Home > Causes of Hair Loss > Hereditary Hair Loss

Hereditary Hair Loss

By: Jody Ehrhardt - Updated: 19 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Hair Loss Hereditary Hair Loss Genetic

There can be many causes of hair loss including stress, extreme dieting or lack of proper nutrition, certain illnesses and medications. But the most common form of hair loss is heredity, which occurs with age and can affect both men and women. Typically, hereditary hair loss occurs in a pattern, and that pattern is transferred from generation to generation. With men, it is often hair loss on the crown of the head or the top, beginning with a receding hairline. In Women, it can be thinning of hair all over, or it can occur in a pattern, too.

What Causes Hereditary Hair Loss

Technically, hereditary hair loss is caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT) interacting with hair follicles that are genetically vulnerable to their effects. It is often easy to tell if your hair follicles will be vulnerable simply by evaluating your family’s history of baldness. While this isn’t always exact, it can often be an excellent indicator as to whether or not you will lose your hair, as well as how much and where the balding might take place.

Usually, this Change In Hormones within the body that causes hereditary hair loss doesn’t occur until later in life, which is why baldness is often associated with Ageing. However, in some families, hereditary baldness can begin to take place even when a person is in their early 20s.

What to Expect

Hereditary hair loss has a very predictable pattern. Many times, you can tell how severe your baldness will become simply by evaluating your family’s history of baldness. You can look to your parents and grandparents, and even great-grandparents, as well as other extended family to see the typical pattern within your family. While this is never an exact indicator of how much hair loss you will suffer, it can be used as a guide to predict your own pattern of hair loss.

One way to determine what to expect from hereditary hair loss is to evaluate the age at which you began to lose your hair as well as the rate at which the hair loss is occurring. Typically, the earlier someone begins to shed his or her hair, the more severe the baldness will ultimately be. Similarly, if the rate of lost hair is extreme, it is more likely that complete baldness will occur at an early age.

Hereditary Hair Loss Effects Both Men and Women

It is more common for men to suffer from hereditary hair loss than women. This is because the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is created as a by-product of testosterone, is the cause of hereditary hair loss and more abundant in the male system. This hormone breaks down genetically sensitive hair follicles and creates baldness. However, testosterone is also found in the female body, albeit at lower levels, so women can also experience hereditary hair loss and hair thinning as they age.

Male Pattern Baldness, a condition characterised by hair loss that recedes from the hairline but leaves healthy hair on the back and sides of the head, is the typical hair loss pattern that approximately 50% of men will experience by the time they are 50. In female pattern baldness, thinning of the hair or balding patches on the head are the more common signs of hereditary hair loss. Approximately 40% of all women will experience this type of hair loss by the time they reach the age of 50.

Whether hereditary hair loss is affecting a man or a woman, the results can be bothersome. For both, it can cause feelings of a loss of sex appeal and youth, and they may not feel as attractive as before. For anyone feeling this way due to hereditary baldness, there are many options, including medications, Hair Transplants, Wigs and Extensions that can help individuals deal with their hair loss and prevent it from getting worse.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Rus
    Re: Wigs and Allergies
    I’ve been a hair club client for over 15 years without any issues. Hair club says they use real hair and glue and tape are used to secure hair…
    25 February 2020
  • cam
    Re: One-sided Hair Loss
    Im a 29 year old woman and also have less hair on the right side of my head, It has been like this for years, that side also grows slower than…
    30 July 2019
  • Dani
    Re: Hair Integration Pieces
    Hi. I am desperately trying to find a intergrated mesh hair system that can be attached with either tapes or micro links that my…
    8 June 2019
  • haze
    Re: Starting to Wear a Wig
    Due to rapid hair loss I am thinking of getting a wig ,what type would people recommend,thank you
    22 February 2019
  • haze
    Re: Starting to Wear a Wig
    I am rapidly losing my hair and am thinking about getting a wig ,what sort would eolee recommend please .
    22 February 2019
  • Suzy
    Re: Poisoning and Hair Loss
    Happend to drink an 6 mounth old, not opend nutrition drink.. I don´t know if thats what cause my hair loss. The hair loss is in one…
    7 November 2018
  • Rylee
    Re: Can Head Lice and Parasites Cause Hair Loss?
    I keep seeing little brown bugs crawling up my shirt and I can’t stand it! My parents keep telling me it’s…
    24 October 2018
  • Lynda
    Re: How Often Should You Wash Your Wig?
    My wig gets rubbedd by coat collars etc and is getting to feel (and look like)a brillo pad on the bottom of shouder…
    20 October 2018
  • Tallulah
    Re: Infrared and UV Light Treatments
    I lost about a third of my hair during a period of stress. Would ultraviolet light treatment restimulate hair growth for me;…
    18 October 2018
  • minku
    Re: One-sided Hair Loss
    Sir i am loosing my hairs on right side on my temple area . So i want to know about the treatment option available and i am 21 years old.…
    13 September 2018