View Full Version : I need something cleared up

07-29-2009, 07:24 PM

I am a 38 y.o. man losing my hair in the classic horseshoe shape, thick around the ears and back, thin on top and the forehead. It sucks cause I was a child of the eighties complete with the long hair. I've been living with hair loss since I was about 24 or 25, that's when I really noticed it starting to thin.

Anyhow, I have a question that I can't seem to get cleared up anywhere else so I found this site and was hoping for some help.

I've noticed that when I eat, talk, chew gum etc, my jaw muscles and the muscles around the side and back of my head contract. My hairline follows these muscles. I've also noticed that where my hair is thinning, I can't feel any muscle contraction. It's as if the scalp muscles are too thin to move my scalp.

Anyhow, I was wondering if lack of scalp muscle can contribute to hair loss. It makes sense that thicker muscles would cause increased blood flow to the follicles. Are there any medical studies showing this to be true. I have found a couple of articles from decades ago that say it can, but they all turn into "magic snake oil cure" type articles (Massaging your scalp with bear fat will increase blood flow!).

Does anyone know of any modern studies either confirming or denying this?

Robert True, MD
07-31-2009, 10:04 AM
Your question is interesting. You are right that the top of your head, the area that typically goes bald in men, does not move when you move the muscles of your face, jaw and neck. This is true for everyone and the reason is that the muscles do not go into the region. The scalp anotomically does not have a muscular layer except at its lower borders. However, the scalp has one of the richest blood supplies of any part of the body. Blood supply is rarely a factor contributing to baldness. The exception is in smokers and people with long standing diabetes when there is a diminished vascularity and blood flow. Smoking does contribute to the progression of balding in a genetically prone individual and also decreases the chances of a fully sucessful hair transplant. For the vast majority of men and women who suffer from genetically inherited patterns of hair loss, the lack of scalp musculature is not a factor and blood supply is not a factor. I hope this helps to answer your question