One of the first things a person checks when they notice hair loss is the status of hair loss in their parents or grandparents. When did my father start to bald? What about my grandfather, what was his hairline like? Although examining the hair loss of your ancestry can reveal part of the truth of your own hair loss, it’s only half the story.
A son might begin balding at half the age of his father or he might bald decades later than when his father or grandfather did. If your parents show thinning on the scalp, it does not mean that you will too, but it can be suggestive of your predisposition to future hair loss.
While not the only reason, genetics plays the biggest role in determining whether men will experience hair loss.
Over 95% of men experiencing hair loss will have inherited a sensitivity to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a sex hormone that causes hair follicles to shrink. The androgen receptor gene is behind the receptor on your hair follicles that interacts with the DHT – and if your receptors are particularly sensitive, it can cause hair loss.
Now, this gene is found on the X chromosome – the female chromosome – which is why it’s assumed that it’s passed down through the mother’s side. There are, in fact, around 200 genes that are involved in regulating hair growth, meaning that DNA does play a big part in pattern baldness, but it’s not just down to one specific balding gene.
There’s no definitive age when male pattern baldness (or androgenic alopecia) will start creeping in – even if your father’s hairline started receding at 20, it doesn’t mean that yours will necessarily follow suit – but around a third of men will experience some hair loss in their thirties, creeping up by around ten per cent for each decade. Hair loss can be extremely gradual, but the biggest giveaway of pattern baldness is a receding hairline and thinning temples.
How to Combat Hereditary Hair Loss
While you can’t change your genetic makeup and hereditary history, if you do start to notice hair loss, you can take strong proactive steps to manage and decelerate loss. There’s no permanent answer to pattern baldness, but it can be countered, reversed and managed.
Treatments for pattern baldness consists of either surgical solutions or medical therapies. Surgical solutions for pattern baldness are permanent and typically classed under two types:
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT/Strip)
The FUE and Strip surgeries are minimally invasive outpatient procedures performed under local anesthesia. Hair transplant surgery uses a patient’s own natural DHT-resistant terminal hairs to restore the thinning or balding areas on the scalp. With the FUE procedure, hair follicles are removed one-by-one from the donor site, then transplanted individually to the thinning or balding areas of the temple or crown. If done by a master specialist, this method leaves no visible linear scar.
With the FUT or strip method, a thin strip of scalp is removed from the back of the head containing numerous hair follicles. These follicles are then transplanted one-by-one into the balding area. This method leaves a very thin linear scar at the back of the head which is rendered non-visible once the hair grows back.
Hair transplants can aesthetically transform your hairline and can be a permanent solution to hair loss.
Medical therapies for the treatment and management of pattern baldness may be classified into four types:
- Minoxidil (Rogaine)
- Finasteride (Propecia)
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) with ACell
- GroMD and Nizoral Shampoo
Finasteride is a prescription medication for men that is administered orally. Research has indicated that the majority of men who use the medicine consistently demonstrate a deceleration in hair loss and a re-growth of withering follicles. Minoxidil is an over-the-counter topical medication. Research has indicated that the majority of men who use the medicine consistently demonstrate a deceleration in hair loss and a re-growth of miniaturized follicles.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) with ACell, involves drawing a small amount of blood from the patient’s body and processing it in a centrifuge in order to extract a rich plasma serum. This serum is then injected into various strategic recipient sites on the scalp.
PRP is loaded with growth factors that promote rapid angiogenesis and localized cell growth, which can increase both the size and healthiness of hair follicles that have begun to shrink as a result of androgenetic alopecia.
Lastly, there is the simple and easy-to-use shampoo and conditioner hair restoration systems of GroMD and Nizoral.
These doctor-developed DHT-fighting solutions contain a wealth of natural, potent and effective ingredients which restore and reset the scalp environment back to its natural state. With regard to GroMD, their solution is a fortified and expertly refined DHT-blocking formula that is enriched with growth-factor peptides and proteins, as well as anti-inflammatory mediators and anagen growth stimulators.
These shampoo and conditioner systems feed your hair with essential nutrients, providing it with nourishment at the roots so your hair is ready to grow at its optimal speed and length.
We may not be able to predict what the future holds for our hair, but we can help restore it to its former glory. If you want to survey your options and see what hair restoration solutions can help you, contact Modena Hair Institute for a free consultation today.
Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.