Bad news for bald men: hair loss at the top or crown of your head (instead of the front) could be a risk factor for coronary heart disease, says new research in BMJ Open.
Previous research has connected all balding to heart disease, but the recent review found that men who bald at the crown only were 52 percent more likely to have the disease. Meanwhile, frontal hair loss was only associated with a 22 percent increased risk.
Researchers aren't sure why location matters, but think that balding could point to other health problems connected to cardiovascular disease like insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes), chronic inflammation, or sensitivity to testosterone.
Three ways to prevent balding
Propecia to Prevent Hair Loss
This one-a-day pill doesn't grown hair back, but it stops hair loss in 92 percent of people, says Shelly Friedman, Dermatologist, and Founder of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery. Disclaimer: It's also been linked to sexual side effects, though studies have shown that only 1.8 percent of users see them. “I've prescribed it to over 4,000 people and have only seen sexual side effects a few times in older men,” Friedman explains.
Low Level Laser Therapy Treatment can Regrow Hair
European studies have shown that Low Level Laser Therapy Treatment (LLLT)—a treatment that increases activity in cells and follicles, protein synthesis, and blood flow through a battery-operated device with small lasers fitting right in a baseball cap—stopped hair loss in 85 percent of cases and stimulated new hair growth in 55 percent of cases. You wear the cap for 45 minutes every other day. The downside? It's expensive. Those caps go for about $3,000 a pop, but they're a lifetime investment, explains Friedman.
Beware of Supplements with Testosterone
If balding runs in your family, adding a supplement with testosterone can feed DHT, leading to fast hair loss for men who have the gene, says Friedman. “I have guys who come in all the time who start a new fitness supplement and see hair loss,” says Friedman. His advice? If you can't decode the ingredients, ask a specialist.