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When it comes to genetic hair loss - it’s complicated. You’ve probably heard the old wives tale that you take the genes for your hair after your mother’s dad. With 6.5 million men in the UK suffering from hair loss problems, the issues that prompt male pattern hair loss go a lot deeper than that.
If you notice distinctive thinning on your hairline or in the crown area, you are probably suffering from male pattern hair loss. Don’t worry - you’re not alone. More than 50% of men will feel the effects of this type of hair loss and, more often than not, genetics will play a part.
Your genes affect how sensitive your hair follicles will be to the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is one of the main causes of hair loss, shrinking your hair follicles and, therefore, causing your hair strands to shrink and eventually fall out. Fortunately, DHT blockers can help to stop this hormone and slow down male pattern baldness.
While the science isn’t entirely settled on genetic hair loss, it’s safe to say that it’s likely you take after both your mum and dad. In 2008, a German study of 600 men was undertaken to get to the bottom of genetic balding. Professor Markus Nöthen, one of the leading scientists in the study, determined that chromosome 20 had a significant effect on early male balding. A Harvard University study has also gone against the common misconceptions and declared that genes from both family members contribute to male-pattern baldness. This is the strongest indication yet that both your parent’s DNA could play a big part in your baldness genes and delivers a decisive blow to those old superstitions.
It’s also worth pointing out that genetics aren’t the only reason for early onset balding. Hormonal changes or various medical conditions can affect the hair on your head. Traumatic events or stressful periods of time can also be a contributing factor.