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Is Hair Loss Hereditary: Can Genetic Hair Loss Be Treated

UPGUYS > Blog > Hair > Is Hair Loss Hereditary: Can Genetic Hair Loss Be Treated
The person who wrote this article

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on May 06, 2022

Hair loss is one of the constant concerns of so many people. It is generally very unpleasant to lose hair. It affects our self-image and confidence. 

Hair loss can happen as we age. Although, that is to some extent accepted by many. 

But when we start losing hair uncontrollably at a younger age, especially when our parents, aunts and uncles have very thin hair or are bald, it adds a tremendous amount of stress on our shoulders, and we keep wondering if this is the genetics that is causing the hair loss.

What if the root of our hair loss is actually genetics? How can you tell the difference between hereditary hair loss and other kinds, like a stress-related one? Are there any treatments and ways to slow down, stop, and ultimately reverse hair loss?

This article explains all you need to know about genetic hair loss, its causes and symptoms, and the treatments. 

Below is the table of content: 

- The relationship between genetics and hair loss

- Hereditary hair loss: Symptoms, causes and diagnosis

- Treatment: How to stop genetic hair loss

- Last words


The Relationship Between Genetics & Hair Loss

Male Androgenetic Alopecia (MAA), AKA male pattern baldness, is THE most common cause of hair loss in men. It is not a disease but the result of the combination of some genes. 

Male pattern baldness can happen at any age. Although it is more common in the 40s and 50s, a lot of men notice receding hairline in their early 20s. 

Besides age, your heritage is also a decisive factor. Caucasian men are more likely to show signs of alopecia. 

In Japanese men, androgenic alopecia starts almost a whole decade later than in Caucasian men.

Hereditary Hair Loss: Symptoms, Causes & Diagnosis

Hair loss caused by genetics usually starts with only thinning hair, possibly resulting in complete baldness, where there is only hair on the sides of the head.

Male pattern (and female pattern) hair loss runs in the family. There are no specific ways to diagnose this kind of hair loss. But, doctors run tests and rule out other causes. 

Hormones and, of course, genetics play important roles in this type of hair loss. 

Remember: To fight hair loss, you need to be patient and persistent.

There is a test to predict the chances of MAA in males. This test determines the amount of variation in the androgen receptor (AR) gene found on the X chromosome. 

This variation is responsible for how the follicle responds to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an enzyme that interferes with the hair growth cycle. 

If the test is positive, there is a 70 percent chance of developing MAA. But, if the result is negative, there is a 70 percent chance of not developing MAA.

Read more: Hair loss and Adderall

Stages of Hair Loss

  1. Stage 1 Hair loss at the top of the head starts and is not noticeable.
  2. Stage 2 Receding hairline happens around the temples and is noticeable.
  3. Stage 3 It gets more challenging to conceal hair loss at this stage. Here, there will be close to no hair at the temples. 
  4. Stage 4 Bald spots appear at the crown and the front of the head at this stage.
  5. Stage 5 This is the beginning of a horseshoe-shaped hairline. Hair loss becomes more permanent as medications are less likely to affect it.
  6. Stage 6 The hair on your crown is thin and cannot cover your scalp.
  7. Stage 7 This is the ultimate stage of male pattern baldness, where there is only hair on the sides of the head.

This type of hair loss is permanent. Of course, there are ways to slow it down and perhaps, reverse the cycle. You need to start the treatment at the earlier stages of hair loss. 

Read more: The Seven Stages Of Hair Loss

Treatment: How To Stop Genetic Hair Loss

As mentioned above, treating hair loss should begin at earlier stages. If your hair loss is hereditary and caused by genes and hormones, try one of the treatments explained below at the earliest possible.

Here is the list of treatments and other options for hair loss:

  1. Medications: There are topical and oral medications used for male pattern hair loss. They are FDA-approved and with good records. Of course, there are always side effects you should familiarize yourself with. Research shows that oral meds for hair loss can lower serum DHT levels by more than 70 percent, positively affecting the follicles. Talk to your doctor to explore your options and see which one can help you more.
  2. Hair transplant surgery: This surgery is very technical and expensive. But, the good news is most patients are highly satisfied with the results. Some of the common side effects of hair transplant surgery are infection, epidermal cysts and scarring.
  3. Wigs, toupees, and other scalp concealers: You can use a variety of wigs and toupees and hairpieces, some of which are absolutely realistic and can help you cover up your scalp. Hair powder and sprays are helpful, too, for some situations. But, they might drip or cause discomfort in other situations, like working out. 
  4. Hair PRP: In this medical treatment, your blood is drawn, processed and injected into your scalp. Usually, after 3 to 4 sessions (each a month apart), you can see the result. The excellent point of this treatment is that there are no chemicals injected into your scalp. It is your own blood.
  5. Hair mesotherapy: This medical treatment also includes injections to your scalp. The difference between mesotherapy and PRP is that vitamins, minerals, and amino acid mixtures necessary for your hair follicles are injected here. 
  6. Vitamins and supplements: Although your hair loss might be due to genetics, taking hair vitamins and supplements might help slow down hair loss in the early stages. 

Last Words

Genetic hair loss is indeed tough to treat. This is true! But, there are still many options out there to try and hope for the best. You need to remember that to get the best result from the treatments, you need to start your treatment at earlier stages of hair loss. 

Remember: To fight hair loss, you need to be patient and persistent

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.