Whether they’d like to admit it or not, most men will eventually face a point in their life where they experience a noticeable amount of hair loss. Some women will deal with it, too.
While the cause could be attributed to stress, it often comes down to just genetics.
But, there are ways you can recognize if your DNA is what’s causing your hair to thin.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the baldness gene.
Why Does It Happen?
Researchers aren’t 100% sure why hair loss occurs. Biologically, the loss of hair puts your scalp more at risk to the elements, so there isn’t a natural purpose for it to happen.
While common opinion will have you believe that your mother’s family DNA is responsible for your hair loss, it’s actually both parents’ DNA that contributes.
So, if most men on your father’s side of the family are bald by a certain age, you could find yourself in a similar situation.
Due to a combination of genetics and aging, hair follicles will eventually ‘miniaturize.’ This causes them to become progressively smaller in diameter and length until they disappear entirely, leaving no hair present.
Scientists have found, though, that there is a correlation between the presence of the hormone dihydrogen testosterone (DHT) and follicle miniaturization. While this hormone isn’t entirely to blame, high levels of it could affect the rate at which one loses hair.
How Does It Start?
When it comes to genetic balding, little you do will impact its rate of progression.
Sure, you can take measures to reduce stress, anxiety, and get more sleep, but the truth is that if you’re destined to lose your hair, you’re going to lose your hair at some point.
Contrary to what concerns people the most when it comes to the fear of balding or thinning, finding hair on your pillow or in your sink is not a reliable sign.
Both men and women lose an average of up to 100 hairs per day due to shedding. If you happen to have long hair (or a lot of it), strands that have already been shed can remain trapped in the rest of your hair.
So, if you don’t wash or brush/comb your hair every day, you may find concerning numbers of strands while grooming. This scenario is often what causes people to conclude they are experiencing hair loss.
In men, hair loss typically begins with a recession around the temples. Over time, this recession will continue until it creates an ‘M-shape’ (deeper temple recession with less recession near the middle of the hairline).
Eventually, hair will only be present along the sides and back of the scalp.
In women, hair loss is typically more widespread but is generally focused on the middle of the scalp. Temple recession isn’t a common characteristic of hair loss in these cases.
Over time, the progression will often remain fairly constant. This means if you’ve experienced gradual hair loss over the past four or five years, you’re not going to wake up tomorrow morning and have nothing left.
How Can I Tell For Sure?
As previously mentioned, there are other factors that could result in hair loss. These include:
- Poor nutrient intake
- Certain medical issues (such as lupus)
- Drastic weight loss over a short period of time
But, pattern baldness is relatively easy to diagnose because of the shape in which it manifests.
If you have hair loss that follows the typical path of pattern baldness and also have a history of baldness in your family, it’s likely that you have this condition.
This resource has more information on understanding the reasons behind hairloss.
What Can I Do About It?
Not everyone chooses to take action against it.
For some, their hair isn’t an important part of their appearance. Others may find it easier to keep their head shaved (especially if it’s more comfortable at their job).
Not everyone feels this way, though. Hair is instinctively associated with youth, and it’s a powerful way to accent your overall look. So, it’s unsurprising that there’s such a drive to combat this issue (especially in men).
In general, you’ll have two options that you can pursue.
There are various medicines that you can take in order to slow (and in some cases temporarily halt) the progression of your hair loss.
Minoxidil and finasteride are generic versions of name-brand drugs that can help you manage your pattern baldness.
Unfortunately, these substances can have a handful of detrimental side effects. They also quit working as soon as you stop taking them, so this isn’t a solution that everyone should pursue.
Hair transplants work by relocating follicles from the back of the scalp to areas that have exhibited hair loss. Over time, these hairs will grow as they normally would, essentially resolving the issue.
It’s important to visit a trusted professional if you go this route, though. Otherwise, you could find yourself left with an expensive mistake that may not even fix the problem.
Understanding The Baldness Gene Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about the baldness gene in mind, you’ll be well on your way to recognizing the signs of pattern baldness and getting the necessary treatment.
From here, you’ll get eliminate your hair loss anxiety and get your life back on track!