Hair Loss and Genetics: All You Need to Know
In 30 Seconds
While we’re all at risk of losing our hair, it happens to some men quicker than others. But no need to worry – there are ways to delay it – also, bald can be sexy.
Most male pattern baldness is genetic.
One of the genes for male pattern baldness comes from our mothers (from the X chromosome), but this is only part of the jigsaw. 1
Noticing less up top and more in the plug hole? First of all, no need to freak out. Truth is, there’s a lot of misconception around thinning hair and hair loss.
While all of us are at risk of losing our hair, it happens to some men more quickly than others.2 And there are ways it can be slowed down and delayed. Plus, there’s also that temporary thing where you may lose more hair than usual thanks to stress. Thirdly, hair loss is occasionally a sign of a more serious medical condition.3
The good news? There’s often possible ways of fixing it – or at least delaying the inevitable. And remember, bald can be sexy. There’s plenty of research to show that bald men are considered more attractive than our hairier counterparts.4 Whatever you’re rocking – whether it’s the rock or rapunzel – do it with pride.
There’s plenty of research to show that bald men are considered more attractive than our hairier counterparts
We delve into the science behind hair loss and why it might be your genes that are to blame (or thank).
The Gene-eration Game
Did you know that genetics are the most important factor in the balding process?5 Male pattern baldness (or androgenetic alopecia) is common. According to stats, it’s been found to effect 67.1% of men and 23.9% of women, correlated according to age.6
Here’s some more facts about genetics and hair loss:
- Hereditary balding is complicated, and the myth that it’s inherited solely from your mother is a misunderstood notion. Its based on studies that identify the AR receptor (which is derived from the X chromosome inherited from your mother) as an important gene for hair loss. However attributing your failing locks on your mother is too simplistic. The reality is your chances of losing hair are determined by a whole spectrum of genes from both your parents, not to mention the additional influence of environmental factors.Furthermore, the baldness genes might not express themselves every generation and can skip people within the same generation. This explains why one brother can be rocking the George Clooney hair and the other the Vin Diesel.So, Dr Chaudry advises gender equality when attributing genetic blame for your hair loss. Blame BOTH your parents genes.7
- Studies have identified that 80% of the predisposition to baldness is associated with a hereditary link.8
- 92% of identical twins hair densities were found to have “no significant difference” at later points in their lives and only 8% of identical twins had a slight difference in hair density.9 This points to the fact that hair density is primarily genetic.
- You’re less likely to suffer from male pattern baldness if you’re Black or Asian, compared to Caucasian men.10
Studies have identified that 80% of the predisposition to baldness is associated with a hereditary link
Fighting the Good Fight
While genetics is the most important factor in the balding process, environmental factors also play a role. The upshot? There are things you can do to help delay or pause your hair loss. These are the key suggestions, according to research:11
- Quit smoking
- Be a healthy weight
- Stress less
- Check the medications you take don’t help cause hair loss
- Limit anabolic steroid use
The Rock. Rapunzel. Receding. We’re all in it together. Whether you want to increase hair fullness or are ready to embrace balding, it’s your call.