Yes, both male and female baldness is hereditary and it is passed down from both your mother and father’s sides, but there isn’t any one particular gene that is responsible for people going bald. And good news, just because the genes are passed to you, it does not mean you will be impacted.
There are multiple studies like this one and this one which show there are roughly 63 genes that determine the rate at which baldness will occur, and how fast it will take. And in the second study where they analyzed more than 50,000 men, there were links between male pattern baldness with prostate cancer and cardiovascular problems. So if you have male pattern baldness, make sure to get your annual checkups.
But men aren’t the only people impacted by pattern baldness. Women are equally impacted by female pattern baldness (FPB) as it can be passed to both women and men and from both sides of the family. And this medical condition is fairly common, so you’re not alone. In fact more than 50% of women (30 million in the USA) experience some form of baldness, and ⅓ of women who are predisposed to female pattern baldness will be impacted. So if you are seeing some of the signs, don’t worry or feel embarrassed. Women that you know are likely going through the same thing and have the same concerns.
Fun fact: The KITLG gene is sometimes known as the hair gene and can determine your hair color, as well as potentially play a role in male and female pattern baldness.
Although there is nothing you can do about genetically caused or hereditary baldness, you can work with your body to prevent other factors from adding to it. For example stress, crash or fad diets, surgery or blood loss, and other factors can cause baldness (source). Although these are not hereditary or passed down from your parents, if you’re predisposed to pattern baldness, why risk losing more hair with things you can control?
Pro-tip: In the study mentioned above they talk about hair styles that put tension on your follicles. This includes the hair products you use. Instead of elastic hair ties, try spiral and coil hair ties, and instead of cotton pillow cases, switch to silk as there is less friction and pulling with these products.
Start by changing your lifestyle habits. Begin exercising more regularly, eating healthier, finding alternatives to some over the counter drugs that are associated with hair loss, and avoid crash diets. And it is easy to incorporate foods that can be healthy for your hair into your daily routines. Avocados, spinach, salmon, even hamburgers can all work to protect your hair from non-hereditary hair loss. And look for ways to reduce your stress levels by changing your daily habits.
If exercise is a stress reliever, see what routines you can alter like changing metro stops on your commute to work or school so there’s more walking distance, and you get some cardio in. Try taking a yoga class midday at lunch, or on your way home. If it is reading a book or cooking, use an app to turn off the wifi in your home blocking access to your screens. This helps eliminate distractions so you can focus on “me time”.
Male and female pattern baldness is not preventable as baldness genes can be passed by both your mother and your father’s side of the family. But other types of balding can be prevented by making lifestyle changes. If you found this guide helpful, subscribe to the TELETIMES blog for more information on hair health, styling, and fashion tips.