When will genetic baldness start showing?

Jan, 13 2020 | By Dr. Sangay Bhutia (Hair Transplant Specialist in Delhi)

Genetic baldness, hereditary-pattern baldness, or Androgenetic Alopecia is a common phenomenon. Millions across the world are affected by it. Simply put: if your close family – over generations – has experienced pattern baldness then you too are at the risk of it as well. But is it as simple as it sounds? On the face of it, maybe. There is, however, more at play. Your environment, hormones, medical history along with genes are all variables that contribute to genetic baldness.

The question then is – when will it start showing? The general consensus is that by early thirties, or even in late twenties, the signs of genetic baldness can begin to show. It must be said though that individual variations exist. Sometimes, boys as young as 15-16 years of age start losing their hair. However, in a majority of cases, it starts showing in mid to late twenties. According to research, by the age of 20, about 20% of men start having visible hair loss.

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However, the pattern of baldness differs from women to men
In women, it is rare to find complete hair loss on parts of the scalp. If that is the case, then it is not a sign of hereditary pattern baldness, rather a disease or an infection. Of course, hair thinning are among the early signs in women but that is spread out all over the scalp and not easily discernible. In men on the other hand, advanced stages of pattern baldness can often lead to just a strip of hair left around the sides and lower back of the scalp. For young men – mostly in their late 20s or early 30s – hair loss typically takes an M-shaped pattern. Thinning and eventual hair loss usually starts around the crown and temples.

Some even start showing the signs of a receding hairline as soon as after puberty. If the frontal part of the scalp starts growing in a V-shape, it indicates a receding hairline.

Genetic baldness is a natural process and it should not be considered a disease. Although hair loss is permanent, yet it is not because of a medical condition. It is a process where genes acquired from both parents are playing out in a certain environment. It can also be a cause of great stress and anxiety. However, you can find some comfort in the fact that it happens to almost 30-50% of men by the age of 50 and almost 80% of men by age 80. However, if genetic hair loss, especially at an early age, becomes a mental burden for you it is important to consult an expert.

Experts usually measure baldness on the Norwood scale. The Norwood or the Hamilton Norwood scale, which was developed in the mid-twentieth century, classifies baldness into seven stages based on the severity of hair loss. As per the Norwood scale, baldness usually starts at the temples or the crown of the head. Expert consultation is important if you start noticing hair fall and thinning at the temples, and if you are in an otherwise good physical condition.

It can be beneficial on various accounts. It is a great opportunity to discuss your fears. Understand the nature of the process and equip yourself to confront it. Diet, lifestyle, and medication can provide a combined solution to address your problem. And in case hair loss is at an advanced stage, there is always the option to consider a hair transplant. An expert is in the best position to advise you.

Yes, there are over the counter solutions, home remedies, and alternative medication. They all exist. But they is no substitute for an expert advice. Losing hair at an early age, along with the anxiety of balding can have real consequences. It can lead to low self-esteem, lack of confidence and social anxieties. Moreover, it can potentially impact a person’s career graph.

So if you are young and in the middle of a promising career and you think hair loss can play spoilsport. Then don’t let anxieties kick in. It can be very troubling to deal with a receding hairline. Especially when you know it is permanent. But it is in these circumstances, you should remind yourself that permanent solutions for the same exist in the form of a transplant. You might choose to get or not get it done. That is a different matter. But the fact that you do have an option is in itself very reassuring.

Genetic hair loss is part of the ageing process, and for some it kicks in a little earlier than the rest. It simply is a fact of life. When it strikes, it will begin to show. You on your part cannot run away from it. So face it head on. Eat well, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and see an expert.

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