There are multiple reasons why an individual may lose their hair. These include stress, nutrition, general health and medications. But for many men, hair loss is genetic. Although you cannot change your genes, you can slow down your genetic hair loss. You can even turn back the hands of time through hair restoration surgery.
Below, we explore the age-old question of “Is hair loss genetic” and ways you can slow your genetic hair loss.
Is the Balding Gene Real or a Myth?
For men, male pattern baldness is the term used when hair loss is genetic. This type of loss occurs in a standard pattern, such as you see in brothers Prince William and Harry Windsor of England. The hair recession starts at the front of the scalp at a young age, even in the 20s for many. Around 80 percent of men experience genetic hair loss like this by the age of 80.
When hair loss is genetic, it is called androgenetic alopecia. This is the most common reason for balding. That is why many people refer to genetic hair loss as related to a “balding gene.” But genetics alone are not fully responsible for male pattern baldness. Other factors relate to about 20 percent of your likelihood for hair loss.
There is a common myth that the balding gene comes from an individual’s maternal grandfather. While that is somewhat true, it is not always the case. More than 80 percent of men who lose their hair have a biological father with similar hair loss.
Another myth is that only one specific gene relates to genetic hair loss. Instead, scientists believe it involves multiple genes. In fact, a 2017 study found 63 genes that play a role in male pattern baldness.
Other Factors that Cause Balding
Besides genetic hair loss factors, other contributors to balding include:
- Hormonal changes, such as from a thyroid disorder
- Alopecia areata, an immune disorder
- Tricholtillomania, a mental disorder causing hair pulling
- Medical conditions like ringworm, trauma or cicatricial alopecia
- Hairstyles causing traction alopecia
- Medications, drugs and supplements
- Radiation therapy
- Nutritional deficiencies
Medications, drugs and supplements commonly lead to hair loss. Some of these medications include those used to treat depression, gout, high blood pressure, heart problems, cancer and arthritis.
How to Slow Down Genetic Hair Loss
You can take measures to slow your genetic hair loss. But you cannot stop it and once this loss occurs, it is permanent.
Measures you can take include:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Exercising regularly
- Getting enough sleep
- Reducing your stress
- Using topical medications recommended by your hair restoration doctor
- Oral medications like finasteride
- Hair transplant surgery
If you believe you have genetic hair loss, it is important to see a hair restoration expert early in these changes. The earlier you seek diagnosis and treatment, the more options you have for slowing your hair loss and restoring natural hair growth.
Some surgical options for hair restoration include:
If you notice signs of your hair thinning or balding, such as from genetic hair loss or other factors, schedule a consultation with AZ Hair Restoration. We have two locations in Apex and Raleigh, NC for convenient in-person appointments. We also offer virtual visits for people throughout the United States. Call us today at 919-615-0577.