Is My Hair Loss Hereditary?
No one likes the idea of losing their hair, and it can be even more frustrating if you feel it’s out of your control. Being a victim of your genetics is a reality for most people, but that doesn’t mean we have to stand by and do nothing.
One of the first things you need to do if you are losing or fear losing your hair is to identify the type of hair loss.
Is All Hair Loss Hereditary?
Back in high school, somebody thought it would be good to teach us about genetics by talking about male-pattern baldness genetics and recessive genes.
But our biology teachers may have done us a disservice by implying that all balding results from our genetics.
While it is true that some balding, especially if it begins in your 20s and 30s for men, or pre-menopause for women, may be genetic… other factors also come into play. Your hormone levels, scalp care, medication, and even your stress levels.
We’ve all heard the jokes about our jobs making us pull our hair out or our children causing us to lose our hair, but it turns out that job and family stress may play a role in hair loss. Hair loss can be a side effect of some health conditions or medicines.
Is Hair Loss from Your Mother or Your Father?
Male pattern baldness, known as androgenetic alopecia, is an inherited condition that is partially dependent on information of the X chromosome. But don’t blame Mom just yet.
The idea that a bald gene tied to the so-called sex chromosome is entirely responsible for hair loss as we age has been largely debunked as we understand more about how exactly our DNA works. If your mom’s father was bald, you might be more likely to start balding at a younger age, but research tells us that 80 percent of men will experience pattern baldness by the time they are 80.
However, some research also indicates that if you have a genetic predisposition to balding, you may be more likely to have other health conditions, including prostate issues. So whether your thinning hair is genetic or not, seeing a doctor once the situation becomes noticeable is an important step.
Can You Reverse Hereditary Hair Loss?
In short, no, at least not yet, but a great deal of research goes on in hair loss every year.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved some drugs that help slow hair loss caused by genetic factors. Still, generally speaking, that doesn’t mean you will naturally regrow the hair that has already been lost. Thankfully, natural regrowth is not your only option. Because hair loss affects so much of the population, new treatments and solutions are being developed. To explore the possibilities for yourself, contact us using our form or call us at (512) 447-2900.
Dr. Sanjeev Dubey is an experienced hair restoration and emergency medicine physician in Austin, Texas. He holds a medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and has been practicing medicine for over two decades. His affiliations include Seton Medical Center Austin, Seton Northwest, and various local hospitals.