The Genetics of Hereditary Hair Loss

Hair loss in both men and women can be caused by a number of factors. The most common cause is, however, genetics. Hereditary hair loss affects men as young as 15 and women at any age where they could start experiencing menopause. Thinning, balding, or a receding hairline could be inherited from your parents or grandparents, but there’s always the chance the hair loss gene could pass you by.

The Myth About Hereditary Hair Loss

“You always get hair loss from your mother’s side.”

Well, statistically speaking, it would seem that there’s some truth to this. However, it’s important to remember that correlation and causation are two very different things! Many men will go bald if their maternal grandfather went bald. But they could also keep a lush, thick head of hair well into their nineties. Also, the last instance of baldness might be generations back—yet they could find themselves thinning at thirty.

The problem with simplifying hereditary hair loss is that it’s a polygenic condition. This means that there are so many different genes that impact whether you will go bald or not. Around 30 to 50 percent of men experience androgenetic alopecia (hereditary hair loss or male pattern baldness) by age 50, so it’s a very common, normal condition to experience.

Hair Loss and Hormones

Women may also experience androgenetic alopecia, especially once they experience menopause. The genetics here are even less understood. Imbalanced testosterone could be the culprit, as it can interfere with hair growth by creating dihydrotestosterone or DHT. This chemical could actually shrink hair follicles and contribute significantly to hair thinning.

Any hormonal change could trigger hair loss, but women with a genetic predisposition are more likely to experience thinning post-menopause. At least 30 million women in the Unites Stated are impacted by hereditary hair loss.

Dealing with Hereditary Hair Loss

Hair loss caused by genetics isn’t avoidable but potentially treatable. Topical treatments and hair transplants are popular options for both men and women wanting to maintain luscious locks for longer. A hair loss specialist may also suggest lifestyle changes such as improving your diet, increasing your water intake, or stopping smoking.

In conclusion, knowing your family tree and when they all started going bald (or not) might help you understand your likelihood of experiencing hereditary hair loss—but there are no guarantees. If you’re concerned about hair loss, reach out to a member of our team at New-U for more information. To schedule a free consultation, click here.

Photo Credit: nappy via Pexels

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