Since the discovery of the correlation of high cholesterol and coronary artery disease, there was a push to lower cholesterol through diet. Until big Pharma discovered a class of drugs called “statins”. These statins are very popular among cardiologist, internal medicine, and general practices in the U.S.. Some of the common names are Lipitor, Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, Zocor, and Crestor. These drugs can lower blood cholesterol as much as 50% and especially low density lipoprotein (LDL), which is considered the “bad” cholesterol or the cholesterol that can clog arteries.
Cholesterol and hair go hand in hand because cholesterol is needed for the construction of hair. In fact cholesterol is needed and is a precursor for many hormones such as testosterone, aldosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and cortisone. These aforementioned hormones work together to control blood pressure, sexuality and many other activities including the construction of hair. One can surmise that lowering blood cholesterol could theoretically cause issues with hair. Now combine this with a person that has male pattern loss, then one could further put together a hypothesis that statins possibly could accelerate hair loss.
Well there are many reports of hair loss with certain statins, however there really has not been full studies on this correlation. Some statins such as Crestor have less reports of hair loss but others do have more complaints of hair loss. At this time the mechanism of action is not yet known and big Pharma certainly does not want you the consumer to know that their might be a correlation. The best thing to do is to discuss this with your primary care physician or you hair restoration surgeon. There are medications that combat hair loss such as finasteride or Propecia and there are surgical options such as a hair transplant.
Thomas Ortiz
Chief Surgical Technician