Hair Loss Conditions – Genetics
Hair loss caused by your genes – also known as hereditary hair loss – is the most common cause of shedding or thinning hair. Caused by a combination of genetics, hormones and the natural ageing process that we all undergo, genetic hair loss can be very distressing for women who have grown accustomed to long, flowing locks or a voluminous mane.
How do I know if my hair loss is genetic?
First and most obviously, look to your family. And don’t immediately lay blame on poor old Mum! Contrary to popular belief, genetic hair loss doesn’t just originate from your mother’s side of the family – both sides of your gene pool play an important role in dictating whether you’ll experience hereditary hair loss. If there’s baldness or thinning hair on one or both sides of your family, in men or women, there’s a chance you could suffer from it too at some point in your life.
You should also look to rule out any other possible causes of hair loss. Poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle can have an impact, and temporary hair loss can occur if you’ve undergone recent surgery or experienced some kind of severe stress or trauma – both mental and physical. If you can rule out each of these underlying causes, your hair loss is probably genetic.
What are the signs of genetic hair loss?
Hereditary hair loss is usually characterised by hair that gets steadily thinner and shorter over time, resulting in hair that has much less volume. There can also be some increased shedding as your hair cycles get shorter. This is a process called miniaturisation, where a certain hormone (DHT – the distant cousin of testosterone) attacks your follicles and causes them to shut down.
One of the best ways to tell whether the hair loss you’re experiencing is down to genetic factors is to take a look at the hairs you’re shedding. Are they thinner and shorter than the rest of your hair? Do they seem to have less pigment than the hairs on your head, with an almost translucent quality? If you’re observing shorter, thinner hairs on your pillow or in your hairbrush, hereditary hair loss may already in full effect and should be addressed as soon as possible for the best results.
How can I treat genetic hair loss?
Unfortunately, there is no complete cure for hereditary hair loss. It’s a condition that’s already encoded into your very DNA, so unless there are significant advancements in this area of science that allow you to alter your genes, it’s a condition that you’ll have to manage rather than looking to cure it.
However, there are clinically proven1 treatments out there, which can help slow down1 the progression hair loss and facilitate the growth of healthy new hairs.2 See your doctor or medical practitioner for more information on how to treat hereditary hair loss safely and effectively.
1Blume-Peytavi U et al. J Drugs Dermatol. 2016 Jul 1;15(7):883-9.
2Individual results may vary.