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What causes baldness?

I've been losing my hair for years now. What is making me bald?

5164 day(s) ago

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Male pattern baldness, known scientifically as androgenic alopecia, is a condition that occurs in male humans in which hair, especially on the head, falls out and does not grow back. Male pattern baldness does not occur in all men, and it varies in severity from person-to-person. Hair loss usually begins in the center of the head and works its way forward, or it can begin from the front center of the hairline and work back. Most people who experience baldness retain a ring of hair around the sides and back of the head, although some people can lose all of their hair.

Only one cause exists for baldness – genetics. Some men are genetically programmed to lose their hair and there is little that can be done to prevent it. The baldness gene is primarily linked to the X chromosome, but factors from the father also cause its onset, so men can receive baldness from both parents. Baldness is rare in women because it is an X-linked recessive gene, so it must be present on both X chromosomes to take effect. Baldness is common in males because they only have a single X chromosome, so it always shows through. Females with only one gene can still pass it on to their children. Much folklore exists on the causes of baldness and all of them are false. Genetics are the factor that causes it.

Preventing or reversing baldness is largely unsuccessful in most men. Once hair is lost, it is virtually impossible to grow again. Some treatments, such as minoxidil, can help to prevent or slow hair loss, but it usually doesn’t work after the fact.

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