This Is The Parent You Actually Inherit Balding From

It’s more common than you think.
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When it comes to our perceived flaws, many of us look to the first obvious cause: our parents. Whether it’s our temperament, our tastes in music and film or, for many of us no matter the gender, our susceptibility to balding.

However, many of us believe that our thinning and balding hair is due to our mother’s side of the family and that is, it turns out, a very common misconception!

Hair loss can be hereditary but it can also be a result of stress, poor nutrition and even the medications you’ve been prescribed.

In fact, as Dr Pat Carroll of Hims explains, there’s no definitive link to either side of the family when it comes to hair loss:

Is There A ‘Balding Gene’?

So, yes, there is a balding gene. While the one most commonly spoken about is “male pattern baldness” which is spoken about as passing through a family line or even skipping a generation at a time (so if your granddad is bald but your dad isn’t, you’re still at risk of balding) there is also “female pattern baldness” which presents in a different way but is due to similar gene behaviours.

Male pattern baldness or “male androgenetic alopecia” is strongly associated with the AR gene which is found from the X chromosome – inherited from mothers. A large study looking at almost 13,000 men of European ancestry found that people with the gene had more than twice the risk of developing male pattern baldness than those without it.

However, this isn’t always the cause of baldness and in fact, a 2017 review found that 63 genes can play a role in male pattern baldness.

Additionally, the “skipping a generation” theory doesn’t appear to be commonly experienced as research has found that more than 80% of people who experience balding had a father who also lost their hair.

Female pattern balding is still under researched but it is thought to involve many different genes, however research has found that the production of an enzyme called aromatase converts testosterone to estradiol could play a role in female pattern baldness, and explain why it’s more common following menopause.

Basically, sorry to say it, but there’s no simple answer to whether you inherited balding from your mum or dad.

What Can Cause Balding?

According to the NHS, we lose around 50 to 100 hairs a day and while male and female pattern baldness are permanent, there are types of hair loss that are can be temporary and are caused by:

  • Illness
  • Stress
  • Cancer treatment
  • Weight loss

The NHS also recommends that if you’re worried about your hair loss, you should see your GP.