When it comes to hair loss and genetics, most laymen will likely tell you that male pattern, and even female pattern, baldness is caused by hereditary factors alone. However, in actuality, the most recent studies on genetics and hair loss have found that there is more than meet the eye. In other words, genetics and hair loss are not necessarily mutually exclusive. So, forget what you've heard. Here's the real truth behind hair loss and genetics.
External Hair Loss and Genetics Factors
For starters, losing hair on a daily basis is perfectly normal. Most people will shed a few hundred strands per day. However, if your hair is failing out in strange clumps them you may have an underlying medical conation, or extreme stress may be the cause. Smoking, lack of exercise, and a poor diet may also worsen hair loss. In any event, unusual hair loss patterns should be investigated by a health care professional.
Androgenic Alopecia and Hair Loss
Next, androgenic alopecia is the scientific term used to describe male pattern baldness when it comes to genetics and hair loss. In most men with androgenic alopecia, the accelerated hair loss process will begin in the mid 20's. Most will develop a receding hairline and will notice subsequent hair loss that spreads across the crown on a gradual basis. Furthermore, while some men will experience complete baldness within 5 years of the initial androgenic alopecia diagnosis, most will experience a more gradual hair loss process that may take anywhere from 15 to 25 years. It should also be noted that, as of this writing, there is no panacea, or cure all for hair loss that is directly caused by genetics.
Hair Loss Treatments
However, while there is no permanent cure when it comes to genetics and hair loss, there are various treatments that can help reduce the symptoms caused by androgenic alopecia and may prevent subsequent damage to hair follicles. For instance, Propecia and Rogaine are popular hair loss treatments, but they also have side effects that may outweigh their benefits. Please speak to your doctor to see if Propecia or Rogaine are right for you.
Maternal Genetics are not the (Sole) Culprit
Interestingly, in the past, people claimed that hair loss was inherited from the mother’s side of the family, However, while a pivotal “bald gene” has been discovered on the X chromosome; which is the chromosome that men inherit from their mothers, studies have found that males with bald fathers are more likely to become bald in adulthood. Studies have also found that marked hair loss in men is largely determined by how a man’s body reacts to male sex hormones. In other words, a man’s sensitivity to androgens will likely determine whether or not he will become bald in the future. It should also be noted that research has found that men who suffer from male pattern baldness are at an increased risk for heart disease and heart attacks.
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