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Inherited "Pattern Baldness"

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It is often your genes that will determine whether you will go prematurely bald or suffer from significant permanent hair loss. This type of condition is called 'pattern baldness' and is usually inherited from either parent. Male pattern baldness is by far the most common because females have lower levels of androgens (male hormones) but female pattern "thinning" is also relatively common. Post-menopausal hair loss also presents as a genetic-type "thinning" in women.

Reprinted courtesy of Alan Baumann MD

"Male pattern baldness" is usually a hereditary condition combined with hormonal factors. Some medications or medical conditions can also cause hair loss but most young men only have to look as far as their dads or granddads to find out if they will suffer from this (quite natural) condition. At the same time that genes are dictating what type of hair you will have and what colour it will be, other genes are at work that start the clock ticking on when you will start to lose your hair. Different individuals suffer from different levels of male pattern baldness in that they lose their hair at different rates. For example, a young man might start to go bald in his early twenties while others might only suffer a mild receding at the temples late in their thirties or forties. It's all down to those genes.

Just to define this condition more clearly: male pattern baldness is the type of hair-loss you get when your hair starts to recede, after puberty, usually starting at the temples or crown. The hair appears to be finer or weaker and not grow as fast as it used to or as fast as other areas of hair on your head. Generally this description sums up 95% of all hair-loss in men but if you believe that you don't have male pattern baldness and it is caused by something else, go and check out some of our other sections.

Traditionally it has always been believed that "if you are going to go bald there is little that you can do about it". In the past that may very well have been true and all of us have come across the guy who brushes what is left of his hair over his head to hide his bald pate or the guy who looks like he's had holes drilled into his head and then his hair "replanted" in tufts (which is exactly what he has had done).

Some guys naturally look good bald and some just prefer to live life the way nature intended. So if that's you, you've got a couple of options that will still keep you looking great. The most radical is to shave your head completely or the second is to find a shorter style that is compatible with your particular hair loss. Ask your hairdresser what they think, baldness can look sexy on many guys.

There are far more practical options if you go back to our hair loss subjects page where you can find out all the options available to you.

Other areas of hairloss in this section you may be interested in:

Inherited Male "Pattern" baldness

What Men need to know about hair and hair loss

Female genetic thinning

Poor Diet Leads to thinning Hair

Lotions and potions

Treatments for baldness: Prescriptions and pharmaceuticals

Hair replacement: Transplant and single hair micrographs

Non-surgical hair replacement: Wigs and hairpieces

Menopause and hair loss

All other causes of hair loss

Hair loss in Pregnancy

Prescription medication and its links to hair loss

Alopecia defined

Laser treatment for hair loss

Hair Loss in Children and Adolescents

The Trichologist - your hair loss specialist, find out more



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