Although hair loss is often considered an issue that concerns men, hair loss conditions affect men and women of all ages. Hair loss can result from many factors, such as high-stress levels, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, medications, and disease. However, genetics significantly affects how much hair loss you'll experience as you age.
What Is Genetic Hair Loss?
When hair loss is caused by genetics, it usually appears in a predictable pattern. The medical term for genetic hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, although it is more commonly referred to as male-pattern or female-pattern baldness.
For men, genetic hair loss or male-pattern baldness can start as early as their 20s or 30s, with nearly 80 percent experiencing the effects of male-pattern baldness by age 80. Male-pattern baldness typically begins with a receding hairline at the front of the sc and progresses to the crown, sometimes leading to complete baldness.
Genetic hair loss affects women differently than men. While it may begin earlier, women typically experience hereditary hair loss following menopause. Unlike men, whose hair loss usually starts with a receding hairline, women typically experience a gradual recession along the part of their hair. Female-pattern baldness affects nearly half of all women by the age of 80.
A common myth that many people have heard is that men inherit the baldness gene from their mother's father. While there may be some truth to this, researchers still don't fully understand the genetic component of male pattern baldness, but it's believed to involve more than one gene.
Your chromosomes are responsible for every physical element of your body, from your eye color to the length of your small toe and everything in between.
One pair of chromosomes, the "X" and "Y," determine your biological sex. Women are born with two "X" chromosomes, while men have one "X" and one "Y." Men inherit their "X" chromosome from their mother and their "Y" chromosome from their father.
Researchers have discovered that baldness is strongly associated with the AR gene found on the "X" chromosome. A study of over 12,000 men of European ancestry found that men with the AR gene were more than twice as likely to develop male-pattern baldness than men without the gene.
However, the AR gene isn't the only one determining if you will go bald. One study found that 63 genes may play a role in male pattern baldness, and only six are on the "X" chromosome.
Female Pattern Baldness
The genetic component of female-pattern baldness is still widely unknown, but like male-pattern baldness, researchers believe it involves many different genes. One theory is that dihydrotestosterone, a hormone converted from testosterone, plays a key role in female-pattern baldness. After menopause, women produce less estrogen, which increases the ability of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone to inhibit hair growth.
What Can You Do About Genetic Hair Loss?
Genetics plays a significant role in hair loss, whether you are a man or a woman. While the genetic components of hair loss are not fully understood, research has found that over 80 percent of people who experience hair loss had a father who also lost their hair.
While genetic hair loss is permanent, at Mane Image, we provide our clients with a range of solutions to slow hair loss and, in some cases, even reverse the condition. However, seeking treatment at the first sign of hair loss is vital. Contact us today and schedule your FREE initial consultation to learn more about the connection between hair loss and genetics and what you can do to keep your hair.