Often considered an issue primarily affecting men, hair loss can affect men and women of all ages. A wide range of factors can cause thinning hair and hair loss, but research shows that genetics play a crucial role.
Genetic hair loss is a complex and not fully understood condition that can be inherited from your mother, father, or both. There is no cure for genetic hair loss. However, you can take steps to slow it down and maximize your hair growth potential.
What Is Genetic Hair Loss?
The medical term for genetic hair loss is androgenetic alopecia. The most common type of hair loss experienced by both men and women, genetic hair loss, is often called male or female pattern baldness.
For men, genetic hair loss usually occurs in a well-defined pattern, beginning above both temples. As the condition progresses, the hairline recedes, forming a characteristic "M" shape. Hair also thins at the top of the head, often progressing to partial or complete baldness. Men often begin losing hair as early as their 20s or 30s, and nearly 80 percent experience male-pattern baldness by age 80.
The pattern of genetic hair loss in women is different. Rather than a receding hairline, women tend to lose hair on the top of the head, and their part widens. Genetic hair loss rarely leads to total baldness in women but is a condition that affects about half of all women by age 80.
It's natural for your hair to thin as you age. However, if you inherit hair loss patterns from your parents, you have an increased risk of experiencing early hair loss and substantial hair thinning. In addition to inheriting hair loss patterns, you can also inherit sensitivity to a hormone derived from testosterone called dihydrotestosterone or DHT. DHT plays a crucial role in the development of male sexual characteristics but is also found in females.
Researchers have found that DHT can bind to hair follicles, causing them to shrink and become less able to produce healthy hair. DHT shortens the hair's natural growth cycle, causing delayed growth and thinning hair. In addition, the damaged hair follicles begin to produce weaker strands of hair that are brittle and prone to breakage.
Genetics plays a huge role in hair density, length, and growth, and an increased sensitivity to DHT can weaken and damage hair follicles, leading to hair loss. For men, DHT sensitivity may start as early as puberty or late teens and gradually increases with age. For women, estrogen helps combat DHT sensitivity, and the drop in estrogen production associated with menopause triggers the condition.
What Else Causes Hair Loss?
In addition to genetics, various factors can contribute to or trigger hair loss, including:
- Hormonal changes
- Some medical conditions
- Certain hairstyles
- Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements
- Birth control
- Radiation Therapy
- Nutritional deficiencies
What Can You Do If You Have Genetic Hair Loss?
While there is no cure for genetic hair loss, you can take steps to slow the process and optimize your hair's growth potential. At LH Hair, we offer clients the most advanced state-of-the-art hair loss solutions available.
Whether you have a genetic predisposition to hair loss or not, maintaining a full, thick head of hair requires a healthy scalp. In some cases, improving the health of your scalp and hair follicles can minimize your hair loss and even stimulate new hair growth.
At LH Hair, we have solutions for every type of hair loss at any stage. Whether you are concerned that you will develop genetic hair loss and want to take action to save your hair before it begins to thin, or you are living with an advanced case of hair loss, our compassionate and experienced staff can help.
To learn more about Genetic hair loss and what you can do about it, contact us today and schedule your FREE initial consultation.