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Is Baldness Hereditary?

Hair loss suffered by men that has a tendency to run in families is called male pattern baldness (MPB). This hereditary hair loss condition usually starts when a man is in his early thirties, although it can start earlier or later in life, and ends in everlasting baldness, my hair loss started in my mid twenties, as did my twin brothers.

At present there is no way to avoid male pattern baldness from happening and the precise causes are still to be entirely understood. However, medical doctors agree that androgenetic alopecia has both hormonal and genetic influences.

Genetic Causes

The hair follicles in men who suffer from male pattern baldness appear to be genetically predisposed to being more vulnerable to the toxic effects of testosterone and DHT later in life. This hereditary disadvantage makes it probable for the DHT to cause restricted hair growth more easily and fully on the scalp. It is believed that this difficulty of the hair follicle is handed down through DNA from generation to generation.

The genetic side of male pattern baldness can also help men better comprehend their chances of developing androgenetic alopecia and better comprehend how the condition will individually disturb them. A man can normally locate his predisposition for hair loss by studying the tendency for baldness on both the mother's side and father's side of the family. By defining if the men in the family have a tendency to be bald, how acute their baldness is, what pattern the hair loss follows, and the age of the original hair thinning men will be capable of predicting their own baldness course and take steps to organize for the eventual hair loss.

Pictured below are me, my identical twin, my older brother and my father. As you can see my two brothers and I all our hair where as my father is completely bald on top. All three of us would also start to go bald later on in life, although my twin did stop his virtually straight away using Dutasteride - see the difference between me and my identical twin here in photos.

is baldness hereditary

You might want to book an appointment with your doctor to discuss treatment plans that can slow down the hair loss, if male pattern baldness runs in your family.

Genetics Role in Male Pattern Baldness

Widespread faith has long held that male baldness is inherited, and if "Dad is bald, then that's what I get to look forward to". This had been the belief or more than 70 years, and scientific evidence had nothing to prove anything different for the cause of Alopecia. However; lately, we have scientific evidence that male baldness is undeniably hereditary - it is inherited through the mother. Therefore, any young male inquisitive about what's in store for him hair-wise, ought to check out his mother's father and her paternal uncles to establish his chances of hair loss.

Speaking with regards to my own family as well as my father going bald at a young age (pictured above), my mother's father also went bald fairly early in life. Also many of my cousins started thinning in their late twenties and early thirties from my mother's side of the family. So there wasn't much chance of me and my brothers avoiding MPB. I guess we all were dealt a huge bald whammy in life! If there was any case for baldness being hereditary it's my family's experience.

Big scale studies in 2005 and 2007 emphasize the significance of the maternal line in the inheritance of male pattern baldness and have decided that male pattern baldness is hereditary passed down on the mother's side. The explanation is genetic and linked to your mother's X-Chromosome. Premature male pattern baldness has something to do with the sex chromosomes, to be accurate, the X chromosome, which a man inherits from his mother.

Each person gets one-half of their genetic make-up from their mother and the other half from their father. There are two chromosomes, X and Y. Each person has a set of two chromosomes: males are XY and females are XX. When a child is conceived, the mother contributes an X chromosome, and the father contributes either the X chromosome or the Y chromosome. It is the X chromosome that contains the gene for male pattern baldness.

A certain variant of the androgen receptor (AR) gene, on the X chromosome, is needed for androgenetic alopecia (AGA), or premature male pattern baldness, to progress. This specific gene is recessive, and the female would need to have both X chromosomes with the variant, or else she would pass on the dominant gene which would preclude male baldness.

A further study explored the relationship between family history and expression of AGA in a sample of men from the general community. Hair loss was evaluated by a neutral observer trained by an experienced dermatologist using the Norwood/Hamilton classification scale and a 7-point global description of hair loss. Men were categorized into two groups, one as having little or no hair loss and the other having hair loss. The family history of hair loss in parents and grandparents was evaluated by subject self-report.

The results - amending for age, men whose fathers had hair loss were 2.5 times as likely to have had some level of hair loss compared to men whose fathers had no hair loss (95% CI: 1.3-4.9). Similarly, men whose fathers had hair loss were twice as likely to have hair loss as men whose fathers had no hair loss even after amending for age (OR = 2.1, 95% CI: 1.2-3.7 and OR = 2.5, 95% CI: 1.4-4.7 for Norwood/Hamilton and universal explanation of hair loss assessments, separately).

The results of this study indicate that the probability of male pattern hair loss is dependent on family history and age. Hair loss in a man's father also seems to play a vital part in multiplying a man's risk of hair loss, both in conjunction with a history of hair loss in the mother or hair loss in the maternal grandfather.

THE END LINE Male pattern baldness seems to be mostly induced by genes inherited from mothers.

If you haven't already, I'd recommend checking out the photos showing the contrast between my hair loss and my identical twins, the difference is due to one of us using a preventative treatment early on.

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