Inheriting Male Pattern Baldness
The prevalent thinking about baldness is that men inherit their hair, or lack of it, from their mother’s father. However, this doesn’t explain the many men whose heads look like their own fathers’.
Researchers have now identified a new gene variation associated with early hair loss that can be inherited from either the mother or the father.
The link of male pattern baldness to the mother’s family was first described way back in 1916. It took until 2005 before German researchers identified a gene (labeled AR) on the X chromosome common to many bald men. Men inherit a single X chromosome from their mothers and have a 50 percent chance of inheriting an AR gene for baldness if their maternal grandfather has it.
However, scientists have always thought that other factors are also involved, since some men with the AR gene don’t lose their hair, and some who don’t have the AR gene still do go bald. A 2004 study found that men whose fathers had male-pattern baldness were approximately 2½ times as likely to have some level of hair loss than men whose fathers did not. This was irrespective of their maternal grandfathers.
The latest studies scanned DNA samples from large groups of men with male-pattern baldness and found genetic markers on chromosome 20 that weren’t present in control groups with abundant hair.
Humans get one copy of chromosome 20 from their mother and one from the father. Therefore gene variation for balding is neither dominant nor recessive, but additive. Men with one affected copy were three and a half times as likely to show early hair loss, and those with two copies were six times as likely to do so. The studies also showed that about one in seven Caucasian men has both the chromosome 20 variation and the AR gene, which increases their risk of early baldness seven times.
What is Scalp Micropigmentation?
Sometimes called a “hair tattoo”, SMP uses tiny ink impressions placed on the scalp to create the look of a full, robust hairline cut very closely.
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Male Pattern Baldness
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