With all the vaccines being proposed these days for everything from obesity1 and acne2 to high cholesterol,3 cocaine addiction,4 stress,5 depression,6 high blood pressure,7 and bad breath,8 I thought, “You know, someone’s just got to be working on vaccine for baldness.” After all, that would surely be a huge money-maker for the vaccine industry. So I proceeded to do a few Google searches. Here’s what I found…
I found an article about how the anthrax vaccine caused severe hair loss.9 I found reports of hair loss related to the HPV vaccine (Gardasil).10 11 I came across an account of a dog having developed a bald spot after getting the rabies vaccine.12 There was a case of a child who had two episodes of hair loss after having received two different vaccines.13 There was a report of dozens of cases of children who experienced hair loss after being given the hepatitis B vaccine.14
But, to my surprise, there does not seem to be a vaccine in the works for hair loss (alopecia15). Vaccines causing baldness, yes. However, no vaccine to prevent it. According to the Reston Hospital Center in Reston, VA:
Generally speaking, vaccines are useful in guarding against viral illnesses. Most forms of baldness, including hereditary pattern baldness, are not related to viral infection. Thus, no vaccine is available for immunization against any forms of baldness, at this time.
What struck me as interesting is that a form of hair loss known as alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. Essentially, the immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in the loss of hair.16
The condition occurs when white blood cells attack the cells in hair follicles, causing them to shrink and dramatically slow down hair production. It is unknown precisely what causes the body’s immune system to target hair follicles in this way.17
The disease apparently affects up to 6.8 million people in the United States.18
So what causes alopecia areata? It’s not entirely clear. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “A person’s genetic makeup, combined with other factors, triggers this form of hair loss.”19
What other factors? There is some speculation that stress may be a contributing factor, but there is reportedly no scientific evidence to confirm this.17 Some research has shown that “many people with a family history of alopecia areata also have a personal or family history of other autoimmune disorders, such as atopy (a disorder characterized by a tendency to be ‘hyperallergic’), thyroiditis, and vitiligo.”17
A lot has also been written about the connection between toxic metals such as aluminum and mercury and hair loss.20 21 22 23 Aluminum and ethylmercury (thimerosal) are key ingredients in many vaccines.24 25 The former as an adjuvant and the latter as a preservative. Finally, much has been written about the relationship between toxic metals and autoimmune diseases.26 27 28 (Remember, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease.) Coincidences?
1 Cáceres M, Fisher BL. Obesity Vaccine Wins First TVR Golden Fleece Award. The Vaccine Reaction Apr. 22, 2017.
2 Raines K, Fisher BL. A Vaccine to Cure Acne? The Vaccine Reaction Apr. 29, 2017.
3 Sifferlin A. A New Vaccine Could Prevent High Cholesterol, Study Suggests. TIME Nov. 11, 2015.
4 Kinsey BM, Kosten TR, Orson FM. Anti-cocaine vaccine development. Expert Rev Vaccines 2010; 9(9): 1107-1114.
5 Lehrer J. Under Pressure: The Search for a Stress Vaccine. WIRED July 28, 2010.
6 Beck T. A Vaccine for Depression? Nautilus Dec. 17, 2015.
7 Keeffe P. Vaccine for High Blood Pressure May Be in the Works. Healthline News May 26, 2015.
8 Liu PF, Huang IF et al. Halitosis vaccines targeting FomA, a biofilm-bridging protein of fusobacteria nucleatum. Curr Mol Med 2013; 13(6): 1358-1367.
9 Al-Bayati MA. Severe hair loss induced by anthrax vaccine and reversed by the treatment with zinc. Medical Veritas 1:159-162 November 2004.
10 Vaccine Injury Lawyer. Barely there–life after Gardasil related hair loss. Vaccine Injury Help Center
11 National Vaccine Information Center. Gabrielle’s Gardasil Vaccine Reaction. NVIC.org.
12 Yvonne (Oregon). Dog Bald Spot After Rabies Vaccine. Organic Pet Digest.
13 Chu L, Cheng Y, Chan JL. Alopecia Areata After Vaccination: Recurrence with Rechallenge. Wiley Online Library Apr. 13, 2016.
14 Wise RP, et al. Hair loss after routine immunizations. JAMA 1997;278:1176-1178.
15 Mandal A. What is Alopecia? News-Medical.net.
16 American Academy of Dermatology. Alopecia Areata: Overview. AAD.org
17 McIntosh J. Alopecia Areata: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment. Medical News Today July 12, 2016.
18 National Alopecia Areata Foundation. What you need to know about alopecia areata. NAAF.org.
19 American Academy of Dermatology. Alopecia Areata: Who Gets and Causes. AAD.org
20 Hanes T. Toxic Metals & Hair Loss. Livestrong.com July 25, 2010.
21 Mercury Toxicity. Analytical Research Labs, Inc.
22 Toxic Heavy Metals and Hair Loss. The Belgravia Centre.
23 Zander AM. Part I: Heavy Metal Poisoning Signs & Symptoms. Serendipity June 30, 2012.
24 Palevsky LB. Aluminum and Vaccine Ingredients: What Do We Know? What Don’t We Know? NVIC.org.
25 National Vaccine Information Center. FAQ’s About Mercury (Thimerosal) in Vaccines. NVIC.org.
26 Bigazzi PE. Autoimmunity and heavy metals. Lupus December 1994;3(6):449-53.
27 Is it Autoimmune Disease or is it Heavy Metal Toxicity? EvenBetterHealth.com.
28 Hyman M. Autoimmune Disease: How To Stop Your Body From Attacking Itself. The Huffington Post Nov. 17, 2011.