It can be difficult to know what causes hair loss.
Does genetics play a role in balding? Are you likely to have similar hair loss patterns as your parents? One of the most common causes of hair loss is hereditary-pattern baldness.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, you can inherit hair loss tendency from both sides of the family. Apart from inheriting similar hair loss patterns as your parents, you can also inherit sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone.
Dihydrotestosterone is a male sex hormone that makes hair follicles thin out and reduce over time, resulting in male pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition that is the primary cause of hair loss in men.
In men, the hair loss starts at the temples and the crown and moves in an M-shaped pattern. In women, hair loss is better hidden but more widespread.
This article will answer your questions about how hair loss can be influenced by your genetics.
What is Hair Loss?
Hair loss is a gradual or sudden loss of hair. It comes with some symptoms, such as a gradual thinning of the hair on the scalp. This is the most common type as it affects most people as they grow older. If you’re a man with this, you’ll notice your hair starting to recede at the hairline on your forehead.
For women, it is usually a widening of the part in their hair. Apart from a receding hairline, some people lose their hair in patchy or circular bald spots on the scalp, beard, or eyebrows. This type of condition is known as Alopecia Areata.
Hair loss is typically caused by hormonal changes, heredity, medical conditions, medications and supplements, radiation therapy, or excessive hair styling. However, the most common type of hair loss is caused by genetic factors. This is known as Androgenic Alopecia, male-pattern baldness, and female pattern baldness.
Hair Loss and Genetics
One of the most common risk factors for hair loss is a family history of balding. Though it does not mean you are sure to be bald if you have a bald grandfather. However, inherited traits from both or one side of your family can increase your likelihood of experiencing hair loss.
Though your hair thins naturally as you age, having the genes means you have a greater chance of experiencing early-onset and substantial hair thinning. Genetics is one of the leading causes of balding or hair loss in men as inherited genes can influence one’s sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone.
When the sensitivity to DHT is increased, it results in weakened hair follicles, which will trigger thinning. For people who are not so lucky, this can start as early as during puberty or by the age of 20. The effect gradually increases with age.
For women, it is slightly different. It is quite unlikely for hair thinning to start after puberty as estrogen helps combat DHT sensitivity in the body until menopause. In both sexes, genetics also plays a huge role in hair density, length, and growth.
Can You Cure Genetic Hair Loss?
Unfortunately, you cannot cure genetic hair loss. However, you can tackle or slow down the rate of hair thinning through some steps. Here are some tips:
- Take more protein
To help your hair gain more texture and strength, ensure you incorporate more protein into your diet. Foods such as eggs, cheese, fish, and nuts are rich in protein and help hair growth. Eggs mainly contain protein and biotin, which are essential as hair follicles are mostly made of protein.
Biotin is essential in the production of a protein known as Keratin. Most hair growth supplements contain biotin, as it can help in improving hair growth. Eggs also contain zinc, selenium, and other nutrients necessary for hair growth. Consuming adequate protein is an excellent way to ensure you have healthy hair.
- Avoid harsh hairstyles
For females, tight hairstyles tend to pull at the hair, thereby damaging the hair strands. Ponytails and buns can strain your hair and can lead to thinning and hair loss. Fixing tight hairstyles will further increase the rate at which you lose hair, especially if you are genetically predisposed to balding.
- Use quality hair growth products and supplements
There are hair care products and supplements that can be used to help with your hair growth. Supplements such as DHT-blocking shampoo and vitamins are some of the best products you can use to combat your hair loss. These products are designed to block the overproduction of the DHT hormone on the scalp.
Genetics undeniably plays a huge role in determining the rate at which you lose hair and how early you begin to lose hair. However, though hair loss might be inevitable if you are genetically predisposed to it, you can slow down the rate at which you lose healthy hair.