Is Baldness Hereditary? Everything you need to know about hair genetics and where does the bald gene come from!
While women experience hair loss at some point in their life, men are at a higher and greater risk of going bald. For women, the primary reason is usually hair thinning and loosening which can be easily covered with long hair, not to mention the privilege of wearing wigs, changing the haircut or using hair accessories. However, men are different and when it comes to male baldness, there are not so many remedies.
Throughout our article, we are going to break down these topics:
If My Dad Is Bald Will I Go Bald?
What is the baldness gene? “Does male baldness come from the mother's side?” “If my dad is bald will I be bald?”
So, which parent determines hair loss? How does Balding genetics Work? and How to know if you will go bald?Pattern Baldness and Early Inheritance Studies conducted research and found out which relative determines baldness. But before jumping to conclusions and blaming our parents, let’s see if baldness is dominant or recessive.
The baldness gene is dominant and is inherited from the father to the son, however, through the mother. Baldness is a sex-limited trait and can be transmitted in case the inheritance is duplex. In this case, women’s genes are considered recessive, meaning the trait of their genes is masked by the dominant trait. Breaking it down, even more, women can transfer this gene to half of their children, however, if you're male there’s a chance that you’ll go bald. For females receiving this gene most of the time means that she’lll become a carrier of the baldness gene just like her mother. Thus, a father that has shown signs of baldness can transfer it to his children through their mother, and usually, this is more visible in male children, than in females.
So if you want to blame someone for going or being bald, blame both of your parents.
Baldness gene inherited from mother! Myth or truth?
For many years, people believed that the baldness gene runs on the mother’s side. There is an androgen receptor gene which is located on the X chromosome, and many hair genetic researches suggest that this gene is one of the causes for baldness. As this X-linked baldness gene is located on the X chromosome and the latter is inherited only from the mother it caused the misunderstanding that the baldness is passed down from the mother. In other words, since it was believed the primary baldness gene was on the mother’s side X chromosome that would be transferred to the son, men going bald receive the baldness gene from their mother and if there’re many bald men on the mother’s side, there’s a high chance that the son will also be bald. However, this is a misconception, as scientists haven’t yet found all of the genes responsible for baldness.
“If my dad is bald will I go bald?”
As you may already know, the X chromosome is not the only thing responsible for baldness! Scientists have found that numerous other genes scattered around your other chromosomes can be the reason for baldness. That is to say, even if you have no bald relatives on both sides, your father can still transfer you some baldness genes. Let’s take the example of hair follicles. Follicles (the anchors that hold each hair) are made of cells called hair follicle cells. If they are damaged or harmed somehow, new hair won’t grow out and your hairline will gradually thin out. So, the genes responsible for these hair follicles are also important as all these genes work together and are all responsible for healthy hair growth. To sum up, if you have an X-linked baldness gene or your father is bald, the chances are that you will get bald. Moreover, if you have some of the other genes responsible for baldness, you are even more likely to lose your hair. It is worth mentioning though, that there are many blind spots in this sphere of research, and scientists might surprise us any day with a new revolutionary discovery in genetics.
Does balding skip generations?
Baldness can of course skip generations! If you have bald relatives on both sides of your family tree the chances are high you will be too. However, if the baldness shows up only on one side, it’s highly possible the MPB gene will skip not only you but also your siblings. This is how the recessive gene works.
Why do men go bald and how to detect it?
What Causes Baldness: If you have these preconditions, there’s a high chance that you will go bald
The most common factors causing baldness
- MPB - One of the most common causes for baldness is Male Pattern Baldness. MPB can be inherited from either side of a person's family and it affects 98.6% of men and 64.4% of women.
- Lifestyle - Poor nutrition, strong diets for weight loss, alcohol, stress and smoking can cause baldness.
Treatments and medical conditions - some medical conditions, and long-lasting treatments can lead to hair loss.
Male Baldness Pattern: What is it and who is at risk?
At what age do men go bald? Usually, most men will experience some type of baldness after their thirties. Nonetheless, there are more and more cases of young people going bald in their 20’s.
Hair loss usually is a gradual process and many people miss early signs of balding. However, losing hair does not always mean that you’re going to be bald in the future. Normally, people shade 50-200 hair per day. However, losing more than this average can be a sign of poor diet, stress, hormonal changes or a result of taking aggressive medications, which can provoke baldness in the future. In order not to miss the first alerts, every man should look out for the signs of balding as early as in his twenties.
3 Types of Male Baldness Pattern: How to detect Early Signs of Balding
To successfully detect signs of balding you need to know about these three types of male hair loss referred to as Male Baldness Pattern.
Your hairline is receding and the hair is thinning on top
Male Pattern Baldness can have different patterns of hair loss in men. The most common one is when men start noticing receding hairline on their foreheads and bald spots on the crown. It usually starts from the corners of your hairline and goes back giving off the impression of tower formation. Additionally, the hair on the top starts getting thinner and finer. If you want to detect the receding hairline, you’d want to compare your current hairline with the one you had a couple of years ago. Just check your old photos. If you notice a receding hairline, “a tower formation” or an “M” hairline which you didn’t have a couple of years ago and your scalp becomes more visible it likely means that you’re balding.
You Notice Patchy Bald Spots on Your Head
Not everyone loses hair in full or in the same patterns as others. Patchy bald spots are also common and it’s one of the types of Male Baldness Pattern. Most of the time, at the early stages, men feel unusual itchiness and pain in these spots on the scalp, for no apparent reason. Usually, it’s one of the first signs of going bald. In order not to miss these early signs, take some time to examine your hair. Look in the mirror and see if there are any parts that seem to have thinner hair than the other parts. It’s important to understand the difference between thin and fine hair here. If you have fine hair it means that in a spot you might have lots of hair but they’re fine and give off the impression as if you have lost some hair. On the other hand, when your hair is thin it means there isn’t much density on that part of your scalp.
Your Hair Start Thinning and Loosening
The third type of Male Pattern Baldness is when your hair starts thinning and loosening. In this case, you may start noticing that you start losing hair more than the average amount that’s considered to be normal in everyday hair shedding. For example, when you take off your hat, you notice lots of hair in there, or some hair is left on your hands when shampooing. If you see an abnormal loss and not many short hair growing at the roots, it’s already a sign of going bald
How to Cope WIth Balding: 4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Worry About Balding
Dealing with balding may be psychologically hard for many men. Throughout our lives, we are used to seeing ourselves with lots of hair and we think that it's an inseparable part of our identity. What we are missing is that balding is very common and it doesn’t make you stand out in the crowd for better or worse. Besides, here are 5 quite important points why being bald is even better.
You Save More MoneyGoing to the barbershops can be quite expensive, especially when you want a good haircut and hairstyling. The average amount of money spent on a male haircut is €22.74, in case these haircuts are simple scissors-to-hair. Once you go bald you won’t need to go to the barbershops once in a while for a haircut and hairstyling. You can save up to €400 per month by simply going bald.
Women Love Bald Men
As mentioned previously, balding isn’t uncommon and if you’re bald it doesn’t make you stand out from the crowd. However, what it does, it changes people's perception and first impression of you. Many researchers have agreed on the fact that bald men look extremely dominant, fearless, confident, fierce and women LOVE IT. What women don’t like is unconfident men, who rather stick onto little hair and try to hide the fact that they’re going bald. Believe it or not, people see it and it’s better to shave it off and rock your confident look!
Still in doubt? See what women have to say about bald men:
Users from Quora and Reddit
“It doesn't bother me at all. I much prefer a guy that'll shave his hair off and go bald than try and pretend they still have hair with an awful haircut or dodgy toupée to hide it, bald men can look sexy so if you're bald own it.”
“Bald men with facial hair look best. If you are going bald, admit it and just shave it off.”
“I’m partial to bald men. Verrry sexy. God only made so few perfectly shaped noggins and those belong to the bald men of the world! I love when balding men own up to it and cut it short or shave it off. Embrace!! Find the women that dig and never look back. Wear it well! 🙂🙂🙂”
“Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Jason Stratham, LL Cool J, Taye Diggs... I could go on. All super hot. The most important thing is not to try the combover. When it starts noticeably receding, own it and cut the rest off/ super short. Certainly works for Bruce Willis.”
“I like me a bald-headed man in a nice tailored suit. Or a uniform. Or a tight pair of jeans. Or...anything.”
You Save Time on HairstylingFor better or worse, your head looks the same all the time. You take a shower, you have the same hairstyle, you take a nap, you have the same hairstyle, whatever you do, one thing is ensured; nothing can mess up your hair. But does it mean bald men are limited to one look only? Absolutely NOT, bald men can rock different styles of beards for bald heads.
Also, once you go bald you’ll see you have a large choice of accessories to style your dome: try glasses, scarfs and hats or even tattoos, to add a pinch of individuality to your new look.
If still in doubt, check out these tips for bald men on how to create a winning appearance.
Better Sooner Than Later
Most of the time we try to stick to the little hair that’s left, using creams, shampoos and other products, in hopes that hair will grow back. But if the balding process has already started, there’s no turning back. There’s no evidence that these products will improve hair growth, but there's evidence that balding is permanent. So, it’s better to shave the hair off and rock the bald confident look than wait for the hair to grow back. The first time head-shaving might be stressful, but it can be fun too! There are lots of DIY shavers nowadays that are very easy to use. If your hair is long, you should trim it first and use a DIY shaver or a razor. You can also use head shaving cream for the smoothest and cleanest shave.
To sum up we have found out that there are many misconceptions, misunderstandings on baldness genetic inheritance. We have also confirmed that there are three main patterns of male baldness and each one has its own distinct signs that help you to know if you will go bald. As for the heredity of baldness we have found out that both parents play a major role in the baldness gene. So, how to know if you will go bald, the short answer is, if your dad is bald there’s a high chance that you’ll be bald as well. But luckily going bald is nothing more than transforming into a greater man. Women love it, men respect you, and there shouldn’t be anything that can hold you back from shaving your hair off! Be confident in your new journey and good luck!