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Is Baldness Hereditary?

Is Baldness Hereditary?

Heredity is one of the causes of early baldness in young men. Here is more information on baldness and its causes.
Madhura Pandit
One may not be aware, but, human beings lose a specific amount of hair every day throughout their life. Hair starts thinning after the middle age and becomes sparse by the time a person reaches 50-60 years of age. However, a receding hairline in early or middle years is one sure cause of worry. In that case, heredity may be one of the possible factors.

Baldness and Heredity
Yes, premature baldness is hereditary! However, only the male pattern baldness (Androgenic alopecia) is hereditary. In males, baldness occurs usually in 'M' shape, it begins at the temple, and from two sides recedes back towards the middle of the head. After a few years, in the advanced stage, hair remains only on the sides and back of the head. Factors like a specific genetic composition and hormonal changes give rise to early baldness in people. In earlier times (even today in some parts of the world), it was believed that the genes for baldness are inherited only from the mother's side, i.e., if a person's maternal grandfather is bald, he is sure to go bald at an early age. This theory is incorrect. Studies and researches have proved that genes of early baldness can be inherited from both, one's father as well as mother.

In case of women, hereditary baldness is rarely observed. It is true that complete baldness is unusual in women, even in the old age. Secondly, the pattern of balding in women is not specific. It is widespread and proportioned, and hence, we rarely find a woman who is completely bald. The medical history of the person and information on early baldness instances in other family members help in diagnosing the underlying cause.

Other Causes
Alopecia areata is one of the major causes of baldness in both, men and women. It is a skin disease where bald patches appear on the head. However, in this case, it is possible for hair to regrow if proper medications are taken. Other causes include hormonal imbalance, stress, use of certain hair lotions and cosmetics, frequent hair styling, skin diseases like ringworm, etc. Improper diet and nutritional deficiency also contributes in hair loss.

Baldness occurring due to aforementioned factors can be treated or even prevented. But, there is no treatment or preventive measure for baldness caused due to hereditary factors. You may come across several products in the market that claim to cure baldness and help in hair regrowth. Most of these products do not succeed in their claims. Hair transplant is one of the best solutions which helps in regrowing hair, and is an expensive, yet effective method.

It is better to consult a hair expert or a doctor to diagnose the cause of baldness, as many causes, other than heredity, are corrigible.

Disclaimer: This article is meant for informative purposes only.