I wonder how many young boys look at their fathers and wonder why they have no hair? I wonder if they ever think that they too will grow up and have no hair.
Many of you know about the genetics involved and what male pattern baldness is but how many of you have ever had to explain it to your child.
I found the following information on WebMD and wanted to share it with the readers here at The Hair Society.
“WebMD News Archive
May 27, 2005 — Mothers may unwittingly put their sons on the path to baldness. Chalk it up to genetics, says European researchers.
They include Markus Nöthen, a genomics professor at Germany’s University of Bonn. Nöthen and colleagues say they’ve found a gene variation that may explain some cases of male pattern baldness(androgenetic alopecia), the most common form of hair loss, which is related to the male sex hormones.
The suspect gene variation sits on the X chromosome, which is handed down to men by their mother. So a man may get an idea of his scalp’s future from men on his mother’s side of the family.
While hereditary factors are an important cause of hair loss, other factors also influence hair growth and loss.
A white man’s chance of male pattern baldness increases with age; in his 50s, he has a 50% chance of having at least some hair loss, the study shows.
Clues From Granddad
“The fact that family studies [of male pattern baldness] have typically stressed the resemblance of fathers and sons is understandable, given the differences in patterns of hair loss between males and females,” write Nöthen and colleagues.
“Our genetic data, however, stress the relative importance of the maternal line in the inheritance [of male pattern baldness]. This suggests that … the resemblance should be greater between affected males and their maternal grandfathers than between affected males and their fathers.”
About the Gene
Nöthen’s team studied 95 families in which at least two brothers had premature male pattern hair loss. The group included about 200 affected men.
Genetic screening showed that the “cardinal prerequisite” for premature male pattern baldness was a variation in the androgen receptor gene. The gene variant was found “very much more often” among prematurely bald men than among men who still had a full head of hair after age 60, says Nöthen in a news release.
Androgens are male sex hormones, such as testosterone. Nöthen’s colleague, Alex Hillmer, says the exact mechanisms aren’t known, but the gene variation seems to boost androgens’ effects, leading to hair loss.
Male hormones are responsible for excess body hair, except for on the scalp where excess male sex hormones can lead to baldness.
Not the Sole Cause of Baldness
Baldness may also be influenced by other genes, some of which could come from fathers, the study notes.
“We have indications that other genes are involved, which are independent of the parents’ sex,” says Nöthen.
So hair loss could be a father-son inheritance, too.”
Since this article was published many new methods and treatments have been discovered and many of you provide them to your clients.
Would you be willing to sit your sons down and explain to them why they may go bald when they get older? It might be a good way to prepare them so that they can take advantage of the many new treatments for hair loss.
Every year there are new treatments and new research to help not only prevent baldness but to treat it.
Just as you would educate your children about the birds and the bees and answer the many, many questions that they manage to come up with as they grow and learn, it is important to educate them about their heritage and their genetic make up.
I hope that everyone will read the above and consider informing their sons about what they may face in their future and how hopeful it will be for them if they do inherit the gene that causes baldness in men.
By the time that they grow up there may even be a cure since the progress with stem cell therapy is advancing and proving that several genetic traits and illnesses can be cured through the advancement of PRP and other stem cell related discoveries.