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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.

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