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The Science of Hair Loss/Balding

Everybody lose round 100 hairs daily as part of the normal hair growth cycle while excess hair loss is an exceptional case. Baldness is often a result of hair loss and the inability of the hair to grow again.

You must have heard of people saying that if your mother’s father has a bald head, you are more likely to develop baldness also. But how true is this? Scientifically, one of the main causes of hair loss is sex linked. 46 chromosomes are present in a human whereby 2 of them (the X and Y chromosome) helps in determining your sex. A male possesses the X and Y chromosome while a female possesses the X and X (two X) chromosomes. The father passes either the X or Y chromosome to the offspring while the mother passes only the X chromosome. This means that if the father passes the Y chromosome, the child will be a male but if the father donates the X chromosome, the resulting offspring will be a female.

However, research has shown that gene responsible for the hair loss is located on the X chromosome only. This implies that if a male child (with X and Y chromosome) is bald, the only X chromosome got from the mother is responsible for it. Hence, if a male’s mother has the trait of baldness, the probability of you getting it half.

Hence, hair loss is partly hereditary and mothers are responsible for the baldness in male. On the other hand, females possess two copies of the X chromosome. For the baldness to physically manifest in females, the gene for baldness must be present on the both X chromosomes. Hence, if your mother physically expresses this trait, as a female child, you will automatically have it. If the other X chromosome from your father does not have trait for baldness, the trait will not be physically displayed but the female child will be a carrier of the trait.

Looking at your mother’s father with physically expressed baldness, your mother will have at least, one copy of the affected X chromosome from him. This is because the gene for baldness is located on the X chromosome and he need to pass on the X chromosome in order to give birth to a female child.

More so, it is worthwhile to note that the above-explained data is just one of the factors contributing to hair hair-loss. Many other researchers have discovered that there are other hair-linked genes that are not sex-linked. This invariably means that baldness can be transferred from both the mother and father. Apart from the scientifically proven cause of balding, noticeable hair loss can also be as a result of the following factors:

Harsh hairstyles or treatments: The incorrect usage chemical products like bleaches, dyes, relaxers, creams, and strengtheners can result in an excessive hair loss. Hair loss can be permanent depending on the degree of damaged caused.

Hormone imbalances: The hormonal shifts from birth control pills, childbirth, pregnancy, hysterectomy or menopause can cause more hair follicles to enter into the dormant phase in women.

Illness or surgery: Sickness and stress as a result of surgery may result in temporal shift in the rate of hair production. Other health conditions like the thyroid disorders, iron deficiency, syphilis or severe infection can also influence the hair production.

Nutritional deficits: Imbalanced and unhealthy eating and dietary such as anorexia and bulimia can temporary cause the hair follicle to stop growing. Insufficient vitamin, mineral or protein can also influence this.

Aging: Generally, hair growth is slower in aged individuals.

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The Science of Hair Loss/Balding