male-pattern baldnessIf you’ve been blaming your mum for your earlier than expected hair loss, you could be barking up the wrong tree. It’s been widely publicised that the X chromosome, passed on from the mother, is one of the major factors in male pattern baldness. However, contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the only thing that can cause earlier than expected androgenetic alopecia.

Understanding androgenetic alopecia

While androgenetic alopecia is largely associated with getting older, many men actually experience it pretty early on. Did you know that it can actually start as soon as you turn 20? Initially the hairline will start to recede, then it will gradually start to spread across the crown. It can take anything from 15-25 years to go completely bald once the process has begun, though it’s not unknown for it to only take 5 years.

So if it’s not necessarily your mum’s fault, why does male baldness occur? Well, it could be the males in your life who have suffered a similar bald problem. It could be your dad, uncle or grandad. If someone in your family has experienced early male pattern baldness, there’s a high chance you will too.

Androgenetic alopecia and health problems

If you start to experience early androgenetic alopecia, the first thing that’s going to be majorly affected is your confidence. However, did you know that it can also cause physical problems too?

When your scalp is exposed due to hair loss, it leaves you with a much higher chance of developing skin cancer. According to research, you’re also at a higher risk of developing hypertension, heart disease and high cholesterol. Studies carried out in the past have also identified links between high cholesterol and high levels of hair loss.

So if you do start losing your hair, you’re going to have to start keeping an eye on blood pressure and your cholesterol levels. As you can see, there’s more than just your mum’s genes that can contribute to hair loss.

If you are concerned that the problem may be another form of hair loss, other than androgenetic alopecia, it’s important to seek advice from your GP. Overall it may be completely natural, but it never hurts to get checked out. Lifestyle choices and high stress levels could also be contributing to the problem. Only once you’ve discovered the actual cause can you find a way to treat it.

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By Ian Watson

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