Is hairloss genetic or hereditary

Is hairloss genetic or hereditary
  • Nov 25, 2016


Pattern hairloss (or common baldness), is the bane of a large part of the population, men and women alike. Moreover, hair thinning becomes obvious only when more than 50% of the hair have succumbed to the deleterious effects DHT (dihydrotestosterone), responsible for pattern hairloss.

By then it is often too late to attempt to reverse or stop hairfall.

Androgenic alopecia, or the commonest form of balding follows a pattern. The hairloss starts in the temples, hairline and/or the crown. There will be variations, but it almost never effects the sides and the back of the scalp.

The pattern of progression, and the extent and speed of male pattern baldness, is largely dictated by genetics, hormones and age. View all pictures of the above patient at the link below

For men, this permanent type of baldness generally follows specific patterns. Even in the most extensive cases, a horseshoe shaped fringe of hair remains. This donor fringe is insensitive to the balding process and will last a lifetime. This is because this hair is genetically programmed in the root, or hair follicle, to be resistant to the effects of DHT (dihydrotestosterone).

Many people want to believe that their hairloss is due to a disease and will be reversed completely by curing the disease. That may be the case in some. Unfortunately, not in most.

The easy way to differentiate and explain the type of your own hairloss is by understanding the various causes behind hairloss .

Some diseases where you may experience hairloss but which are not androgenic alopecia are –
* Alopecia areata, globalis and universalis . For further reading see this link

* Psoriasis . Additional pictures and information is available at

* Hormonal imbalances (especially thyroid).

* Lichen planus. Additional information and pictures available at http://www.dermnet.org.nz/scaly/lichen-planus.html

* Post chemotherapy, or due to injury (burn, surgical or accidental)

* Trichotillomania . Additional information about this unusual condition can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichotillomania

Traction alopecia (due to sustained and long term traction on the hair roots). Two commonest sub groups affected by this are Black women wearing tight braids and Sikh gentlemen wearing hair tightly under their turban.

A good first step is to contact your family physician. He should be able to rule out or advise tests for hairloss due to reasons other than androgenic alopecia.

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