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The Genetics of hereditary hair loss in men

Updated on August 4, 2015

Hereditary-pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss in men. In essence, it refers to baldness that arises due to interaction of the genes and the environment also known as epigenetics, accumulation of hair loss hormones and in some cases aging. Hereditary hair loss causes premature baldness a condition that most young men experience across the globe and Singapore is not an exception. Understanding the genetics behind premature baldness will help you rule out the myths that have been linked with hereditary hair loss men. Let's have a look at the genetics behind hair loss in men and possible hair loss treatment in Singapore

Androgenic alopecia is the typical form of hair loss that affect the male in their 20s and 30s. Researchers have begun to understand the genetics behind this type of hair thinning that eventually leads to total seizure in hair growth. Based on recent studies an increase in the amount of the male testosterone hormone affects the normal cycle of hair growth leading to shorter, miniature and thinner hair. The hair eventually stops growing and this marks the beginning of premature baldness. This form of baldness is X-linked and is dominant in a recessive form which means females can be career while all male are affected. Treatment for this type of hair loss can be through the use of drugs such as minoxidil and Finasteride

Recently there has been a new discovery that links male hair loss to their fathers, hence ruling out the long held norm that hair loss in men is totally linked to the X chromosome. A mutation within a chromosome that houses the genes controlling to hair growth has been singled out as the major player in hereditary hair loss in male where all male inherit it from their fathers. Though the nature of this variants has not been well characterized, these alterations in the gene affect hormonal activity hence lowering hair growth. This discovery therefore gives another clue to the treatment of inherited hair loss in male. According to Dr. Tim Spector of King's College London, early prediction before the start of hair loss would give an insight into development of therapeutic strategies. Based on this study, inherited pattern in male baldness is associated with a mutation in two loci of chromosome 20. Individuals with this variations and bearing the X linked variant have up to a seven fold risk of developing baldness.

Based on this it is worth noting that hair loss in male have some genetic risk factors and individuals bearing the risk factor are at a higher risk of developing hair loss at an early age. It is therefore important to screen for this genetic risk factors at an early age as early detection of the cause gives a clue to possible therapeutic strategies.


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