My father has an advanced balding pattern (likely a Norwood Class VI), and I’m wondering if this is how my hair loss will eventually progress? Will my balding pattern match my father’s? Is it possible to predict hair loss based upon balding patterns in other family members?
Hair loss sufferers (or individuals concerned about hair loss) often assume they will inherit their father’s, brother’s, or grandfather’s balding pattern. However, this is belief is not completely accurate.
Patterned hair loss (androgenic alopecia) is a complicated genetic and biochemical condition. However, most experts agree that the physical expression of the hair loss trait is “polygenetic with variable penetrance.” In laymen’s terms, this means that the genetic component of hair loss comes from a variety of genes and can technically be inherited from either your mother or father. Additionally, the term “variable penetrance” means that the hair loss gene is expressed differently in each individual. This means that one individual with the hair loss genes may exhibit a Norwood Class VI balding pattern, while another person with the same genes will only become a Norwood Class II or III.
Because of this, predicting hair loss based upon your father’s balding pattern is usually not a helpful exercise. Even if your father is a Norwood Class VI, there is no indication that you possess his same genes or that you will express the genes in the same way. Keep in mind that hair loss is commonly a genetic issue, and the fact that your father suffers from androgenic alopecia means you are more likely to experience hair loss. However, his hair loss does not mean you will experience alopecia in the same way. If you are concerned, I recommend scheduling an appointment with an expert hair loss physician, and discussing preventive hair loss medications like Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride).
Blake Bloxham – formerly “Future_HT_Doc”
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