Research is pointing more and more toward a genetic component to hair loss. Indeed, we often see hair loss run in families, although sometimes it can occur in people with no family history at all. Many people wonder if there really is a balding gene that makes you lose hair, or if it is caused by factors aside from your DNA. While the answer may not be as straightforward as we would like, we are gaining ground in what we know about hair loss and how it develops. Here is a look at what we do know about balding and our genes.
Does Hair Loss Come From Your Mom?
Many of us have heard that hair loss is passed down through our mother’s side, which indicates that a balding “gene” or “trait” resides on the ‘X’ chromosome. Indeed, a gene sequence on this chromosome does control hair growth, and is likely the most dominant, but it is not the only one. Thus, while there is likely a “balding” gene on the ‘X’ chromosome, we cannot only attribute hair loss to our maternal side of the family. Studies have found that men who had a bald father were more likely also to go bald than men who had family members on their maternal side with hair loss.
Scientists still have yet to confirm which genes cause hair loss. Keep in mind that your mother has two X chromosomes, which makes it even harder to figure out who you can thank for your hair loss. If you want to see if you are going bald it is best to look at all members of your family, especially your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, and uncles.
Is It Just Down To Genes Or Is There Something More Behind Hair Loss?
Having only one thing to blame when it comes to hair loss would perhaps make it easier to accept and move forward. After all, there isn’t much we can do about our DNA. But, balding is often more complex than a gene sequence. Hair loss can be triggered by several factors, some of which are in your control and some are not.
Hormones, your age, stress, and diet can all manipulate your hair growth cycle.
Both men and women are affected by hormones. However, women are much more susceptible to hormone fluctuations as estrogen and progesterone levels rise and fall each month. For the most part, female pattern baldness does not usually begin until women reach menopause. During menopause, women have very low levels of estrogen for the rest of their lives. These low estrogen levels affect the hair growth cycle by prolonging the resting/shedding phase and suppressing the growing phase.
Most people will lose some of their hair as they advance in age. Aging can slow your hair growth and make the hair you do have much more delicate. Most men will start to notice changes in their hair in their 50s, and women will see changes once they reach menopause (the average age is 51).
Stress is perhaps one of the more obvious causes of hair loss. People often experience a significant amount of hair loss about 3 months after a particularly stressful event (like a funeral, surgery, or car accident). An influx in stress hormones can force more follicles than normal into the resting phase of the hair growth cycle. Also known as telogen, this phase of the growth cycle lasts 3 months and ends when the hair strand finally sheds. Unlike other causes of hair loss and balding, stress-induced hair loss (formally called telogen effluvium) is temporary but can leave your hair thinner unless you do something about it.
What you eat can also affect your hair growth patterns. Having a poor diet can put you at risk for hair loss and worsen existing hair loss. Your hair needs certain nutrients to grow, and many of these nutrients are lacking in the American diet. One of the easiest ways to support hair growth while simultaneously keeping your existing hair strands healthy is to eat a well-balanced diet and take a hair support supplement like the REVITA Nutraceutical Tablets.
How We Can Treat It
Even though balding has a strong genetic component, there are ways to combat it.
One of the best and least invasive options is to use a topical hair regrowth solution to help stimulate hair growth. Over-the-counter solutions like minoxidil are well-known for helping people with early to moderate hair loss regrow their hair. While minoxidil is a popular choice, it does come with some side effects that tend to turn people away from using the product. One of the most common side effects is scalp irritation, where the skin on your head feels like it is itching and burning. Sometimes, people can develop a rash. Another side effect of minoxidil is that it is a gray formula, which makes it hard to style your hair.
Minoxidil was discovered in the 1950s. Recently, a newer solution has entered the market that helps to stimulate hair regrowth without the unpleasant side effects that minoxidil often carries. Nanoxidil 5% is a powerful alternative to minoxidil that is effective in promoting hair growth and suppressing hair loss in both men and women. When it is formulated with other ingredients, Nanoxidil can:
- Prevent follicular fibrosis
- Work as an antioxidant
- Boost circulation in yoru scalp
- Suppress the action of DHT on your follicles
- Block chronic inflammation
You can find Nanoxidil 5% in most of the SPECTRAL product line at DS Laboratories. It is a non-greasy, water-based formula that allows you to regrow your hair while styling it the way you choose. It even treats the peskiest forms of hair loss, including receding hairlines and thinning on the vertex and crown of your head.
Hair transplants are one of the more permanent options for treating hair loss, although people often need to have multiple treatments. People who undergo hair transplants often find they are painful and can cause severe discomfort on your scalp for some time after the surgery. Sometimes, people also note their scalp becomes numb after they have a transplant. While hair transplants can offer a more permanent solution without daily maintenance with a topical solution, transplants are also quite costly, which can be prohibitive for many people.
Treat Your Pattern Baldness
If you feel at a loss on where to turn for combating hair thinning and balding, it is time to connect with a product advisor at DS Laboratories.