Hair loss has a wide variety of causes… from psychological stress, illnesses such as thyroid disease, skin conditions like folliculitis, and over-styling that damages hair shafts. The most common reason for hair loss has nothing to do with stress, illness, or behavior though: it’s actually encoded in our genes.
Is All Hair Loss Hereditary?
While heredity isn’t the only cause of hair loss, it is by far the most widespread. Androgenic alopecia – often referred to as male pattern baldness (or female pattern baldness in women) – is caused by a genetic sensitivity to certain hormones.
In androgenic alopecia, the testosterone byproduct dihydrotestosterone (DHT) binds to hair follicles, causing them to shrink. As they shrink, these follicles produce less robust strands and eventually cease to grow hair at all. In men, this typically occurs with a distinctive M-shaped receding hairline, often accompanied by a balding spot at the vertex of the scalp. In women, androgenic alopecia usually appears as overall hair thinning, most visible as a widening part.
Is Hair Loss from Your Mother or Father?
It was long believed that hair loss was inherited from the maternal side of one’s family. In recent decades, however, research has determined that a complex cocktail of genes from both parents is responsible for sensitivity to the hormones that cause hair loss.
Will I Go Bald If My Dad Is?
Because the genes implicated in baldness are inherited from both parents, it’s possible that having a bald or balding father will increase the likelihood that you too will lose your hair. It’s not a certainty though. Because there are more than 600 genetic regions implicated in balding, it’s difficult to tease out how much of each one comes from each parent and how responsible those specific genes are for an individual’s susceptibility to hair loss.
What Age Does Hair Loss Start?
Male pattern baldness typically begins between the ages of 25-35 – although some men may start to see signs of hair loss as early as their late teens. By age 35, the majority of men experience some degree of hair loss and by age 70 nearly 80 percent have visible hair loss.
Female pattern hair loss tends to begin a bit later, with onset occurring between the ages of 40-60. About half of women will experience noticeable hair loss by late middle age.
Can You Reverse Hereditary Hair Loss?
Hereditary hair loss is permanent and irreversible… but it can be slowed down, especially with early intervention. The sooner you address it, the better your chances are of delaying or stopping its progression.
Topical or oral medications, laser therapy, and platelet rich plasma treatments can help preserve existing hair and maximize growth in productive follicles. If bald spots or a receding hairline have already appeared, you might be a good candidate for surgical hair replacement. Today’s state-of-the-art hair replacement procedures are natural-looking and involve little downtime.
We Offer Solutions for Hereditary Hair Loss
Dealing with hereditary hair loss can be challenging, but we are here to answer your questions, put your mind at ease, and assist you in choosing the best hair loss treatment for your needs.
Our experts at the Hair Restoration Center of New York and New Jersey have performed more than 5,000 hair transplants – including ARTAS® robotic-assisted procedures that deliver natural-looking results with minimal downtown. We also offer nonsurgical treatments to preserve and enhance your existing hair. Contact us today to set up a consultation. Let’s get to the root of your hair loss and create a plan to achieve the hairline you desire.