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Hereditary Hair Loss

Hereditary hair loss is one of the most common causes of hair loss – it affects a large percentage of men and women, with many noticing that it gets progressively worse as they age. There are lots of rumours and myths about hereditary hair loss– let’s take a look at the real root causes.

What is hereditary hair loss?

Hereditary hair loss (also known as male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia) is a genetic condition which reduces the amount of time that hair actively spends growing. The hair at the temples and hairline begins to recede, and the crown starts to thin. Eventually, the hairline becomes so high that it joins up with the patch at the crown to create a completely bald scalp.

Why does hereditary hair loss happen?

First, let’s put one myth to bed – the hair loss gene doesn’t only come from the mother! Many people believe that their hair health is entirely down to their maternal genes because baldness is largely based on the X chromosome, which comes from the mother. In fact, you can inherit the hair loss gene from either side of your family, so stop laying the blame solely on Mum!

DHT, miniaturisation and the hair cycle

The progress of hereditary hair loss depends on the hair cycle itself, as well as a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a male sex hormone which is a distant cousin of testosterone. If you’re genetically predisposed to hair loss, you’ll likely be sensitive to this hormone. DHT shortens the hair cycle so that it spends less time in the active growing phase before it falls out.

The hair that replaces the fallen strands is finer and shorter, until eventually the follicle shuts down entirely. The texture of the remaining hair may always start to change, from full and thick to lifeless and dull, with less colour pigment. You may not even notice significant shedding. This process is called miniaturisation.

So what can I do to fight hereditary hair loss?

Unfortunately there’s no ‘cure’ for hereditary hair loss – it’s already coded into your genetics, and there’s no altering those. The good news is there are plenty of ways in which you can counteract and fight hair loss that’s rooted in your genes – here’s how.

Diet

While eating well and being properly nourished probably won’t cure your hereditary hair loss, it will offer as much support and nourishment to your existing hair as possible, to ensure that the hair you have left is thick, supple and full of life. It’s worth noting that hereditary hair loss can be accelerated by vitamin deficiency and protein deficiency , so make sure you’re getting plenty of both in your diet.

Hair Care

If you’re noticing that your hair is shedding, be gentle with it! Don’t subject it to endless fluffing and backcombing in an attempt to make it appear fuller, and try not to go heavy with gels, mousses and waxes. This can result in an irritated scalp – and an irritated scalp won’t produce healthy hair. Wash hair regularly with a gentle shampoo, and make sure all traces of hair product are gone before you go to sleep at night.

Use REGAINE® products

REGAINE® products are specifically designed to help combat the effects of hereditary hair loss.

  • Regrow your hair with Men's REGAINE® Extra Strength Foam. Make REGAINE® Extra Strength Foam part of your everyday routine. In a clinical study, 9 out of 10 guys who applied Men's REGAINE® Extra Strength Foam correctly regrew hair after 16 weeks of use. 1
  • REGAINE® Extra Strength Topical Solution is clinically proven to regrow hair in men with hereditary hair loss and help reverse its progression.

Men’s REGAINE® Extra Strength Foam and Topical Solution is for men who have a general thinning of hair on the top of the scalp (vertex only). Not intended for frontal baldness or a receding hairline.

1 Self Assessment after 16 weeks of treatment. Olsen EA et al. J Am Acad Dermatol 2007; 57; 767-774. Individual results may vary.

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