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Blame your Genes for your Hair Loss

Really?…..Can you?…Should you blame your genes for your hair loss?….Well for a particular type of hair loss you definitely can….That’s male/female pattern hair loss also known as Androgenetic AlopeciaThis is a hereditary kind of hair loss and we acquire it either from our parents directly or at times from our maternal or paternal uncles and aunts.

We experience hair fall due to innumerable reasons. I will elaborate on them in my subsequent posts. Here I will just tell you briefly and simply about “pattern hair loss”. It follows a particular pattern as a rule, which helps us in differentiating it from other types of hair loss.

 

Pattern of the “Pattern Hair Loss” 

Both males and females can be affected by androgenetic alopecia. What one experiences over years is progressive thinning of individual hair, decrease in the density of hair, a receding front hair line and a peculiar pattern of hair loss. The pattern of thinning and baldness is a bit different in both sexes.

 

Males 

In males, the hair loss generally starts from both the temples (the area on the scalp roughly above both the eyes) and also on the vertex(top/apex) of the scalp. The baldness on these two areas slowly expands and eventually covers the whole of the scalp except the sides and back……

male pattern baldness

hair-loss1

Females

In females, the hair starts to thin out from the center (the mid partition area) and the baldness then spreads sideways, eventually leading to the loss of almost whole of the central hairs and thinning of the hairs on sides and back.

 

 

What causes Pattern Hair Loss

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Its all with your genes and hormones. “Surprise Surprise !!!!!”  If you have androgenetic alopecia, you have some similarity with these Cinema Hunks…..You have a common gene irregularity called AR gene, which you inherit from your parents. This gene increases the activity of a hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) on the hair roots. DHT shrinks the hair roots because of which the hair becomes thinner and thinner and shorter and shorter and eventually so weak that it falls off. The shrunken hair root shrivels and dies and can not produce new hair. So, that area becomes permanently bald. :( 

DHT causes pattern hair loss  

What is the cure for Pattern hair loss/Androgenetic Alopecia

 

It’s rightly said that “Androgenetic alopecia or pattern hair loss can not be cured, But it can definitely be controlled” As the main culprit behind this kind of baldness is a gene, and as our science has not been able to find a way to replace or correct this gene till date, a complete cure for androgenetic alopecia is not possible. But the magnitude of hair loss and baldness can definitely be well controlled by use of few medical treatments.

There are many many many products in the markets claiming to have outstanding results for hereditary baldness, but FDA (Food and drug administration) has only approved one medicine which has shown scientifically proven results in controlling hair loss….that’s Minoxidil.

Minoxidil

It works by increasing the blood supply and nutrients to the hair roots, thereby promoting hair growth. It also replaces the old dying hair (telogen hair) with young strong hair(anagen hair) and is efficient in controlling heir fall. It has to be applied twice daily on the scalp, mostly on the central areas where thinning is visible. 2-5% is recommended for females and 5-10% for males.

Now a days we have minoxidil in combination with Amexidil. This is said to help minoxidil work better.

Finasteride/Dutasteride

These are hormonal preparations which decrease the production of DHT (the culprit). It should only and only be taken under the guidance of a dermatologist or else it can cause you some unwanted trouble. This is not to be taken by females.

Iron and nutritional supplement

Iron, Zinc, Selenium and few other similar minerals are important for the growth and health of hair. Vitamin H also called biotin is a key vitamin for a healthy hair and nail. Though these might not have a direct effect on the hormones and genes, they definitely strengthen the hair roots.

Hair Transplant

Hair transplant is the final treatment option for pattern baldness.  

Healthy diet

As I always say, healthy diet is a key to good health. My favorites as usual are seasonal veggies and fruits of various colors, low GI diet, enough water and fluids and loads and loads of smiles and laughter.  The more stress you take, it reflects on your skin and hair health. Stress leads to hair fall…..so be Happy……

 

At times its ok to blame genes for some of your problems. But we can very well try and keep things under control by use of appropriate medical treatments. Would be writing in detail about how to use minoxidil and finasteride and more about hair transplant in my next few blogs….So keep watching this space for more……

To know more about skin, hair and nail related issues, feel free to write to me at drarpitaskindiary@gmail.com

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4 thoughts on “Blame your Genes for your Hair Loss

  1. S ANAND

    Interesting stuff Doctor

  2. Anshu

    Is there any way to over ride this genetic pattern?

    • drarpitajain

      Not really! Our genetic medicine has not yet advanced to this stage. Till we find a genetic solution for this, you need to continue medication and keep hair loss under check .All the best :)

  3. […] that we have finished blaming our genes for our pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia, lets talk about Minoxidil usage, which is the only FDA […]

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