Where Does the Hair Loss Gene Come From: Tracing the Hereditary Roots

WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

For many people, hereditary hair loss runs in the family. The genetic factors that cause this common condition are passed down from parents to children through specific changes in our DNA.

Where does the hair loss gene come from?

The two main types of hereditary hair loss - androgenetic alopecia (male/female pattern baldness) and alopecia areata - are linked to alleles (variants) on different chromosomes inherited from either parent.

Androgenetic Alopecia

This pattern baldness is influenced by genes on the X chromosome. It arises from genetic variations in the structure of androgen receptors in hair follicles passed on via X alleles from either parent. Men inherit their single X chromosome from their mother.

Alopecia Areata

This autoimmune type of hair loss is associated with genes on chromosome 6p21 involving immune pathway functioning. It can be inherited as an autosomal dominant trait from either the maternal or paternal genome.

Gene Expression

External factors like DHT hormone levels and immune dysfunction activate the expression of these inherited genetic predispositions, which then manifest as predictable hair loss symptoms.

Family History Patterns

While the specific implicated genes may differ, inheriting balding alleles linked to chromosomes X or 6 from one's parents raises the likelihood of inheriting certain hair loss conditions in a genetically dominant manner.

Advanced Genetic Testing

New technologies like DNA hair follicle analysis can reveal the exact gene variants present for personalized treatment based on underlying genetic and lifestyle factors influencing expression.

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.