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Answered: Is hair loss genetic or environmental?
The truth of the matter is that hair loss can be caused by a range of factors, and every person is different. Something that we get asked a lot is whether hair loss is primarily caused by genetic or environmental factors. Read on to find out what causes hair loss in men.
Hair loss and genetics
For many people, hair loss is caused by genetic factors. When hair loss occurs genetically, it typically follows a predictable pattern and is known as male pattern baldness. Men who experience genetic male pattern baldness initially notice an m-shaped recession at the front of the scalp. Although hair loss is usually thought of as a condition that affects men of middle age, lots of men actually suffer from male pattern baldness in their early twenties and thirties.
Research shows that by age eighty, 80% of men will have experienced some degree of male pattern baldness. What’s more, studies have found that the genetic component of male pattern baldness is likely to be polygenic, meaning it likely occurs as a result of more than one gene.
Genetic hair loss is medically referred to as androgenetic alopecia, and it is a result of a person’s susceptibility to the growth hormone DHT. When DHT binds to your hair follicles, it causes them to shrivel and eventually die, which is what causes male pattern baldness.
How can the environment influence hair loss?
Although androgenetic alopecia is the primary cause of hair loss in men, it’s not the only thing that causes you to lose hair as you age. Aside from genetics, the following can lead to hair loss in men:
Other medical conditions
Afflictions including alopecia areata and trichotillomania can lead to hair loss. The likes of ringworm infections can also cause patchy hair loss in some men, although its prevalence is much less common than genetic hair loss.
The way that you style your hair can lead to hair loss. Although everyone is different, men with tightly styled long hair are at risk of a condition known as traction alopecia. The affliction isn’t particularly common, but it can lead to broken and missing hairs around your scalp.
Drugs and medication
Some prescribed medications can lead to hair loss. One of the best-known treatments that often cause hair to fall out is chemotherapy, one of the most common treatments for various cancers.
A condition known as telogen effluvium can be caused by high-stress levels. When you’re stressed, significant parts of your hair go into a resting phase. Within a few months, you may find that the affected hair falls out without warning, particularly when you’re brushing or combing your hair.
So, it’s accurate to say that both genetics and the environment can lead to androgenetic alopecia, which is commonly referred to as male pattern hair loss. But what can you do to treat hair loss?
How to treat male pattern hair loss
The good news is that you can take the necessary steps to treat male pattern hair loss, and the earlier you notice the signs and begin your treatment, the better. Your first port of call, if you think you’re suffering from hair loss as a result of environmental factors, should be to visit your doctor.
However, if your hair loss is a result of genetics, you may benefit from one of our clinically backed hair loss treatment plans. We use the only two medications that have been clinically proven to treat hair loss - Finasteride and Minoxidil - as well as several other products that can enhance the condition of the hair follicles on your head.
Browse through our treatment plans to discover the perfect hair loss treatment for your hair today, or get in touch with us if you have any questions about how they work.