traumatic injury to the head can develop hair loss. I also see many patients who have had facial cosmetic surgery in the form of face lifts who develop frontal hair loss from the surgery. This too is a form of scalp trauma.
Over the years, hair specialists have wondered about whether scalp trauma has a role in the development of a form of hair loss called "scarring alopecia." More research is needed to determine the exact role, but some patients with a history of injury to the scalp occassionally develop a scarring alopecia.
Recently, a report was published of a 26 year old man who developed a scarring alopecia on the top of the scalp (specifically the condition known as lichen planopilaris) following several years of break dancing. Presumably the repeated head spins in breakdancing provided a source of repeated trauma. The patient’s biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of lichen planopilaris.
Whether trauma can lead to scarring hair loss remains unknown. This publication may be among the first reports of scarring hair loss in breakdancers.
Study source: Moselise A, Chan LJ and Shapiro J. Break dancing: a new risk factor for scarring hair loss. J Cutan Med Surg 2011; 15: 177-9.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887