Why Many Men & Women Lose Hair

It is an established fact that baldness is a genetic issue. Without inheriting specific genes from a parent, baldness does not occur. While it was once believed that genetic hair loss was passed on through the mother, it is now known that the genes that cause hair loss can come from either side of the family tree.

Some theories on genetic hair loss have suggested that it is the result of one dominant gene. More recent studies indicate that genetic hair loss is a polygenic trait (involving a variety of genes), making it a more complex genetic condition.

Further complicating the issue of genetic hair loss is the effect of gene expression. Age, hormone levels, stress, and other factors affect how expression occurs. This means that just because a person has genes that cause genetic hair loss doesn’t mean the person will become bald.

The study of genetic hair loss has lead to advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of baldness. If people who are at risk for hair loss due to genetic factors are identified early, they can be treated more effectively, before significant hair loss occurs.

Fortunately, genetic hair loss is gradual. If treatment is started early, the chance for great results is much higher. Knowing your family history and being aware of a possible predisposition to genetic hair loss may help you recognize the symptoms early enough to slow the progression.

Alopecia is the medical term for genetic hair loss.