How stress can make your hair fall out like Coronation Street’s David Platt

Our consultant surgeon Dr Asim Shahmalak is often asked about the most common causes of hair loss.

By far the most significant factor is family history – if your father or grandfather is bald or there is a strong baldness gene on your mother’s side, you will have a far higher chance of suffering from male pattern baldness.

Both sides of the family can pass on this gene. It is a myth that the mother’s side is more significant.

However, there are other factors which can cause hair loss – diet, illness, poor treatment of hair are all contributing factors.

Another cause is stress and this was a factor in the recent hair loss of the Coronation Street actor Jack P Shepherd, who plays David Platt in the soap and recently went through the painful break-up of his relationship with this childhood sweetheart and the mother of his child.

The star’s hair loss was noticed by a Coronation Street viewer who posted about it on Twitter.

This prompted the following response from Shepherd: “Hi, my hair has started to fall out because I went through a break-up with my girlfriend of 15 years last year. And was very stressed.”

Emotional or physical stress can result in hair loss all over the scalp from a condition called Telogen Effluvium. It is more common in women but does affect men as well.

Approximately 90% of your hair is growing at any one time, while the other 10% enter a resting phase. Every two to three months the resting hair falls out and allows new hair to grow in its place.

Telogen Effluvium is the excessive shedding of hair. It is normally only a temporary condition so, once the stress symptoms Shepherd has been suffering go away, his hair should grow back.

However, there are likely to be other causes for his male pattern baldness.

The actor is 30 years ago. By that age, around half of men have experienced some kind of hair loss.

In many cases, such as Jack P Shepherd’s, this may be mild and not sufficient to justify a hair transplant.

However, hair loss is a continuing condition so the likelihood is that he will continue to carry on losing his hair throughout his 30s.

Obviously reducing his stress levels will help the actor to keep hold of more of his natural hair.

He can also slow down or halt his hair loss by taking a medically-proven hair loss treatment such as Minoxidil or Finasteride.

This won’t help him to grow any new hair but he will significantly slow down or halt his male pattern baldness.

The only long-term solution to sustained hair loss is a hair transplant.

Dr Shahmalak treats a lot of well-known celebrities around Manchester and stars from Coronation Street have visited Crown Clinic to inquire about treatments.

Dr Shahmalak offers two hair loss procedures.

The most popular is FUE (follicular unit extraction), chosen by 80% of clients at Crown Clinic. This is where the donor follicles are removed individually from the back and side of the scalp and replanted in the balding areas.

Well-known celebrity hair transplant patients who have undergone FUE transplants at Crown Clinic include the model Calum Best, former footballer Didi Hamann, Gogglebox star Chris Butland-Steed and Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts.

The advantage of the FUE method is the minimal scarring – patients are left with red pinpricks in the donor area and where the hair has been moved but these tend to go away after a few weeks.

The other hair transplant method performed by Dr Shahmalak is FUT (follicular unit transplantation), where a strip of skin is removed from the scalp to obtain the donor hair. The follicles are then replanted in the balding areas in the same way as FUE by Dr Shahmalak. The TV doctor Christina Jessen has had two FUT transplants with Dr Shahmalak.