Do Native Americans Go Bald? Genetics and Hair Loss

Medically reviewed by Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Native Americans have long been admired for their thick, jet black hair. However, questions have been raised about their susceptibility to hair loss, particularly baldness. In this article, we dive into the question: "Do Native Americans go bald?"

Do Native Americans Go Bald?

Yes, Native Americans can go bald. However, the occurrence of male pattern baldness is less common among Native Americans compared to other ethnicities. Various factors, both genetic and environmental, can contribute to hair loss in this population, but baldness due to age or other natural causes is not entirely absent.

The Native American Hair Phenomenon

Native Americans are often noted for their long, straight, and typically black hair. Some tribes have been observed to be virtually immune to the most common form of hair loss - male pattern baldness. This immunity is attributed to their genetics, as they possess more copies of the androgen receptors, which, when bound with DHT, can cause baldness. However, having more copies of these receptors means less sensitivity to DHT, hence a lower likelihood of hair loss.

Factors Influencing Hair Loss in Native Americans

While some Native Americans may be less prone to male pattern baldness, there are still factors that can influence hair loss:

  • Genetic Variation: Baldness can affect anyone, regardless of race, due to genetic conditions.
  • Diet: A lack of nutrients in the diet has been linked to hair loss in some Native American tribes.
  • Environment: Environmental factors can also contribute to hair loss.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while male pattern baldness appears to be less common in Native Americans, it does occur. Factors such as genetics, diet, and environment can play a role in hair loss among this population. Therefore, the notion that Native Americans cannot go bald is a myth. Like any other ethnic group, they experience variations in hair health and growth.

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Read more:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7869811/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK278957/

Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S. graduated from the Jinnah Sindh University in Karachi. He'll take the official medical licensing program in the US (USMLE) in September 2023. Bilal has a passion for research and has extensively fact-check and medically review articles under his name to make sure you have the most accurate information.