Living with male pattern baldness can be embarrassing and stressful but, is male pattern baldness inherited?
I thought that if a man was prematurely bald, any male child he had was more susceptible to losing their hair prematurely. Apparently, this is not the case and it may be that other factors are to blame. It has been found by researchers that the main construction for a full head of hair is found in the X chromosome, which boys always inherit from their mother, which means there is a link between hair loss and genetics.
Male pattern baldness affects up to half of the male Caucasion population by the time a man reaches middle age, and almost all Caucasion men by the time they reach old age.
Male Pattern Baldness and Genetics
Studies have shown that 98% of premature baldness is due to genetics and not stress. Male pattern baldness affects the front and top of the head. It shows as a receding hairline.
Usually, when we think of baldness we think of men, but increasingly more women are suffering from this ailment. We try to find reasons as to why we’re going bald: not eating the right foods, our hair follicles are blocked, or our grandfather was bald. Genes do play a great role in premature hair loss.
Balding occurs when
Psychological Effects of Male Pattern Baldness
Male pattern baldness can have a tremendous psychological effect on both men and women and in some cases can lead to depression, low self-esteem, and body image. It can affect the way that we view ourselves. Men tend to notice their hair thinning in their early twenties and by the time they reach the age of 50, in at least half of all men, it will be very noticeable.
Society views men having a full head as strong, virile and masculine, and for women, beautiful and feminine. When I lost my hair during chemotherapy treatment, my self-esteem plummeted and I felt as if everyone was staring at me but, in reality, nobody was taking any notice of me. It was how I was feeling about myself – ugly and unassuming. Another example, when I walked out of the optician wearing my newly-purchased reading glasses for the very first time, I again thought everyone was looking at me because I was wearing glasses. In reality, nobody was looking at me, because wearing glasses is the norm, as is seeing someone with receding hair or baldness.
Feeling Shame when Losing Your Hair
We don’t like to discuss how ashamed we feel about our hair loss. It is our insecurities and how we think society views us that makes us ashamed when we are losing our hair. In women, we can hide it with wigs and hair extensions. Some men will shave off the hair that is remaining on their heads to hide the fact that they are going bald; others will resort to toupees or wearing hats in public.
In Hollywood films, the dashing hero in films is usually portrayed with a full head of hair. Rarely do we see them portrayed with thinning hair or going bald, save for Fred Astaire, Sean Connery, Bruce Willis or Jason Stratham, to name a few.
Hair or No Hair, Love Yourself
Personally, I find bald men sexy and I’m sure some bald men know they’re sexy too! However, if a man has a full head of hair, more than likely they would want to keep their locks rather than become bald.
To aid our mental health we need to reconcile ourselves to having less hair and feel proud of our baldness, which will make us happier in the long term. Although there are products out there that can help with hair loss, we should not rely on them to cure our problem.