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Crowning Glory Chronicles: Navigating the Genetic Maze of Hair Loss Patterns

Hair loss is a common condition that affects both men and women. Genetics plays a significant role in hair loss, and several genes are involved in the development of hair loss. The inheritance pattern of hair loss is complex, and it is not entirely understood. While it was once believed that hair loss was passed down from the mother’s side of the family, recent studies have shown that hair loss genes are passed down from both parents[1][4]. The most dominant hair loss gene is located on the X chromosome, which comes from the mother, but many other genetic factors that predispose hair loss aren’t sex-linked at all[4]. Male pattern baldness is polygenic, involving one or more genes, and it can occur as early as the late teens and early 20s[5]. Female pattern baldness is less common and typically results in a general thinning of the hair on the top and sides of the scalp[1]. Family history is a crucial factor in understanding the genetic basis of hair loss, and if close male relatives experienced hair loss, you are more likely to as well[3]. While hair loss due to genetics cannot be reversed, several treatments such as hair transplants, medications, or a laser cap can help optimise the hairline.

What are the different types of hair loss

Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is a disorder caused by an interruption in the body’s cycle of hair production. There are several types of hair loss, including:

1. Androgenetic Alopecia: 

The most common type of hair loss, also known as male or female pattern baldness, is hereditary and can be managed with medication or surgery.

2. Telogen Effluvium: 

This type of hair loss is caused by a sudden shock to the body, such as stress, pregnancy, or medication, and can result in hair thinning or shedding.

3. Anagen Effluvium: 

This type of hair loss is caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy and results in the sudden loss of hair.

4. Alopecia Areata: 

This type of hair loss is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss in patches.

5. Tinea Capitis: 

This type of hair loss is caused by a fungal infection of the scalp and can result in hair loss and scaly patches on the scalp.

6. Cicatricial Alopecia: 

This type of hair loss is caused by inflammation that destroys hair follicles and causes scar tissue to form, leading to permanent hair loss.

7. Hair Shaft Abnormalities: 

This type of hair loss is caused by structural abnormalities in the hair shaft, leading to hair breakage and loss.

Understanding the type of hair loss is crucial in determining the appropriate treatment. While some types of hair loss can be reversed, others are permanent and require management to optimise the hairline.

How does hair loss affect men and women differently

The main type of hair loss in both men and women is androgenetic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern hair loss. However, the pattern of hair loss differs between men and women. In men, hair loss usually begins above the temples, resulting in a receding hairline that forms a characteristic “M” shape, and the hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head. A woman’s hairline rarely recedes, and women rarely become bald. Noticeable hair loss in women can be deeply distressing, and it often has a greater impact on emotional well-being and quality of life than it does on men, as it is less socially acceptable for women. About one-third of women experience hair loss at some time in their lives, and among postmenopausal women, as many as two-thirds suffer from hair thinning or bald spots. Hair loss in women is most likely after menopause. The risk of androgenetic alopecia rises with age, and it’s higher for women with a family history of hair loss. While the genetic basis of hair loss is complex and involves a variety of genetic and environmental factors, family history is a crucial factor in understanding the genetic basis of hair loss. If close male relatives experienced hair loss, an individual is more likely to experience it as well. The genetics of hair loss are polygenic, involving multiple genes, and the inheritance pattern is not solely from the mother’s side, as was once believed. Both parents contribute to the genetic predisposition for hair loss. While the AR and 5-alpha reductase genes affect male pattern hair loss, other genetic factors may also come into play. Despite the genetic influence on hair loss, several treatments such as medications, hair transplants, or laser caps can help optimise the hairline.

What are some of the treatment options for pattern hair loss

The treatment options for female pattern hair loss (FPHL) include both pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches. Some of the main treatment options are:

1. Minoxidil (Rogaine, generic versions): 

This is a topical medication that is applied to the scalp. It is the first-line treatment for FPHL and has been shown to help regrow hair in some women.

2. Anti-androgens: 

These medications, such as spironolactone, can help to block the effects of androgens on the hair follicles and are sometimes used to treat FPHL.

3. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy: 

This therapy uses the patient’s own blood platelets to stimulate hair growth. Preliminary research has shown that PRP therapy may help with FPHL.

4. Hair transplantation: 

In some cases, hair transplantation may be considered for women with FPHL, especially if the hair loss is severe and other treatments have not been effective.

5. Styling techniques and camouflage: 

These non-pharmacological approaches can help to minimise the appearance of hair loss, especially in the early stages of FPHL.

It’s important to note that the response to treatment can vary among individuals, and early recognition and initiation of treatment are desirable as these treatments are more effective at halting the progression of hair loss and promoting regrowth. Additionally, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare provider or dermatologist to determine the most suitable treatment for FPHL based on individual needs and medical history.


understanding the genetic underpinnings of hair loss, influenced by both parents, is crucial for effective management. While genetic predisposition plays a significant role, various types of hair loss require different treatment approaches. From medications like minoxidil to innovative therapies like platelet-rich plasma, tailored solutions exist. Early intervention enhances treatment efficacy. Consulting with a healthcare professional ensures personalised care, empowering individuals to navigate the intricate landscape of genetic hair loss with confidence.


[1] https://www.bosley.com/blog/do-you-inherit-hair-loss-from-your-father-or-your-mothers-side/

[2] https://www.belgraviacentre.com/blog/the-genetics-of-hair-loss062

[3] https://www.dryateshairscience.com/the-genetics-behind-male-pattern-hair-loss

[4] https://www.hairdoc.com/blog/how-your-genetics-influence-hair-loss

[5] https://www.mydcsi.com/2021/05/30/how-is-baldness-genetically-inherited/

[6] https://www.belgraviacentre.com/blog/the-genetics-of-hair-loss062

[7] https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/types

[8] https://www.belgraviacentre.com/blog/the-genetics-of-hair-loss062

[9] https://www.dryateshairscience.com/the-genetics-behind-male-pattern-hair-loss

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